Choosing your Tarot Deck

Now that I've whetted your appetite so that you will want to learn how to read tarot cards for yourself, it's time to talk about the actual card decks. The good news is that there are over 700 different decks, and probably more, to choose from.

While that may seem overwhelming, you will quickly be able to determine which decks appeal to you. Tarot lore says that you should find your deck, or that a deck should be given to you. Sometimes, if you have studied with a Tarot teacher, they might give you one of their "old" decks. If you wish to believe that your Tarot deck must come to you in some particular fashion, then you can go ahead and wait for that to happen.

Personally, I just went out and bought one I liked. I still "found" it, in a very nice store. I don't think how you get the deck is all that important. Remember, my personal philosophy of the Tarot is that it is less "spooky mystical" and more "symbolic meaningfulness". The deck will represent whatever you want it to represent, whether you bought it at a store, a flea market, or had it given to you for your birthday.

One of the first things I do recommend, however, when you get your deck is to cleanse it. By cleansing, I mean erasing any negative energies that may surround the deck. That may sound like a contradiction with my previous statement where I said mysticism didn't have a strong role to play in choosing your deck. What I mean is that your deck will pick up energies in the world around it, not otherworldly energy. If it has been bought at a store, it will have an aura of commercialism from the monetary transaction, and I think I needs to be cleansed of that. If you received it as a gift from someone who had used it before, it will be imbued with their energies, and you need to replace those with your own energies.

There are various ways of cleansing your tarot deck. You can put it in a sunny window and let the sun shine on it for a few hours. Some people will say that you should let it sit in moonlight, or in the dark. It's really up to you what you prefer, becuase if you think it is cleansing your deck, it probably is. If the thought of leaving your cards in the dark gives you a negative feeling, then that is the wrong thing to do. As you will learn, your intuition and subtle feelings about the Tarot and any readings you do will be extremely important in how successful you are at it.

Another way of cleansing the deck is to burn some sweetgrass, in the tradition of the aborigial peoples, and let the smoke from the sweetgrass flow over the deck. (Be careful doing this in the house!) You can get a quartz crystal, about 3 inches is a good size, and place this on the deck when you put the deck away. Leave the deck for between 24 to 72 hours, depending on how you feel, so that the quartz crystal can clear any lingering energies from the deck. Some people use quartz cleansing regularly on their decks.

Another method is to just wrap the deck in a natural fiber cloth, such as linen, wool, or silk. This is normally how you would store your deck when it is not being used, as well. I prefer using a beautiful pure silk scarf that uplifts my spirits every time I see it.

You may also choose to keep your Tarot deck in a special box or container. I have a lovely leather box that was given to me by someone special. I keep my Tarot deck in that box, wrapped in the vivid silk scarf.

The most important thing about any Tarot deck that you might choose, or the way you choose to obtain, cleanse and store it, is the way you think about it. If you send positive thoughts toward your deck, and treat it with respect, as a valuable tool (much like a carpenter would value a favorite hammer), your deck will become energized with your positive vibrations and it will perform well for you. You will develop a bond between the cards and your thoughts, so that you are able to easily interpret the symbols the cards are showing you.

Good tarot reading is more a matter of intuition, experience, and knowledge, not "psychic ability". When you choose and care for, and learn how to read tarot cards, they will provide you with many hours of enjoyment.


Carolyn said...

Thanks for your article on the "Basics". So here is my latest experience. I have recently started aggressively collecting Tarot decks. Some are rare and others more common. In any case, I have been drawn to them all. I have worked with pretty much all of them at one point or another (yes, even the rare ones). I have to say, that some decks work better for me than others. Some decks are so right on that it is actually a little frightening. I, too, don't believe in the folklore you mentioned in your article, but I do believe one deck may work better than another for a particular person. My philosophy is if you are drawn to a deck buy it, appreciate it, handle and use it. And if you see another deck that you are drawn to, do the same things. You will be amazed how different decks can have different energies. Right now, The Hudes is working for me. Who Knew?


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Anonymous said...

In tarot, the same for numerology, you have to start with the basics. Once that is mastered your ability grows. It makes sense to me to build a solid psychic.

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