This blog post is a part of a monthly Tarot Professionals Blog Hop. Please click the links above and the links below the post to see how other Tarot Readers interact with a new Tarot deck.
So…you’ve received a new deck in one way or another. Maybe, it was a gift or you acquired it from a proprietor of some sort, it doesn’t matter, you still want to use it. The deck itself may seem like a lifeless paper product with a weird factory smell when you first get it, and that may put you off to using it for readings. This can be disheartening if you are like me and must use everything you own. Otherwise it was a waste of money, and a waste of an artist’s hard work and dedication. With a lot of great decks being a good chunk of change, you may expect your new magickal item to be instantly, well, magickal. The pictures may ‘call’ to you (aka you love the artwork), but when you open the box, you become a nervous wretch and forget everything you know about Tarot.
I have been getting new decks lately, even though I don’t really necessarily want them. Mostly, these have been given to me as gifts or as rewards for my participation in fundraisers. I have most of the ones that I want, and I am very particular about the type of artwork I prefer. However, I feel like I should work with these decks, because it seems that I should be able to read most any deck. Plus, it keeps your skills fresh, and it’s kind of fun to play with a deck that you have no connection to at all. Here are my techniques of transforming a deck of cards into powerful allies in your magickal arsenal.
The first thing I do after freeing my new friend from the confining restraints of itspackaging is take it out and feel it in my hands. I like to get a sense of how the card stock is in my hands when I shuffle or just take a card out of the deck. I take note of how slippery the deck is, because this will produce a ton of ‘jumpers’ while I shuffle.
I like to look at each individual card and familiarize myself with the order of the Majors, as well as the names of these Trump cards. In some decks,the Devil may be named Oppression. In Waite-Smith based decks, Strength is numbered as VIII and Justice is XII. In other decks, the Strength and Justice cards are named something else completely and their order is flipped. Sometimes, the Court cards may be in a different language than one you are familiar with or they aren’t what you are used to. For
example, you might have only used decks whose Court cards are Page/Knight/Queen/King, and now you have a deck that has them as Princess/Prince/Queen/Knight. This is when that little booklet included with all new decks becomes your best asset in becoming acquainted with your new deck.
One of the best things to do is shuffle your new deck. First, these cards are in order, and will clump together if not shuffled enough. It’s kind of like making cookies, but only stirring the ingredients 3 times with a small spoon then trying to bake them. Secondly, this simple action stirs life into your new found friends. You start to incorporate your essence into them, and this starts to charge your cards. I will usually play with a new deck for a good hour before using it for readings that I would put any stock in. While I am stirring the cards, I will think about a million things, and I may even be anxious or excited. I will also periodically lay out the cards as I think of questions. I keep the spreads very simple, and I do not ask super serious life changing questions. I will ask questions that I know, or I will even ask the cards about their personal tastes. Asking playful, yet respectful, questions calms my own anxiety, and allows me to fully connect with my new deck. I will use the booklet if need be.
Everywhere I Go…
One of the most important things I do is take my new deck everywhere with me if it’s portable. It goes to work with me, and it goes to the grocery store. It is not uncommon for me to have at least 4 different divination tools on my person. This may be a little harder for menfolk as they may not have a knapsack that they carry with them. Another way is to sleep with the cards nearby you. This continues to aide you in not only strengthening your intimate connection, and continues to charge your cards. This will also remind you to keep working with the cards. I feel that by doing this, you really establish the cards as a magickal tool that you can trust and work with on a daily basis.
While with ritual tools you want to consecrate these items for specific purposes, because you do not use them on a daily basis. I do not do this with my cards or other divination devices. I establish them as a tool for this purpose by passively attuning them to my energy. They then become a part of me, and my cards are a trusted member of my life.
I hope this was helpful! See the other blogs to get different ideas, and try them out to see what works best for you!