“The tarot doesn’t ‘work’. We make it work.”
—Enrique Enriquez (quoted in a great post by Tarot Sparrow)
I read that and my heart went YES. That kind of captures it for me. So liberating.
I’m excited to be part of an online study group that is using Benebell Wen‘s hefty tarot tome Holisitc Tarot to work through all things cards. I actually heard about it via Benebell’s instagram—she is not part of it or running it, but seems to approve and in fact is open to being “pestered with questions” (smartly so, it inspired me to finally buy the book!).
Student hat *on*!
I’ve been doing a new kind of daily (-ish*) draw this year that is working well. I think I made it up, inasmuch as anything under the sun is truly new. I am a voracious book reader, and what I do is surely the culmination of ideas of those I consider my teachers through their many books.
A one card draw for me is usually not quite satisfying enough. My tendency is to interpret the card, and then get curious and pick another card or two (or three) to get a little more info or insight into my day or, more accurately for how I read, my mindset of the day. What had potential to work as a quick timely check-in becomes more of a drawn out chore, and because of that I was neglecting regular daily (-ish) readings for myself.
Earlier this year, I switched it up to a three card draw. I shuffle the deck, then cut it once (usually). I then pull a card from the middle of the pack. This is my general card of the day pick. I then take the card at the very top of the deck, plus the card at the bottom, and lay them out. The card pulled from the top represents the overlying things to keep in mind during the day. It might be about the superficial stuff, it might be about the details. The bottom card is the deeper stuff to keep in mind. I see it as a more general undercurrent of the day, or perhaps a larger theme of the week, season, or longer time period.
I have to say it has been a most satisfying way to go! It has limits and boundaries, which I welcome. It also offers the satisfaction of being a little more in-depth than a one card draw. So far the readings have felt pretty spot on. I keep a journal for my readings, and find that this is also fairly quick to write up each day for reference, or as a way to make sense of the three cards together.
I can imagine it evolving a bit, perhaps, but ultimately I can see this one working for me for a while.
Try it! Does it work for you? Do you do something similar for your daily(-ish) draw? Did you mix it up a bit in terms of how you use it? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!
*-ish..because no pressure!
Some tarot bloggers I greatly enjoy reading do deck interviews (see the end notes for links to said blogs, because credit is a beautiful thing). Inspired by them, I decided to interview a new-to-me deck. Perhaps annoyingly to my dear readers (note the completely unfounded but optimistic assumption that more than one of you is out there reading this!) this deck is out of print and hard to find. I scored one at a reasonable price by a stroke of random luck, and so far? I love it.
The Victoria Regina deck had been on my ‘it’ll never happen’ wishlist for a while. Last fall, I stumbled cross a list of for-sale decks from an east coast stalwart of the tarot community, and she had it listed for a price that, while fair, I could not *quite* justify. I mentioned I was interested, but the price was out of reach, and she ultimately made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. My box came sealed, and included the oversized deck, a hefty book, and a blue velvet bag.
The deck is by Sarah Ovenall and George Patterson and was published by Llewellyn in 2002. The artists used engravings from the 19th century as source material for the cards. Though sourced from various commercial images, if you have ever seen those Dover books you’ll recognize a lot of the images! Somehow it feels old and new at once, maybe because the images are so recognizable. Everything is black and white, and the images are layered and lush in a collage style. As a RWS focused reader it feels generally familiar, and they have used Mason jars for cups, fountain pens for wands, pocket watches for coins, and guns for swords.
Okay…onto the interview!
This deck is confident and secure. It will offer a sort of kindhearted and loving wisdom that is in tune with the the real world.
This deck is good for internal and contemplative work–work that is all about me (or, of course, the querent, should I use it to read for others). This deck can help me find my way,or a way, and be a guide that does not follow any conventional rules, but offers freedom to grow and learn.
There is a simplicity to this deck that hints that any ‘buzz’ or passion may not last long term.
This deck can teach me to embrace uncertainty and follow my instincts.
This will work best if I am confident, and don’t search for praise, but can handle criticism or what may appear to be indifference. I should stay optimistic and believe in myself.
A light battle! A bit of conflict, but with a sense of play, excitement, and a definite joy in action. Don’t give up at signs of trouble.
Such an interesting interview! The limit of getting bored seems to counter the collaboration and outcome, that of staying strong, self-confidence, and taking joy in play-fighting. I haven’t read with this deck since this interview, but I look forward to doing so in the future
One thing I expected might be a turn off was the monarchy and royalty stuff, not to mention the colonialist ‘sun never sets’ era stuff. I am not a fan of those kind of structures in societies, to say the least. In fact, I dedicate much of my work in other areas of my life to *de*colonizing. However, and thankfully, this did not get in the way of my understanding, using, recognizing, and even enjoying the imagery, and I also enjoyed reading about the history that is built into the book that comes with the deck. I appreciate that there is a definite OTP–of the people–side to the deck; it’s not all romantic lives of rich colonial era royals! This is a definite labor of love as a deck.
Some links of interest:
Thanks for reading!
Do you have this deck? I’d love to hear your take on it in the comments.
Want to help me find another of my ‘it’s never gonna happen’ decks? I have been jonesing for Dori Midnight’s Dirty Tarot for a minute now. Got one to sell or pass on? Hit me up!
I’ve been reading & playing tarot since I was a pre-teen and got my first deck at one of the best bookstores in my world in the then funky and low key town of Hermosa Beach (sadly the store is now closed). I was attracted to the woo, no doubt, and the big questions in general. I was getting into punk rock at the same time I got a tarot deck, my personal world had been a bit shattered, and I was questioning everything while being dissatisfied with my place in the world and the answers I was being given.
Over three decades later, I’m still playing tarot–I use that verb, play, very purposefully, to remind myself that while I take tarot seriously, I try not to take myself too seriously–and it has become like a trusted elder. I am not psychic, and I don’t believe that tarot tells some pre-scripted future. I do think tarot can force/invite/require/open us to asking some questions about where we are, were, and want to be, and maybe let us see doors, choices, or options that we didn’t even know were there, along with helping us making level-headed decisions. There is a side to tarot that reminds me of meditation, a sort of taking stock of the now to make choices about the future (aka, the next now!). Tarot has helped me get over myself more times than I can count, and it makes me laugh (and yeah, sometimes tear up a bit, and it makes me say ‘wow’ a lot…plus those ‘trusted elders’ can be cranky and blunt sometimes). At the moment this is a personal blog where I will share readings, talk about different decks I use, maybe jones for some new decks, and write up some of my interpretations. I also love reading and sharing the history of tarot decks and users, and the esoteric stories of folks that came before.
I read for myself and for friends. If you are interested in a getting a reading from me, drop me a line and I’ll send you my information so we can correspond and see if it is a good fit. Any readings done for another person are done in complete confidence.