THE CHOICE OF DECK
As I have already mentioned in my last post the choice of deck depends mostly on the sort of question you want to pose. If a question is specific, I’d suggest divinationary cards such as Tarot, runes or Lenormand. Remember that despite the fact that they have a strict strucutre, you may come across different types of decks.
There are three standard pattern decks of Tarot cards:
– Tarot of Marseilles, most probably the oldest deck which appears for the first time in the XVth century
– Rider Waite Smith Tarot created by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith and published in 1909
– Thoth Tarot Deck created by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris and published in 1969
There is a plethora of different Tarot decks available but if you don’t have much experience with this type of cards, I recommend using one of the above mentioned decks as they fully represent the symbolic language of Tarot.
The original Elder Futhark used by German and Norse tribes consists of 24 runes presented either on wood, stones or paper. In many decks you will also come across ‘the 25th rune/the Blank Rune’ added by Ralph Blum in the XXth century. The decision whether you want to use it or not is up to you.
The Lenormand cards took their name after a famous French card reader Mademoiselle Marie Anne Lenormand who opened a divinationary salon in Paris in late eighteenth century. She is said to spread cards for Emperor Napoleon but it is unclear what deck she was using. Mlle Lenormand is the patroness of two decks
– Lenormand Cards (36 card deck commonly known as le Petit Lenormand)
– Astro Mythological Lenormand (54 card deck commonly known as le Grand Lenormand)
REGULAR WORK WITH CARDS
If you have already decided on the divinationary system you’d like to use, your next step is to find the deck which suits you best. Do the research in the stores, have a look at the example cards and trust your gut feelings. If you don’t like a particular deck, you probably won’t communicate easily with it.
When you have your own deck, purify the cards above the flame and ask them to serve you best as they can. Of course it is necessary to read about basic meanings or to listen to experienced masters but I suggest starting your own work with cards from careful observation of each one. Have a look at the card, the scene depicted, its colours, symbols and details and try to find associations with culture, history and legends. What feelings does this card bring to you? What are your immediate reactions and thoughts? Do you like it? Why/Why not?
Don’t try to rationalise it nor learn the meanings of cards by heart, just use your imagination and intuition. Remember that no matter what cards you choose, they always tell you a story using the language of archetypes, symbols and colours, not the one of words. You are nothing but a translator. Don’t be afraid that you won’t understand it, just don’t expect to understand it perfectly from the very beginning. You don’t think that you’ll be speaking Chinese after the first lesson, right?
My advice is to work with cards on daily basis. Pick a card asking question, What will happen today?, What will be the most important event of this day? What is the best thing for me to do today? etc. You can write down your impressions and associations in a diary (or if you are a modern girl like me take notes via your phone or laptop ). It is an excellent way to learn on your own. Surely booklets or books concerning the topic are useful to some point but in the end it’s YOUR conversation with the deck. If you are too busy in the morning, you can always pick the card in the previous evening.
Remember that working with cards requires patience, time and dedication.
TO BE CONTINUED….