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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » The Hedge Tarote - It's not what you think (26 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pasteboard Alchemist
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I'll preface this by saying: I'm not affiliated with Alchemy Moon. I've emailed with Chris a couple times and he seems like a perfectly nice guy to whom I'd tip my hat when passing on the street. But, their sales don't affect me one way or the other.

I saw the Hedge Tarote available before. "Neat, but I already have some cool tarot sets" was my response. I mean, why wouldn't it be? The thing has the word "Tarote" in the title, so that's all I needed to know, right?

Many others have the same misconceptions as to what it is, based on the responses I got from various magick friends when discussing it: "Oh, isn't that just a deck of tarot cards?" "I passed on it because I don't do a lot of readings." "I already have the Dark Dawn, so I didn't really look at it."

Back when I originally passed on these, how I wish someone would have appeared out of nowhere (we're magic... it could happen) and shook me by the shoulders while yelling "It's not a tarot card set, man! It's the answer your your friggin' dreams!" because what it is actually is the answer to something I've long been dreaming for... So, I'm going to write this review in the hopes that if there's anyone like me out there that is dying for this niche of product to exist, he (or she) will know that this desire has finally been filled.

The Hedge Tarote, when you strip away all the artisan trappings, mystical sigils, and aire of mystique is: a badass deck of cards. There you have it. What's more? It's a deck of cards that your spectators never realize is a deck of cards. Ever. Want proof? You didn't even know it was a deck of cards. I didn't know it was a deck of cards. Why? Because it's so impressive and old and esoteric and creepy and mystical and etc... It's not like Alchemy Moon is trying to hide the fact. The thing comes with double backers. I think their marketing was just so ethereal that I missed the forest for the trees. Heck, to spectators the deck has been disguised so well that it's virtually impossible to realize it for what it is.

Stop and think about what a deck like this signifies for a moment. If you've never known card magic, this may not mean a lot to you. But, anyone that's done card magic and has found their way to the bizarre magick niche knows that desire. That yearning thought of "I wish my card magic didn't feel so... campy. I wish it could be as meaningful and as dramatic of an experience as I want to provide to these people..." I suspect that's what drives many of us (or at least me) to use tarot cards and ultiamtely to bizarre magic in general. That hunger for the dramatic--to truly give someone an experience they feel is ancient and transcendent. The Hedge Tarote gives you that in spades (pun!).

It's all in the look and presentation of this thing. That bevy of lame, ten-second, self-working card tricks you know? Each of those just became a half hour long journey of enchanting mystical exploration. That's the beauty: as soon as I opened the thing and saw it from what it was I already knew how to use it. I read an amazing routine in the accompanying book--one that even gave me chills. I then got to the method of it: the cr*ssc*t f**ce. The friggin' cr*ssc*t f**ce. That's how hard the Hedge Tarote works. A magician don't even have to know a full routine of card handling. Just a single move was the basis for this entire (great) routine to be built around.

Everything I felt back when I first held a deck of cards and started learning magic... that sense of "Holy crud, there are endless possibilities with this" that, with the exception of perhaps Mnemonica, I haven't really felt since then? I feel it now. All the craptastic, simplistic tricks I learned back when I first started card magic now have new life.

Before all the other Hedge Tarote users chime in and say "What?! It's far more than a deck of cards. It's the minor arcana, too. Also, it has X built in and Y capability and Z secrets encoded on it..." let me say: all that is true. The thing is loaded with other markings and capabilities that will let you do any number of non-card trick things. Does it actually serve in the manner of a tarot for readings? You bet. Does it have other mystical word phrases on each card that can be used in many ways? Definitely. But, let's be clear: I've been waiting for a deck of cards like this for my whole life. All the rest of that, to me, is just icing on an already ridiculously amazing cake.

Moving on to other aspects: the quality of the build. It's first-rate. The leather wraps are made well and came gorgeously aged. It also has a very cool looking additional shroud wrap that I don't recall seeing in the photos. That was also aged and appropriate looking. The books inside are also of aged leather. The cards themselves are beautiful, aged, and the attention to detail is impressive. Being a Creative Director my trade, I pick things apart for a living. First thing I did was look to see if the type used had characters that all looked the same. Either he did this by hand or used a typeface and hand-edited nearly every single character to make it unique. Whatever the method, I'm impressed.

Are there cons? Yes, after all this shower of positivity, there are things that even I wish were different.

First, the little cord that wraps around the folio that holds the cards themselves? I don't like it. Everything else is so cool and period-looking that it sticks out to me. I'll likely change it for some sort of aged, rough cord or something.

Second, while the cards arrive fantastic to use as-is, I'd prefer them waxed. Chris specifically notes in the book that he suggests waxing them, but doesn't do so on purpose so people can still write on the cards, further age them, or customize in other ways. There are instructions and videos made available so you can wax them yourself, but it would have been cool to have the option (even if it incurred an additional cost) to have them waxed for me. That being said, I'm now second-guessing that as I've come up with ideas to hand write some additional things on the cards... so perhaps this one isn't a "con" after all. *shrug*

Do I recommend this thing? Hell yes. Also, while I got the "elite" version, I'll note that it seems like Alchemy Moon also has some sort of "light" verson that's... just the folio with the cards, I think? It's not critical to have the Book of Air (the instruction book) in printed form, so if you're on the fence, maybe the give the "light" version a look. I know for sure the "light" one doesn't come with the outer leather wrap, though, which is what sold me on the "elite" version. Glad I did, too, because that wrap really adds to the presentation of it all.
reese
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I dunno man... This has been stuck in my drawer. I love the concept. But there are simple approaches, cheaper approaches to create far reaching effects with Tarot that only rely on the deck itself.
Darkness
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Well written and concise, articulate and entertaining to read. Nice review.

My only question is, what exactly is the Hedge? Just kidding.

If you have not seen the beauty that is AM, it's all here. Spend a second and take a look you will be glad you did.

http://www.pinterest.com/lunalchemy/
Darkness
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Reese please take them out of your drawer and ship them to me immediately, I will wax them for us. Smile
Pasteboard Alchemist
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I hear ya' regarding the fact that, if you want to do readings, you're aces with any tarot deck. I think that's why using it in a formal reading is the aspect I'm least excited about. Instead, let's take a look at, say, the marquee effect: "A visit into the Tarote Portal". It's powerful, and it simply can't be done with either tarot cards or playing cards. It's unique to the workings built into the Hedge Tarot.

Ultimately, I'd never say "Hey, card guy, don't do your fancy gambling demos with those silly cards! Use the Hedge Tarote!" any more than I'd say the Hedge Tarot is better for pure reading effects than a full tarot deck. The right tool for the right job, and all that.

I think this will appeal most to the card person that wants to come up with unique effects in a "bizarre" setting. Could a card guy just use the minor arcana of any tarot and try an effect? Without a doubt. Lord knows I have been for a while now. But, I was still just doing card tricks with tarot cards. These are more unique of an animal. Thus far, people have been highly interested in these as something they've never seen before. I don't ever even refer to them as "tarot" of any sort. Rather, "portals" or "altars". Anything I can do to keep them apart from a traditional tarot deck as much as possible.

I also see a lot of promise in the unexplored world opened up by the markings/aspects unique to the HT that present in neither playing cards nor tarot cards. But, that one takes a lot more thought, consideration, and ingenuity. Currently, I'm just using the provided routines for those. It's going to take my poor brain some time to spool up ideas using the spells/hidden content.
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Darkness wrote:
My only question is, what exactly is the Hedge? Just kidding.


I swear, my biggest fear is that I'll accidentally refer to it as the absurdly-Googleable "Hedge Tarote". I'm constantly repeating to myself over and over to never say those words out loud.
Mind Guerrilla
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Pasteboard Alchemist wrote:
I swear, my biggest fear is that I'll accidentally refer to it as the absurdly-Googleable "Hedge Tarote". I'm constantly repeating to myself over and over to never say those words out loud.


So what do you call it?
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
So what do you call it?


So it'll then be Googleable here? Nice try, buddy! Smile
Mind Guerrilla
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Pasteboard Alchemist wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
So what do you call it?


So it'll then be Googleable here? Nice try, buddy! Smile

Feel free to PM me with the name which cannot be said in public forums. Smile
reese
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You'll create great effects with it I'm sure. It does have astounding potential. If one actually uses it. To my own fear & sense of responsibility, using a simple ordinary deck with no covert intention, can create vast effect. Effects I am not sometimes comfortable in owning. I will not be anyone's guru. I don't like stalkers.
Darkness
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I think you made an good point in there. "people have been highly interested in these as something they've never seen before."
This is the place where it all begins..
Pasteboard Alchemist
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Feel free to PM me with the name which cannot be said in public forums. Smile


I'll PM you. For other HT users, I'll note: the title page says "TarotE [sic] of the A______ Ar______s" but I refer to the thing as the "Book of Ar______s" (the second word.) It has a nice sound, and it reenforces "book". If anything, I over-sell that it's a book. Because decks done come in books, right? So, clearly this isn't a deck.

Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, reese wrote:
To my own fear & sense of responsibility, using a simple ordinary deck with no covert intention, can create vast effect. Effects I am not sometimes comfortable in owning. I will not be anyone's guru. I don't like stalkers.


Reese, I got nothin' but respect for that. Also, does that mean I need to take the cameras down that I planted in your place or... like... what?
reese
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No man, keep the cameras up. Just only 'live' in the living room & kitchen. Stay out of the bedroom!
Michael_MacDonald
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Ya know, I had these babies almost to my self for a long time it seemed. I know only of a couple people that actually took the time to get to know the HT. now it seems my time alone with them is coming to an end. Your review was awesome bro... I use HT for guided visualizations, time travel presentations, Bizarre hypnosis, they even work as a pocket grymoire when combined with some of my old scroll for "raising the dead" "summoning Demons" or any of the other wonderful things an old spell book (instruction manual) would be used for. yep I use the actual book that came with them in ritual Magick presentations! I do not let them read the pages as I do not wish to "unleash hell" by letting a non initiated follower of the dark arts read the sacred writings.....

well I still have AA in a semi small brotherhood of under appreciated master works. I guess we can only keep things exclusive for a short time before someone actually discovers the wizard behind the curtain.

all fun aside, welcome to the brotherhood of the Tarote. I will look forward to seeing your discoveries brother.

Michael
Dr Spektor
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Yep, Alchemy Moon items are art works. Shhh AA!!!!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Merlinsmagic
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I LU-UV my HT's !! I have the elites, to me worth it over the economy version, of course it's nice of Chris to offer the budget version for anyone that wants but cannot afford the high end ( & gorgeous ) version. They are something that is so versatile whether I use hem as tarots or cards, for a "card trick" or a reading or intertwined with D@rk Sp3ll.......yes the best thing about then is the amazing artwork & leather work invested in them, not t mention the open floor of uses that are unique unto themselves !

& I refer to them as AP does (B of A & not the bank...lol) until I find it google-able.
Darkness
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AA does look beautiful I hope it's released again. HT art as in most AM's offerings is exceptional.
Merlinsmagic
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I also have AA's & they are a thing of beauty ! I like them for a smaller carry around & the HD's for a more pre set audience. AA's would be nice to see Chris re release them, somehow I think they never vanished.....I ordered mine with the awesome black Moonskin AA case earlier this year.
Michael_MacDonald
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Yes the AA's have served me well indeed as has the HT. I think Chris is still putting out the AA with the case but you should hit him up as I am not really sure. I just know I would not trade or sell wither of these items as they resonate so perfectly with the journey I have been on. I never see any items posted on the product forums for these items so I figured no one really used them.....now I know you guys are as greedy as I am for wanting to keep some of the gold for your selves lol....
Merlinsmagic
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I know not of what you speak of good sir, must be wanton rants of the mad & delusional,.......move along nothing to see here.......lol
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