TarotBlogHop: Profound Moments

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Hello and welcome to the Fall Tarot Blog Hop. The person who gave us our topic is Morgan Drake Eckstein.

Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Tarot Ace of SwordsHe challenged us with the following:

In the life of everyone who deals with Tarot, there comes those moments where your understanding of the Tarot undergoes a radical change, or when one’s skill with the Tarot takes a giant leap forward. Sometimes this is the result of learning a new technique, or acquiring a special deck, or because of an event in one’s life; other times, it is the result of nothing that you can pinpoint. Whatever the cause, the end result is that you approach the Tarot in different manner than you did before.

I think that we here at U.S. Games can safely say that most profound moment for us was when Stuart met Pixie. Mr. Kaplan began his lifelong love of the tarot in 1968. He’s turned that hobby into a thriving business. His personal research into the Tarot has enriched the Tarot community as well as his own life.

Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Ace of WandsIn an interview with Malcolm Muckle of Students of Tarot, Stuart was asked about Tarot being magical. Here is his response from this 2009 interview.

Tarot cards are an unbound book. Shuffle the cards and there is a new story that is revealed. The person reading the cards brings their own, unique interpretation to each reading of an individual card and the cards in combination. There is a an aura of mysticism coupled with fascination that surrounds the images on the cards, and the fact that they have been in existence for over five centuries adds to the allure.

You can find Stuart’s passion for Tarot bound up in four encyclopedias in his The Encyclopedia of Tarot, Volumes I, II, III and IV. You also might enjoy this article about Stuart done by Dr. Stephen Winick, a folklorist, writer and editor for the Library of Congress.

EncyclopediaTarot4So we’d like to ask you about your own passion for Tarot. What was your first experience with the Tarot?

We will give away one copy of The Smith-Waite Centennial Deck to one of the people who comment on this post by 9/28/2014. Contest will close at 10pm PST.

The winner of the contest is Laura C with a Gmail address. Congratulations!

Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot

We will announce the winner here and on our Facebook page. Please join us on our very popular Facebook page as well as our Twitter account. We love hearing from you.

So leave your comment then head out to the next blog in the Tarot Blog Hop.

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57 thoughts on “TarotBlogHop: Profound Moments

  1. Pingback: Tarot Blog Hop : That Tarot Quantum Leap - Priestess Tarot

  2. I have always loved the smell and texture of a brand new deck of tarot cards. I collect tarot decks but don’t know how to use them quite yet, I’ll get to that eventually. I love looking at all the different interpretations of tarot that are out there. They are all so completely different but have the same meaning. Tarot has always been a healthy addiction I have.

  3. Those encyclopedias look tantalizing 🙂 My first experience with Tarot was watching my mother read the cards when I was a kid. It was always a magical experience listening to her weave stories together.

  4. My first experience with Tarot was at a town fair when I was around 15. I had my tarot and palm read. I had always been drawn to the occult since I was a small child, so this sealed the deal for me and my love of tarot. However, it wasn’t until I had a 2nd reading done when I was 19 that I bought my first deck; Rider-Waite. I used that one deck for about 10 years before ever buying another. It was love at first sight!

  5. My first exp with the Tarot – I was 13 and introduced to them by a neighbor whom I thought was the most courageous woman I have ever known, because she was openly a witch. 🙂

  6. I somehow had a Marseilles deck in my flat. I don’t know where it came from or how it got there. It sent me straight to the library 🙂 Lemme see, that was … umm … almost 25 years ago ! *gulp*

  7. Pingback: How to choose your first tarot deck [REDUX!] |

  8. I can’t remember my first experience with the tarot – isn’t that strange? I remember being fascinated by the artwork but I don’t know what deck it was that first attracted me… It seemed very ‘dark’ to me – dark colours perhaps, or was I ‘seeing’ more to it even then? Anyway, whenever and whatever deck it was, I’m very glad it pulled me in.

  9. I have loved cards since I was a girl. My first experience divination came through cards, although not tarot: The Gypsy Witch cards. My mom gave them to me, and I’m not quite sure why. But those cards were my gateway drug, so to speak, into the world of divination. Once I discovered Tarot, I found that other systems (Lenormand, Oracle, etc.) just aren’t my cup of tea. Tarot is the system that speaks to my heart and my soul.

  10. My first experience with Tarot was when my Mum gave me a set of book and cards to learn Tarot. For over 15 years I though my father was the person, who gave me these cards 🙂 This year I found out, that it was my Mum 🙂 I tried to learn the meaning of the cards but the deck was very specific and I had problems with it. Now I’m older and wiser and Tarot became my passion 🙂

  11. My first experience with tarot was probably in my teens but nothing specific comes to mind. I have always had a fascination with them. I bought a deck around 20 years ago as a young 20 something adult but had no clue what I was doing and never used them.
    Then something shifted this past year and I am learning to read the tarot and have probably 15 decks now. I have started to get a feeling for which deck to use for the question(s) I am going to ask. I love the introspection it gives!

  12. I first experienced the tarot around the age of four, when my mother bought Eden Gray’s book ‘The Tarot Revealed’. I was absolutely intrigued by the mysterious pictures of a strange silent world. I found the book absolutely compelling, and I frequently took it out of the shelves to look at. Those images must have been marinating in my subconscious for a long time.
    As I grew older there was a real sense of urgency to get my own deck of cards. When I finally did get my first RWS deck (in the yellow box) I found using them and reading them to be a seamless process.
    To this day it is my ‘go to’ deck, my treasured deck.

  13. My first experience with tarot was when I was 18, my mom had the Rider Waite deck that she bought in Salem and she hadn’t really started using it but I was in love, she let me have that deck and I have worked with tarot for 13 years now

  14. My first truly profound experience with the Tarot didn’t occur until I was in my 30’s. I had looked at decks, and even purchased one as a teenager, but then this thing we call “life” took center stage, and my forays into the Tarot were put on a back burner. A few years ago I was given the opportunity to be read by a gifted Psychic, and one of the things he commented on was my need to reconnect with my metaphysical side. I took this to mean getting back in touch with Tarot. I purchased a Rider-Waite deck and began my journey. The profound part happened when I realized I could actually understand what the cards were telling me. I understood their story.

  15. I was given a Rider Waite deck many years ago from a friend for my birthday. She said “This is something you will like”. So true and I have read cards ever since.

  16. I luv cards in general!^^ im artistic and curious, and love games,
    my first deck was probably one of regular playing cards!^^
    but I always loved interesting images on tarot!^^

    RW was my love at first sight and still is one of my all time fav!^^ ;))))

  17. When I was 17, my older sister gifted me a Celtic Tarot set. She knew of my love or playing cards AND Celtic folklore. She said she just *knew* I could read these cards. That she saw them and thought of me. I instantly fell in love. We had many fun nights, whispering in the dark with a flashlight; seeking, learning, listening to the messages.

  18. i was always fascinated by tarot, ever since i can remember. but my first tarot experience was with a gift given to me by a very dear friend two or so years ago. it is Gaian Tarot. i had no idea how much i would grow to love Tarot. every day, i learn so many new things from it about myself and there’s always plenty to think about.

  19. I got introduced to tarot at the age of 15. My Mom had her own deck and that inspired and influenced me to try it and learn. And I have to say I don’t regret getting into it and it’s been a vital tool for me, even in present day. I’ve gotten so much insight and perspective from tarot. I’m very grateful for it. 🙂 <3

  20. My first tarot experience was when I was about 17 years old. A boy brought a deck to school and I saw him in the lunch room doing readings for some fellow students. I couldn’t resist asking for a reading for myself. He gave me one. I can’t remember the reading, but I do remember my excitement over the cards. Later when I was 19, I was in a bookstore and saw a deck for sale… I immediately spent all my money on it, and have been learning tarot ever since. Tarot is deeply meaningful to me.

  21. I was first compelled by watching a reading for a friend in a seer’s shop in Seattle, winter 1989. A short time later, I had to buy my own deck. I love the ‘stories’ the cards tell me each time I read, and how they try to bring guidance and meaning to our moments in time.

  22. I would like to enter the contest! I use tarot as an unopinionated observer on my current situation. It allows me to see from a unique perspective. I can force myself to think outside the box of my normal viewpoints.

  23. At first, i was fascinated by the images in each card of the tarot deck, they’re beautiful as always, in each card, there is a story need to be told and when we combine them, we can a larger picture with a deeper and more meaningful story, argh, don’t know what to say, all I can say is, Tarot is awsome!!!!

  24. I was seventeen and living away from home for the first time, with two of my brothers who were already seasoned travelers. I lived in Hawaii with them, and on the beach not far from our house, was a headshop. My brothers frequented that shop for incense, etc., and one day I tagged along with them. The Rider Waite cards caught my eye immediately. The shop owner had displayed a few cards under a glass case and my eyes were riveted to the Fool. I immediately connected with him. I saw myself as being just like him – happy in my solitude, careless in my sense of direction, hearing music that no one else can hear. I felt he was my twin on the other side of the world. The mountains he was wandering in were capped with snow, while I journeyed through mountains of volcanic ash. I felt he was much wiser than he looks and carried deep, hidden secrets of mysticism and magick. As did I. I went to that headshop every day that week and the old, wizened store owner took pity on me and sold it to me for 75 cents. And that was my first introduction to the Tarot.

  25. I can’t exactly say when I had my first experience with the tarot or what it was. What I WILL say is that I am just now experiencing my true connection. I’ve always been fascinated and appreciated the ability of others to be able to read the cards. My friend gave me a reading using plain playing cards one time. She is amazing.

    For me, I’ve felt the calling to get out the deck I have for the past month or two. I attribute this to the more intense level of introspection and self work I’ve been engaging in over the last two years. Over the past few months the tarot has continued to pop up around me and, in more in-depth conversations with an old friend I’ve reconnected with, the cards have asked to be a more prominent part of my life. I am now open to really learn and connect with my cards, because I am open to moving from feeling at an intuitive level to the conscious connection and outward expression of my feelings.

  26. l had dabbled in Tarot, but not seriously worked at it. Then one night l had a very vivid dream. The next day l was taking a shortcut through the bookstore and my eye fell upon the cover of the Motherpeace deck. lt was my dream, down to every detail! Of course l bought it, & l’ve never doubted the calling ever since. l now have about 30 decks; but some get used much more than others.

  27. I was lucky enough to learn tarot through my grandmother. She had a Hoi Poloi deck and fist read me then let me borrow her deck for a while so I could “play” with them. I was ten years old.

    I do not think she realized what she had started in me at first. I read the cards after school, read the book and inspected these very undetailed cards all the time, read myself and my friends often. I made stories with the deck, and even wrote some of them down and turned them in for extra credit in English section. I carried them in a bag I made myself and slept with them under my pillow.

    Finally, one day my Grandmother came to me with a frown and said I need my Tarot cards back. I was crushed. Again I was 10 years old and was just devistated to lose them. However she surprised me by then amending “Look I cannot feel them anymore, I need to make them mine again, but here is what we’ll do…” and then we went to the mall and found a small selection of decks in a game store. I really wanted a Hoi Polloi deck for myself but these were not available there and luckily the cashier knew they were going to be too hard to find in 1979. She showed me a Rider Waite-Smith instead, and I eagerly took them as Grandma purchased them for me.

    I still have my deck, 35 years later. They have been colored with Sharpies for more depth, and the edges colored black (I don’t remember why I did this but I did) but they are still a deck I have used mainly for myself, after 10 years of reading others with it. I’d never part with it and have replaced it for daily use with a new set.

    Gotta thank Grandma for her strange willingness to let me have the deck at age 10. I was so young but smitten, and she was rather uncertain if she should do this, worried about my going astray in life. Did not want me joining the Gypsies I suppose, but I ended up making her proud with my work with the cards.

  28. My mother used tarot cards. The cards always seemed mysterious and powerful. My sister and I found an occult book store in Chicago. We each purchased decks that we felt a magnetic pull from. I’ve been reading cards since. I have several decks but one in particular is my “go to” or favorite deck so far. I still find mystery and power in the cards. I’ve been a collector of various sets of tarot cards since I was in high school. I am curious to learn new methods. I am intrigued by the artists work and how it fits with each card telling its own story. And how the culmination of cards fit together in a spread to tell a much larger story.

  29. my first reading was with a lady my neighbour knew. She blew me away even telling me i was pregnant before the test had been confirmed. I went out and bought a deck (Mythic Tarot) to see how she did it. I drew up a grid for card, position, meaning and set about logically doing readings!! i learned that its not about logic so much as about intuition and feelings lol Logic – how funny!!!

  30. What wonderful stories everyone has! Such a great question to ask, Stella. And that idea of a new narrative for every shuffle–the unbound book–brilliant!

    My first experience with Tarot was in 1999, when I began with the Robin Wood and started reading for myself, friends, and family. I didn’t take it seriously as a career until I joined the Tarot Association of the British Isles in 2012. I’ve been ‘hooked’ completely ever since, with the Universal Waite as my regular -go-to deck.

  31. I can’t remember my first encounter with a Tarot card reference, though I suspect it may possibly have been from the popular “Golden Book of the Mysterious,” a superbly illustrated ’70s book for younger readers with all kinds of wonderful paranormal tales. My brother and I devoured this book, and others like it, in between watching classic horror and sci-fi movies whenever they aired on broadcast TV, including one called “Dr Terror’s House of Horrors.” This film prominently featured someone using a Tarot card deck to forecast the dire fates of various characters in the movie. My brother and I were already somewhat familiar with Tarot cards even at this pre-teen age.

    I bought my first deck at age fifteen, at a place called “Aquarius Rising” in Fair Haven, NJ. The proprietor, one Flo Higgins, was very friendly and patient, and introduced the Rider-Waite as an ideal starter deck, even walking me through a sample reading and showing me how to use a combination of the suggested interpretations in the LWB as well as my intuitive reaction to the pictures. I recall playing about $5 for the deck (the year was 1985).

    I remember my initial reaction to the cards: the images seemed as if they had been created centuries ago, reminding me of the stained glass windows at the local church where my mother played the organ. Years later, I was surprised to find that both the stained glass windows and the Pamela Colman Smith illustrations dated to the early 20th century! Nevertheless, the mystique of the RWS images has remained steadfast, not only in a sentimental recollection of my curious youth, but even in new contexts as well: as a reflection of the artist’s (Pixie’s) life, in an historical context (as a watershed of Tarot styles and symbolism over the centuries), and as a measure of influence on modern and future Tarots. I am glad it still holds sway over me.

  32. My first experince was not with tarot but with the Spanish cards “La baraja española” I was 17 and sure enough my friend´s mom was right on the dot. At 27 at college a group of pagans gave a talk on tarot and I got hocked by the fact that we all have what it takes to be able to interpret them.

  33. As a young child I was fascinated with the occult. My mother thought I was possessed, of course, and told everyone in her church to pray for me. It didn’t stop me though, my curiosity was overwhelming! When I was thirteen I visited my older cousin for the first time since I was six, and I happened to bring a book from the library with me about Palmistry. At the time is oldest son was six and he was curious, so I explained everything I had read, until my cousin noticed and told me not to. In return for my discretion he gave me my first tarot deck, the Thoth Tarot, I was so amazed I sat outside and played with them the rest of the day, alone. It was awesome!
    For the next six years I used them everyday, kept them clean, blessed, treated them with respect. They let me know who I was looking for, what was waiting around the corner, how I should respond to situations. Sometimes I would even sleep with them under my pillow. I fell in love with tarot and became proficient in reading for myself and others. One day though, someone ruined my deck. I found cards here and there with my things in the trash. I haven’t had another deck since then, I guess it’s because I’ve always been told that it has to be given to you, otherwise it won’t work properly. I miss using tarot cards and have resorted to using corresponding playing cards but it isn’t the same! None of my friends have bought me a tarot deck, I’ve gotten a Ouija board once, that was pretty cool, but pales in comparison to the guidance of tarot. I’m sure my story wasn’t all that great but I would like a brand new deck to call my own, to take care of, to share with others, and to try out a new style of tarot also, that would be enthralling. Thanks for your time 🙂

  34. my own was a difficult trip with the tarot. i got my first deck when i was 18, one that i got for myself. it was native american in style and well it and i simply didn’t get a long with. a few years later i tried again with the tarot sutra which is basically a RWS deck with more grey and purple tones than the traditional primary one. i had a hard time connecting with that deck as well. i struggled hard with trying to understand, the more i tried the less it made sense. a few years later i decided to the Quest, i figured even if i don’t get the tarot part of the deck there was several other aspect of the deck that i could learn from…however that was the deck i was waiting for. bright, colorful, and slightly quirky at times. love that deck, also still have it and use it regularly.

  35. My first real experience was spotting a Tarot Deck in a department store when I was about 14 years old. It was in a cozy nook that the store had stashed a very small book department. Once I laid my eyes on the box of cards, it as all I could think about. I ask my mom if I could get them. I don’t think she took my obsession too seriously because I had to keep asking to go back so I could purchase them! Eventually, she bought them for me along with the companion book. I still have the cards and book. There Is still something magical about the cards. Simply looking at them transforms me to another time in my life. Little did I know how much they would influence me so many years later.

  36. My first experience with tarot was when my Aunt Joan in Santa Fe, NM, whom I was visiting, introduced me to them. She had taken a few classes on them and kept a deck or two in her closet. As I looked through the images… I could see the stories unfold and just knew I had to get a deck and learn this system… once back home, I dragged my hubby to Barnes & Nobel to hunt down my first RW deck… the rest is history… that was 16 years ago!

  37. My first experience with Tarot was when I was nineteen. I bought my first deck (a Rider Waite Smith) at a local bookstore. My first few readings concerned a boy that was giving me mixed signals. The cards were so accurate and warned me that he was trouble!

  38. My first Tarot deck was given to me by a friend. It is a Marseille deck and I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. All the names of the Majors are in French and so I took a pen( which I now regret) and wrote the “proper names”on them..of course now I know what they all are without needing to read them. Forever grateful to her for knowing that Tarot would one day be my passion.

  39. I’ve always been fascinated with “readings” of all kinds, but for me discovering Tarot began a whole new and wonderful chapter in my life that continues today. My first deck was not a beginners deck and has with its own system which was difficult for me to learn. It was not until a few years later after acquiring a RWS-clone deck that I experienced the light-bulb effect. Since, I’ve connected with many decks as my appreciation and understanding have grown.

  40. My love affair with the Tarot began in 1972, first with the Swiss 1JJ (love the ‘feel’ of the images), then with the Rider Waite. It was a slow burning passion, that stayed in the background.
    Then in September of 2001, my deck (the 29 year old RWS) was destroyed. Suddenly, the background passion burned to the forefront of my life.
    Trauma has a way of altering ones perspective.

  41. When I was a kid a friend had a board game with a museum theme that had cards printed with fine artwork. We only played the game once, but I loved it and was fascinated by the beautiful cards. I first heard about the tarot when I was in high school from my sister, who would get readings from a friend of hers. I first saw a tarot deck being used right after I graduated from college and my spiritual teacher did a reading for someone and I was invited to watch. Learning tarot was part of the spiritual syllabus for the class I was taking, although I hadn’t had any particular interest in it and had never had a reading done. But my teacher laid out the cards for this reading for another person, and perhaps due to my degree in English and interest in symbolism, I immediately knew what the cards meant and, jumping into the reading before my teacher had a chance to start, made my first prediction, which came true. The cards have been the one thing that have been a consistent support for me ever since then. Thank you for offering another great contest! 🙂

  42. From the ages 9-11, my friend and neighbor played the Quija board a lot, almost daily. We looked up facts that we were told and were fascinated by it all. Until one day, it got a bit scary and we never touched it again. Fast forward to my 51st year. I went to a January Women’s Retreat and found out that on the first night they pulled cards to help direct us to create our Vision Board for the year. Everyone was in attendance adding their love energy into the room. I remember that my spread contained mostly Major Arcana (from the Thoth deck) and everyone got so excited as I turned over each card. Remember, I knew nothing of their meanings. The reading was a wonderful way to help me navigate through my year and my Vision Board from that year is one of my favorite and most beautiful. ( Each January, I sit with that deck, “seeing” all of us together again, asking for direction for the year and create yet another Vision Board). I was hooked! It’s been a wonderful 12 years of listening to the wisdom. I’m still learning and having fun. Thanks for asking. It was nice to re-visit this history.

  43. My first experience with tarot was when I was about 19, but I didn’t get my first tarot deck until I was 42. 🙂 I might be biased, but I think a little life experience helps to understand the cards. I have always loved the idea of the tarot being an unbound book. It really is!

  44. At the tender age of sixteen, a friend read my cards at a party. It was all about an older woman whose was close to me who hadn’t long to live. Shortly thereafter, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and died two weeks later. I went right out and bought a Rider-Waite deck, and some black silk to wrap around it. 45 years later, I’m a busy psychic/intuitive counselor, and teach classes on intuition based on tarot. I will always be grateful for that first reading!

  45. My first experience was in college. A friend read for me with the Thoth deck. The reading was so accurate! I had to try it for myself. Nearly 36 years later and I am still friends with her. She tells me she never thought I would take to Tarot like I have. 😀 I read for her now.

  46. Lovely to read so many people’s experiences! And I agree with Olivia about those encyclopedias… one day! As for my first experience, it was with my mum in the seventies with an original Rider Waite wrapped in silk and stored in a wooden box 😀

  47. My first experience with tarot was in 1989… I met Namur Gopalla who gave me my first deck (Stairs of Gold) and my first instructions. Since them, i always study and deal with tarot every day of my life.

  48. My relationship with the Tarot began when I was 11 years old. It was a hot summer day in 1979 and my mom and I were cruising the yard sales, looking for treasures, (up in Indiana where I am from). I found an interesting red box with 2 people sitting under an inviting, friendly sun on the lid. 1JJ Swiss Tarot said the title. I opened it and was immediately drawn into the mysterious world engraved on these lovely cards. Every single card must have a meaning, I remember thinking, and I must learn what they all are.
    I took that deck everywhere with me that summer. Being a very quiet child, nobody seemed to take notice of what I was doing, although I knew better than to take them to my pentacostal grandma’s house, and so they were safe until a jealous middle school friend talked me out of them. But not to worry, another copy, more modern with a tuck-flap box awaited me at my local esoterica bookstore. By them I had also gotten a Rider Deck at Spencer’s, and found an Eden Gray manual at another yard sale. I was thrilled that her book contained a few pictures of the 1JJ deck. Soon enough I was doing readings for my pals in study hall and on lunch breaks. Kids are tough critics but I honed my skills on them and improved in reading on the fly, not having to look up the cards very much if all. Noplace did I encounter much religious prejudice for my pastime, it was that the adults never paid much attention and it was the 80’s before they started in with all that adult micro-management of kids anyway.
    Over the years I collected one deck and another, loved drooling over the print USG catalogs I would send for, I wish I still had those! This was before the internet when one had to send in an order form with a check carefully procured from a parent. Later on one could call up and speak to a lady at an order desk, and bug her with my questions as to which new deck was the best one. I miss those old catalogs though.
    So now it’s been a long stretch of time since that summer day in 79 and I’ve had many, many decks pass through my hands. Most of them I loved, some I shared and passed along, some were stolen along the way, and when I discovered the internet and its market for used decks especially, I was able to get or replace, some of the rarest decks for very little money comparatively speaking. I now have some decks I could only dream of having, alongside my original ones from high school. But I will always have the softest spot for my lovely 1JJ, who along with Zolar’s, is always going to be my favorite. I found a mint condition lift-top deck of it last year, and even though it isn’t my original one, it still occupies the same space, which would be sadly empty in it’s absence. These are my thoughts on Tarot and its enrichment of my life, I always turn to it in good times and bad. Thank you Mr. Kaplan for all the cards.

  49. My first experience with the Tarot was at 16, buying my first deck with my BFF (a deck I still have and use – 22 years later!) then getting it home and trying to work out how the heck it worked! I was under 18, so couldn’t find a teacher or engage in any classes. Glad the LWB and what I was reading didn’t match: otherwise I’d never have found the great Tarot community we have now.

    Didn’t know there were Tarot encyclopaedias either!

  50. When I was almost 8 years old, my aunt gave me my first Tarot Deck. She gave me a Kier Tarot that she gained from a friend. My aunt wasn’t fond of this kind of stuff and gave me the deck. I bought some books and studied from then on. When I was 12 years old, i felt that i really know how to deal with my cards.

  51. I like to compare the art of Reading tarot to riding a bicycle. No matter how long you don´t do it, it always comes back to you. In the case of the tarot, each time I pick it up my deck after a long while it becomes a radical change because my conscious mind has developed its way to communicate with my subconscious, aka the tarot.

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