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Roslyn
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Do these exist in the UK? Or anywhere?

Tarot cards seem rather pricey compared to bikes or other standard playing cards. I know that for antique cards you'll pay a premium and I completely understand the price for decks like Carnie. And in a New Age type store selling a deck for £19.95 is necessary. But like I buy my bikes 100+ at a time, because I like doing tricks where I destroy cards, I want to be able to buy tarot (or tarot like) decks in the same way.

Be able to leave cards as souvenirs. Rip 'em up. Burn 'em... etc.. etc..

Any ideas?
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LarsRuth
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I have an idea: Treat Tarot cards with a little more respect....
LarsRuth
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Christian Schenk sells Tarot Cards and Tarot-Gaff cards as well. If you buy a 100 + I am sure he can give you a pretty good discount:

http://www.card-shark.de/index.cfm?page=......tegory=3
Roslyn
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Thanks Lars
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handa
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I used to buy decks wholesale from the same suppliers who sell playing cards in bulk (distributors for US Playing Card, etc.). However, in many cases the wholesale was still $5 or more per pack as these are more expensive retail. I've never tried to order cards in case lots or at jobber rates though, so I don't know how much lower in cost these go.

Chris
Roslyn
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I only know of one place in the UK that sells wholesale bike decks. And they only do the rider back in red or blue.

Those cards from Card Shark look a bit nice!!!!
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LarsRuth
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I can highly recommend Card Shark. The quality is state of the art.
dmkraig
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If you want to buy Tarot decks in quantities of 100 or more, I can suggest two sources:

U.S. Games: http://www.usgamesinc.com/home.php?cat=1 (go to the section on resellers)

Llewellyn Worldwide: http://booksellers.llewellyn.com/

If you don't have a resale number, just contact them directly and say you want to order 100 decks. I have no doubt that they'll give you at least a 40% discount.
Jake Murphree
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First of all, as I'm sure you have probably noticed - Transitioning from traditional magic to the bizarre can be a costly endeavor. Most of your presentations are not going to use "everyday objects". That's part of what makes us bizarre. We entertain our audience with intriguing tales and presentations of supernatural phenomena, occult knowledge, mysterious happenings, haunted antiques, evil objects, ghostly experiences, etc...That being said, it's expected that we present ourselves and objects with realism and respect. Possessing items that are rare, or convincingly genuine isn't cheap. Tarot cards are no exception. In our age and culture, Tarot cards are certainly more uncommon and bizarre than playing cards. A mass produced, ultra cheap, bulk sold tarot deck would be more difficult to pass in a bizarre presentation (but certainly not impossible).

Consider the Romany cartomancy method using playing cards or fortune telling cards. They are significantly cheaper (about half the price) and easier to handle (most are standard playing card size). Several times, I've seen lots of approximately 30 decks of fortune telling cards going on ebay for less than $6 a piece.

There are many different decks out there. Some just have writing, some just images and some with both. There are dark, ominous decks and there are light, positive decks. Pick one that suits you. Even an old, vintage or antique standard playing card deck can be made into a beautiful cartomancy deck. I know must of us who have dabbled in magic have drawers full of unused bike decks, "just in case we ever need to make a gaff or dupes!". Making some Gypsy cards would be an excellent way to clean those drawers out.

Check out this ebay store for an assortment of fortune telling and vintage style decks
http://shop.ebay.com/pilgrimagearts/m.ht......id=p3686

Another idea: Major arcana consists of 22 cards in the tarot deck. How about designing your own art, or having an artist do it for you, then print them onto business cards. At http://www.overnightprints.com you can have a custom design printed at the cost of $1.79 for 25 cards. 22 separate designs times $1.79 is $39.38. That's 25 decks of cards at $1.57 a piece! If you aren't artistic, there are several tarot designs floating around the internet that are public domain. Per my findings, (and don't take this as fact until you've properly researched it) the Pictoral Key to the Tarot (which are basically black and white line drawings of the ever popular Rider-Waite deck) is public domain. But apparently this is only the case in the USA. Read this website for the tarot copyright FAQ - http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/faq.htm

And I remind you, I'm not certain of the legalities, please properly research this before taking action that could be illegal. I'm just presenting an avenue for possible consideration.

Good luck and welcome to the cursed world of bizarre. You'll never turn back!
Tony Iacoviello
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If you search for Miss Cleo tarot cards at the auction place, you may be able to find them in bulk. A few years ago, I purchased several hundered at less than $0.50 a deck.

Tony
handa
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Quote:
On 2010-12-17 13:18, murph813 wrote:
Another idea: Major arcana consists of 22 cards in the tarot deck. How about designing your own art, or having an artist do it for you, then print them onto business cards. At http://www.overnightprints.com you can have a custom design printed at the cost of $1.79 for 25 cards. 22 separate designs times $1.79 is $39.38. That's 25 decks of cards at $1.57 a piece! If you aren't artistic, there are several tarot designs floating around the internet that are public domain. Per my findings, (and don't take this as fact until you've properly researched it) the Pictoral Key to the Tarot (which are basically black and white line drawings of the ever popular Rider-Waite deck) is public domain. But apparently this is only the case in the USA. Read this website for the tarot copyright FAQ - http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/faq.htm

And I remind you, I'm not certain of the legalities, please properly research this before taking action that could be illegal. I'm just presenting an avenue for possible consideration.

Good luck and welcome to the cursed world of bizarre. You'll never turn back!


This is EXACTLY how we handled the use of a tarot-style card as a give-away this past October. We ordered 500 of a custom design (including custom back) and a smaller quantity of blank fronts for a fortune telling/spellcasting routine. We now have a unique "card" as a part of our own lore!

Current color printing technology makes business card and postcard size items very easy to obtain in decent numbers at a relatively low cost.

Chris
Bill Palmer
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Do you feel that it is really necessary to work with Tarot cards?

Do you think that using Tarot cards automatically makes your "bizarre magic" more magical, more spooky or more bizarre?

There seems to be a popular misconception among bizarrists that all you need to do in order to have a bizarre presentation is to substitute tarot cards for the ordinary cards used in a regular card trick, add a moderately spooky story of some sort, and WALLAH! instant bizarre magic. That is total horsepuckey!

Read this: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=14&0

I don't think that it's a good idea to do things with Tarot cards that mutilate them in any way, unless at the end of the routine they are apparently actually restored. I certainly wouldn't leave shards of torn Tarot cards behind. To some, the Tarot is a holy book and should be treated as such. To others it is a book of supernatural origin and should be treated as if injuring it in some way might cause karmic repercussions. And handing out a tarot card would certainly render a deck useless.
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Jake Murphree
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Quote:
On 2010-12-17 21:48, Bill Palmer wrote:
Do you think that using Tarot cards automatically makes your "bizarre magic" more magical, more spooky or more bizarre?


With all due respect, yes - they do. Let's examine the 3 adjectives you used.

MAGIC

1. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.

The tarot, a divination tool, is certainly more "magical" than a deck of playing cards. When most laymen see playing cards, they think of poker, bridge, go fish, solitaire, blackjack, a cool thing to stick in between your bicycle spokes, something you draw on your military helmet or maybe even a couple of tricks their uncle charlie showed them. But the tarot...the tarot is intrinsically linked to the supernatural. It sparks thoughts of gypsies, fortune tellers, psychics, mediums, or in the classic definition of the word: MAGICIANS.

BIZARRE

1. strikingly out of the ordinary: as a : odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode b : involving sensational contrasts or incongruities

This really needs no explanation. Tarot cards are definitely out of the ordinary, odd and extravagant. I don't think that anyone would argue that using the tarot is an eccentric (Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern) style of magic entertainment.

SPOOKY

1.Suggestive of ghosts or a ghost; eerie.

Playing cards, by themselves, are NOT SPOOKY. The images on some tarot cards are truly haunting. I don't even need to see a performance or sit through a reading to be genuinely uneasy while handling certain tarot cards. Can you say, with sincerity, that you wouldn't be even the slightest bit SPOOKED, if an ominous spread of the tarot where revealed before you? I know that most laymen would be.

We all understand that it's the presentation that will make your magic bizarre. But, why not use props that already have a mysterious stigma? Why not ENHANCE that bizarre feeling?

As for the destruction of the tarot cards and offending people? Well, if you are a magical entertainer, of any sort - there is always a small population of those who will be offended by what we do. We just have to tread carefully and read our audience. I don't see a problem with performing a bizarre magic trick that involves destroying tarot cards if your chances of offending someone are as minimal as I imagine they are.

And no, handing out a tarot card would not render a tarot deck useless if the USE is a bizarre magic trick/performance. When a conventional magician has a spectator sign a card, or does a TnR card routine, he usually doesn't consider the deck useless. If you are doing an authentic or psuedo-authentic tarot reading, then yes, the deck would be useless for that purpose.
dmkraig
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Respectfully, I disagree.

Neither a regular pack nor a Tarot deck is intrinsically magical, bizarre or spooky. The way you introduce them, handle them, and work with them makes them so. Otherwise, they're just pieces of fiber with pictures on them.

The magic, my friend, is in you--not your props. At least, that's what I'd hope. After all, if the magic is in the props, who needs a performer?
Roslyn
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The routine I'm in the middle of writing calls for Tarot cards as it's set around the 14th century. Tarot, being used around this time for games, are the obvious choice. A regular deck (aged or otherwise) just wouldn't fit. From my research it seems the standard deck as we know it didn't hit England until sometime in the 15th century.

So for me an old looking tarot is what's needed.

I also didn't realise that tarot weren't used for psychic type demos until about 300 years or so after they grew popular for games.

The major arcana being called the trump cards.

Kinda interesting if like me you're a bit of a geek and love pointless knowledge Smile
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Roslyn
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With regards to destroying tarot.

The whole point of my magic is to evoke emotion. I attempt to take my audiences on a journey and hope they experience a wide array of emotions. The simple fact that many lay people (and possibly magicians) hold the tarot in such high regard compared to a standard deck of cards means that by burning one. Especially in a ritualistic manner. Will evoke VERY strong emotions. Therefore I've done my job.

And if a few people are offended, well, that's unfortunate. But I'm not going to censor my art in case someone is offended.

It's often the case that those who are offended shout loudest. Especially the case with hardcore religious fanatics. I'm quite happy if people are shouting loudly about my show. It certainly wouldn't do me any harm.

Now don't see that last statement as me purposely going out there to offend. I don't do that.

I don't swear in my shows. I don't use blood or gore in my shows. I'm not racist, sexist, or any other ist you can think of. I make no claims of anything supernatural. I tell stories. Create magical moments of amazement that are suitable for a family audience. I show people things they (hopefully) haven't seen before.

As for one card being destroyed making the deck unusable. Well, only in the same way destroying a regular card makes a regular deck unusable. This is why I'm looking for cheaper, wholesale packs of tarot cards. So I can replace cards with ease.

But looking at the decks Card Shark offer I'm pleased to see they can provide whole bunches of the same card. They sell them for forcing but can be used to replace destroyed cards too. All the extra gaffs available are also fab. I was going to use the wholesale cards to make my own gaffs. But this has already been done! So I think I'll be going shopping very soon Smile

Do tarot cards make bizarre magic bizarre? No. Not on their own.

Can tarot cards help enhance a bizarre magic piece? Yep. I recon so. Especially if, like in the routine I'm currently writing, the story is set in a time when people would have used tarot as their regular deck. People didn't play with a regular deck of cards in Europe during the 14th/15th century. They played card games with tarot. In fact us Europeans still use tarot cards this way. Not hugely popular in England, but tarot games are still played reasonably widely in Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Italy and other European countries. I learnt to play tarot games when I lived in Germany back in 2001. In fact I think the cards originated in Italy.

As I said above they were used for games for some 300+ years before being used by gypsies, witches and psychics.

Go here if you want to know more about tarot games: http://www.pagat.com/tarot/

So in a way I agree with both Bill and Murph.
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handa
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Given the time period that you are trying to emulate, cards would have been hand-crafted and largely in the possession of the wealthier classes. Those with lesser means fortunate enough to obtain a deck would treat it with some respect as they would be very expensive and difficult to replace.

Either destroying a card or leaving a card as a memento in this context would IMO create more of an impact because these items were not easy to come by.

As far as handling cards that the audience is led to believe are used for ritualistic purposes, then they should very well be treated with a different level of respect if you want to sell the story. Also, there are times that you don't want to offend specific audiences. I would say the same thing if we were taling about a family photo, a crucifix, or the flag of any nation regardless of my personal belief system.

Chris
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-12-18 00:03, Jake Murphree wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-12-17 21:48, Bill Palmer wrote:
Do you think that using Tarot cards automatically makes your "bizarre magic" more magical, more spooky or more bizarre?


With all due respect, yes - they do. Let's examine the 3 adjectives you used.

MAGIC

1. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.

The tarot, a divination tool, is certainly more "magical" than a deck of playing cards. When most laymen see playing cards, they think of poker, bridge, go fish, solitaire, blackjack, a cool thing to stick in between your bicycle spokes, something you draw on your military helmet or maybe even a couple of tricks their uncle charlie showed them. But the tarot...the tarot is intrinsically linked to the supernatural. It sparks thoughts of gypsies, fortune tellers, psychics, mediums, or in the classic definition of the word: MAGICIANS.

BIZARRE

1. strikingly out of the ordinary: as a : odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode b : involving sensational contrasts or incongruities

This really needs no explanation. Tarot cards are definitely out of the ordinary, odd and extravagant. I don't think that anyone would argue that using the tarot is an eccentric (Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern) style of magic entertainment.

SPOOKY

1.Suggestive of ghosts or a ghost; eerie.

Playing cards, by themselves, are NOT SPOOKY. The images on some tarot cards are truly haunting. I don't even need to see a performance or sit through a reading to be genuinely uneasy while handling certain tarot cards. Can you say, with sincerity, that you wouldn't be even the slightest bit SPOOKED, if an ominous spread of the tarot where revealed before you? I know that most laymen would be.

We all understand that it's the presentation that will make your magic bizarre. But, why not use props that already have a mysterious stigma? Why not ENHANCE that bizarre feeling?

As for the destruction of the tarot cards and offending people? Well, if you are a magical entertainer, of any sort - there is always a small population of those who will be offended by what we do. We just have to tread carefully and read our audience. I don't see a problem with performing a bizarre magic trick that involves destroying tarot cards if your chances of offending someone are as minimal as I imagine they are.

And no, handing out a tarot card would not render a tarot deck useless if the USE is a bizarre magic trick/performance. When a conventional magician has a spectator sign a card, or does a TnR card routine, he usually doesn't consider the deck useless. If you are doing an authentic or psuedo-authentic tarot reading, then yes, the deck would be useless for that purpose.


Jack:

With all due respect, which is basically absolutely none -- you really don't get it.

You don't need to throw around your definitions of Magic(al), Bizarre, Spooky, or any of the other words that I used in my original post. I actually know the definitions of all the words I use. In fact, I probably know definitions of words you don't even know exist. I would venture to say that I have spent considerably more time involved in this particular aspect of magic much longer and much more deeply than you have. So don't be condescending with me.

By the way, "condescending" means talking down to people because you don't think they are intelligent enough to understand what you are saying.

One of the most amazing, spooky and moving bizarre pieces I have ever seen is one that is in Final Curtain. It uses old style Austrian cards. It is called "The Cards Do Not Lie." Another is "The Window to the Now" which is also in Final Curtain. It, too, uses regular cards. Borodin basically avoided Tarot cards. He felt that in many ways, they set up a mental "stop" with his audiences. He also found them somewhat difficult to handle. He didn't like them.

The problem with Tarot cards is that most people do not know what they are. They look strange, they have odd figures on them, and some people who have a smattering of knowledge of semiotics may begin to make false assumptions (or if you are a conspiracy theorist, true assumptions) about what they actually mean. They also do not know what the different kinds of Tarot packs are.

But those who do are the ones who will be offended if you mutilate a Tarot card. And those who have Tarot cards will think something is odd if you give out a Tarot card after a performance, because, to them, without that card the rest of the deck is basically useless. Now, I understand that for the rest of us who might use a different card from the same partial deck to do some other tarot trick that this is not the actual case.

But what the spectator thinks and feels is much more important in the realm of magic, including bizarre magic, than what we are actually doing.

If the spookiness of your magic depends upon the Tarot cards more than it depends on your ability to create atmosphere without oddments, then you need to reevaluate your presentations.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
RCP
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There are parts of the bible belt in which even the mention of Tarot would be considered "devil worship". There are people that will not even allow regular bicycle playing cards in their homes. I have a neighbor that if she sees me out in the yard, she will go into her home till I leave. I have a lot of fun with her when the weather is nice. People believe a lot of silly things. Power over others is an addictive drug. Walk softly with your new powers....... Smile
weepinwil
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Bet they'd be surprised to know Gnostic Christians used the Tarot game to teach their faith.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
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