by Major Tom Schick
My experience with the calendar has as much to do with my experience with Aeclectic as to be inextricably linked. I joined Aeclectic in Spring 2001, keen to talk about the photo-collage deck I was creating, that is, Major Tom’s Tarot. So named because it was all about me but that quickly became all about Aeclectic. Many early members of Aeclectic appear in the still unfinished deck. Such is my love for Aeclectic. By Autumn 2002, Aeclectic had a tarot deck creation board with several actively creating members. It was during this period I became aware that Llewellyn weren’t publishing their tarot calendar for 2003.
I put together several beliefs. It is my firm belief that:
- Everyone interested should create their own tarot;
- Some of the most exciting artists and writers working with tarot in the world today are members of Aeclectic;
- The world needs a tarot calendar to showcase that talent;
- A percentage of any profits should be returned to Aeclectic to help maintain the community.
The Tarot Lover’s Calendars were born.
The Tarot Lover’s Calendar 2003 went on sale for £15 in October 2002. The cover featured the Lovers Card from tarot decks created by myself, Marie White (The Mary-el Tarot), Lynyrd Narciso, Robin Ator (the International Icon Tarot), and Scott Cain. The First Aeclectic Community Tarot. There were 13 original tarot spreads and an essay by Holmes. The calendar was printed in landscape format and the colour backgrounds were the photograph of a nebula. Seventy-five copies were sold in three printings. I do not have my own copy because I sold them all.
Every year I learn something new producing the next year’s calendar.
The Tarot Lover’s Calendar 2004 was also printed in landscape format and the backgrounds to the colour pages were black with a large white border. The cover featured the Lover’s cards from tarot decks created by Mari Hoshizaki, Elaine Moertl (The Ferret Tarot), Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov (Baba Studio) (The Tarot of Prague), Lynyrd Narciso, AmounRa, Ravenswing, Robin Ator (The Ator Tarot), Ann E. Cass (The World Tree Tarot), John R. Ellison, and Rod Sena. The First and Second Aeclectic Community Tarots rounded out the decks featured. It featured 12 original tarot spreads, a list of useful web addresses, and articles by Jean-Michel David, Kim Huggens, Dan Pelletier and myself. Retail price was £12.99 and 100 copies were printed and sold out, but I kept a copy for myself.
I always seek feedback from purchasers and contributors.
For the 2005 edition, in response to feedback, the calendar was printed in portrait format with backgrounds for the colour pages grey bled to the edge. The cover featured 12 Lover’s Cards from tarot decks created by Lynyrd Narciso, Isthmus Nekoi, Linda Vaughan, Baba Studio (Baroque Bohemian Cats’), Willie Hewes (The Simple Tarot), Samantha Kocsis (The Dolphin-Daze Tarot), Debra M. Given D.V.M. (The Cat’s Eye Tarot), my own Major Tom’s Tarot of Marseilles, Sherry Wood and Lisa Krough, Robyn Tisch-Hollister (Tarot of the Midnight Masquerade), Elaine Moertl (Chat du Marseille) and Monika Clio Sakki (The Sakki-Sakki Tarot). There were 13 original tarot spreads – one on the back cover. Cover price was £11.99 and 300 copies were printed and have only recently sold out.
Feedback has always suggested simplifying and cleanliness of design.
For the 2006 edition the calendar was printed in portrait format on cream coloured card to be its own background for the colour. The cover again featured 12 Lover’s cards from tarot decks created by Robyn Tisch-Hollister (The Minute Tarot), N. Joy Neish, Simone Roeder, Lynyrd Narciso, Melanie J. Cook, Maria Miduki and Michel Angela, Ciro Marchetti (Tarot of Dreams), Chris Butler, Baba Studios (The Fairytale Tarot), Samantha Kocsis (The Monster Movie Tarot), Kim Huggens and Nic Phillips (Sol Invictus – The God Tarot), and Lyia Bochkis. It also featured 13 original tarot spreads, had a cover price of £10.99. Three hundred copies were printed and there are still some available on my website for £7.00 including shipping.
The 2007 edition will feature a cover designed by Chris Butler and will also be printed on cream card in portrait format. It is currently available for pre-order on my website at www.majortom.biz. The expected release date is the end of September 2006.
Every year as soon as one calendar is shipped I start work on the next. Every year I hope to deliver the calendar by July and end up delivering in September. Despite my best intentions, this seems to be the rhythm for the calendar. For 2007, the cover price of the calendar is US $25. Only the number pre-ordered will be printed and discounts are available for multiple purchases. Just get in touch. I’m keeping details of the contributors a secret for the moment but don’t think anyone will be disappointed. The standard is better than ever. I learn something new every year.
The Tarot Lover’s Calendars are very much the product of group effort. Without all the contributors, supporters and purchasers they could not exist. For me, the fun is working with all of them. Thank you everybody.
The Tarot Lovers Calendar is available directly from Tom Schick via his website at www.majortom.biz.
Pre-orders for the 2007 issue cost US$25 inclusive of postal charges.