Tarot Consultation & Occult Art by James Blandford
Welcome to Arcane Tarot, the website of James R. Blandford. I am a Tarot reader and internationally published author and artist based in Brighton on the South Coast of England.
With over four decades experience of working with the Tarot under my belt I have created a number of my own decks over the years, the latest of which - 'The Arcane Tarot' - I self published in 2017 with one of the Trumps, Justice, included in the forthcoming US title 'Witch-Ikon' from Three Hands Press.
I hope you will enjoy the site.
Welcome To Arcane Tarot
Some may find my claim to have 40 years of Tarot experience rather preposterous (or perhaps conveniently fashionable). Either that or they will perhaps assume there was a family interest in such matters - this was not the case.
I first came across the Tarot at the age of five, thanks to friends of the family who owned a book on the subject - Brian Innes' "The Tarot". I was fascinated by the images and for the next two years I pestered my parents for a deck of my own. Initially reluctant to encourage such an outlandish interest, they eventually relented and at Christmas 1982 I was given a deck of my own, the 22 Trump set published by US Games Systems as 'Tarot Starter'.
This was to be the genesis of a lifelong passion for the Tarot which has seen the completion of my own Tarot deck - the Arcane Tarot - and 15 years of fulltime professional reading at the time of writing.
Also, in early childhood, a number of experiences best described as 'spiritual' in nature began, which - combined with family visits to Cornwall and to the famous Museum Of Witchcraft - served to cement a firm interest in the 'Occult' (or 'Hidden').
While at school I corresponded with well known Wiccan authors including the Farrars and Maxine Sanders and would read the cards for the school cleaners, much to the displeasure of the school chaplain who eventually carried out a half-baked 'exorcism' of my study
Museum Of Witchcraft and Magic, Cornwall
Copyright © Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (2017)
I created my first pieces of magical art at this time - a copper Wiccan altar pentacle acid-etched with the help of the of CDT teacher and started creating talismans of my own devising.
In 1994, while studying English Literature at the University of York, I co-founded the Occult Society with a member of the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) and read the Tarot at University Events.
I had my first taste of reading at Psychic Fairs thanks to an acquaintanceship with Ben Fernee (the well-respected proprietor of Caduceus Books and Director of the Society for Esoteric Endeavour) though I soon realised such events were not my natural home as I refuse to be a showman, I quickly gained a reputation for accuracy and often blunt honesty - it wasn't unusual for students to knock on my door at all hours in search of a reading.
acid-etched copper Wiccan altar pentacle
At the same time I studied with a group of Witches based in Sheffield and was lucky enough to spend some time with Patricia Crowther, a wonderful woman regarded by many as one of Gerald Gardner's spiritual heirs.
She has one of my Occult artworks hanging in her home and was one of the first to encourage me to create my own Tarot deck after seeing some of the Trumps I drew while at University. Though I do not consider myself a Wiccan, I was impressed by the breadth of her knowledge and her disciplined approach to the Craft and remain spiritually indebted to her to this day.
This history of magical and esoteric study has influenced and expanded my relationship with the Tarot though I strive to balance this perspective with a historically-informed and rational - if sometimes lateral - approach to the subject which proved popular when I joined kooma - then Psychic Switchboard - in 2006.
When I left to go solo in 2013 I was one of only a handful of readers who maintained a 5 star rating. In 2017 I self-published a limited run of my own 22 Tarot Trumps - the Arcane Tarot - one of which is shortly to be published in an American title from major occult publisher Three Hands Press (more on this in the news section).
It has long been my belief that, contrary to popular opinion, one can indeed approach the Occult with a scientific mind - as Crowley put it: "The aim of religion, the method of science". As you will see from my testimonials, this approach to the Tarot has proven helpful to many of my clients and I hope I may be able to help you.