Images featured in this video are deck images and special edition hand-printed 35mm unedited film shots. These came straight from the trip to shoot City Mystic • Paris in May/June 2015.
**********A MASSIVE thank-you to donors who contributed to the GoFundMe campaign to make this trip happen. Your support is tremendous, and your kindness is inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you <3 **********
About City Mystic • Paris
***** The City Mystic Tarot project was an idea that came to me, Virginia, after my first visit to Paris, France in 2009. As soon as I returned home I began to long for an opportunity to craft my own black and white photographic Tarot deck based on the monumental and natural beauty of Paris. Later I traveled to London and decided that I wanted to complete three separate photographic decks; New York for its deep ties to American Masonry and Occultism, London for its role in Masonry, Occultism and Hermeticism, and Paris for its role in the unfolding story of Alchemy during the Renaissance period, ushering Tarot into its role as a divine tool. The scope of this project continues to grow, and if successful may expand to several cities around the world with an opportunity to craft both Tokyo and London decks in 2016. Other cities slated for the City Mystic project include: Prague, Venice, Vienna, Brussels, New Orleans, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Barcelona and many, many more.
Because I am American, I began naturally, with our cultural mother, New York, New York last year.
Thanks to many of you here on Kickstarter I was able to fund a small print run of 700 copies of City Mystic • New York. She has made her way around the world over the course of the last year, and now I am back with my greatest passion project, the inspiration for the entire City Mystic scope, City Mystic • Paris.
The making of this deck was no small challenge. The trip occurred in the middle of a break up. There were passport challenges (as in, I didn’t realize my passport was expired until I got to the airport to board my flight to Paris!). In the midst of uncertainty and a starving-artist financial life I managed to get to Paris with some help (thank you if you’re one of those wonderful supporters) on GoFundMe. In Paris I trekked for 8 days across the city, from the Alexander Bridge to the Montmartre Cemetery to the Champs Elysees and deep into the alcoves of the Left Bank. These feet covered some magickal miles.
I even managed to bring 35mm film with me, a dream I’ve had since the inception of this project. As a photographer my roots are in the darkroom and I am beyond thrilled that I will be able to bring some of that magick to this very special Parisian adventure.
This deck… what can I say about her? She is filthy with ripe life. She is honest. She is immaculate with culture. She is alchemical and transformational. She tells the story of a special, 2,000-year-old iconic city awash in history, mythology, independence, rebellion, art, music, and the ultimate in European urban life. She also tells the truth- complete with graffiti, human struggles, forgotten art and tradition… it all lives in Paris, and by extension, this special deck.
In 78 original black and white photographic pieces rests a snapshot, a special taste of Paris from May/June 2015 encapsulated in time. As an artist my favorite aspect of this deck is the transient nature of the street art now captured in this deck that is likely already gone forever- erased by rain, paint, and other artists.
This deck was shot during one of the most intense Mercury Retrogrades of our time. There was an energy of ultimate reckoning that colored every single facet of its crafting. I am amazed its made it to see the light of day given the challenges that had to be overcome to make it. Nevertheless, here she is, and here we are, standing together in this little Kickstarter page, waiting eagerly to share with you some of the most vibrant and most secretive stories from the raw streets of Paris in Spring.
My favorite aspect of working with the City Mystic project is the unique way it seems to touch people’s lives. Regardless of interest in Tarot, there is something quite comforting and wondrous about viewing iconic western world cities through the eyes of meaning. Architecture, public art and urban life all come together to create haunting, moody images that are one-of-a-kind and transcend our modern uses of photography and digital imaging to create a totally new way of viewing and appreciating our vibrant urban environments.
****Throughout the campaign****
Through the course of the campaign I’ll be releasing 2-3 card images in the Daily Dose- complete with card meanings and descriptions that will be found in the Little White Book rather than bombard you with them all at once. Stay close to this page to see the Daily Dose in the updates to this campaign.
Once basic funding goals are met for this campaign there are two exciting flex goals intended to launch during fundraising. The first of these is the funding of a City Mystic • Paris Poker playing card deck. The second is a special-edition color print run of City Mystic • Paris.
More details to come on the flex goals as we near full funding of this campaign. Please stay close to this space, like the City Mystic • Paris Facebook page and check back in regularly with my website, www.ginniejester.com for more info on flex goals as the campaign blossoms.
What’s It Made Of? The deck will come in a nice, standard heavy paper box (City Mystic • New York was at 12pt, this year we’re upgrading to 15pt, I’m happy to report!) and will include a very descriptive companion book based on Paris’ architectural history and contemporary occult tarot as they are found in the images of the deck.
The deck is 2.75″ x 4.75″. Each card is printed on 130# gloss cover paper with UV coating
This deck was designed based on the conceptual foundations of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Rider-Waite deck. It contains all 22 Major Arcana cards, beginning with 0, The Fool and ending with 21, The World. All names and number sequences follow the Rider-Waite model strictly. Additionally, it contains all 56 cards of the Minor Arcana in the four traditional suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.
Wands are represented by light fixtures found around Paris. Cups are represented by fountains and water fixtures. Swords are expressed by iron gates found in yards, parks, transportation hubs and the like. Pentacles appear as flowers found blossoming throughout the city in the prime of Spring.
Shot in May/June 2015, this deck is the second of a multi-city project.
Below you can find images from last year’s deck and campaign, City Mystic • New York, which has made her way around the world over the last year. The finished product of City Mystic • Paris will be very similar with two changes: an upgrade to the box paper weight and an upgrade to the card stock of the cards.
Risks and challenges
As with any independent funding situation, the greatest risk with this project is that of not funding. A tremendous amount of time and energy has already gone into creating this project.
The deck images and companion book are nearly complete. This is a bit of a chance from the New York campaign as that deck itself was fully complete upon launching for Kickstarter. I chose to launch the campaign prior to creating a hard copy with Paris for the following reasons:
1. Last year I learned that backers REALLY enjoyed having their rewards by the holidays. The only way to realistically make that time line happen is to raise funds while I complete the deck.
2. The layover time between completion of a campaign and receiving funds is significant. Launching the campaign at this time ensures that deliverables can stay on schedule.
After spending the better part of the last year listening to user reviews, opinions and requests, I am opting to upgrade the paper stock of the cards themselves as well as the box containing the deck. All cards will be UV coated in the same manner as the City Mystic • New York deck was. I will be continuing this project with my original printing company, J. Prassa, local to my home city of Sacramento, CA.
Limited Edition Decks:
Decks offered as rewards in limited quantities are and should be treated as hand-assembled Collectors Items. All boxes are built by hand by Ginnie, and as such will show slight variances suitable to small collector’s printing runs.
In order to ensure faster shipments and therefore quicker turnaround times to get your favorite rewards to you I have included enough financial sustenance in this campaign to cover shipping costs as this was the greatest challenge upon completion of the New York deck. These extra funds will help your goodies get to you much, much faster.
All rewards are shipped via USPS unless stated otherwise at the time of shipping.
All decks will come packaged in protective bubble reap and stiff, snugly fitting cardboard boxes to ensure your product reaches you in tact.
In the event a major publisher becomes interested in this deck I am willing to entertain a deal, but as an artist any promised rewards in this campaign will absolutely be a non-negotiable part of the deal. Under no circumstances will I as an artist choose to postpone your rewards in the interest of pursuing a contract with any major publishing house or conglomerate. It is because of YOU that I am able to do this work. As such, my primary intention is to deliver what I promise to you before all others. <3
Thanks for taking the time to read through this section! If you have any questions not answered here, or would like to make a special request, please don’t hesitate to ask! I’m here to help and act as a steward of this very special deck for which I am a conduit: City Mystic • Paris. I see as part of my job as an artist to facilitate open communication and do as much as I can to give you more of what you want from this project!
Blessings from the kickstarter barracks!
Visit to see the final product of my first project, City Mystic • New York www.ginniejester.com