When you get a new deck, do you have a routine, ritual, or process for getting to know it? What do you do when you first unwrap a new deck?
I don’t always do this full process, but these are things that I like to do.
1. go through the cards quickly one by one in order, stopping to pay particular attention to ones that catch my eye or are my traditional favorites or are make/break cards for me. Faves include: High Priestess, Hermit, Temperance, 3 of Cups, 3 of Pentacles, 9 of Pentacles. Make/Break cards…Hierophant and Sun (I have an aversion to what I call “creepy kids” on the Sun card).
2. Lay out the cards in groups. For example, the minor suits in order, Ace – 10, and then all the Aces together, all the 2s together, etc., including all the Pages together, etc.
3. Lay out the Majors in order, 3 rows of 7 with the Fool at the top.
4. Do a reading about the deck and our potential relationship.
I do the first three things because I love the structure of tarot and like to see how (or if) the designer expresses that structure expresses that structure in a coherent way (or coherent in a way that I relate to). The fourth step is to get a sense of how it reads for me and what sort of work I am likely to do with the deck (such as general readings for others, readings for myself only, meditation, journaling, personal growth, or a combination of practices).
I’ve not added much to this in years. It’s always good to keep things fresh, so I’m interested: what do you do?