Like most people my beginnings to it all root way back to a time I can barely be bothered remembering. Not tarot itself but since a very young age I was obsessed with Hallowe’en, constantly borrowed true ghost stories and investigations from the library and more than once got in trouble for stealing my mums knitting needles to use as a wand.
The bottom line is that I desperately needed magic to be real. Life just seems too dull and predictable without it.
Fast forward from a young me being questioned on why I scribbled all over my own spell book (aka dads copy of The Hobbit – by all the elven runes) and to early teenage me. In between I had sort of given up. My family, largely my entire community are very black/white – no nonsense sort. I hadn’t really heard of tarot past being “a gypsy thing”. The thing to understand is that it’s not a small community of people afraid of it, they just think it’s a con. I expressed my need for more by falling neatly into the alternative-gothic lifestyle and submerged into myth and legend books.
One day though was different. I was left to endure a James Bond marathon and Live And Let Die came on. The colours, the New Orleans approach in life caught my eye immediately and then Jane Seymour popped on screen; a commanding, revered figure able to comfortably use tarot cards to her will. The Tarot of the Witches deck were stark, colourful. My interest perked.
I immediately hit google and decided already to get some cards and couldn’t decide – Tarot of the Witches or this Ridery-Waitey deck thing everyone recommended for beginners. I was told to get the former.
Tarot lesson number one – not all decks are created equal.
I love the Tarot of the Witches deck but it gave me absolutely nothing in return, least not as a beginner. 3 of Cups? Sure, it means….you er….have…three….cups? It just doesn’t have the supportive imagery to feed the reading.
But I was already heavily involved without knowing what was going on. I was using several different websites and the little white book and tore straight off to my local bookstore to get the Rider-Waite deck. It had a tremendous impact on my ability to interpret and understand the cards. However, it doesn’t speak in the same way as other decks do. It’s like the formal aunt that will guide me in a distant, unloving way and I respect but don’t love.
I have, over the years, had many reactions. I’ve found cards which just slide into place such as the Deviant Moon tarot, Viking Tarot, Casanova and 1JJ Swiss and I’ve been called a fraud, con artist and a thief. However, I have had my moments – just as everyone who takes a little effort into learning do – moments which prove to myself and others that there is more than simple fraud or guess-work at hand.
I had a long term break from tarot cards, it just seemed to fizzle out and my changing situation meant I had to sell my growing collection of decks. A few times I missed tarot but nothing significant. Then, when I was around 20 weeks pregnant I had a craving. It wasn’t just a fancy I craved to read. That swelled inside me and I finally erupted a few weeks ago.
Tarot lesson number two – Don’t be afraid to listen and withdraw. When you need and want to read again they will find their way back.