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Arcane Tarot - Tarot Reading, Consultation and Talismanic Art - The Arcane Tarot

Many clients have asked me to supply one-off pieces of Occult or Talismanic art intended to facilitate certain changes in their lives. While I believe in the efficacy of such constructions, as do many of my clients, the legal technicalities that bind all Occult practitioners mean I am only able to supply such services as pieces of Art.

 TALISMANS

Talismans

One of the most effective ways to initiate desired change is the creation of a Talisman - a personalised artistic creation that combines certain planetary signs, seals and symbols in order to bring the relevant energies to work in the client's life. These can take many forms, in my practises these are either a classic 4-sided parchment disc to be carried by the client, or a more elaborate single-sheet artwork that can be hung in the home or workplace.

The use of Talismans dates back to the Ancient Egyptian Dynasties and beyond - parts of the Picatrix (an Early Arabian grimoire or book of magic) detail a series of planetary Talismans, some of which are uncannily close to images we find in the Tarot Trumps.

Above are a few examples of hand-drawn talismans created for clients by myself. The first is a simple Solar Talisman created for a client who wanted something to facilitate her confidence and business acumen, something to be hung in the office.

The second is a talismanic image drawn from the grimoire known as the Poule Noire, executed in the correct colours and style.

The third is a rather more elaborate Venus Talisman, prior to personalisation - the blank spaces have been left clear for details relating to the client who requested it.

Once finished, the Talismans are ritually completed on the correct day and in the correct hour in accord with the theologies of practical magic.

ETHICS AND PRICING

There are many occultists who will charge you thousands of pounds to perform so-called 'magical' work and who 'guarantee' results. I would advise anyone to tread very carefully when dealing with such people. My own feeling is that it is wrong to charge people for 'magic' and therefore I charge only for the time it takes me to do whatever work is requested. This is charged at the same rate I use for Tarot consultation with a small surcharge for materials used. When I work, there is always a material end-result (personalised talisman or artwork etc) which will be supplied to the client once the work is complete. These are always unique, hand-crafted from scratch and obviously vary widely in design according to their purpose.

Obviously I stand by certain ethics which mean that many requests will be flatly turned down. I will not create talismans to help you bed the person of your dreams, nor will I create a magical artwork to curse your boss (unless he has murdered your firstborn in which case I might reconsider). The best way forward is to approach me with your particular desires and we can take things from there.

I am also happy to take commissions for one-off pieces of Occult Art - altar-pieces, demonic or angelic portraiture and so forth - for ritual use by other practitioners of the Art. Please contact me with any questions.

THE ARCANE TAROT DECK

FIRSTED

The Arcane Tarot deck was self-published in a first edition of 50 numbered sets at the Vernal Equinox 2017. Printed in full colour on 300 gsm card and housed in a signed and numbered presentation folder, this edition represents the first physical incarnation of the Arcane Tarot and has been three years in the making. Each image was conceived, designed and hand-drawn by myself before being digitised and formatted for printing. The numbering follows the earliest known list of Tarot Trumps - from the manuscript Sermones De Ludo Cum Aliis- and therefore varies quite significantly from the widely used Marseille and Rider Waite numbering. It is the only set of Trumps I am aware of that follows this 15th Century numeration.

In November 2017, Justice, from this set, was published in the American book Witch Ikon - Witchcraft In Art & Artefact (Three Hands Press). This marks my debut as a published artist and I'm intensely proud to have my work featured in print alongside that of some of the most inspiring occult luminaries of ancient and modern history.

At the time of writing a handful of first edition sets remain available, please contact for further information. 

 

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ABOVE: FOUR TRUMPS FROM THE ARCANE TAROT DECK, 2017 (c)

As most Tarot enthusiasts will know, creating your own deck is the ultimate way to forge a strong relationship with the cards, something I may have sensed at the age of 10 when I created my first Trump designs in felt tip pen (!). I only completed a few - The Wheel of Fortune was certainly one of them - but the seed of something greater had been sown.

A second, more elaborate, attempt to complete a set of Trumps came a decade later, in 1995. These, like most modern Tarots, were heavily influenced by the Rider Waite deck and a full set of 22 Trumps were completed in pen and ink. I see these as an interesting reflection of how I was seeing the cards at the time and some of these early designs have been developed in the Arcane Tarot.

A third, more serious attempt to create a deck came in 2011. At this stage I had been working professionally as a full-time reader for five years and was finding that no published deck completely satisfied my own understanding of the Tarot.

I considered the Rider Waite deck excellent for its pictorial Minor Arcana (though I have issues with it being 'quite' so pictorial!), but felt that the Trumps suffered from massive bastardisation from the authentic medieval designs. With this in mind I decided to create a set of my own Trumps that I felt were authentic representations of the earliest designs, correcting certain errors that had crept in to the Marseille designs (eg the Hermit's hourglass becoming a lantern) and attempting to create a set of stark designs that stood somewhere between the earliest known Italian Tarots and the slightly later, possibly French (not as foolish a statement as it sounds), designs known as the 'Marseille' Tarots.

Having completed 21 Trumps and a handful of Minor Arcanas by the time I moved from London in 2013, I was spurred to see what I could do with these crude designs if I actually sat down and treated each Trump as an individual piece of Art. So, that September I set to work on The Devil.

Pleased with the result, I moved on to the rest of the Trumps and am proud to say that the final set of 22 images - The Arcane Tarot - were completed in March 2017.

JRB

 

AN OCCULT HISTORY

Some tend to find my claim to have 30 years of history with the Tarot rather preposterous (or perhaps conveniently fashionable). Either that or they assume there was a family interest in such matters - this was not the case. I first came across the Tarot at the age of five, thanks to friends of the family who owned a book on the subject - Brian Innes' "The Tarot". I was entranced by the images and for the next two years I pestered my parents for a deck of my own. Initially reluctant to encourage such an outlandish interest, they eventually relented and at Christmas 1982 I was given a deck of my own, the 22 Trump set published by US Games Systems as 'Tarot Starter'. I soon found that they did indeed speak with a remarkable relevancy and accuracy. Over three decades on, I still find them to be an invaluable divinatory tool which is rarely surpassed in terms of relevance.

 

Tarot-Starter-1982

 

It was around this time that I experienced the first of a series of experiences one might describe as 'spiritual' in nature - seeing a tall dark figure standing under the full glare of a lightbulb which remained for some time before apparently disintegrating. Experiences like this, combined with my tastes in literature, family visits to Cornwall and to the famous Museum Of Witchcraft - then in the posession of the late Cecil Williamson - all served to cement a firm interest in the 'Occult' (or 'Hidden') which has persisted to-date. Over the years I have continued to study the Tarot endlessly and balance my practise with a disciplined, historically-informed and rational - if sometimes lateral - approach to the subject. It has long been my belief that, contrary to popular opinion, one can indeed approach the Occult with a scientific mind - as Crowley put it: "The aim of religion, the method of science".

 

1980 Boscastle

 

In 1994, while studying English Literature at the University of York, I co-founded the Occult Society with an American member of the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) and read the Tarot at University Events. I had my first taste of reading at Psychic Fairs thanks to an aquaintanceship with Ben Fernee (the well-respected proprietor of Caduceus Books and Director of the Society for Esoteric Endeavour) though I soon realised such events were not my natural home as I refuse to be a showman. I quickly gained a reputation for accuracy and often blunt honesty - it wasn't unusual for students to knock on my door at all hours in search of a reading.

At the same time I studied with a group of Witches based in Sheffield and was lucky enough to spend some time with Patricia Crowther, a wonderful woman regarded by many as one of Gerald Gardner's spiritual heirs. She has one of my Occult artworks hanging in her home and was one of the first to encourage me to complete my own Tarot deck. Though I do not consider myself a Wiccan, I remain impressed by the breadth of her knowledge and her eclectic approach to the Craft.

In the last decade I have been extremely excited and influenced by the works of the late Andrew Chumbley and of Daniel Schulke, both of whom have contributed greatly to the preservation of Traditional European Occult practise. I would recommend that anyone seriously interested in the field of the Occult pay great attention to their works, particularly Chumbley's seminal and unapologetic essay, "Magic Is Not For All".

This history of magical and esoteric study has immensely influenced and expanded my use of the Tarot, an entity which I consider to be much more than a mere system of Divination. Its language transcends race, age, religion and philosophy. It has intrigued and obsessed great writers, artists, philosophers, Occultists, historians. It is an entity in its own right so when people ask me if I speak to spirits, my response will always be, "The Tarot *is* a spirit".


MUSIC JOURNALISM

It comes as a surprise to some to learn that I also have a history in the field of music journalism - after graduating from York, I fell into a job as an Editorial Assistant at Record Collector magazine where I remained for three years. This career path was more chance than choice, and while I have always loved Music and the Arts, I eventually wearied of writing about Artists when I felt I should be pursuing my own Artistic Endeavours. That being said, I continue to have a foot in the door of this world but these days only write about Artists I admire and only when I feel the urge or desire to do so. It is a lucky and priveliged position to be in.

Over the years, this work has given me the chance to meet and interview some wonderful and well-known creators, including Tori Amos, Alison Goldfrapp, Marilyn Manson, Boy George, Keith Flint and Placebo to name a few. I have contributed to books including Blondie - From Punk To Present and Madonnastyle, had features published in magazines including Attitude, Mojo, Rockstar and Bizarre, and have penned two books of my own (more of which below). I have appeared on radio and TV in connection with this work and many of my articles and interviews may be found and read online.

My own books include a children's biography of Britney Spears, written at the request of a publisher I had approached with a proposal for a biography of PJ Harvey. While the thought of writing such a book initially repulsed me (!), it was clear to me that sometimes one must make sacrifices in order to get what one wants. So, I steeled myself for a few months of exposure to the world of Britney Spears and the book was published in America and Europe in 2002.

 

books

 

This paved the way for publication of the book I had long wanted to write, the first ever biograpy of PJ Harvey, Siren Rising, published by Omnibus Press in 2004. This title went through two hardback editions before the publication of a revised and expanded paperback edition in 2006.

Published in France as Le Chant De La Sirene, the book received great reviews from the mainstream British music press, all of whom awarded it three out of five stars - Tom Doyle writing for Q magazine described it as "well researched, insightful . . . Blandford's book confidently charts Harvey's growth", Uncut called it an "assiduous" and "superior" piece of work and Mark Paytress writing for Mojo noted it was "informed, essentially loyal . . . at times reads like an autobiography".

The natural conclusion of these two careers will manifest in the book I am currently working on to accompany my own Tarot deck, The Arcane Tarot, which brings together my history in Tarot, Art, Occultism and writing.

TAROT CONSULTATION

I currently take bookings to read for people by telephone or Skype (with video off), and also provide audio readings - I will occasionally accommodate requests for face-to-face readings but usually only when I have read for the client in question long enough to have built up a mutual sense of trust. That being said, I am also happy to take the occasional group booking - for my terms please contact me to discuss further. My working hours are Monday to Thursday 10:00 through 22:00 GMT and Friday 10:00 through 18:00.

 

RATES (GBP / USD)

30 MINS - £50

45 MINS - £65

60 MINS - £75

To book a slot, please contact me using the Contact Form in the relevant section letting me know how long you wish to book and what days / times (GMT) work best for you. Please be aware I do get very busy so while a postponement or cancellation may make a same-day appointment possible, this is not usual so would recommend giving me as much notice as possible.

I accept payment by paypal or bank transfer and am only able to confirm a booking once payment is made - for obvious reasons, if you miss your booking the fee is non-refundable as I am unable to then fill that slot. However, if enough notice is given (24 hours) I am happy to postpone your appointment.

As a final note, it's good to be aware that with relevant questions, exploring one spread fully usually spans 10-15 minutes. Please prioritise your questions and plan your time to get the best from your reading.

 

GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR READING

With the Tarot, it is important to have your questions ready if you are to get the best from your reading. I don't pretend to be a mind-reader - unfortunately the Spiritualist movement with its history of vaudeville and stage-cabaret has created a situation where people expect miracles or something of a pantomime. It should be understood, Divination seeks to answer questions or to delve into the complexities of a situation. Approaching the cards with that cynical 'question', "I want a general" means you will get just that. A reading so general and poorly focused that you will be wasting your money and time. Caveat emptor!

I will not indulge in any form of cold-reading - so don't expect to be asked if you have "any connection with an R", the "number 7" or if there is a vowel in your name (!). None of this is to suggest that the cards can't be specific. Once we know the situation we're dealing with, the cards can be remarkably specific and their accuracy and success rate is why I have stuck with them so closely for over three decades.

 

A NOTE ON 'PREDICTIONS' AND THE ISSUE OF TIMING

I will address these issues here to save time discussing such matters during a reading. I am often asked what is my "success rate" - such a question is difficult to answer, though as stated above, I wouldn't have stayed with the cards for so long if they didn't seem to get it right an overwhelming majority of the time. This being said, the area of 'timing' can be a tricky one for some people.

It is my firm belief that no honest reader can make long-term predictions as too much depends on the way the questioner approaches the next chapter of events. Long term potential can be looked at, but one must remember that we all have a role to play in how these things unfold. The cards may say there is the potential for setting up house and home with someone, but if you then start insulting and attacking that person on a daily basis, that potential is bound to wane and one can't blame the cards.

My feeling is that the cards look at events unfolding, the emotional issues driving and directing these events, and the way to get the best out of them - or in some cases, to avoid them altogether. You must want to engage with the cards. I've had some clients say "I don't want to know what cards I have, just tell me what's going to happen!". In my mind this is an extremely foolish way to approach the cards and also rather insulting. If you prefer a pantomime with simplistic predictions that "all shall be well", I encourage you to seek elsewhere!

I can, however, give some general guidelines on timing, as I have found that the bulk of clients will see their results unfold over a two to three-month period. Others will have to wait longer while a minority may have to wait a considerable length of time. External factors and the fact that some people are unable to turn intent into action is a huge contributing factor in this. Those of you who enjoy 'testimonials' might find the below screengrabs of interest as they show a selection of reviews left by callers to kooma when I used to work on their phone lines.

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ETHICS

Please be aware that as a professional Tarot reader, there are certain areas I am unable and unwilling to explore or discuss with clients. These include health matters, legal and financial advice and questions concerning death. I would also stress that a reading must be taken as no more than an occult perspective on your situation and where things appear to be heading. Whether or not you choose to heed or disregard this perspective must be entirely down to your own discretion.

 

HOMEPAGESPREADweb 

Arcane Tarot - Tarot Consultation & Occult Art

NEWS (NOVEMBER 2017) - 'JUSTICE' FROM MY OWN 'ARCANE TAROT' IS INCLUDED IN THE NEW US TITLE 'WITCH-IKON - WITCHCRAFT IN ART & ARTEFACT' (THREE HANDS PRESS). THIS MARKS MY DEBUT AS A PUBLISHED ARTIST.

Welcome to Arcane Tarot, the website of James R. Blandford. I am a Tarot reader, internationally published author & artist, offering Tarot readings and artwork inspired by Traditional Witchcraft. Based in Brighton, I have over three decades experience of working with the Tarot (see ‘About Me’) and have created a number of my own Tarot decks over the years, the latest of which - The Arcane Tarot - was completed at the Vernal Equinox 2017. All artwork on this site is my own and I retain all copyrights. From 2006 I built up a strong reputation and loyal clientele via the extremely popular kooma website where I was found using my unique reader ID, 7730. It was, however, often difficult to reach me via those lines so I launched this site in 2012 to enable people to find me on their own terms. Since then I have flown solo.