Tarot Cards

Welcome to the Day 5 of The Belgrave Legacy Blog Series. The series spans from September 20, 2016 to November 1, 2016. Each week, there will be a theme with 2 blog posts (Tuesday and Thursday).

This week’s theme is Magic in The Belgrave Legacy.

Here are the past posts, in case you missed any: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.

When I had to start thinking about what types of magic would be included in  The Belgrave Legacy, the first thing I thought of was tarot cards. My mom has a friend who reads tarot cards, predicted my being adopted, and also taught my mom how to read tarot herself. There is also a woman in New York who we sometimes go to see for readings.

​There used to be a shop in Westfield, NJ (where my grandmother lived) that sold all sorts of mystical things such as incense, crystals, and of course, tarot cards. Another reason I probably love tarot cards so much is that its an art of interpretation. It’s less showy than other forms of fortune telling like crystal balls or tea reading. And besides, the cards are pretty.

You can click on each of the images of the different decks to buy them.

The deck I grew up playing with was my mom’s: The Thoth deck, as pictured below (it’s also the deck that Magnus uses in the Alternate Dimension in Shadowhunters S1E10 “This World Inverted”):

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Though I’ve had a few decks of my own (mostly because they’re pretty), the one I really like was actually was the Showtime show, Penny Dreadful, which recently ended after three seasons. The main character Vanessa Ives (played by Eva Green) is a gifted woman who learned to read the tarot before the show started, and uses this talent throughout the show.

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Fawn’s mother Stella, who is the main person in The Belgrave Legacy to read the tarot, is even less showy than even Vanessa Ives. Though I don’t show any of Stella’s professional readings for her clients, I do have her giving her daughter a phone reading to clarify Caleb’s intentions toward Fawn. One thing I do regret not showing more of this magic in the story, but any more scenes like this would have slowed the plot too much.

Another author who features tarot cards in her books is Maggie Stiefvater, in her Raven Cycle series: The Raven BoysThe Dream ThievesBlue Lily, Lily Blue. and The Raven King. And, in addition to being a wildly talented author, she is an amazing artist. She does giveaways with custom hardcover books where she does illustrations on the cover underneath the book jacket, and here she has outdone herself: drawing a whole tarot deck that was initially only given out to people who preordered The Raven King from her local bookstore, but is now available for purchase online.

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I, myself, have no visual artistic ability of my own, and therefore asked my book cover designer Jennifer Munswami of J.M. Rising Horse Creations to create character portraits of Caleb (The Fool), Fawn (The Star), and both of them (The Lovers). Currently, these are the only three tarot cards available for purchase. I had planned to have most of the other minor characters also turned into cards, but financial constraints have put that idea on the back burner. I may at some point decide to hold a crowdfunding campaign in the future for this to see if there is interest in expanding this collection.

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