Hello my lovely students! I trust that by now you have at least a basic understanding of the structure of Tarot and have gotten to know your cards!
Don’t worry if you still get stuck on some meanings – happens to the best of us! You will improve with practise. And you can continue to work on your tarot journal so don’t panic if you haven’t written about every card as yet. I know it can be daunting to have an empty notebook in front if you, so for those of you who prefer working in a pre-planned format, here are some options for tarot journals you may like, but there are also lots of online resources that will allow you to print off pages for free!
Have you all found a deck you enjoy working with? I suggested some good starter decks in the first part of our lessons, but here are some more options for you:
The Vivid journey Tarot; The Sasuraibito Tarot; The Bonefire Tarot; The Mystical Tarot; The Anna K. Tarot; The Animal Totem Tarot; The Wild Unknown TarotDon’t be affraid to branch out to decks that look a bit different from the Traditional Rider-Waite. The main thing is that you like the style and the artwork! If you have any questions regarding certain decks, mentioned here or not, feel free to ask!
The first thing we are going to do now is tackle some more of those pesky Tarot Myths.
We’ve all heard them! We already talked about having to be given your first deck (no, you don’t!) – now what else have we heard?
You have to sleep with your deck under your pillow to bond with it – please don’t, you won’t be comfortable and your deck could get damaged! By all means: put it on your bedside table if you like! But really, just handling your deck, looking through it, shuffling it, practising spreads, pulling daily cards, etc. is plenty to build up a connection and infuse your cards with your energy.
Nobody can touch your cards – Rubbish! They are your cards, you decide! I wouldn’t let my little girl play with them when her hands are sticky and grubby, but if she washes up: why not?! Some people worry about the cards getting “contaminated” with bad energy… well, how many “bad” people do you read for? It’s totally cool if you choose to let someone look through your cards, let them shuffle the deck before a reading or, more common: just let them cut the deck after shuffling. It is also totally cool if you don’t want them to touch your cards. Up to you!
Whilst on the subject of “bad energy” contaminating your cards – don’t go over the top with extensive cleansing ceremonies! Remember: when you are completely cleansing your cards, your own energy infused in them will get cleansed too! You might notice your deck being a bit unwieldy afterwards as you two get readjusted to eachother! In my opinion, keeping a clear quartz or selenite crystal with your cards is enough to keep it’s energy clear and vibrations high. Blue kyanite, smoky quartz, rose quartz and amethyst are good choices too! You can add other crystals that feel right to you as you see fit. 3 knocks on your tarot deck after a particularly draining reading will shake off some unwanted energy as well. Or putting your deck in order (good way to check if any cards have gone missing) and reshuffling extensively works too. If you do want to do more to balance your deck’s energy, leave it on the windowsill in the light of the full moon overnight, make a circle of salt around your cards for the day or pass the cards through some incense smoke. But really, you do not need to do these things as often as you think!
Keeping your cards wrapped in silk: this is a lovely tradition, but again: keep them anywhere you want! I like to knit or crochet little pouches for my deck, this allows me to put some knot-magic in to it (I just make the pouches with the express intent of keeping my cards safe and happy!). I do suggest using some sort of cloth when laying out your cards, just because tables may be sticky or to prevent your cards from sliding all over the place. Silk, cotton, wool,… doesn’t matter. Just pick something you like! Even a clean kitchen towel works! Also, going through the process of preparing your space, laying out your cloth and maybe your favourite crystal, helps you get in to the right frame of mind for doing your reading. I also like to add some little things that make me happy when I look at them: my favourite Buddha statue, a little Goddess effigy, a rock or feather my little girl brought in that day, my painted element-pebbles,… anything you want! Not necessary, but again it is all part of preparing your sacred space!Offending your cards: people often worry about Tarot being angry or upset with them for not being treated properly. It’s very nice to treat your cards with respect, but remember: in the end, they are just cardboard!!! YOU are what makes the magic happen! Please, look after yourself and treat yourself with respect first! I tend to treat my cards in the same way as I would treat a nice art book: keep them clean, safe, dry, try not to bend them and don’t throw them around! The cards are a tool to bring out your intuition and subconscious knowledge – a very nice tool, but a tool none the less. Tarot can take a few knocks, has a sense of humour, does not hold a grudge and just wants to help you find what you are looking for! Don’t worry about Tarot, she’s fine! Worry about yourself! Before a reading, wash your hands, drink some water, do a self-check and deal with any issues you may notice: eat if you are hungry, drink if you are thirsty, put on cosy socks if you are cold, open a window if you need some fresh air,.. once you are comfortable, the magic can start to flow without distraction.
Okay, moving on: I promised you some good tarot books last time – books that give you clear, easy to understand card meanings and some extra advice on how to use them. Tarot is a never ending quest and you’re never too good at it to read a bit more!
Personally I like Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot ~ she has a nice way of letting you “meet” the cards and teaches you how you can use the cards for affirmations and Manifestation.
The Guide to The Everyday Witch Tarot is also very good. Bringing the cards to life with a sense of humour but not skirting around serious or difficult messages.
Other books you might like are: The Easy Tarot Handbook; Understanding the Tarot; The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot; Llewellyn’s complete book of Tarot; 21 ways to read a Tarot card; Tarot interactions.You do not have to go out and buy a heap of expensive books though, there are so many great online resources! Biddy Tarot is great, you will find just about anything you need on her website. Also, another tip for saving some cash: using a Tarot App can provide you with heaps of information! The Fool’s Dog has a lot of apps for different decks and some of them, like the Everyday Witch Tarot, have the full guidebook included! So a €4,50 app will give you access to the deck, card meanings, extended information from the book and a lot of spreads!
I hope you have found some useful ideas in this lesson – in part 3 we will look at a few exercises you can do with your cards to further increase your understanding and explore the possibilities tarot has to offer.
See you soon!