Back to Basics

As is customary at the close of the year, I am taking stock of my life. As Tarot is such a large and important part of who I am and how I see myself, it is only fitting that I include my practice in this revision.My Tarot-journey started around 20 years ago (!) with the aquisition of my first deck. It was a pocket version of the Rider-Waite Tarot and it was awful! The lines in the drawings were not clear and crisp, the colours were drab and the images too small to show all the details… safe to say I did not connect with this deck and so I didn’t make much progress at all!

My second deck was purchased not long after. This time I went for another classic: the Sharman-Caselli Tarot. It came in a kit (The Beginner’s Guide to Tarot), with a guidebook written by Juliet Sharman-Burke. At the time I liked the simple explanations in the book coupled with the slightly updated, but very recognisable, Rider-Waite inspired imagery. I used this deck on-and-off for the next 7 or 8 years but I never quite got the hang of reading the cards without referring to the book or the confidence to trust my own interpretations!

Then I came accross Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Tarot. Another deck/book combo, this time titled “Easy Tarot“, with the by-line “learn to read the cards once and for all” – which was exactly what I intended to do!

This time I took my studies seriously. I made notes on each card, starting with a summary of the information provided in the handbook (by Josephine Ellershaw), followed by my own ideas and interpretations. In about 2 months I filled 2 large notebooks, and at the end of it all I finally felt like I had a handle on things! I was confident I knew what every card meant and started making connections, reading a spread as a whole instead of every card individually. I slowly added to my Tarot collection, but The Gilded Tarot remained my go-to deck for many years and I still feel a warm affinity with it now. In fact not long ago I spruced up my old deck by edging it in black and it is looking fabulous! Over the years there have been many times where I drifted away from Tarot, sometimes for months, sometimes for years! But I always found my way back and the foundations laid so long ago are sturdy and stable. In total I would say I have actively been using/studying the Tarot for 13 years.

The last 3 years my interest in Tarot has been renewed and reinvigorated, and in the last year particularly I have made great strides forward. I came to a point where I wanted to share my findings and experience with others and in August this year I started this blog. It has been fun writing things down, having a place to gather my thoughts and experiment with the endless possibilities Tarot provides. I have started reviewing decks, writing Spells and Spreads, modifying some decks as a way of improving my connection with the cards and most of all: I have made new friends in the Tarot community and have been able to help some people along the way.

But I don’t want to become complacent – I want to keep the excitement of when I first discovered my affinity with the cards! I decided that the way to go about this is a return to basics

So I commenced a new Tarot Journal from scratch. I started off revisting my card interpretations. It’s funny but it was actually harder than you would think!When I see a particular card, a rush of information floods my brain – all the possible interpretations, nuances, combinations, etc. are right there vying for position. I made myself go through the whole deck writing just ONE word (or one concept) for each card that defines the essence of that card for me.

This forced me to simplify my thoughts, to rely on my intuition and to re-evaluate my knowledge and experience. It was quite a calming, meditative exercise, leaving me feeling relaxed and clear-minded. I intend to go through the whole deck again, at least twice more, each time adding one more layer to my interpretations, wether that is one word, a frase, a quote, a song, a character…

Then I will add a reversed meaning to each card. I don’t use actual physically reversed cards in my Readings very often. I am at a stage now where that is not really necessary, as I will intuitively know when to include aspects of the reversals in my interpretations. Rarely are things black or white, there’s often elements of both card-meanings woven together and I like to take my confirmations with some advice or my warnings with some reassurance. That’s just my style.

All this I intend to finish before the end of this year! The rest of the page will be left blank for me to write down any new ideas, insights or revelations about each card over the course of 2019, as I continue to revisit my card interpretations. I expect each page to be well-filled this time next year!

There is also plenty of room to make notes on any Readings I will do in 2019. Here I will include one of the first exercises I have planned for the new year, an idea from my fellow Blogger, Queen of Wans, which I intend to complete for my favourite and most used decks – you can find it here: https://queenofwans.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/what-do-you-think-of-our-relationship/

Have a look at this people, it is such an interesting exercise!

The notebook provides space for a Deck Inventory and Wish List. I used this space to take stock of my ever expanding collection. At the last count I own 44 Tarot Decks (not including any Oracle or Lenormand decks, nor the poor decks that got left behind when I moved from Scotland back to Belgium in 2016!). The majority of these decks have been aquired in the last 3 years! I assigned symbols to each deck to show wether it was one of my all-time favourites – like the Sasuraibito Tarot pictured above – (4); a deck I really like and use very often (8); decks I rotate and use regularly (10); decks I hardly ever use for actual Readings but like to look through or use for reference/comparisons from time to time (14) or, finally: decks I never use – or at least have not used in the last 3 years (8).

I deduce that there are about 10 decks I could part with comfortably, and another 3 or 4 I could be persuaded to part with if I found them a good home. But I probably end up keeping them all because I like my collection! (one of my last purchases this year)

There are 10 decks on my Wishlist, of which I will most likely aquire at least half next year, along with any impulse buys. I expect quite a few of these new decks to be of the Tarot de Marseille variety, as I have noticed a renewed interest in this style of deck lately!There are also pages in the notebook dedicated to your collection of Tarot books, other useful Recources and favourite Spreads – these I will complete as and when I come accross them. For now I have noted down the 8 Spreads I have designed myself so far.

Alongside this Tarot Journal I will be utilising my new Tarot Tracker for 2019, keeping a record of daily draws to determine patterns and recurring themes.This lovely tracker comes with the following pre-designed pages:

A Card of the Year calculation and Year Card Reference; a Card Meaning Tracker where you write down your keywords for each card at the start of the year, then you can repeat this exercise at the end of the year to see if/how your interpretations have evolved; a page-a-day outlay for recording Daily Draws (you can do them in the morning or evening or both!); a New Year Spread; a New Year Resolution Reading + a New Year Resolution Revisited section; a Birthday Reading + Birthday Reading Revisited; and finally at the back of the book you find Keywords for all the cards to use as a reference if needed. All packaged in a glossy, hard-cover book that looks very luxurious!

I look forward to a Tarot-filled year and expect to improve self-discipline, perseverance and structure as those have been somewhat lacking in my life of late!

Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday Season, however you like to celebrate – thank you so much for accompanying me on my Journey – Namasté my Friends 🙏🏼💖

Love,

Tarotmum13

Xxx

10 Comments

  1. I love your reflections and your plans for the new year! I like your journaling idea a lot. I’ve fallen off the wagon with journaling because I’m just not able to do it everyday. I love this idea about journaling and creating your own meanings and interpretations for each card instead. I just looked up the journal on Amazon and will likely have to pick up a copy myself! You have a great list of books — which ones are your favorites? any you would recommend in particular?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just feel like I come at the whole Tarot-thing with so much bagage these days and sometimes I over-complicate things. Starting afresh seems like the thing to do for me. I found it really hard to write just ONE word for every card! The first few cards I spent ages debating which one of the ideas rushing through my head I should commit to paper, but then it got easier and I was able to quickly write down the first thing that sprang to mind. A bit like a Rorschach test haha. And I find that just a blank notebook is not doing it for me at the moment! I just sit and stare and worry about esthetics or layout… having pages pre-designed might be restrictive in one way but it also gets me going! The Biddy Tarot planner is a great tool for this as well and I intend to use prompts from that too! My favourite tarot books this year have been the guidebook that came with the Everyday Witch Tarot, for the humor it was written with whilst still bringing the message accross in a very real and useable way – and Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot because I like her approach of “meeting” each character in the card and exploring how they can help you in your journey, also some stuff about affirmations and manifesting with Tarot which is right up my street!

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    2. That Everyday Witch Tarot has been one of the great surprises this year btw – I normally don’t go for these whimsical themed decks but it keeps surprising me! It is so accurate and easy to read! The images are well thought out and even the cats give a wealth of information just by looking at their actions and expressions! I love it – the artist is working on an oracle deck to accompany it right now and I will definitely get that too! ☺️

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  2. I totally agree about the blank notebook mind block. That’s why I really like the journals you suggested. I need some prompting to get me going! Thanks for suggestions — I’ve always wondered about the Madame Pamita book, and I’ve seen the Everyday Witch Tarot a few times at Barnes & Noble and always thought it looked so fun. I love whimsical decks, so that one might be right up my alley 🙂

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  3. I love those journals. Thank you for sharing your tarot journey. Its really neat to see collections 🙂 out of that delightful stack of books you have there, what would be the top 3 you recommend?

    Like

    1. I like Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot because it is written in an easy style and let’s you “meet” each card and go on an adventure with it – it also looks at affirmations for each card that you can use for manifesting desired outcomes.
      Llewellyn’s complete book of Tarot is very comprehensive and always good to dip in to when you are struggling with a particular card or for extra information like numerological or astrological meanings – it is a very good reference book but not one you would sit and read from cover to cover. My favourite book of last year is not in the pile and it was the guidebook that comes with the Everyday Witch Tarot!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The Nancy Garen book is good for when people ask about very specific things like legal papers, visitors, telephone calls, etc. It breaks down every card in to a myriad of little predictive sections! The Mary K Greer book is good too, again, I would not sit and just read the whole thing but it has a lot of good ideas about exercises to do with your cards.

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