Holiday Headstart: Great Gifts to Make or Buy Right Now



by Melanie Harris
The holidays will soon be upon us, so we thought we'd offer you a jumpstart on the gift-giving season with this assortment of fabulous presents for your Tarot-loving pals.  Some are easy to craft handmade gifts with a personal touch.  Others are interesting Tarot-related items offered by Llewellyn at very affordable prices.  We've also included details about purchasing gift memberships to the ATA.  Whatever your budget or artistic ability, you're sure to find something here for every Tarot fan on your list.

Painted Tarot Box
This customized gift provides a handy place to store a Tarot deck.  Buy an inexpensive wooden box with a lid that's just the right size for a pack of cards.  You can find such a box at a yard sale, thrift store, craft supply store, or discount store.  Use acrylic paint to decorate the exterior of the box.  For a bit of personal flair, you can paint the box with your friend's interests in mind, incorporating the suit of their significator card, their favorite animal, or their favorite flower or tree.  If your artistic confidence is lacking, simply paint the box a solid color and spice it up with foil star stickers once the paint is dried.  If you wish, you can paint over the box with clear acrylic gloss or clear nail polish to give it a shiny, protective finish.  Tip: Open and close the box occasionally as the paint dries to ensure that the hinges and seams don't get stuck.

Tarot Spread Cloth
This gift can be as fancy or as simple as your budget, tastes, and sewing ability decree.  At its most basic, a Tarot spread cloth is simply a square of cloth, approximately 2.5' x2.5', on which a card layout can be placed.  

Velvet, satin, silk, or linen, are good fabrics to choose, as are those patterned with stars, suns, or moons.  Purple, black, blue, white, and silver are colors to consider.  Remember that you need not splurge at the fabric store to buy the cloth.  Check out the bedding and large skirts at a thrift store or yard sale first, or perhaps rob your own linen closet.  
Hem the cloth around the edges with a simple stitch, or forego the needle and thread by tucking the edges under and securing with fabric glue or strong tape.

For a more elaborate spread cloth, you can add a fabric appliqué in the center, or sew fringe or ribbon around the sides. 

A great gift for the beginning Tarot reader is a spread cloth that shows where to place the cards in a particular layout.  Simply layout the cards in a simple spread such as the Celtic Cross, and outline each card with pencil.  Remove the cards and trace the outlines with a permanent black marker.  You can write numbers in the rectangles to show the placement order, as well as key words such as "covers you" or "crowns you."  Tip: If you're making the beginner's spread cloth, use fabric from an old sheet or other linen.  It's easier to write on than velvet or silk.

Plaque of Honor
This personal gift is likely to become a treasure to your sentimental friend.  All you need is an 8"x10" piece of paper and an inexpensive frame in which to place it.  8"x10" frames can be bought for a dollar or two at thrift stores and dollar stores.

On the center at the top of the paper, about 1" down from the edge, draw the suit that represents your friend's Tarot significator, such as a pentacle.  Make the emblem about 2" tall.  

Under this, write the person's name and the name of their Tarot significator, such as, "Andrew, King of Wands."  Make sure to leave about 1/2" space around the edges so that your writing won't be concealed under the frame. 
In a vertical row centered on the paper, list several of the flattering qualities associated with the card and prominent in your friend.  If your friend is the Queen of Pentacles, for instance, your list could include, "contemplative, intelligent, down-to-earth."

Under the list, write along the bottom of the paper a sentiment such as, "You are the King of Cups, and also the King of my heart," or, "You are the Queen of Wands, and also the Queen of Friendship."  Put the paper in the frame, and your awesome gift is complete.  Tip: If you prefer, you can type the message instead of writing it freehand, keeping in mind that the finished product should fit into an 8"x10" frame.

Free Reading Coupons
Why not treat your friends to a free Tarot reading by that fabulous Tarot master, you?  Write out some coupons for free readings, and you're ready to go with an amazing gift that will be greatly appreciated.

ATA Gift Memberships
A membership to the American Tarot Association is a great gift for the friend who wishes to take their Tarot practice to the next level.  Membership comes with access to a slew of resources, networking, learning, and teaching opportunities, and a subscription to the ATA Quarterly. 
Your friend will need to complete the member registration process herself, as a personal password will be created.  You can write your friend a personal check and slip it into a card with a note saying that you would like to honor her with a membership into the American Tarot Association.  Information about the ATA, including membership rates and how to join, can be found from the ATA's home page,

Decks and Books
Simple Fortunetelling with Tarot Cards: Corrine Kenner's Complete Guide, by Corrine Kenner, published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Nov. 2007.  The latest title by down-to-earth Tarot master Corrine Kenner, this book offers a wealth of information on Tarot basics, Tarot symbolism, timing predictions, and enhancing psychic skills.  The book is priced at $16.95, and can be purchased at bookstores or at the Llewellyn Worldwide website at

Tarot Theory and Practice, by Ly de Angeles, published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Nov. 2007.  This sixth book by renowned psychic Ly de Angeles is full of original ideas on the Tarot, discussing its relation to quantum physics, astrology, and the Kabbalah Tree of Life.  Practical exercises and case histories are included, as well as information on reading cards professionally.  The title is priced at $16.95.

The Thoth Companion: The Key to the True Symbolic Meaning of the Thoth Tarot, by Michael Snuffin, published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Nov. 2007.  Written by Michael Snuffin, a Ceremonial Magician and professional Tarot reader, this new title from Llewellyn offers a detailed look at the symbolism behind Aleister Crowley's famous Thoth Tarot, which Snuffin has studied for more than ten years.  The book includes staightforward information on interpretting the cards, as well explanations of how to use the deck for meditation, divination, and other purposes.  The book is available for $16.95.

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, by Aleister Crowley and Lady Freda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., is available in several sizes and versions. Why not include the perennial favorite Crowley Thoth in the preferred size with a copy of The Thoth Companion for a favorite Tarot reader? 

The Llewellyn Tarot, by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn Worldwide.  Described as Llewellyn's flagship deck, this Tarot is based on the traditional Rider-Waite and infused with Welsh influence and symbolism in honor of Llewellyn George, the company's founder.  Available for $24.95.

We hope this selection of gifts has inspired you to dive into the gift-giving season with a smile and a plan.  The more gifts you can get your hands on now, the more time you'll have for cookies and celebration once the holiday scramble officially commences.

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. and images used with permission.
Book images, Llewellyn Tarot, and Mystic Faeries Tarot published by Llewellyn Worldwide and images used with permission.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2007

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