Follow the journey of the Thistledown seeds as they are blown across the woodland world of Three Trees Tarot. Meet the creatures they pass on their way and witness the small moments of magic that they see.
Created by Stephanie Burrows
Illustrated by Adam Oehlers
Three Trees Tarot, Volume IV (first printing)
Preorders launch on Friday, May 5th, 2023 at 7pm (UK time)
THISTLEDOWN is a beautiful, eco-friendly oracle deck, printed right here in the UK. The beautiful English countryside that we call home was the inspiration for its creation.
There's quite a bit to cover, so we've tried to be as thorough as possible. Please read all the information below before you decide to commit to purchase. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Please note that all of the photos/images shown are prototype copies. The finished designs may vary.
DECK SIZE: THISTLEDOWN will consist of 50 oracle cards + a thank you card, an extra art card depicting a beautiful thistle (this art card will be exclusive to the first printing of this deck only), two double-sided companion reference sheets with card meanings, and two blank cards to protect the deck.
CARD SIZE: The cards will measure 70mm x 110mm (roughly 2.75 x 4.33 inches). The cards will be borderless with rounded corners.
CARD STOCK: The cards will be printed on eco-friendly, 400gsm, FSC accredited/carbon balanced paper with veggie inks. They will be protected by a matte, anti-scuff laminate.
BOX: The cards will be housed in a beautifully embossed 350gsm tuck flap box (with an easy-to-open lid and a glued base).
Each copy of THISTLEDOWN will include a uniquely numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
Light fluffy down which is attached to thistle seeds, enabling them to be blown about in the wind.
Here is a sampling of the cards that will be included in THISTLEDOWN. If you'd like to view THISTLEDOWN in full, please click on the video that can be found beneath the card images below.
LET'S ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (or in our case, the spider in the deck)
You may have noticed by now that our Curiosity card features a little jumping spider gazing at a gleaming dewdrop that clings to a beautiful flower (if you missed it, you'll find it in 'The Cards' section above). We know some people are afraid of or are creeped out by spiders, but we wanted to make this card as approachable as possible...so much so that this topic was worthy of its own section on this page.
We absolutely love spiders in general (seriously, we do), but we have a soft spot for jumping spiders, especially. Dare we say that they are some of the cutest arachnids ever?! They're essentially the teddy bear of the spider world! They have big, forward-facing puppy dog eyes, expressive body language, and small, fluffy bodies. The most important thing, though, is that they are known for being curious, which is why we chose the humble jumping spider for the Curiosity card.
Now, some of you might be thinking, 'Gahhh! No way!' but hear us out. Here are seven cool facts we found about Jumping Spiders:
In general, spiders are critically important to the Earth’s ecosystem because they keep the insect population under control. Jumping spiders comprise 13% of all spider species on the planet. They are the largest family of spiders found almost everywhere, with the exception of extreme polar regions.
Jumping spiders are usually little (often 0.5 inches or less in length), often fuzzy, and distinguishable by their distinct eye pattern in which the large middle pair sits close together at the front of the face.
They're excellent hunters! According to Joe Hanson, Ph. D., "Most spiders build webs and wait for their food to come to them, but jumping spiders stalk and hunt and pounce on their prey like eight-legged cats."…Call us crazy, but we think that is pretty cute! Interested in learning more? Click here for another great video where Joe Hanson talks about the science of jumping spider vision.
The spiders, despite their tiny size, can leap up to 6.3 inches (160 mm), according to a 2018 paper in the journal Scientific Reports. They will spin a quick line of silk that they use as a dragline; the tension in the silk allows the spiders to adjust their body for a smooth landing (Nabawy, Mostafa R.A., et al. “Energy and Time Optimal Trajectories in Exploratory Jumps of the Spider Phidippus Regius.” Sci Rep, vol. 8, 2018, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-25227-9)
They tend to jump only when on the hunt or when startled.
According to the Menunkatuck Audubon Society, 'Jumping spiders are active during the day, loving bright sunny spots. Look for them hanging out on flower heads, along outside deck railings and inside window¬sills as they hunt for small insects.'
And the most adorable fact we found?…research published in the journal Royal Society Biology Letters found jumping spiders often fixate on people and love watching them. "Whereas many spiders, like black widows or the brown recluse, tend to avoid people, jumping spiders often seem quite fearless," says researcher Elizabeth Jakob, PhD. "If a spider turns to look at you, it is almost certainly a jumping spider."
Photo by Thomas Shahan
THE CARD BACKS
A peaceful fox sleeps amongst the thistles, not a care in the world. We had so many ideas for the finished card backs, and we're so happy to have landed on this design. It could not have turned out more perfect (yes, we're definitely biased). But seriously...look at them!
Donned in browns, oranges, and blues (and tying the cards together beautifully), we think this little guy is the perfect complement to the finished deck. And we love how the image pops on the white background. Gorgeous!!!
THE GUIDE CARDS
Since we want to keep THISTLEDOWN as eco-friendly as possible, no physical guidebook will accompany this oracle deck, and there are no plans for one.
Instead, we will include two double-sided companion reference sheets with meanings that thoughtfully depict the nature of each card, allowing the deck to be read intuitively.
An accompanying PDF guidebook will be emailed automatically upon purchase.
Even though THISTLEDOWN will be printed on 400gsm paper, we find it extraordinarily easy to both riffle and overhand shuffle. Below is a video of us doing both. Pardon our clunky start (it was a new experience shuffling and filming)...
WHAT IS AN ORACLE DECK?
Unlike their tarot cousins, which follow a fixed system of 78 cards (22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana), oracle decks come in all shapes and sizes. We've seen oracle decks with as little as 20 cards and others with as many as 100. We've seen tiny cards, and we've seen really large cards. They can feature anything from the moon's phases to North American animal symbolism, cuddly cryptids, to a creator's daily walks through a cemetery. There are so many decks out there, and the choice seems endless. That's such a beautiful thing!
With Thistledown, we decided to create an oracle deck of 50 cards; each card featuring a keyword and an illustration that revolves around the concept of the keyword. For example, our Ferocity card depicts a wolf cub drenched by the torrential rain howling to the sky; bolts of lightning striking through the dark clouds in a synchronised response. This card could encourage you to speak your truth, stand up for others, or believe in yourself and shed self-doubt.
Our Individuality card shows a moth resting amongst a crowd of beautiful butterflies hovering quietly above the crowd with their fluffy, patterned pearl-coloured wings, reminding us to embrace who we are. On the other hand, it can remind us to be accepting of others.
The nifty thing about oracle cards is that they can be interpreted in various ways depending on your situation or mood. You could pull a single card to focus your day or draw a few cards to gain a new perspective. Place a card on your altar for inspiration, or use the cards for goal setting, introspection, story writing, or journaling. Or you could pull a card because you love the artwork and want to get lost in a world that’s different from your own. The possibilities are endless.
HOW WE NUMBER OUR DECKS
Since the beginning, we’ve been giving every deck we create a new volume number...for example, our first deck, Oak, Ash and Thorn, is Volume I, our second deck, Smoke, Ash & Embers, is Volume II, our third deck, the MINI Oak, Ash & Thorn, is Volume III…so Thistledown, our fourth deck, will be Volume IV.
If we ever do a reprint with changes to a deck, we will add a number onto the volume number of that deck. For example, the very first printing of Oak, Ash & Thorn (funded via Kickstarter) was Volume I. Eventually, we did a second printing which included some changes to the deck, so that became Oak, Ash & Thorn, Volume I.I (Volume one, first reprint). If we ever print Oak, Ash & Thorn again with additional changes, that will become Volume I.II (Volume one, second reprint).
SHOP WIDE SALE, MAY 5th - JUNE 5th
From May 5th (7pm, UK time) - June 5th, THISTLEDOWN will be on sale for £31.95 + shipping, and in celebration of our deck launch, everything else in the shop will be on sale at 10% off. This discount will automatically appear at checkout, so no promo or coupon code will be necessary.
Important: If your order includes THISTLEDOWN, we will ship everything together in the same package. If an item is currently available and you wish to receive it sooner, please place a separate order for that item.
We absolutely love our printer, Generation Press, so it only makes sense that we'd continue using them for future projects. Here are just a few reasons they're our printer of choice:
They’re local to us (based in Brighton, England), which reduces our carbon footprint.
They have been previously EMAS certified since 2013-2018 (that’s the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, which allows all types of organisations to improve their environmental performance and achieve recognition for doing so).
They became a B Corp Certified Company in January 2022 with a whopping score of 119! B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.
They use their own generated solar power and are topped up with renewable energy supplied by Ecotricity, they’re carbon-neutral, they offer sustainable paper, and they use vegetable-based inks. We also love that they’ve funded the planting of 6001 trees in the UK.
They offer the Carbon Balanced Paper programme, enabling their customers to offset their emissions through The World Land Trust (an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats acre by acre).
They're a certified Living Wage Employer (achieved October 2020).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A PREORDER?
Preordering means that you won't receive your order right away. Instead, you're securing your order for a later date. Preorders help our little business thrive so we can correctly estimate how many decks to have printed.
HOW MUCH IS THISTLEDOWN?
From May 5th - June 5th, each copy of THISTLEDOWN will be on sale for £31.95 + shipping. After June 5th, each copy of THISTLEDOWN will increase to £35.50 + shipping.
WHEN DO I PAY FOR MY PREORDER?
Preorders are charged at the time of ordering.
WHAT IF I ORDER ADDITIONAL ITEMS WITH THISTLEDOWN?
If you order additional items with THISTLEDOWN, we will ship everything together in the same package. If an item is currently available and you wish to receive it sooner, please place a separate order for that item.
TIMELINE & DELIVERY
Certain factors may affect delivery date, including order volume, end destination, possible industrial action with Royal Mail, and the COVID-19 situation the world finds itself in. These decks will ship from the UK, so delivery times may vary. The current timeline for production and shipping is as follows...
May 5th - June 5th 2023: Preorder time
June - August 2023: Production time
September - October 2023: Estimated shipping time
HOW WILL MY ORDER BE SHIPPED?
We will send most international orders using Royal Mail's tracked service, and we will send most UK orders using Royal Mail's 1st Class, Signed For service.
HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING?
To give you an idea of what you might expect to pay for shipping, please see the chart below. This chart applies to THISTLEDOWN decks only. Because we ship by weight, if you add additional items to your order, the shipping price could increase.
The good news is that shipping rates rom the UK have recently come down to many places, including the USA!
To view a list of countries in each zone, please click here.
A NOTE ABOUT CUSTOMS
It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to be current on any customs fees or VAT taxes that may be applicable to their purchase order. We are not liable for customs fees or VAT taxes that your country charges you, the importer, nor are we responsible for any delays in delivery on account of customs. Customs policies vary widely from country to country, so we recommend you check your local government's customs rules for more information.
EU customers kindly note that the UK has now left the EU. Orders shipping to addresses within the EU may be subject to additional handling and disbursement charges upon delivery, which are set solely by the EU country the order is being shipped to. Please be aware of your country's fees before placing your order.
WILL YOU SEND ME A TRACKING NUMBER?
You'll receive an email with a tracking number soon after we post your order (estimated shipping in September or October of 2023).
WHAT IF MY MAILING ADDRESS CHANGES?
You can contact us anytime before we dispatch preorders with your name and new address, and we'll be happy to update your information. We'll also send out a few email reminders asking you to update your mailing address before we dispatch preorders.
WHEN WILL I FINALLY RECEIVE MY PREORDER?
We aim to ship THISTLEDOWN in September or October of 2023.
Please remember that shipping times are estimates and are not guaranteed. Additionally, experience has shown us that some packages can take up to 35+ days to be delivered; however, the vast majority are delivered in a timely manner. While we aim to dispatch orders promptly, unfortunately, we cannot promise on-time delivery, and we cannot provide more information than what the tracking shows (if applicable).
RIGHT! HOW DO I ORDER?
Thanks for your support! We really appreciate it! Preorders for THISTLEDOWN will go live on our website on Friday, May 5th at 7pm (UK time).
For additional information regarding our Terms and Conditions (Shipping, VAT & Customs, and Return Policy), please click here.
Actual colours may vary. This is because every computer monitor, laptop, tablet and phone screen has a different capability to display colours, and everyone sees these colours differently. We edit our photos to show all of our products as life-like as possible, but please understand the actual colour may vary slightly from your monitor.
Adam Oehlers is the illustrator of this deck. He currently works out of Norwich, England and has exhibited worldwide from Australia to the UK, Europe and the States. He has worked alongside writers and publishers from around the world and has worked as a concept artist, character designer and writer for animations and computer games.
Adam has always found a great deal of inspiration from the classic illustrations of Arthur Rackham, Edward Gorey and any intricate classic pen illustrations and print work. He has a great love of old stories and fairy tales and aims to tell a story through every illustration, striving to create a sense of nostalgia to take the viewer back to a forgotten memory, to remind them of the soft magic that surrounds us.
Stephanie Burrows is the creator of this deck. The West Yorkshire countryside that she calls home is the source of her inspiration. Some of Stephanie's earliest memories of Tarot include her mother reading Tarot for friends and family. Now, she enjoys starting the day with Tarot for inspiration and guidance.
The journey to where she is today has been incredibly wonderful, and she is thankful to everyone that has supported her along the way. Your e-mails and messages are so lovely, and it reminds her, every day, how lucky she is to be able to now create Tarot decks for a living.