Tarot Roots

This isn’t a post about Tarot history. It’s not even a post about Tarot really. It’s a post about me and how I came to love the Tarot so much. This is sparked by Ginny Hunt‘s blog today where she talks about her own journey to Tarot.

In a case of weird synchronicity, one of the participants in my current Tarot For Writers workshop is the woman who gave me my first set of Tarot cards. She and I met at college in 1979. I’d known about the Tarot because when I was studying Astrology and the I Ching as a kid ( I was a very strange kid), I saw references to the Tarot. But no way was I going to be able to find a deck in Funrow. (insert eye roll here) The only Tarot reader was “Mother Helen” and she’s actually still there in a better house (brick instead of clapboard) and a bigger sign. I wonder if it isn’t Daughter of Mother Helen now.

The stigma surrounding that house hung like some black cloud. You couldn’t have paid me enough money in the world to set foot in there. Someone might have seen me and told my mama! And then there would have been hell to pay.

So it wasn’t until I got to college that I actually had a reading done. You see, I met this woman. She was very different from me. She liked girls. She sang like an angel. She gave amazing back rubs. She was incredibly intelligent. She liked girls. She was in the Church careers program. Did I mention she liked girls? I liked girls too but I didn’t have the right words for what I was nor had I truly explored that side of myself.

Then Kate introduced me to Starhawk, meditation and Tarot–not necessarily in that order. I have no clue what the first reading was about. I do remember the meditation that she did for me. It was from Starhawk and it was to find your place of power. That was the very first time I had done a guided meditation and the results are still with me. Kid you not. That was nearly thirty years ago and I can vividly recall the details as well as easily slip into that place to recharge my battery.

Kate gave me a deck to work with. Y’all, I hated loathed and despised that deck. I was sure it was against me. I told someone once that I found it to be too dark. Maaaaaan, I got a three page email back telling me how wrong I was and that just because Crowley helped with that deck didn’t automatically mean the Thoth deck was dark.

I gave my best DUH look and wrote back these few words.

“I meant the art work.”

Ha! I have recently (as in within the last year) gotten another Thoth deck. The artwork speaks more to me know than it did those many years ago. I walked away from the Tarot for a bit but my Craft teacher, Lady Lhianna Sidhe (a marvelous human being), urged me to try it again. Under her tutelage, I found a deck to work with. That was the Herbal Tarot deck by Michael Tierra.

I still have that deck in my possession. I don’t read with it anymore, but it will always hold that special place in my heart reserved for first loves and first real connections. So that’s who got me started on this path. Two very important people in my life. I wouldn’t be the reader I am today if it weren’t for the two of them. Thanks y’all.

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Author: TarotByArwen

Arwen is the editor-in-chief and owner of The Cartomancer. This print and digital magazine is devoted to divination. You can learn more here: http://www.thecartomancer.com. Arwen is also the author of The Fairy Tale Lenormand, Secrets of the Mystic Grove, Bianca Niero Tarot and more (all USGamesInc publications.) As the past president of the American Tarot Association (2007-2014), Arwen worked with an actively engaged board to rekindle that organization. Her true calling is as a Professional Joy Seeker. She co-creates with her clients to help them find their joy again. "Seek joy, y'all" is her motto.

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