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My Tarot Story

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on February 11, 2010 | Comments (34)

Do you remember the first time you saw tarot cards? Do you remember when you fell in love with them? I do.

My college roommate and I threw a party. We were both non-trads, which is a fancy way to say “older student,” and we lived in a condo off-campus. At some point she pulled out this fancy, carved box. From it, she took out a bundle wrapped in black silk. She unwrapped the fabric and revealed…a deck of tarot cards! She didn’t read with them herself, but instead just handed them around. I couldn’t stop looking at them. I was just amazed. I read the scant instructions in the little white booklet. I shuffled the cards. I spread them out according to the directions. I read the cards. I told everyone’s fortune. I never questioned whether I was doing it right. I just did it.

Temperance from the forthcoming Shadowscapes Tarot

Temperance from the forthcoming Shadowscapes Tarot

This was the 3 of Cups phase of my relationship with tarot.

After that, I purchased or borrowed every book I could get my hands on and collected different decks. Even though I knew they were just pieces of paper with pictures on them, I knew that they represented so much more. I knew that through them secrets could be revealed. I knew that through the cards, I could discover entire worlds.

The funny and sad thing is that the more I learned, the less confident I became. The less clear the cards were. The more I read about them, the less I heard their voices.

This ended in my 10 of Wands phase.

The cards and I are doing pretty well now. I am working on my listening skills and they are willing to forgive my over-intellectualizing of them.

Reading the cards is, I think, a complex practice. It requires study, an understanding of the cards and all various nuances of meaning for each one. But it also requires an ability to listen with something other than the mind. When you lay down five cards, you have potentially thousands of possible permutations of meanings. How do you pick the right meanings to weave together? That is something the mind cannot tell you. Another part of you makes those decisions. What is it? Intuition? Psychic ability? Something like that, although I’m not entirely sure. After spending decades on studying books and books of meanings, I am finally working on learning to listen differently.

I think I am approaching my Temperance phase. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

What’s your tarot story?

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Ty
on February 11th, 2010 @ 7:29 am

I bought a deck for a friend as a thank you gift and was intriguied by the whole concept. I picked up the Lord of the Rings Tarot, which was also as a game, thinking I’d see what all the fuss was about and if I didn’t get anything out of it, at least I’d have a game, right?

I was newly seperated, living in a small rented room, trying to rebuild my life. I barely shuffled the cards, laid out the Celtic Cross from the LWB, and was amazed abd frightened at the insights I was given. I wrote it down in a little notebook I had bought for the purpose. A few days later, I came forward with another question, and was amazed again. I couldn’t hide from the tarot- it made me face what scared me, but gave me insights that gave me courage and intelligence to rebuild my life. I soon bought other decks, read books, joined yahoo groups, took classes, and nearly 7 years later, here I am.

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#2 
Written By Lunaea Weatherstone
on February 11th, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

My tarot story started about forty years ago, when my best friend and I “borrowed” the tarot cards belonging to her older brother (I guess you’d have to say this was my 7 of Swords phase :-). Besides the sense of the forbidden because we were pilfering someone else’s stuff, the magical tingle came into play as well, the attraction to something witchy that young teenage girls love. A year or two later, when I was about 16, I was shopping at the mall and for some reason one of the big department stores had tarot cards for sale in their stationery department, and that was my first deck (Page of Cups phase!). I always referred back to the book when doing readings for myself or others (Hierophant phase), until suddenly, maybe another year or two along, I realized that I didn’t need the book anymore — kind of like when you realize you don’t need to look down at your fingers anymore when you type. I just understood them, they were talking to ME (High Priestess phase). Then began many years of playing flash-card type games with myself to go deeper, looking more at the pictures, finding other decks, including a long monogamous period with Motherpeace. You say you are coming into your Temperance phase, Barbara — I’d have to say that I’ve found my way around to the Fool (my soul card) in that I try to stay open to each experience the tarot brings me, to stay aware of each card’s meaning, and to enjoy all the serendipity along the way.

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#3 
Written By Melanie A. Howard
on February 11th, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

This Tarot story actually sounds a lot like mine.

I read a little about Tarot in middle school and high school because a friend of mine was dabbling and I was just starting to write my own fantasy fiction and had the mistaken impression that Tarot had something to do with magic. I soon learned otherwise and was incredibly bored and confused by what I was reading, so I put it down and didn’t think about it again.

My first encounter with Tarot was seven or eight years later at the Women and Spirituality Conference in Mankato, Minnesota. There were a lot of disciplines, most I’d never heard of, that I could have explored. But looking through the catalog, it turned out I still had some residual curiosity about this thing called Tarot.

There was just one class about Tarot that year, and it was being taught by Nancy Antenucci. It turns out, Nance taught a Major Arcana card a year. This was the year of the High Priestess. (Last year was Strength, if you’re wondering how long it’s been.)

I was 21, and deep into the finding myself phase of my life. Writing was my only constant. God and I had parted ways about halfway through high school, and I wasn’t sure about spirituality. I still believed in it, I just wasn’t sure how to connect with it, since Catholicism had failed me.

I wasn’t expecting anything life changing to happen when I stopped at Amazon Books’ (now True Colors) table. In the spirit of the weekend, I was going with the flow, so it didn’t really surprise me when I didn’t so much choose my cards as they chose me. (They actually gave me more of a, “Wench, what took you so long? Take me home NOW” sort of energy slap.)

The very purple deck that went back to the hotel with me was the Tarot of Transformation. And boy howdy, they weren’t kidding.

When I took them to Nance’s class, they were still (eek!) in the box. I didn’t know anything about traditional or intuitive Tarot, had really no idea that Nance was an intuitive reader and that that was significant. I was just excited about my deck, very excited about the wild, wise woman teaching the class, and ecstatic about the whole experiential nature of what we were learning. I was hooked. I got my first reading from Nance that Sunday, and loved it, loved it, LOVED it! (Not surprisingly, I was at a crossroads in my life, and everything she talked about in the reading either came to pass or got worked out.)

Except for the weekends in Mankato, I mostly dabbled with the cards infrequently after that. I didn’t pick up any Tarot books because I remembered how boring they were, and because Nance was my first teacher, it never occurred to me that I had to have a book of meanings in order to read the cards. The Transformation deck went with me to college. To Spain. To Guatemala. I once wrote a frenzied e-mail to Nance because Kali, my Tower card, came up in the middle of the night in Spain. Later, when I got back from Guatemala and Kali had finally stopped shaking my life until all the dead leaves fell off it, I contacted Nance again and asked to take her classes. She became my mentor.

And now we’re doing a book! Talk about full circle!

Anywho, this story’s a bit longer than I intended, but I read your post and was inspired.

-Mel

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#4 
Written By Mitchell
on February 11th, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

A few years ago I was reading a book by John Sanford, one of my favorite authors. One of the characters was using Tarot cards. This got me to thinking. I have always been interested in psychics, ESP, witchcraft, etc, but I had never seen a real Tarot deck. The next day I was wandering around an airport, looking in all the stores, killing time. Bingo, there was a single deck of Tarot cards sitting on the shelf. I new it was meant to be. I bought the cards, read the LWB, and thought this is a lot harder than I realized. I then started to memorize the meanings of each card (oops, kinda forgot about the pictures and symbols). I was not going to be outsmarted by a deck of cards. Now days after many books I am trying not to let information overload effect my readings. I’m learning about the pictures, symbols and trying to let my intuition lead the way. I have just joined the Mpl’s Tarot meetup group to learn more and see how other people read the cards. Maybe they can help with the crayfish, angels, water, and clouds that are now spinning in my head (lol).

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#5 
Written By Blackbird "BB"
on February 11th, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

I owned a JJ Swiss and Magickal Tarot in Collage and for some years after and honestly never connected with the Cards.

Then one day in the Late Nineties I stumbled across the Gendron Tarot – and that utterly stunning image of the Princess of Swords on the Back of the Box. As a person who has Drawn most of my life, I simply had to have the Deck, not to read with, but to do a Study of this beautiful Image. I had no idea as I was buying that deck I was about to change my life.

I found, much to my amazement that I had a “Magickal” connection with this deck, with very little study I could read with this deck and read well, for the next 10 years Tarot and Tarot reading would eclipse drawing as the major focus of my Creative energy, and the Princess of Swords.

As time went on I came to see her as a Portrait of the Sumerian Goddess Innana, and a vision of my own Guide; A Fierce and uncompromising Goddess of Truth. Although I have been Pagan for 30 years, the intensity of that identification today greater by several degrees of Magnitude.

I have said more than once, A Tarot reading is an opportunity to participate in a small Miracle; it really is, there is no way, in the dominant Paradigm that it should work, but my experience of over 500 readings tells me it most assuredly does … and that is simply a small Miracle, and those small Miracles have changed me, and my life.

Blessings, Bb.

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#6 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 11th, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

I have LOVED reading your stories. Thank you for sharing. I love the tarot tribe. The passion. The excitement. The everything.

Mitchell…the Twin Cities Tarot Meetup? Then we’ve met, yes? I go to it, too.

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#7 
Written By Zanna
on February 11th, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

I discovered the 1JJ Swiss deck during the late 1960s and played with the cards a bit, not really feeling a strong connection. I was convinced to throw away the cards by my husband, who felt they were against our (Christian) religion. In that phase of my life, I felt I should agree with him. Not long after we divorced, I came across the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg in a shop. I majored in Russian in college, so my first attraction to the cards was based on that. I did not know anyone else who read the cards. Once I gained access to the internet, Tarot web sites were everywhere and I met lots and lots of people who appreciated astrology and Tarot. I now have more than 60 decks, and I read the cards regularly. My goal is to become more intuitive in my readings.

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#8 
Written By Amanda
on February 11th, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

since i was really young, as far back as i remember, i’ve been drawn to tarot, witchcraft, spells, and the occult as a whole. i grew up in a fairly strick christian house, [nothing to do with witchcraft was to be in the house] and when i was 15 i went to a huge christian gathering and while there, decided i was not a christian anymore. [too funny in my opinion] so i embarked on my own personal journey into the unknown starting with online sites and then finding a metaphysical book shop just down the road from my highschool. and thats where i found my haven. books, oils, cards, my now atheme, i bought at this store. my first tarot deck [tarot of the spirit world] i bought because i really wanted to have a deck and there weren’t that many to choose from. i hardly ever use the deck anymore because i never felt a strong conection to it, except for the three of wands.
a few years later i meet a girl who’s pagan. she and i went to the pike place market in downtown seattle one weekend where one of her favorite stores are, tenzing momo. i ended up looking at their huge aray of tarot decks, and there was one deck that i kept on picking up, though i wasn’t sure if i liked the images. it was the deviant moon tarot that i ended up buying, the one that was basicly saying to me, “im the best one here. pick me! pick me!”. when i looked through the deck the first time it was like looking in a mirror and into my soul. the pictures were so unique, artistic, dark, and edgy…just my style.
i’ve bought another deck since then, the archeon tarot, and i love it quite a bit too, but i still favor the deviant moon the most.

this wasn’t meant to be so long…oh well.

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#9 
Written By Helen
on February 11th, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

I had always been interested in the magical, mystical and unexplained, that included ghosts! I had witnessed apparitions in my teenage years (also as an adult).

In 1970′s I saw a deck in the shop, the only deck – Swiss 1JJ and bought it and did readings with it immediately using the book; somehow instinctively knowing the right meaning to choose and weave with the other cards. I played around like this for years. ( In fact this was the only deck I possessed up until around 4/5 years ago.)

I did a reading for myself in 1996 on a trip I had to do to England to look after my father, and what I saw in the cards frightened me – my father died – it was to be expected but I also was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 months after I returned home – there were echos of this in that reading. I didn’t pick up a deck again until around 2004.

Around that time I felt the urge to renew my acquaintance with tarot and to learn more, so I bought a good old Rider Waite deck and set about studying the cards. This study become intense for me, putting in around 2/3 hours a day for around 2 years – I literally ate, drunk and slept tarot (was I obsessive I wonder? LOL).

I bought more decks as my interest grew, not that I own a large amount now, only 23 decks, most of which I read with.

It has been an interesting journey and the more I travel it the more I learn.

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#10 
Written By Joy Martinez
on February 12th, 2010 @ 12:08 am

These stories are really cool, and what a great forum to write in!

I knew what tarot cards were from a very young age. That info must have come from my Grandmother, who practiced “folk magic.” Something caused me to have nightmares about feathers and blood for many years, I guess I must have seen something I shouldn’t have. By the time I was in Kindergarden, no magic existed in my world, it was forbidden by my Mother. Hence, my first experience reading cards (age 10) involved an ordinary deck of playing cards: I cleared everything out of my bedroom closet, put in a table & chairs, dressed up like a “gypsy,” and proceeded to invite my friends in for a reading. “Cross my palm with silver,” I told them. And they did! I told all their fortunes and they were happy. Thereafter I gained remarkable popularity in school, which restored my bruised ego from being busted doing a levitation in the bathroom at school in the 2nd grade.

Of course, these were all a child’s game I eventually forgot until my 2nd husband presented me with a deck of Voyager Tarot and insisted I read for him. I fell in love with them instantly. I’d never actually seen a real deck before. The pictures were soooo beautiful. So, I read the little instructions, which were somewhat different than usual decks. (James Wanless advocates the “card a day” principle.) The book did teach some spreads as well and I played with them all to discover which method I prefered. My husband’s Auntie had been his previous reader and I had some big shoes to fill. It wasn’t until after we moved out of state, to Hawaii, that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the truth began to come out. Auntie (from Iceland)had apparently told him he would die young, and it was for this reason he wanted me to continue the readings.

It became very disturbing to me, because the Drs. were chanting “wait til the next test and we’ll know more” while the cards were telling me I was seeing the truth when I questioned his prognosis. I also kept throwing the death card and he would get sooo mad! I told him that it just meant he needed to give up his fear of dying in order to live; he responded “I know what it means!” Eventually, I hid them away, it was creating a problem. He went downhill so fast from there he was unable to communicate desire for a reading and I didn’t bring it up. I used the cards daily for myself after he died, but again put them away. Eventually, I was compelled to read again.

I found a compainion book to my deck at a used book store, but it’s boring, I’ve never finished reading it. And I try real hard to avoid initiating a reading with new men I meet, because I know what I’m looking for and it’s not healthy. I’d like to take a class someday, so that I too can spew all that fancy terminology all the rest of you use so casually. But in the meantime, I just go with my instincts. They seem to be working alright. I started sleeping with them under my pillow after reading a book about Nostradamus’ assistant. But I never have purchased another deck.

I do really appreciate the opportunity to be involved in Lewellyn, it has been a long time since I’ve networked with others of my kind. (I belonged to AngelSpeak in Washington.) Also cool they’re based in Woodbury (is that right?) where I was born.

I never really had a good relationship with my Grandmother, or my Mother for that fact. Whatever gift I have seems to have skipped a generation. Last year I broke the glass ceiling by creating a tatoo from the High Preistess card and its correlation to the Hagalaz rune. I don’t draw well, so I had the artist create from my sketches and information, and I took the plunge! There’s no going back now, people know what I am when they see it. And for me…I choose to study green witchcraft. Thank you for listening.

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#11 
Written By helen
on February 12th, 2010 @ 2:52 am

OOh I see a couple of mistakes in my post, don’t you hate that when you can’t go back and correct, so I am doing it here, just because I have to LOL become should be became and drunk should be drank…. now I think I’ll go and have a drink! :D

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#12 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 12th, 2010 @ 10:42 am

Joy, that is a really amazing story. Thank you for sharing it. Yep, Llewellyn is based in Woodbury. I’m glad you feel like you’ve established a kind of connection, too. There are lots of ways online to network. Twitter has many great tarot folks on there, as does Facebook. If you don’t mind, I’m really interested in what you said about the fancy terminology. I try to keep beginners in mind when I write and to be clear. But after two decades, I may have forgotten what a beginner may not know. If you care to, add a comment about some of the terminology. Maybe I should write a post of terms and definitions!

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#13 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 12th, 2010 @ 10:44 am

Helen, I’ve never tried to read with a Swiss1JJ! I’m impressed. I’m glad you became obsessed and actually read with the decks in your collection, as I really enjoy your blog entries where you share you readings and observations. I have (as you may imagine) a large collection (don’t ask me how many…I refuse to count them) but only read with a few.

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#14 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 12th, 2010 @ 10:46 am

Amanda, thanks for sharing your story. I think the Deviant Moon is awfully cool and edgy…too cool and edgy for me to read with :-) But maybe I should pick it up again and give it whirl!

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#15 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 12th, 2010 @ 10:47 am

Another Swiss 1JJ reader! Cool. I’m also working on engaging my intuition more in my readings.

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#16 
Written By Karen
on February 12th, 2010 @ 11:48 am

There has to be somebody else out there who discovered the Tarot via the magic of “Dark Shadows”. Watching Angelique build her little house of Tarot cards and set them ablaze to put a spell on Barnabas was my introduction to the Tarot. She was using the Swiss 1JJ deck and I thought, at the time, that it was the only deck in the world. I didn’t get to search for my own deck until the first year in college when a roommate said she could easily get me Angelique’s deck in NYC. I gave her the money, she bought it, put it in my dorm mailbox, and it disappeared. Argh! I found my own deck after that. And that deck has grown to a collection of almost 200. (Hello, my name is Karen. I am a Tarot-holic.)

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#17 
Written By Mitchell
on February 12th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

Hello Ms Moore. Yes, I was at my first Twin Cities Tarot Meetup in January. We were not formally introduced, but I saw you there. I was the one with Mitchell on his name tag (lol). See you in Feb.

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#18 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 12th, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

I’ll be the one with Barbara on my name tag…which is what you can call me. But thank you for the courtesy :-) See you there.

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#19 
Written By Helen
on February 12th, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

Babs I still have that Swiss 1JJ deck in its original box allbeit very tattered now with its original book. LOL but I haven’t read with it for years now.

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#20 
Written By Barbara Moore
on February 12th, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

Cool! I wish I had my first deck. It was a Haindl. Not sure how I read with it…as I cannot imagine using that deck now.

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#21 
Written By Theresa
on February 19th, 2010 @ 8:06 am

I remember my first deck although my story is not very glamorous. I was studying astrology due to my girlfriend’s mother’s influence. I went into the now defunct Walden Books, looking for new astrology stuff. I noticed a deck of tarot cards sitting on the shelf and decided to purchase it on a whim. I came home and unwrapped them and started playing around…and many years later, I am still playing around with them.

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#22 
Written By Heather Smith
on February 26th, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

I am an Astrologer of 35 years. Tarot was always fun. The little instruction books are simply vague hints, as they should be. Tarot is not Intellectual. You just read what the pictures say! And the feelings they give you. I love the Waite deck. People you’re reading for can easily understand the pictures. During my occult sexual period I used the Crowley deck a lot. (I don’t use the Crowley deck when reading for the General Public as it can frighten them because the energies are so deep and powerful.) The Tarot, I Ching (Wilhelm-Baynes Edition) and Astrology are so interwoven into my being, it is like breathing in and breathing out. Blessings, Heather, Santa Fe, NM.

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#23 
Written By Ariana
on March 2nd, 2010 @ 1:10 am

My first tarot reading was given to me by a teacher in high school, who had become a close friend and mentor. On the basis of the reading, he predicted that I would someday excel at reading tarot myself, and achieve proficiency with many other modalities as well. That was back in 1972. Seven years later, I had the great satisfaction of reading for him. He was very impressed, and so proud of the quality of the reading I gave him. He brought out his journal and took notes! It warms my heart to this day when I think of him, and the wonderful influence he had on me.
Today I am a reader, a teacher of tarot and astrology, and I routinely use palmistry, runes and tea leaves as well. I have made a lifestyle of these disciplines, and feel that they have done a great deal to provide me with inspiration and support. Tarot especially, is key for me. The most important events in my life have shown up in my readings, and I have been given both warnings and hope. My students have also been profoundly important to me, often becoming as close as any family member.

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#24 
Written By Oyalenu
on March 15th, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

My mother bought a Marsailles deck in around 1967, and Eden Grey’s book. The readings were so accurate that it scared her, so she put it away, and later gave it to me. I read the book, but the deck really didn’t resonate with me. Later, while living in Monterey, CA, I found my first Rider/Waite/Smith deck and fell in love. All my favorite decks are based on this classic. I’ve been reading ever since. I’m considering teaching, as I am a trained teacher. I also supplement with runes, and dilogun (cowrie shells)

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#25 
Written By Smiley
on June 20th, 2010 @ 7:26 am

Every since I could talk I loved magic and all those things. It was in my blood, my grandmother, mother and father all had there interests in the area, my mother was a divination girl, grandmother was into celtic mythology and father was into the universe and dimensions and that. Well my thing was magic, and healing. I loved all that stuff and when I was seven I brought a book called wizardology. It is the most beutiful book. It mentioned tarot cards in there. Well only last year I found out all that wizard stuff I loved when i was little was basically a religion. I am wiccan now… Back to the tarot.

Well I always knew that they were cards which told the future but was never really sure. I was given an oracle deck when I was about ten and I thought they were tarot!

I learnt two years ago that they were not infact tarot cards. So i went in search for a deck of my own. My dad had a deck that he never used (native american tarot) and even though it wasnt ideal for a beginner i had to have it. I was so suprised by the accuracy!

I fell in love instantly with the whole thing and recently brought two more decks. Legacy of the divine and paulina tarot. I love them both but you cant go wrong with the most breathtaking deck out (LOD).

Blessed Be.

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#26 
Written By crystal davis
on July 2nd, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

I bought a kids set for my first set just to learn them. I moved on to a rider white deck. Sometimes I feel them callto me if thismaks any sense especailly if I have a problem. I write down my readings because at the time it doesn’t make sense but in time it does. I met a guy 3 yrs ago that the cards has pointed out that is my twin flame. I got that in several readings not just one. I also like to read cartomancy. I had a friend in middle school full blood cherokee show me how to use regular playing cards for readings. Since then I have been amazed by them. I own now at least 20 decks and love to read them all. I livein oklahoma so there are no tarot groups to share and learn info from. I come across very few people that do. and I love giving my friends readings for practice and they love the insite of them. Blessed be

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#27 
Written By geargail Comix
on July 6th, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

My Tarot Story…
… I remembered that I was just a 14 year old teenage boy. Too broke to buy anything that was worth more that $5.00 from doing the HOUSEHOLD a favor. After grade school was over for the day, I’d work on chores around the house. ( Vacuuming, Mowing, then My Stepfather would just YELL AT ME, after he returned from working at a factory for parts of the ILL FATED COLUMBIA SPACE SHUTTLE, that blew up in OCTOBER OF 1886… just two years later.)
… You really CAN’T EXPRESS HOW DIFFICULT is had to of been, to be in a position that my STEP FATHER was in. He drank every night, until he fell asleep… and of course my MOTHER, is always drinking and something on television would upset her so much… such as the OPRAH WINDFREY TALK SHOW, and how Men were seen and treated as pigs.
… All you can really do – is hide in your bedroom, and just work on your SCHOOL HOMEWORK, unless your MOTHER absolutely has to barge into your room and SCREAM, while ripping your Math and Science homework into shreads and say that her 14 year old son is going to NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING.
(( A DECK OF A.T. MANN – TAROT CARDS, the SQUARE DECK came to my rescue !!! )) on my 15th birthday. — and for the first time in my young life, I had someone to talk to, because nobody really gave me an opprotunity to have another decent human kind of interaction.
… My Mother kept screaming, “I wasted my money” and tried to grab the cards away from me… but she said the CARDS BURNED HER PALMS, and then blamed me for her skin being messed up.
… The Cards didn’t burn my hands at all — and brought them to High School with me, because I felt comfortable and empowered as one would bring a lucky shirt, or light a small incense match for good luck.
… The Cards taught ME HOW to relax, and focus…
… The Cards helped me remove the clutter in my life…
… The Cards showed me, that RELATIONSHIPS have flaws…

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#28 
Written By daree
on December 8th, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

i realy want to learn more about just beginning the art please tell me where to start.

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#29 
Written By Melisende Clapp
on April 2nd, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

About a month ago I set out on a six-month exchange to Germany. I’ve been raised in Waldorf education (if you don’t know it, it’s alternative and very artistic-based and in the early grades we built fairy houses, take nature walks, and hear fairy tales etc.) and as I became a teenager I felt frustrated with the Presbyterian faith of my parents, it was sort of like the Hieromancer… I’m interested in Wicca/Paganism and Buddhist philosophy really resonates with me as well. I observe the Sabbats but that was pretty much it…
Well, when my exchange had just started I had a lot of free time and sort of web-surfed my way to the About.com Wicca/Pagan site, and read a lot of their articles. It sounds a little silly to get all of that religious information from an online source but I love research and it’s all very interesting to me, especially the Tarot. For Ostara I decided to start learning about Tarot with the eventual goal of making my own deck, a soul-searching artistic project. I feel that I lack the discipline or that I’m too new to call myself a genuine Wiccan, because I don’t do rituals or spells and I’m not part of a coven. I’ve always just philosophized a lot but I think spirituality deserves a place in my life. I just wanted to ask for advice from some of the others who’ve commented as you all seem very wise and dedicated to this faith for a long time. Are there any other teens out there, too, who have the same thoughts/questions as me, or who are also interested in the Tarot but feel they are too new or not dedicated enough to buy/make a deck or do a reading? I bet so; I hope so. I hope it’s not ‘just a phase.’
And, sorry to be so long-winded, but one last thing: thank you all for your fascinating stories.

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#30 
Written By Sara
on May 31st, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

I have the Robin Wood deck. I don’t remember exactly when I got it — sometime in the 1990s — but I do remember that I was in a store in Chicago and it fell off the shelf into my hands. I think that store has long since disappeared, but the cards stay in their box with a picture of me at 3 holding a patch tabby-&-white kitty, sitting on the steps of our house. I’ve never used any other deck. This one speaks to me, even if I have to refer to the dog-eared booklet that came with it. I made a bag for it out of purple raw silk, with some gold-woven ribbon as trim, and drawstrings of multicolored silk cording. I don’t use it often, but I do treat that deck like an old friend (hi, how’ve you been?).
Now I’m retired. I’ve chosen to step away from the box that I’ve lived in for decades and follow my own path. So,this afternoon, I pulled that deck out of its tattered box, shuffled the cards three times, made three cuts, and asked “Will I be successful at the things I’m choosing to do?” The first two cards (influence and querent) were the Ace of Swords and Page of Cups – note the artist’s palette on his belt, by the way. #3 was 7 of Swords, reversed. Oddly, the #4 card (far past) was the Tower — catastrophic event (how about job loss? ouch!) #5 and #6 were reversed: 6 of Swords, 8 of Cups. I find that when a card comes up reversed, it’s best to include the upright meaning with the reversed meaning.
#6 was the 3 of Pentacles, the Master Craftsman; #7 was the 8 of Pentacles, the Apprentice; #9, the 10 of Cups, and #10, the 2 of Pentacles.
If I read this right, it means I’ll be as busy as a bee in a cloverfield, and happy to be there.
Can the cards tell the truth? Sure, if you listen to yourself and don’t go all oogie-boogie about them. The insight comes from within.
I love that deck. My cats take naps with their heads on it. It’s more than just a useful tool for solving a problem. I remember more than one time I pulled out that battered box and spilled the cards onto my kitchen table, shuffled, cut, and asked “What on earth is going on?” Sometimes there was an answer, sometimes nothing.
I think they will influence the directions I take in the future in ways I can’t foresee right now. I welcome that and the insight they’ve given me.

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#31 
Written By Yolanda
on November 15th, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

Wow, I can’t remember exactly when I got my first deck -back in the 80′s I think. I do remember the first deck I fell in love with -it was a gift from a colleague – Luigi Scapini – wish I could find it again. My second favorite is Thoth (I heard it was discontinued) I loved it because it had corresponding astrological and khaballic (sp?) symbolism. I let my grandkids play with them now. When I began, I was completely dedicated. I heard that reading for oneself was most difficult but I didn’t let that deter me. I was self-taught and read for myself daily – sometimes I loved it and sometimes I just wanted to throw the cards across the room. Yet we finally made peace with one another and now we’re kindred spirits. Thanks for inspiring me to go down tarot’s memory lane.

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