Tarot cards

Discussion in 'Magick' started by joed37, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. joed37

    joed37 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    In looking at the different kinds of magick, i figured id try my hand at divination with tarot cards. one problem though, i dont kno which kind of tarot cards to use, so many different kinds, like unicorn tarot decks and dragon tarot decks, i even found a japanese anime tarot deck. what kind would u recommend? or, would u recommend any at all?
     
  2. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would recommend learning with a standard deck like the Rider-Waite one (which many other decks are patterned after) and any of the many books available that use that deck. Once you are comfortable using a standard deck then you can move on to a non-standard one that appeals to you more.

    There are also free online tarot courses you can take. The one at http://www.learntarot.com is pretty good and uses the Rider-Waite deck.

    http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ is another excellent online resource for learning about the tarot. They have some tarot FAQ files as well as messageboards for discussion of tarot, and have reviews with sample cards of hundreds of decks.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/index.htm is another site that provides free versions of classic tarot books such as A. E. Waite's "Pictorial Key to the Tarot" (the author Waite is the same Waite who is responsible for the popular Rider-Waite deck. By the way, the deck is sometimes also called the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.)
     
  3. Erynn

    Erynn Professional Madwoman

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd agree that for most folks it's easier to start with a standard deck like the Rider/Waite.

    There are some decent books out for beginners. My two favorites, which teach you not just rote meanings for cards, but how to derive your own meanings and create your own layouts are:

    Mary K. Greer: Tarot for Yourself
    Gail Fairfield: Choice-Centered Tarot

    Both are older books as these things go -- not back to the late 19th or early 20th century, but back to about the late 70s and early 80s of the 20th. They should still be in print, though I'm sure you can find copies used in various editions. I found them extremely useful myself and love them for the way they free you from all the boxes and encourage you to truly engage with the images on your favorite visual deck to reach into your intuition for your readings.
     
  4. Ami

    Ami Sanctuary

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I have just started out really too,
    My tarot are small and with very very simple pictures on them, just so I can get used to using them,
    so yes as the others said start with a simpler pack so you're not running before you can walk kinda thing.
    aslo if u look on ebay they have alot of affordable ones try and get something new though apparently you shouldnt use second hand cards,
    something to do with a conflict of energy though how accurate that is I do not know.
     
  5. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    Another suggestion about getting a tarot deck to start with:

    Beware of decks that don't have basic illustrations on the standard suit cards. It's really difficult to learn what the four of pentacles card means if the card only shows four pentacles and nothing else.

    Most decks, including the Rider-Waite one, have actual illustrations on each and every card to help you figure out their meanings. So on the four of pentacles they do have four pentacles on there, but also a lot of other stuff depicted.

    That's why I think it's wise to check out what the cards in a deck look like (particularly the regular suit cards -- the numbered cards in the pentacles, swords, wands, and cups etc.) in person if you can or on a website like http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/

    Descriptive pictures on just the major arcana and court cards (king, queen, etc.) are not enough for beginners unless you really like memorizing and basing your interpretations on what you can remember is supposed to go with the 5 of wands, the 7 of cups, etc.
     
  6. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everyone,

    I picked up a set of Tarot cards last year, more of out of curiosity and because they generally look very attractive! I guess they appealed to the kid in me! :rolleyes:

    I haven't really got around to learning how to use them. Does one have to prepare oneself mentally before attempting a Tarot reading? I mean, do you have to meditate for a few minutes, to get in tune with the psychic undercurrents or whatever? It all seems very random, just drawing cards in response to a query. So, how does one know that the cards they selected really have bearing on the question, and are not just the result of random selection? [​IMG]Maybe, experienced practitioners here can throw some light on the 'mechanics' behind this.
     
  7. Ryuuko

    Ryuuko Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namasté Indogenes,

    If you want your readings to be accurate, it's very important to have centered yourself first. You can meditate, say a prayer, dedicate the reading to your Higher Self/God/All That Is--whatever you feel is an appropriate way to center yourself.

    At first, it's easy to think that someone can simply pick a random number of cards and that the cards will basically say the same thing, but you'll quickly learn that the Tarot goes beyond randomization.

    "So, how does one know that the cards they selected really have bearing on the question, and are not just the result of random selection?"

    As with everything in life, the key to this is to trust your intuition. Your intuition will tell you if the cards are appropriate, and will not be a result of simple randomization. This also goes back to what I've written earlier; if you centered yourself at first, the cards should be relevant.

    I hope this answered your questions. Ask away if you have more. :D
     
  8. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namaste Ryuuko,

    Thanks for taking time to give the tips on centering for a Tarot reading. ;)
     
  9. Ryuuko

    Ryuuko Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're very welcome... what deck do you have?
     
  10. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ryuuko,
    The deck that I have is called the 'Tarot of the Cloisters'. It was created by Michelle Leavitt. It has 78 cards, and a thin booklet of instructions. I am not sure how useful the instructions are for a beginner. In case you have not heard of this deck, I searched on the Internet for a link to it. Please see
    http://www.learntarot.com/cqdesc.htm

    Do you think this deck is worthwhile to learn with?
     
  11. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm not Ryuuko, so I hope I'm not stepping on any toes with my reply.

    The deck you linked is very pretty. The images look to me like they are variations of the standard Rider-Waite designs. I'm not sure that the cards being round will make them easier to use (I think it might be a bit harder to use them since it's not obvious whether a card is upright or inverted -- rectangular decks are obvious so they are easier to interpret that way.)

    It's pretty standard for the little pamphlet included with a deck to be so brief that it's basically of little use except perhaps to an experienced tarot reader. You'd be better off getting yourself a good beginner book (one that was written specifically for your deck, or one that is based on the Rider-Waite would work) and then start there.

    The lessons at http://www.learntarot.com/ (where you found the images of your deck) are good too and worth going through if you don't want to buy a book. I understand the website is also available in book form for those who prefer hardcopies.

    You can spend a lifetime studying the tarot. Enjoy!
     
  12. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ben,
    Thanks for checking the link on the Tarot of Cloisters deck. From the research on this deck that I did today on the Internet, you are correct about it on several points: it is supposed to be a variation on the Rider-Waite designs, and somebody else expressed misgivings about how difficult it would be to decide if they are inverted or not, and also shuffle them, because this is a deck of circular cards. I'm really not sure how adept I will be in shuffling them - I'm clumsy shuffling even rectangular cards! I will try the free course on Tarot that you indicated and give it a shot and see how it goes.

    Any idea how or why so many different varieties of decks developed? On one internet site that was indicated in this thread, there are lists of 500 types of Tarot decks. Some seem to be variations of the original Rider-Waite design, but I don't know if there are any decks that are very different in design or concept from them.
     
  13. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    One of the big reasons why different decks were created was because not everyone agrees with the symbolism and correspondences used in the Rider-Waite deck.

    If you look at the four minor arcana suits in the Rider-Waite deck, they have the following elemental/directional correspondences:

    East = Air = Swords
    South = Fire = Wands
    West = Water = Cups
    North = Earth = Pentacles or Coins

    There are many people who work magickal systems using these correspondences, but there are others (like me) who prefer to associated the element of air with wands, and the element of fire with swords. Having them switched the other way just doesn't make as much sense for me although I understand the reasoning people give for the association.

    As a result, other decks have been created that use correspondences that vary from the Rider-Waite and other older decks. Some decks incorporate specific symbolism and correspondences that are used by particular magickal philosophies. For instance, the Thoth deck was designed by Aleister Crowley and illustrated by Frieda Harris specifically for use within Crowley's Thelemic magickal system. There are decks designed for students of all sorts of magickal philosophies.

    Then, of course, there are decks that were created by people who felt inspired to do so. It is a big job but clearly one that many people have felt called to pursue. And so we have hundreds of different decks available to us today.

    For someone who is just learning it makes most sense to stick with a standard deck like the Rider-Waite one because the majority of books out there which teach how to read the Tarot will be based on this standard. Once you're familiar with the basics you can research other decks and find one that has symbolism which more closely matches your own magickal philosophy. Or perhaps you'll be one of the people to create your own deck!
     
  14. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1
    Oh, I forgot to mention. There are many decks that do vary quite a lot from the Rider-Waite standard. Some use different minor arcana suits altogether, or have different numbers of cards than the standard deck. Many are just variations of the Rider-Waite deck though.
     
  15. Ryuuko

    Ryuuko Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namasté Ben and Indogenes,

    Don't worry Ben, you're not stepping on any toes here. Thanks for your input, it's always good to hear advice from someone else. Speaking of, what kind of deck do you have?

    Indogenes, the Tarot is a wonderful tool for personal growth, as it will give you insights about yourself that might be hidden from you at this time. The cards you've chosen are absolutely beautiful, and since I also do stained glass, the images resonate with me. Like Ben mentioned, having round cards does make it a bit harder to shuffle them, but if you really like the cards, don't let that stand in your way; I would suggest buying a bag specifically for the cards and then instead of shuffling them by hand, just use the bag. The little booklet that comes with the cards is a good way to get a bit more familiar with the cards, but your intuition will eventually guide you to a deeper meaning of each card. A good book will also help you with this.
     
  16. spiritman51

    spiritman51 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello, I am a devotee of the Tarot and also I collect vintage Tarot decks. The basic decks are the best. A good learning deck is of course the Rider-Waite deck which springs from the work done by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at the turn of the last century. Plus, There is a huge body of literature on this deck and it is widely available in a lot of editions. I also look at the size and the quality of the card stock. I would also go to a store which will actually allow you to see what the deck actually looks like. Usually an new age or occult store will have sample decks. The printing and coloring should crisp and bright. The final word in choosing the right deck is to pick the deck which calls to you.

    I have used a Handl deck for my daily reading for 12 years. I picked up the deck in a little shop and I could feel it "buzz" in my hand. It wasn't traditional and I had some objections to the non traditional. But that deck has been a great joy to use. Good luck
     
  17. mirrorinthefog

    mirrorinthefog New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it depends on the person. Some people learn better with different decks. I started off with the Rider-Waite deck, and "Tarot for Dummies", which I still use as a reference, but I don't know if it's the best book out there, since I haven't had a chance to look at very many other books. (Though I've found a lot of useful info online and on this site:D)
    The second deck I got as a present (the Tarot of Mermaids); it has beautiful illustrations and doesn't deviate much from the standard Rider-Waite interpretations, they were very insightful and fun to use. I bought another deck (Gothic Tarot of Vampires) on impulse because I'd seen the artwork on various sites, and though some of the depictions were a bit confusing at first, it helped me see the cards from a different perspective and now they're the ones I use the most! :D
     
  18. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    When teaching traditional tarot in the past I found that beginners made much faster progress with the Morgan Greer pack, they are very colourful and impactful, the symbolism jumps out at you.

    The best book that I ever found was the 'Tarot Workbook' by Emily Peach. Ceased being published now, but easy to get second hand copies on the net the last time I looked.

    Some of the more modern packs are also delightful particularly the Osho Zen cards, healers tend to go for these types of images.

    If you are into tarot and intuitive cards, it is hard to avoid becoming an avid collector.

    enJOY the adventure

    Sacredstar
     
  19. Ryuuko

    Ryuuko Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namasté Sacredstar,

    Is the Osho Zen Tarot what you have? It's funny you mention this because this is my most recent deck, and I really enjoy working with it. I don't have much time to do so, but I find it to be absolutely beautiful.
     
  20. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Ryuuko

    Yes the images are quite beautiful on the Osho Zen!

    I have many different packs as I was a collector for many years, some never used outside of the odd workshop.

    But I do love Osho, I only have one book of his, he is one man that I would have loved to have met.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     

Share This Page