Life is filled with forks in the road.
I love imagery and artistry. I love imagination and intuition.
I love the fact that even our smallest choices can have large and meaningful impact.
Where we are today is a reflection of a near infinite amount of choices. Choices made by us, and choices made by our ancestors.
Our Ancestors’ choices of procreation partners made our very existence possible. And their choices of where to live, how to be educated and their type of work determined many more things about our current condition….but I digress.
One of the biggest choices we make, everyday, is the choice of where to put our intention. And at risk of digressing again, I’d like to add that I think a lot of us don’t even pay any attention to our intention. We let it meander.
In my last entry I described a series of three recent events that pointed me towards the choice of getting to know tarot.
The Fool – Beginnings
I chose this image of The Fool card (from the Gilded Tarot Deck) as the first image for this entry, since it represents this very first step for me. Like the Fool, I am naive and youthful as I learn about this new tool for imagination and intuition. In reference to this card, the guide book for The Gilded Tarot deck says “all possibilities and seeming contradictions exist at this moment.” And that’s pretty much how it feels!
This past weekend, I attended a tarot group meeting. I didn’t know what to expect. It was called Sharing the Tarot. The main topic of the meeting was going to be The Court Cards. Sounded cool. I didn’t know anyone going. It was five bucks. I had nothing to lose.
I loved it!
The ladies there were super gracious. Since I am a total newb, I arrived without any cards, but with a ton of interest and curiosity. One of the women loaned me a deck and let me use them during the session.
We spent a good amount of time going over the Court Card meanings. And it was really interesting to see the many layers of the court. There’s a lot of depth to the court cards. They seem a little bit complex. I will have to study these as a group in detail. In a coming entry I’ll summarize the introduction I was given, and add some of my own research and thoughts.
While I was at the meeting, I also got to see and handle three different decks: a Witches Deck, a traditional Rider Deck, and a Gilded Deck.
The deck I was loaned for the afternoon was a Rider deck. And they also each had a book to go with it, The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot
This deck is a traditional deck. The images are very medieval looking with simple lines and colors. The pictures are all line drawings. There is lots of detail in the pictures. But, I didn’t really like them from an artistic perspective.
Across the table from me, our leader for the day was demonstrating using the Gilded Deck.
I repeatedly found myself peering across the table, attracted to the cards: their colors, their images.
The Gilded deck is a modern deck based on a Rider Waite model.
You can see here, the background of each card is black, with gold frame, and the images are deep rich jewel tones. The people on the cards are very calm and beautifully painted. Unlike the Rider deck, the Gilded deck gave me a feeling of serenity. The cards are all mildly inspiring in their own way. Even the dark or serious cards have a power that is captivating.
You likely know where I’m going with this right? –Yeah, I bought a deck.
My Fountain Deck, described in my last entry, is still on it’s way to me, and impatiently, as perhaps The Fool is. I wanted a set, and I wanted it right now. So, being a grown-ass woman with an extra twenty five bucks to spare I headed to the book store and found myself a Gilded Deck. I spent a while looking at the other decks that were available, but I was not swayed from my purpose.
Buying a Gilded Deck was also a practical decision. As much as the Fountain Deck is beautiful and got the ball rolling for me on this, I think this Gilded Deck is going to be a much more suitable beginning deck. Each card is more concretely connected to the traditional meaning and imagery of tarot. There are more details, colors and inspirations in the art on these cards compared with the Fountain Deck.
My First Reading!
As the final activity for our meeting, our leader asked us to draw 2 cards from the deck that we didn’t like, or gave us an ill-feeling. And 2 cards that we connected to. We were then asked to explain through the imagery on the card our reasons for choosing them.
I didn’t really like any of the cards. The images in the deck in general do not compel me, but I did manage to find 2 that I liked. Finding cards I didn’t like was pretty easy and I came up with 6, but narrowed it down to 2 that gave me the most gut-invoked dislike.
Here are the cards I chose:
Here are my interpretations. Keeping in mind, I know nothing yet about the historical, traditional or intended meaning of the cards. I’m going on instinct and imagery alone.
My Dark Cards:
The Tower: Clearly, everything about this situation is going to shit. There is a storm, lightning has struck the tower, the building is on fire, and people are falling towards certain death or great pain. This card reminded me of pain I have experienced in my life. Times when there was no certainty, and it seem like catastrophe was in every direction.
The 2 of Swords: This card made me feel very uneasy. It was a feeling I could relate to. The woman is blindfolded, and so cannot use her strongest sense to inform her of any potential danger. And she believes, though she can’t see any, that there must be danger. Danger that might come from either side. She sits and listens, arms crossed over her chest protectively. Awaiting the danger. If she would only remove her blindfold, she would see that she is actually sitting by a beautiful body of water on a lovely day with blue skies and a waxing crescent moon.
My Light Cards:
The Ace of Wands: To me this was an amazing power. The hand that appears with a poof of a cloud is able to create life from a lifeless stick! This shows great power and potential.
The Star: The woman in this card is confident. So confident that she doesn’t even mind being naked. There is no threat. She is on solid ground. She is using her cups to draw from the water. She is not afraid of anything. There is a star shining on her, and there are more stars around to guide her. She is happy, and feels in control. And she is helping to water the ground around her, ensuring that she will have fertile land in the time to come.
Our leader told us that the 2 Dark cards represented our fears and the 2 Light cards represented our present state and the way we approach life.
I agreed that the cards spoke to me about those aspects of my life. I dislike feeling out of control. I don’t mind when things are a little unpredictable. But, my stress levels are high when things are going badly and I am not the one who can redirect them. In those kinds of situations, all I am left with is perseverance, and I’m good at that, but it’s not my preferred state. I approach life with a knowledge that I am the master of my own destiny, that I create my own reality. And that a positive outlook and approach will always bring about the best possible outcome in any situation.
TaDa!! I did a tarot reading! Wow! I can do this!
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