Sunday, November 13, 2022

How many Tarot decks?

How many Tarot decks?

As I have said, there are thousands of Tarot decks to choose from!  I started with the Buddha Tarot, by Robert M. Place, and then moved to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.  BUT, now I have so many Tarot decks.  As an artists, I love seeing all of the different kinds of decks. 

You can finds decks with pretty much any theme that you can think of.  There are angels, animals, herbs, flowers, crystals, ones from movies, even some from DC Comic, the list goes on and on.  It is also interesting to see the ones from different countries and how the history plays into the artwork, such as Anime, Japanese Block-prints, or the Santa Muerte Tarot.

There are also different shaped decks, mostly rectangle, but there are also the circle decks. The Motherpeace Tarot by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble is probable the most well know circle deck (which is on my wish list). Then there are different shaped boxes that they come in, too!  My most unusual shaped box is coffin shaped and when it is opened it has a recording that sounds like the squeaking wood of the coffin door. Pretty creepy!

Do you need so many?

No, one deck is all that you need.  Some people connect to their first deck and that is the only one that they will ever have and use, and that is perfectly fine.  But, it can become addicting to search out new decks and see what they have to offer. You never know which ones you might connect to.

Do I use all of my decks?

No, I actually have some that I have never used. I really like to get to know my decks, so I spend a lot of time using just one deck before moving onto another one.  Sometimes, I may use one deck for a very long period of time because it feels right.  Then I have some that I have used a couple times and really just didn't connect with.  (Those decks I have gifted to someone else.) 

Do I have to be gifted a deck to start?

NO!  I am not sure where that idea came from, but don't pay attention to it.  If that was the case there wouldn't be that many readers out there today. If you see a deck that sparks your interest, go for it. 

Do I have to have one deck for myself and then a different one to do readings for other people?

No, I think this is purely a personal choice.  I use the same decks for myself and for others. I do cleanse the decks between using them, so I feel like they are a "new" deck each time.  Because I really want to "know" the decks, I like using them for myself and for others and this helps seeing the cards in different ways. 

How many decks do you have?

As of this writing, I have 35 Tarot decks and 10 Oracle decks.  That really is not too many, lol.  (Plus, the couple that I got rid of because they didn't suit me.)  I have the space in my home to store my decks and I have the means to be able to purchase them.  But, if you do not - then don't buy them! The number of decks you have doesn't matter!  If you connect to one, that is all you need! 

I have a long list of decks that I still would like to buy.  Sometimes, I come across them on sale, so I may buy it even if it wasn't at the top of the list or may not have been on the list at all! I would buy them used too (if I knew all the cards were there), because of how I cleanse my decks.  I will be talking about that also in a future post. 

What is your favorite deck?

Ohhhh, this is a hard one to answer.  I think it depends on my mood of the day or how my week is going at the time.  So, I think that I will save this question for another post. I will be sharing more in depth about different decks in the future.  There are many different reasons why I may like (or not) a particular deck. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Major Arcana - a brief introduction

The Major Arcana - A brief introduction

There are so many books out there about Tarot and what the Major Arcana's individual cards mean.  So, I don't want to duplicate two much of what is already out there.  Instead I want to take you on a walk through the FOOL'S JOURNEY.

0 – Fool  – 0  - The Fool is the Main Character through this story.  He is basically a toddler that doesn't know his way, he doesn't know what lies ahead for him.  He is innocent and doesn't have the knowledge to make clear choices. 

The following characters are who direct the Fool along his path.  They can be "others" or they can be The Fool himself.  They can be male or female (or both or neither). 

1    Magician  –  I - The Magician is someone who is not from this world.  He can pass both, in space and time.  He has all of the tools laid out before him - Wands, Cups, Pentacles, and Swords.  He has the expertise to choose wisely.  He can manifest what you desire.

2    High Priestess  – II -  The High Priestess can also pass between worlds.  She is of both shadow and light, above and below.  She is a mystery - the future can be cloudy.  Her decisions are based on intuition rather than being logical.  She has the hidden knowledge.

3    Empress  –  III - The Empress is all about nurturing slowly and growth.  She is the feminine energy of the Physical world. 

4    Emperor  –  IV - The Emperor is all about authority of the physical world. He is focused on his leadership and follows a rigid structure. He can make things happen.

5    Hierophant  –  V - The Hierophant is the teacher (both spiritual and secular). He is the guidance for personal development and inner wisdom. 

6    Lovers  –  VI - The Lovers are all about relationship: family, romantic, and friendships.  They are also about commitment and duality.

7    Chariot  –  VII - When we think of the Chariot, we are moving fast in a forward direction.  There is advancement, progress, making headway.  It can also mean travel or physically moving.

8    Strength  –  VIII - Strength is our willpower - it is our inner strength.  It is our energy and our drive.

9    Hermit  –  IX - The Hermit is often associated with isolation and giving us a space to think, taking time off.  It is a time to work through changes to find our way. 

10  Wheel of Fortune  –  X - Let things move on their own. Things are evolving, changing and there are new opportunities, so this is a sign that you need to be ready to act - be prepared!

11  Justice  –  XI - Justice is all about Truth. Being on the right path, your true path, your soul's journey.

12  The Hanged Man  –  XII - The Hanged Man usually pops up when there will be a delay or a distraction.  However, the Hanged Man also reminds us to look at things from a different perspective. Take a new look at things.

13  Death  –  XIII - The Death card is all about a transition or a transformation. You have to "die" before you can be reborn.  You have to have an ending, before you can have a new beginning.  (I also like to point out that the Death card is number 13 - Lucky 13) 

14  Temperance  –  XIV - Temperance is telling us to be cautious.  Make sure we balance out things and don't do anything too impulsive. 

15   Devil  –  XV - The Devil is the one sitting on our shoulder making us procrastinate, or have self-doubt.  He puts up barriers and negative blocks that make us question ourselves. He is the little distraction - the next sparkly object.

16   The Tower  –  XVI - There are two ways to look at the Tower.  The first is destruction or disruption, such as a sudden life changing event.  The second is rebuilding/building - a time to start over.

17   The Star  –  XVII - The Star is about long term goals or plans and what direction are they going to take. Optimism!

18   The Moon  –  XVIII - When we walk in the moonlight of The Moon card, we are walking a mysterious path, maybe even an unknown path. Some times it is fate that brings you on that path; you won't be the one in control.

19   The Sun  –  XIX - Just as the Sun comes out and shine brightly down on us, it is nurturing and a time for healing and growth.

20   Judgement  – XX - Judgement can help us see taking a different path.  It gives us awareness - an awaking.

21   The World  –  XXI - This is where The Fool wants to get to.  This is a place of fulfillment, of balance, harmony and peace.


The Journey -

   As you read through each description, could you see the actions that The Fool would (or wouldn't) take?  Can you see how he grows from a child into an adult, having to make decisions on his (her) own?  

Please leave any questions or comments below!

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Four Suits of Tarot

The Four Suits of Tarot

Four Suits of Tarot
Four Suits of Tarot

Before we get any farther, we need to talk about the four suits used in the Tarot deck.  These four suits are used for the Minor Arcana.  Each suit is on 14 cards - 4 times 14 = 56 cards.  The suits are very similar to what is found on traditional playing cards.  Some people disagree on what suit in Tarot corresponds to the suits of the traditional playing cards, but you have to decide for yourself. 

Just a little side note on what I just said about deciding for yourself....  Yes, the Book T set out rules of how Tarot should be constructed, but rules are meant to be broken.  And, over the years many rules have changed or evolved.  My suggestion is to stick to one school of thought.  With Tarot, you need to use your gut.  If something doesn't fit well for you, then change it. 

Okay, back to the suits.  

Clubs = Wands

Hearts = Cups

Diamonds = Pentacles

Spades = Swords

Book T tells us that the four Suits correspond to different elements: (The elements also relate to the different Astrological signs - but we will save that for another discussion.)

Wands = Fire

Cups = Water

Pentacles = Earth

Spades = Air

And then there is the Feminine and Masculine, the Yin and Yang:

Feminine/Yin = Cups and Pentacles

Masculine/Yang = Wands and Spades

There are also seasons associated with each suit.  This is helpful when doing a reading involving timing.

Wands = Summer

Cups = Spring

Pentacles = Winter

Spades = Autumn

Let's break down the Suits a little more, so that when you are doing a reading you can easily identify what the card is based from. 

Wands = The Spirit

Cups = Emotion

Pentacles = The Physical

Swords = Thought

Knowing these four suit identifiers, is probably the most important part that you need to remember to do a reading with the the Minor Arcana.

Wands: Batons, Clubs, Rods, Staffs, Staves

I like to think of Wands as your "Free Spirit".  The Wands represent a quality of experience. They can also represent an active phase of growth and creation and self-expression.  This often leads the Wands referring to your career (or career change).

Cups: Chalices, Goblets, Vessels

Cups are full of emotions! Literally, "Your Cup runneth over!" When people see the Cups in Tarot, they are searching for more emotional harmony and connection in their relationships. These relationships can be with lovers, friends, family.  Since Cups are tied to your emotions, they are also a card for intuition - that feeling you get in your gut. 

Pentacles: Coins, Disks, Pentagrams, Shields, Wheels

The Pentacles in Tarot can represent material wealth, stability, and a happy home/business, or interests in government.  It can also represents a desire for advancement or promotion in the work environment - entrepreneurship. Thy can also represent an item (or situation) that you covet.

Swords: Daggers, Scythes, Spears

Swords are a symbol of intellect, thought, and communication. As such, they can be a helpful way to clarify conflicting ideas and make important decisions. The sword is also associated with the past, present, and future. Its position in a reading can help us remember what went well in the past, and see what we might have done differently in the future. However, these things can lead to manipulation and deception, so be on the lookout for where the Swords are found in the reading.

As I said above, I feel that if you just keep one word associated with each suit, that it will help keep it clear in your mind when you start doing readings. 

I hope this has helped a bit with this brief introduction into the Suits of Tarot.  If you have any questions feel free to leave in the comments or send me an email.   

Are you "out" as a Tarot Reader?

Are you "out" as a Tarot Reader?" 

I thought that this was a funny question, so I wanted to answer it.  I guess the answer is obvious, but, YES!

I do come from a Christian and fairly conservative family upbringing, so I was a bit hesitant at first about what I was doing.  I was worried what my parents would think, what my friends would think, etc.  I didn't want to upset them, but I also had to be true to myself.  

My husband is the most supportive person in my life!  It doesn't matter what I want to do (become) or whatever it is, he is there to encourage me and support my decisions (even if they aren't the smartest at the time!)  He actually bought me a new Tarot deck last night while we were shopping.  

When I told him that I was apprehensive about telling my family, he said that they would love me anyway and not to worry.  So, I actually made a YouTube video explaining, not so much Tarot specific, but just my views on being true to myself and then sent it to my parents.  Guess what?  They still love me.

My daughter is also my best friend, business consultant, and sound board, for everything I do.  She also was very encouraging, because she knew that I was helping people and that I was providing a service to them.  

My mother has always supported me in my decisions.  She completely understands of where I "come from".  She was also reared in a very conservative Christian family, but she also has physic abilities.  When I was in my late teens, there was an event where I showed her my physic abilities.  I was scared to death, but she just looked at me and said, "Don't fight it! Just trust your gut and go with it." So, that is what I have always done.  Thank you Mom!

I do not read often for my friends, but if my family asks then I will.  But, I am a Professional Tarot Reader and have read for people all over the United States (most of the people I have never met in real life).  My clients mostly find me through social media.  I do own a gift shop and I love to talk to people, so that has lead to readings also.

If you are interested in a private reading, there is a link on the side bar.  I will only read for a client once every three months, unless it is different questions.   Or, if you just want to know more about what I do, please ask below or send me an email!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

What's the Difference Between Tarot, Oracle, Angel Cards, and Affirmation Cards?

What is the difference between Tarot, Oracle, Angel Cards, and Affirmation Cards? 

Well, they are all types of divination cards.  


We have started to take a look in the last blog at Tarot and how the deck is made.  So, I will not be starting from scratch here.  However, we know that Tarot is a deck of 78 cards and each of those cards have a specific meaning that comes from Book T, by MacGregor Mathers and Harriet Felkin. 

Over the years, artists and authors of Tarot have tried to make it their own and have deviated somewhat from Book T, but the overall structure has remained the same.  Tarot is a divination device, just as Runes, Pendulums, and Crystals are used.

There are numerous Tarot decks on the market today.  You most likely will be attracted to the artwork when choosing a Tarot deck.  There are now Tarot decks that are all animals in the artwork or fairies or modern icons, But, the good thing about Tarot, is that it follows a set of rules.  Each card, no matter the artwork, still has the same meaning.  That means that you can pick up any Tarot deck and should be able to read it, if you know those meanings.  

Three Empress from different Tarot decks

This is an example of three different artist's interpretation of The Empress.  The first one on the left is from The Star Tarot, by Cathy McClelland, the second one is from The Light Seer's Tarot, by Chris-Anne, and the third one is from The Buddha Tarot, by Robert M. Place.

Notice how each of these cards are similar, but very different.  They all have the same meaning, because it depicts the Empress. Also, note the size of the cards, the labels, the border, no border - each created in a unique way. 

Oracle cards -

It can be slightly confusing, because actually all the cards listed above are a types of "oracle" cards, because oracles give you access to information that you cannot find through ordinary means.  But, in this blog, we are using the term Oracle as a specific type of card deck.  They will be typically labels or titled with the word Oracle, so that you don't mistake it for a Tarot deck.  

The biggest difference between Oracle and Tarot, is that Oracle decks don't follow any rules!  It doesn't matter how many cards are in the deck.  It doesn't matter what symbols are contained on the cards.  It doesn't have to follow any order or progression.  It is all completely up to the author/artist of the Oracle deck.

This may sound a bit more interesting that Tarot, because again there are thousands of Oracle decks printed every day.  However, one might want to be careful when choosing a new Oracle deck, because it will be different than every other Oracle deck that you may have read.  You will have to learn what each of the cards mean and their symbols.  You will basically have to be reading from the guidebook to get what you need to know to conduct a reading.  

Three Oracle Decks

This is an example of three different Oracle decks (in their boxes).  The top one is Carry Me Crystals, by Joanie Eisinger, Elizabeth Jarvis, and Peter Jarvis, the second one is The Herbal Healing, by Sarah Baldwin, and the third one is Sacred Mysteries, by Kooch Daniels, Victor Daniels and Pieter Weltevrede.

As you can see, these three Oracle decks are on three different subjects and look very different.  Each one has its own qualities and "set of rules" when it comes to the symbols that they are using. 

Some love the fact that things are different in each deck.  The above three are in my collection and I use them often. Some find that by having the guidebook to follow, that they do not need to memorize the cards and this makes it easier in our busy lives.  

Angel Cards - 

Angel cards or Angel Oracles, are decks that contain the different angels that you would call upon during a reading.  I will be quite honest with you - I don't own any angel cards.  So I don't have any to show here (maybe in the future).   But basically they feature angels you learn about in religions such as Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism. Since they do follow specific Angels, then their meaning should remain the same from one deck to another.  But, we all have our own interpretation of what that may be. As with other Oracle cards, angel cards don't have to follow the standard guidelines (number, suit and symbols) that make the traditional Tarot.  It is common for the decks to have much fewer cards than the Tarot (not as many angels???) 

Affirmation Cards - 

Affirmation cards are usually one word or phrase, sometimes a picture, that promote positivity or inspiration.  Again Affirmation cards of oracles, do not have to follow any rules.  They can be on all different subjects, sizes, number of cards, etc.   

Affirmation cards are a type of Oracle card.  Remember oracles are little actions that show us a sign - good luck, bad luck, finding love, finding money.  Finding a Lucky penny heads side up - putting it in our shoe, so money will follow us.  Back in the 80's, we even wore penny-loafers, lol.

Three Affirmation Decks

These three sets of Affirmation cards, just happen to be the same size, but they don't have to be.  Daily Healing, by Inna Segal, Star Seeds, by Nari Anastarsia, and Whispering Woods, by Jessica Le.

Affirmation cards are a nice way to start the day, by pulling one card and seeing what inspires.  I often pull intuitively a card and enclose it when I send a gift or letter to someone. 

In conclusion - 

Which one should you use?  Whichever you are called to.  

Can I use more than one?  YES! You can use them all or a combination.

Do you have to use them every day?  No.  This is something that we will discuss at a later date.

Can you have too many?  Lol, no.  Unless you don't have the space or resources, then you should limit yourself.  Maybe re-gift the ones that don't speak to you?

Yes, Tarot is my first choice. But, I also use the others regularly (except for the Angel cards - maybe in the future).

Monday, October 24, 2022

A Brief History of Tarot and Why

Brief History of Tarot

I have to start at the beginning with the History of Tarot.  I am not a big history buff, but it is interesting how things evolve over time.  

The first "playing" cards probably came out of Egypt, because that is where paper was first invented.  However, the first Tarot or Tarocchi decks were invented around the mid-15th century in Europe.  And then around 1788 is when the Tarot starting to be used for cartomancy (divination).  It wasn't until the late 1800's - early 1900's that Tarot was "formally" standardized.  

MacGregor Mathers and Harriet Felkin, who were members of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, wrote Book T.  Book T defines what each suit and card represents.  It even explains what images are to appear on each of the cards. From this writing, different members of The Golden Dawn (Waite, Pamala Colman Smith, Aleister Crowley, and others) started to design and develop their own decks.  Some following Book T and some moving off in their own direction.

There are three decks that are the most widely used (reproduced): Visconti-Sforza tarot decks painted in the mid-15th century for the rulers of the Duchy of Milan, The Rider-Waite-Smith deck and the Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck. However, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck is by far the most reproduced after coming into the public domain.  Most people recognize this today.  This deck also has clear symbolism and therefore one of the easies to read. 

So what does a Tarot deck look like? 

It is a deck of 78 cards.  It is made up of two parts - the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana. 

The Minor Arcana actually, resemble a regular deck of playing cards.  It has 56 cards with four suits - Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles (Coins).  Each suit has 14 cards: Ace, 2 - 10, Page (Jack/Knave), Knight, Queen and King. 

Four Aces of the Four Suits in Tarot
These are the Aces from each of the four suits of the Minor Arcana - Rider-Waite-Smith deck

The Major Arcana is The Fool and then 21 cards known as trumps.   These trump cards can be read as if moving through the Fool's life (or an event) from start to finish. 

Major Arcana from Tarot - Waite/Smith deck
The Major Arcana from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

There are literally thousands of Tarot decks printed today.  The majority of the decks follow the symbols that Pamala Colman Smith used to illustrate the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.  However, I will use this deck for the majority of my discussions and images throughout this blog, simply because it is in the public domain.  

For clarity, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck is named because of "Rider" - William Rider & Son, was the company that published the deck in 1910, "Waite" was a Grand Master of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the author/coordinator,  "Smith" - Pamela Colman Smith was the artist and illustrator.   You will also find different titles for this deck, such as Waite/Smith. 

We will dive deeper into what each card means at a later time.

Why I use Tarot?

Before we really dig down into the suits, cards, and all the meanings, I want to share with you why I use Tarot.  As a child I loved all kinds of card games.  I collected many different decks (not Tarot) and knew most of the "adult" games of poker, gin, rummy, and even would do a little betting with the neighborhood kids.  I loved the size of the decks, their smooth surface, and bright colors.  I was attracted to the different ways artists decorated the backs or made the Aces, Jokers and court cards particularly fancy.  To me there was something special about being able to do so many things with a simple deck of playing cards.
Mini deck of playing cards
This is a mini set of playing cards that I received at a kids birthday party - many, many years ago! 

My first deck of Tarot was actually The Buddha Tarot, by Robert M. Place.  I am Buddhist and thought this would be a good addition to my learning more about Buddhism.  I will have to be honest, that I was very confused by trying to approach it this way.  Because I did not understand the basics of Tarot, this just didn't work for me.  I decided to turn to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (because this is the one that was most widely published). 

Tarot has become a daily part of my life.  I read Tarot everyday for myself.  I am also a professional Tarot reader, offering my services to others.  

Some Tarot "readers" will actually only read the guide book that comes with the deck.  For a beginner, this is a good place to start.  But, I am an Intuitive and an Empath, and therefore, I only use the meanings as a guide, but often use my gifts overriding what the guidebook may be saying.  

As I said earlier, I am Buddhist, but I also grew up Christian.  People may think that using Tarot is demonic or against different religions.  But, just as I pray to my God or call upon angels to help me, I also use Tarot as a way of divination and helping me answer questions that are sent through God, angels, ancestors, guides and guardians, or whomever else you believe in. 

There is one big, huge, thought that people need to remember when using Tarot - We are of our own free-will!  If I do a reading, for myself, or for someone else, the path and answers can change based on the actions that we take (or don't take).  Tarot is a guide.  It is there to help you choose - like flipping a coin. 

As I have gotten older, I have found comfort in the Tarot.  I like turning to it for guidance and giving me an opportunity to see things in a new way.  Maybe looking at my different choices and see what path that I should be taking.  

The Tarot is not for everyone.  I completely understand that.  Some have been brought up to believe that it is all evil.  Some think that it is a tool for deception (a lot of this comes from the way it is depicted in movies, unfortunately).  Some may just think it is a waste of time.  But to me, Tarot is a never ending learning experience - a learning experience about our choices and journey through this life.  A Fool's Journey!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Welcome to my new site!

This is a brand new site and I am so happy that you have come across it.  I will be adding content regularly.  I really want to share my love of Tarot.  

This will be a place to follow along on the journey that the Fool takes as he makes his way through life. 

Please, please leave me feedback on my posts!  I would love to answer any questions that you may have.  Or if you want me to dive deeper into a particular area, please let me know that as well.

How many Tarot decks?

How many Tarot decks? As I have said, there are thousands of Tarot decks to choose from!  I started with the Buddha Tarot, by Robert M. Plac...