Excited to present to you something new, this post is part of a wonderful blog hop presented to you by some of the phenomenal tarot and oracle card readers from the Tarot Professionals fb group! This series is dedicated to discussing how we welcome a new tarot or oracle decks into our lives. By clicking on the next and previous links above and below this post, you’ll be taken to the blogs of other uber cool taroistas to explore their insights on this topic. HOP AWAY – and enjoy!
So, you just got yourself a new tarot or oracle deck… now what?
My friend Jay and I got together to discuss some of the things that we like to do to get to know our new decks. If you’d like to listen in on our little conversation, then we invite you to join us Behind the Deck , simply press play on the little recorder below.
If you’re more of an “I’d like to read” kinda diviner, I’ve outlined some of our highlights and tips right here on the page for you.
I don’t know about you but for me, just seeing the padded envelope or little white box arrive at my doorstep is enough to get me squealing with delight over the gift I’m about to open. And for those of you who are fortunate enough to have metaphysical stores nearby that offer a selection of divination decks… then I imagine the feeling is very much the same when you finally arrive home with your bag from the store.
For us then, the process goes a bit like this:
First, we carefully open the packaging so as not to damage the contents, box or cards. Nothing more disappointing, I say, than scratching one of your new cards because you were over anxious to get started and ran those scissors right through the plastic onto the deck.
(Oh, did that just sound like I have experience in that area… hmmm NOTE to SELF!)
Next, it’s all about the tactile experience. We want to know every detail and nuance. How does the cardstock feel? How do they shuffle?
(YES we’ve both been guilty of shuffling right off the bat without regard to the order of the cards for later learning… GASP!)
What is the packaging like? Will I keep my deck housed in that cardboard box or will I want to give it a new home. Even flipping through the Little White Book (LWB) to get a feel for those pages and the cover (some are sooo well done!)
At this point we feel like we are going through the unwritten checklist in our heads for an “I LOVE you deck”! If you are about to become my “bestie” there are some things that will endear me to you and one is certainly how you feel. Let me put my hands all over you!
As we are getting to know one another, shuffling is a very intimate process and a great way to infuse energy into the deck. In addition it can be very relaxing and can provide focus of thought so, the texture and feel of the cardstock is very important to us.
AND… then the imagery. Sometimes when decks are new, they can feel cold and “packaged”. So, we like to infuse our energy into a new deck by spending time with it. We want to experience each and every image intimately, get up close and personal with each one. Do the images speak to us? Do they wake us up inside. What is the deck saying to us? Take the time to look through the images and feel what it is showing you.
If there are keywords on the deck, we consider how they compliment or collaborate with the artwork of the card.
Note to Self: Try if you can to always reserve judgment because a card can become a favorite later even if it doesn’t strike us immediately.
The way that I take in a deck upon 1st impression has changed significantly over the years. Seeing it online and holding it in our hands is completely different. Some may really resonate with us when we see it online and then not in person or vice versa. So the introduction is a very important part of the relationship.
You like the deck…. What next?(Jump in and practice reading or study the LWB)
Here is where Jay and I differ a little in our approach. For me, there are rituals I follow but at this point, I’ve opened the deck, looked at it, absorbed the images and impatient me I jump right in and do a practice reading – before even exploring the LWB (Little White Book, that tiny pamphlet of card descriptions many times included with your deck) – I just want to know “What do you have to tell me?”
Jay however, points out, if you are new to reading decks that might not be where he’d start. That could be hard for someone who has never ever gleaned a message from a card. You may feel frustrated if you’ve learned nothing of them and have only looked at the images.
And good point! Truly you do not want to take a hit to your confidence or fun factor with a new deck especially if you are a newer reader!
So, Jay at this point would recommend exploring the LWB if there is one, to see how it gives additional insight to each card.
What’s truly important to take away from our differences of approach here is that you should do what works BEST for you! This is your relationship with your potential new bestie… get to know it in a way that feels most natural to you and do not for one moment worry about “shoulds” or “musts” that you might have heard along the way. There are no rules except – this is your journey – embrace it and enjoy it!
In the recording I give a brief example of a practice reading that I did while getting to know the Arthur Rackham Oracle deck by Doug Thornsjo. I asked “Tell me what you want me to know” (I had NO little White Book) – I received a card called “Destiny – change in the wind” (pictured). That spoke to me – I now had a divine message that said to me that what I was doing in that moment (recording an episode of Behind The Deck with Jay) was changing the winds – this is our Destiny. A very validating message. It furthered for me that my connection to this deck (though quite new) is quite strong and worth pursuing further!
BIG LESSON here and additional Note to Self: It’s ok to not know the deck and to reference the LWB! That does not mean that you are not having a divine conversation! Memorization of every deck is not necessary. Likewise, don’t be afraid to just allow your intuition guide you and glean your own message from the image – THAT is the message that is most relevant for you – whether or not it aligns with the message found in the LWB.
I’m impatient so I like to jump right into practice with a new deck. Reveal to me some messages right out of the gate! Others may like to sit down and read through the LWB before jumping into practice.
How are you feeling at this point? Are you enjoying the process? Want to take it a bit further?
If Jay doesn’t connect to a deck and feel good about it immediately he’ll be persnickety and put it away for awhile. And it’s totally ok to say, it was nice to meet you but, you’re not the one for me at this time. Hey you may have just been two ships passing in the night!
If I’m feeling connected to the deck with a 1-card draw – I will certainly take it further and practice some additional sample readings.
My favorite thing to do is to reference the LWB at this point (if there is one) and see what spreads they recommend for the deck. Many times there are specific spreads and questions designed to complement the energy of the deck. I find it gives me a really good sense of how I may use the deck going forward.
This is where my initial introduction to the deck normally takes a pause. Please keep in mind that I have an addecktion which includes a large library of decks that I use for different purposes. So, the next two processes I do if I want to get a bit more intimate with my deck and incorporate it into my rotation of regularly used decks.
Next INTERVIEWING the deck!
Interviewing the deck is one of my favorite things to do but, I wait a little bit – I practice a little bit first to introduce myself to a deck. I think of the relationship with my deck as I would a date. 1st date – I might buy you a drink – but I’m not going to ask you to jump into marriage with me. Intimacy is gradual – so the interview feels a little bit more intimate and takes me a bit of a gradual process.
Though I have a couple of spreads that I love for my interviews for purposes of this introduction I would ask just a couple of questions in succession and draw a card for each.
Questions might include:
- What do I need to know about you?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What is going to be the result of our working relationship?
- What do I need to know to get the most out of our relationship?
Did Your New Deck Get The Job?
After the interview when we get a job there is usually a new employee orientation – right? When my deck gets the job so to say and I know that I’m going to take it “further” with the deck; my new deck orientation is – the ritual of clearing.
My ritual: I take some deep breaths, clear the deck by tapping the top with a clear crystal orb that I have and then I touch each and every card in the deck to infuse it with my energy, saying thank you & I love you to the cards as I do. Then I shuffle my newly cleared cards with the energy of gratitude for the messages about to be received.
For “difficult” decks
I will do a FULL clearing ritual for any decks that come in to me that I do not feel connected to or feel that they have residual energies hanging on that I’d like to clear out so that we can start over anew. That includes putting my deck on an altar with my favorite spread cloth and a pattern of my favorite crystals (including, clear quartz, Citrine, Amethyst & Selenite), saying a blessing and then leaving the cards in that set up for 24 – 72 hours. I always bless the cards as I pass by them or notice them.
The most Important KEY to connecting with your new deck
If I were to ONLY choose one of the steps above for getting to know my new deck – this would be it. Simply BE PRESENT.
BE PRESENT with your new deck. Don’t open the packaging while also getting ready for work the next day or preparing dinner or whatever – that doesn’t work to set the connection. Ignoring someone on a first date by staring at your phone the whole time does NOT make for a good ‘get to know ya”! When you are not present, you are putting that dismissive energy all over the deck.
Be prepared to SIT WITH IT when you open it! Enjoy the excitement of it and the gratitude of it. Be present with your present! Open with reverence, patience and the time to take it in! THIS is the KEY!
It’s everything. You’ll notice immediately how your space for introducing yourself to your new deck is transported.
If you’re not ready to be present or are distracted, it’s OK to set it aside until such a time that you are prepared to be present with it. There is a time that you and I are meant to be together – it’s just NOT right now.
While we can be polygamous with our decks but MUST be monogamous with our presence!
Above all, enjoy your experience!
Here’s to a phenomenal connection with your new deck bestie,
Hey – why not HOP on over to the previous or next blog for more insights from some of the coolest tarot professionals!