Making Friends with a new Tarot deck
A little more than a week ago, I posted about the experience of trimming my Druidcraft deck. It was this comment to that post that got me thinking. One of the reasons people like to trim their tarot decks indeed is that it becomes part of the bonding process of familiarizing yourself with a new deck. However many readers don’t want to trim all their decks.
Many only trim the ones that they feel can be improved by trimming, because of the cards being too large to use or having excessively large borders that ‘drown out’ the images.
Ways to Make Friends
There are many ways to make friends with a new deck. The simplest way is to spend time with the cards, just looking at them individually and listening to them tell their stories. Some people start a journal, or a new section of their existing journal, to record meditations done with individual cards. Some folk sleep with the deck under their pillow.
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I usually sleep with the deck on my night-table for a while. Occasionally one or more cards will enter my dreams and talk to me. This practice started when I got my very first Tarot deck, the Robin Wood Tarot. The first week I had it, I kept it on my night table to look at the cards each night before bed. A few days after I started doing this, I had a very vivid dream in which a few of the Major Arcana spoke to me in turn.
The figure that most strongly appears in my memory today is the Hanged Man. He told me that I was trying too hard and that I shouldn’t take learning the Tarot so seriously. I’ve remembered that advice to this day, whenever I find myself getting too serious about reading, and losing that sense of joy and excitement that I had when first studying Tarot.
This was before I learned about Gate cards, and entering cards in tarot meditation. I suppose that the dream visitations were spontaneous versions of these techniques. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to. But when it does, I always make a note of the dreams I have.
There are many other ways to bond with your deck. Aside from pulling a daily card and journaling, you can write stories, songs, and poems. You can create art based on the colors and emotions that you feel from a particular card. You can carry a card with you as you go about your business for a day, and pull it out occasionally to see what it might have to tell you about the day’s events as they unfold.
But most importantly, don’t forget to journal whatever experiences, feelings, thoughts, and ideas you may have while bonding with a new deck. They will be helpful later when you are using your deck in your practice, whether reading for yourself or others.