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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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On Nov 26, 2014, DocBenWiz wrote:
On Nov 25, 2014, Mad0hatter wrote:
I really want just the wrap from the HT the portable altercloth-ieness of it I like. But the HT is not in my budget anytime soon.

That said if you go over Alchemy moon, you can read what Chris has planned for the Cuss cards.

Thanks for the tip, but where on the AM site does Chris talk about the plans for the Cuss cards? I read page after page after page, but seemed to have gotten lost in older discussions...nothing about new plans?
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Sorry my bad I forget about the new site and the old forum.
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On Nov 14, 2014, Pasteboard Alchemist wrote:
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.

Well, thanks to this review and AM's superb quality material wise and thought provoking routines and ideas, I now too will become a Hedge Tarote owner! Thank you
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Roblane, what a wonderful way to ring in the new year...
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Certainly is David, may the rest of the year be as fortuitous!
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For those of you attending the ECSS this month, I will be bringing samples of all current AM products (including the HT), so you can get a first hand look. I will also have a link at my dealer's table to our AM site, so you can get any of Chris or Todd's products on order (though they will still have to be shipped across the pond). I will have all of my AM products there, and I will be bringing stock with me to sell, though in limited quantities. I will have one of the new Moon Boards there as well, so you can get a first look at that one, which we are producing in VERY limited quantities, signed and numbered by Todd, me, and Chris. Looking forward to seeing you all there in two weeks!
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Just to mention that there is one up for grabs in let’s make a deal
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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)
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