Welcome to the Tarosophy Tarot Professionals Members Blog Hop! Our featured subject for January is New Decks. You may click previous and next for other blogs participating, and you can click master list to see all of us in the lineup! Read on for my own contribution. Enjoy!
You Got A New Deck. Now What?
Congratulations! I love new decks!
I spend a lot of time looking at tarot spreads and various tarot decks. I’m one of the Social Media Admins for the Tarot Professionals Facebook Group. It’s fair to say I see a large chunk of what’s been around and what’s coming soon. I get really excited when the artwork jumps out at me, and tend to indulge myself with the purchase.
New decks fulfill one of two rolls in my life.
Collectors: These are the odd and unique decks that I enjoy for the art, but see no reason to conduct readings with them. They go on my shelf to be looked at and appreciated once in a while. That’s about the extent of their use. They could possibly be the more expensive too. Caveat Emptor.
Reading Decks: These are the new additions that I’m going to enlist into service. The artwork is good enough to pull me in and whisper to my intuition. The theme throughout the suits allows my spirituality to come through in my readings. The cards are good stock and not too large. These are the cards I’ll get to know very well.
My first tip is to determine whether you’ve just bought a collector or a reader and go from there. The decks I use for readings get a little more special preparation.
Hello Newbie …
I always go through a new deck one card at a time. First, a quick run to make sure they’re all present. Next, I spend a minute looking over the art and deciding if I can interpret the art my way within the spirit of the deck. Cards that are a yes go on a pile on the left. Cards that I’m not sure of go on a pile on the right. Once I get through the deck, I grab whatever companion book is with the deck and go through the no pile with the author’s descriptions until I’m satisfied I’m ready to use the deck. This can take several minutes to half an hour.
My objective is to get in tune with the spirit of the art. I already know what the various cards mean to me within my tradition and experience. What I’m doing is saying hello to the new deck in a way that calibrates which direction up (positive) or down (shadow/murk) my usual base interpretations will adjust with the deck. As an animist, I believe the deck has a spark and spirit. I’m learning it’s language.
Now that we’ve met and understand each other, it’s time to shuffle. And I mean shuffle, shuffle, and shuffle some more. A new deck is already in perfect order. That just won’t do for conducting readings. I shuffle them any way that gets them good and mixed up. I’ll spread them all over a table in a big mess, and shuffle them some more until I’m satisfied they’re ready to work
The First Reading
The new deck is now jumbled and mixed to my satisfaction. It’s time to find out what sort of relationship the deck and I are about to create together. Now I shuffle the deck with a specific technique that I use for all readings. The question I ask is, “What shall our relationship be? What gift do you bring?” Those two questions are essentially the same in my mind. I’m asking the deck to give me one card that indicates what’s special about it for my readings.
Interpret the card as you would within both your chosen tradition of meanings and the unique twist the deck offers in the art. Imagine the card is revealing a gift and a message meant only for you at this time. As a side note, I also use this technique when I’m unsure which deck I’m going to use for a reading. It’s similar to taking the deck’s temperature to see if they’re cold or burning up with a fever. Your mileage may vary.
That’s all I do for a new deck. Nothing too complicated. Just two strangers getting to know each other with a slightly formal process.
It’s always fun to add to my collection and get to know the cards. The only thing left to do is provide the deck a home. This usually means a special bag for my reading decks, and keeping the the collectors in the original packaging. Occasionally, a deck comes in an excellent package suitable for storage and traveling. The Wild Unknown is one such deck. All my new decks join their tarot siblings on my shelves awaiting the call to action.
I ask only that you entertain the idea your new deck has a personality and spirit of its own. Take a little time to get familiar with the unique nuances the artist has conveyed within the cards as compared to the tradition it embodies. Good luck on your journey together. May you enjoy the delight of many discoveries and endless insight!