Let’s talk Tarot.
I want to share write-ups and vlogs, on the decks I know and love, and share how their energies feel to me – and the beginning seems like a good place to start…
I began (many years ago,) reading the tarot with the Rider Waite Tarot Deck — which I still use, along with a variety of other decks I’ve collected along the way.
I’m going to give you a very brief overview of how the tarot works, and a little bit of history that’s important to me.
The cards were illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith, under the verbal and written guidance of Arthur Edward Waite and went on sale in 1909, and they are the most recognised tarot deck in the world. I tend to think of the deck as the Waite-Smith more than the Rider-Waite, as the Rider Company were the publisher, and as such the creative process was largely complete by the time it reached them. Pamela Coleman was such an evocative artist, and her seascapes resonate very deeply with me.
Orphaned by the age of 21 she meet Waite when she was introduced to The Order of Golden Dawn. It is believed that she completed the illustrations for the Tarot in just six months, and for very little payment. (And no royalties.)
In 1911 she converted to the catholic church, and lived her final years in Bude in Cornwall. Her work is what drove tarot to rise in popularity, and I can’t imagine I’d have come to the tarot without her.
The Waite-Smith deck is made up of major and minor arcana – ‘Major’ for the times in our lives where decisions or crossroads are significant, and ‘Minor’ for the daily occurrences. Naturally, there is a fair amount of fluidity, such as how the cards are laid, where they fall and how they relate to the other cards in the reading. And most importantly, how our intuition responds to all these factors.
For me the Waite-Smith is a very steadfast deck — it tells it like is, getting straight to the heart of the matter. Because each card is so nuanced it can really focus on issues and blockages.
I find the Waite-Smith to have a very secure and solid energy; there are times when I can be my own worst enemy, (and I’m sure we can all recognise this in ourselves), and I know at these times if I go to the cards to have a bit of a moan they will certainly put me straight, reminding me that I am the one who needs to be true to myself, make changes, or be more open — that said, reading with the WS always feels like homecoming. They are stoic, pertinent and always on point.
There are myriad decks available now, and they vary greatly from the 78 card Wait Smith deck — these are more commonly known as Oracle cards — and the fabulous Kate over at the-daily-tarot-girl, gives a super-funny explanation of the difference between tarot and oracle by comparing them to romance novels. (Which of course , is my jam 😉💕.) I read with a mix of tarot and oracle laid together, but the structure of the tarot, for me, is where I find my most comfortable rhythm for divination.
For a more in depth explanation, and a look at some different decks I also have chat about this on youtube.