I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to write for some time now. I’ve been studying the Tarot for about three years and still feel very ignorant of the cards’ nuance. I continue learning the basics, using my own intuition and allowing my inner impressions to guide my interpretation. I find it startling how often the cards explicitly align with my situation and knowledge of people and events.
I wanted to learn the Tarot because I was curious how it worked. I wanted to understand how people could believe the “future” could be told by dealing out some cards from a deck. It seemed wildly bizarre to me. While I don’t consider myself a superstitious person, I couldn’t bring myself to get a reading from someone. I couldn’t believe anything someone told me by “reading” me. I suppose that watching shows like Lie to Me, The Mentalist, and White Collar made an impression. If I couldn’t get a reading or ask someone how it worked, the only remaining option was to learn for myself.
Now I thoroughly enjoy “playing” with my cards. I have three decks, although I primarily use the Botticelli deck, and a miniature travel version of the Rider-Waite deck. My first deck was the Jane Austen Tarot, which I love, but the artwork didn’t move me so much as the concept of a Tarot deck based on the novels and characters of Jane Austen. The suits are Quills, Teacups, Coins and Candlesticks and my favorite spread to read for my friends is the “Love & Friendship” spread: six cards laid out like a novel.
I got the Rider-Waite set because I thought I should at least be familiar with the commonly used suits and imagery, although I didn’t find the artwork especially inspiring. I do love the size of the mini deck; it’s very convenient and even fits in a pocket! That’s my travel set. I made the mistake of using those cards as playing cards while traveling with friends by train across Germany, but that’s a story for another day.
The Botticelli deck is special. I was looking for a new deck, the “right” one when I went to visit my friend in Boston. She wanted to learn the Tarot, so we went to the store together to look for decks. I saw the Botticelli deck and literally couldn’t put it down. The imagery spoke to me. The religious iconography gives depth to the emotion and creates a tapestry of the human condition that I find breathtaking. She purchased the deck for me and I purchased her Rider-Waite deck and I’ve been working with this deck since. I feel a very strong connection to these cards (how could I not?) and love to read with them.
I look forward to chronicling my journey with the Tarot here as I learn and explore new decks and spreads. I still have to rely heavily on my reference materials, A Little Bit of Tarot by Cassandra Eason has been both educational and accessible. I also refer to An Illustrated Guide to Tarot by Jonathan Dee, but less so.
I welcome comments and insights as well as suggestions for quicker learning.