Getting to Know You: Intro


I finally did it.

Most of us Tarot folks have an affinity for collecting different tarot decks. Benebell Wen’s analogy between how a master musician handles their instrument and how a Tarot reader handles their card deck is very apt. If we get superstitious and ritual-y with our decks, it’s no different than hockey players growing beards for the playoffs or football fans wearing the same unwashed jersey on game day until the superbowl (I know, gross…but it happens).

But long story not-so-short, I’ve been feeling a little restless & wanting a new deck. It feels a lot like way back when I ‘outgrew’ my first Tarot deck. My first deck ever of anything was an oracle deck, Medicine Cards by David Carson and Jamie Sams. I still love it, and would recommend it to anyone. Especially the book, especially for beginners. Then I moved to my first regular Tarot deck, Art Nouveau by Matt Myers. The colors are soothing, relaxing, with all the blues very conducive to both intuition and communication…key energies in Tarot work.  The artwork is wonderful, but as a whole it just didn’t have the symbolic depth and traditional meat on its bones that the RWS deck has. Then I discovered Ted Andrew’s “Animal Wise Tarot”. I bought it right after attending his “Animal Speak” workshop. Mr. Andrew’s writing has always been an enormous inspiration and formative influence on my own Tarot work. I recommend anything and everything he has written, hands down. I still use that deck often for personal readings, but it didn’t feel right to use it for clients. Neither of those two decks are familiar to the general public. When people see the RWS they know it’s Tarot, so waayyy back when, when I “went pro” I started using the RWS for client readings, mostly because it was so comfortably recognizable to the Tarot public at large. I’ve use it for work ever since. You’ll still see the RWS images here in the blog, because the vintage images I have from are, as I understand it, clearly public domain.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the RWS deck, and will stick with that style but I’m feeling restless. I think it is the color scheme. I want to go back to something less pastel and “vintage” looking, and go back to richer, darker, deeper colors like the jewel tones on the Art Nouveau. For Tarot anyway. I have a lovely little oracle card surprise on the way for all of you in happy bright wonderful colors…but more on that in a few weeks.

Meantime, during summer vacation, I stumbled on a new deck, that is more of a souvenir than “THE deck” that is likely going to be my main workhorse, like the RWS has been.

CatsittingTrixieThis summer, I cat-sat for a neighbor. I’ve always liked cats, but never could have a pet one because of family allergies. Sorry cat-kind, but the humans come first. So I really enjoyed ‘borrowing’ Trixie for a week this summer. I got to go “share space” with her (as Steve Irwin used to put it…I get that phrase in a whole new way now) twice a day for a week. Right after that, we went to Gettysburg. We took the author’s tour with “Spooky” from Gettysburg Ghost Tours…whose logo is a black cat. They sell Tarot decks in their nifty little gift shop, so taking the sychronistic hint…got the Black Cat Tarot deck. It would be fun to explore until I found that new deck that was calling to me.

I’ll leave deck reviews in Kate and Benebell’s capable hands. I’d like to share the “getting to know you” process with this new deck with you instead. Kate has a brilliant post about how to get to know a new deck over on I won’t be following her questions exactly, but will be borrowing liberally from the process she suggests. Kate, David, and Benebell are three other people whose writing I recommend hands down and without hesitation.

Now here is the real point of today’s post: follow the quiet whispers of synchronicity and you will always find what you want and need.

Inside the just-for-fun Black Cat Tarot I found sample card of Tarot Illuminati by Erik Dunne and Kim Huggins.

Like Lucy said to Schroder…THAT’S IT!!!

After reading Benebell’s superb Tarot Illuminati review…I’ve decided on that deck for next one to explore. Bringing what may be the world’s smallest reader’s deck collection all the way up to 5 Tarot (Art nouveau, Animal Wisse, RWS, Black Cat, Illuminati) and 2 oracles (Medicine Cards and a newcomer I’ll introduce later). I’m not sure where regular playing cards fit into all that, but my super-cool plastic glow in the dark deck I picked up at the Carnegie Science Center (love that place) counts. The tatty dollar store deck, not so much.

See? The universe led me to the just-right new deck by way of vacation souvanirs and neighborhood kittens. Who would have thought?

Spirit speaks in whispers and synchronicities. The guidance is always there, all we have to do is learn to listen. Instead of beware the quiet ones, be aware of the quiet ones.

Suggested reading / reading sources:


Next: Getting to Know You – The Magician