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Fruitbat
08-06-2017, 10:48 PM
My WIP features a teenager growing up in her mother's touristy Fortune Telling shop. I thought it would be fun to start each chapter with the name of and explanation of a fitting Tarot card.

While I find the deck I have useful sometimes for a guided think through personal issues, I don't think I can use this one that I'm familiar with for my book. It's one of the many modern versions so it and the instruction booklet that came with it are no doubt under copyright or trademark or whatever.

My question: Does anyone know where I can buy a Tarot Deck with accompanying instructions/descriptions, that I can freely copy from? I assume that would be an old version that's now in the public domain. An Amazon etc. link would be great. I'm lost.

Any other related thoughts are most welcome as well. Thanks!

Shoeless
08-06-2017, 10:59 PM
What makes you think you can't use your current deck as a reference? Do the cards stray that far from the traditional decks? As long as the major arcana like The Fool, Death, The Tower and other stuff are there, and the minor arcana make use of swords, cups and all that other stuff, you should be fine, there's no trademark on any of those things.

Marlys
08-06-2017, 11:04 PM
Here are two full-text books providing explanations of the Tarot, both published pre-1923 and therefore by U.S. law in the public domain. Maybe you can use one of them?

The Symbolism of the Tarot (http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/sot/index.htm)by P.D. Oupensky

The Tarot of the Bohemians (http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/tob/index.htm) by Papus

Fruitbat
08-06-2017, 11:06 PM
What makes you think you can't use your current deck as a reference? Do the cards stray that far from the traditional decks? As long as the major arcana like The Fool, Death, The Tower and other stuff are there, and the minor arcana make use of swords, cups and all that other stuff, you should be fine, there's no trademark on any of those things.

Thanks, Shoeless. I have one of the many newer varieties. Mine is called "The Goddess Tarot." This is the only deck I'm familiar with and the instructions/descriptions/illustrations have that slant added to differentiate them from all the others out there. So, I don't know what I can and can't copy.

Brightdreamer
08-06-2017, 11:07 PM
Is the classic Rider-Waite deck considered public domain yet? It's the "basic" one most people are probably familiar with, and the one many other modern decks tend to be based off. You might look into some of the older decks to see what the status is of them. (I know others have written books featuring Tarot cards; Bruce Coville even used what's recognizably the RW deck in his Eyes of the Tarot entry in his YA chiller series Chamber of Horrors.)

If not, I'd suggest making up your own. Look at RW and a few other decks, reading some Tarot books and instructions, and hybridizing. The basic ideas can be rephrased in various ways, and the symbolism reinterpreted.

(I have a small collection of interesting modern Tarot decks and divination decks - use them for story sparkers, mostly.)

(ETA - According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider-Waite_tarot_deck), the RW deck, at least the face artwork, is public domain in the US, but not in the EU. And this site (https://benebellwen.com/tarot-readings/public-domain-tarot-books/) claims to have some public domain books on interpreting Tarot cards.)

Fruitbat
08-06-2017, 11:07 PM
Here are two full-text books providing explanations of the Tarot, both published pre-1923 and therefore by U.S. law in the public domain. Maybe you can use one of them?

The Symbolism of the Tarot (http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/sot/index.htm)by P.D. Oupensky

The Tarot of the Bohemians (http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/tob/index.htm) by Papus

Thanks, Marlys!

Fruitbat
08-06-2017, 11:35 PM
Is the classic Rider-Waite deck considered public domain yet? It's the "basic" one most people are probably familiar with, and the one many other modern decks tend to be based off. You might look into some of the older decks to see what the status is of them. (I know others have written books featuring Tarot cards; Bruce Coville even used what's recognizably the RW deck in his Eyes of the Tarot entry in his YA chiller series Chamber of Horrors.)

If not, I'd suggest making up your own. Look at RW and a few other decks, reading some Tarot books and instructions, and hybridizing. The basic ideas can be rephrased in various ways, and the symbolism reinterpreted.

(I have a small collection of interesting modern Tarot decks and divination decks - use them for story sparkers, mostly.)

(ETA - According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider-Waite_tarot_deck), the RW deck, at least the face artwork, is public domain in the US, but not in the EU. And this site (https://benebellwen.com/tarot-readings/public-domain-tarot-books/) claims to have some public domain books on interpreting Tarot cards.)

Thank you! Much appreciated, BD.

Fruitbat
08-06-2017, 11:53 PM
Okay, so I'm looking through the other book links and just downloaded one of the freebie books BD mentioned, for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Also thinking of getting this deck, a reproduction of an old one. It goes with the freebie download so hopefully, I'll stay out of trouble that way?:

https://www.amazon.com/Original-Rider-Waite-Tarot-Pack/dp/0880796863/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1502049023&sr=8-4&keywords=rider+waite+smith+tarot+cards

dirtsider
08-07-2017, 08:38 PM
Here's a site I found with a simple Google search (tarot cards meanings): https://www.tarot.com/tarot/cards

Looks like it has links to several different decks as well. Most of these probably aren't in the public domain though.