My Relationship with The Tarot

I’ve always been fascinated by what is hidden. Maybe it’s because of the way I was brought up, with my mother always speaking so warmly about feminine intuition, or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But I do know that this led me to buy  my first tarot deck as soon as I was able to. I think I was about 18 at that time, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually half a life ago!

But anyhow, my first tarot deck was Thoth Tarot, by Aleister Crowley. I remember the strange feeling of having such big cards in my hand, they were a lot bigger that the ordinary cards I used to divine with while waiting to get my own tarot cards. I can’t remember if I got it to work for me or not, I was probably too immature at that time to go beyond the dramatic fact that Aleister Crowley, the world’s most evil man ever, had made. I do remember, though, that me and my friends asked questions like «Is there a God?» (no), and «Is there a devil?» (yes). I soon got rid of them.

Then, trying to get more down to basics, I got a plain Rider-Waite deck. I used it for a while, in spite of it never really speaking to me, so the magic didn’t happen. I remembered my first encounter with the tarot, in the James Bond movie Live And Let Die, where Jane Seymore divines bad things for Bond (I remember Mom explaining it to me – maybe I do get it from her!). Tarot of the Witches was the deck she used. I got that, too, but it was even worse than the Rider-Waite.

And I found the Tarot of a Moongarden. I couldn’t even do a reading with that one, so I saved it in case I had a child sometime. It’s my daughter’s now.

Where was this connection I was looking for, the one I deep down knew should be there?

I finally found it, in the alternative part of a book store in Oslo. The Shapeshifter Tarot. It was love at first sight. The cards just came alive in my hands, and a whole new world opened up to me. I loved it dearly, and used it almost daily there for a while. At that time, I had a friend who was almost as into tarot as I was (I can’t remember the name of the tarot deck she used, it was a lot like the Rider-Waite, only softer, in a sense), and we’d do spreads in school, in pubs and wherever we could – or we’d just skip school and go to my place for tarot sessions instead. We must have been around 23 years old or thereabouts.

Update: My friend’s tarot cards were the Hanson-Roberts deck – thank you, Pip, for knowing exactly which deck I was referring to and thus saving me from banging my head against the wall over it! 🙂

This was also at the time I really started to become more and more spiritually aware, and to go beyond the mere fascination of the occult. The Shapeshifter was the perfect deck in that respect, and it served me well. For the first time, my tarot deck became a spiritual tool instead of just something that would give me an answer to whatever was on my mind.

I spend a lot of time with this one, not just for divining, but also for meditation and figuring out how each card related to me, my life and my experiences. I wrote a whole book about them, and collected the sheets in a ring binder.

But then, my life fell apart. In my desperation, I started misusing the tarot cards by asking the same questions over and over and over again, until I’d get the answer I wanted – only to start another round of futile readings. The cards took over. So I had to stop, like with a gaming addiction.

Much to my later regret, I threw away my ring binder, and I didn’t pick up my cards for some years. And when I finally did, they reminded me too much of the hardest time of my life, and it was hard to make them up-to-date with my current beliefs and theories of life.

So, the search was on again. I found the Zerner-Farber Tarot, but they didn’t connect with me. And now, I knew what I was after in that respect. I bought the Fenestra Tarot – beautiful at first, plain and flat after just a few readings. I was at a loss.


Until I found the Mystic Dreamer Tarot. It’s connecting with me even stronger than the Shapeshifter did, even though that may have a lot to do with my journey to this point as such. I am finally at rest in this part of my life, what tarot decks are concerned. This is the one I plan to dive deep down into this time around, and I’ve already bought a beautiful grimoire for me to take my notes as I work through this deck.

But I’ll do more than just take notes. I am actually going to attempt to blog about it as well, as I tend to learn the best when I write. Some of it will be ordinary text-book interpretations, some of it will be intuitive, and some of it will be tied to actual events in my life.

Hopefully, you will be able to read about the first card next Thursday. 🙂

Creative Commons License photo credit: elephanteum

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0 thoughts on “My Relationship with The Tarot

  1. I couldn’t believe what I read in the first paragraph. You bought your own deck?
    BIG mistake. Someone else is supposed to give them to you. My father who has been reading his whole life reprimanded me and scolded when I too made your mistake. He made me give mine away and then gave me my own deck. This deck WORKS. It speaks directly to me and even when my sister messed them up I was able to very easily fill them with my energy again.
    Please dont continue to make that mistake…

    1. I not surprised this old belief is still being passed along, erroneous though it is. My thought is that it was begun by the Gypsies, who were the ones reading with cards, in order to promote more business for themselves. If you aren’t ‘allowed’ to purchase your own deck, where else would you go to get one but back to the person who reads them (and was probably the only owner of decks that was known then), right? I could be wrong, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

      I’ve known many, many professional tarot readers who purchase their own decks on an almost-daily basis (talk about collectors! *L*), and it’s rare to find one who still believes this old saw.

      There are many ‘shoulds’ related to tarot that have been passed down, and its rare to find one that holds true. Do what feels right to you, and you can’t go wrong. 🙂

      1. That’s interesting, Pip, I’ve never even heard of this tradition before, even if we do have gypsies here too. I’ve heard about not letting other people handle the deck, though, even if that must have been 15 years ago – now it’s more of a when and how to cleanse your deck kinda thing.

        I used to follow that tradition, though, about not letting other people touch it, but it really didn’t work for me – I like people to feel them if they are here with me. I feel it kinda conveys the message that much clearer if they can.

        I’m much more concerned about polluting it with my own sticky, negative energy, though, that’s when I run into trouble. So my one and only rule is: never read your own cards when in an emotional upheave. It will ruin the reading, and you will have to cleanse your cards afterwards. 🙂

  2. How funny that you linked to this because the first comment cracks me up…again we are coming up with the same things at the same time. 😉

  3. Hi Nienna, I love the Druid Tarot. Very earthy, not frightening like some of them are! ha ha. Oh BTW I buy ALL my own Tarot cards, they all work a treat. 🙂

  4. Hi Nienna, I love the Druid Tarot. Very earthy, not frightening like some of them are! ha ha. Oh BTW I buy ALL my own Tarot cards, they all work a treat. 🙂

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