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Tarot - When To Begin


Wanderinghawk
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Hello All,

 

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share their thoughts on their experience of tarot.

 

I have looked at the tarot post in Starters Orders but I don't think my question is covered there, so here goes.

 

I have been trying to learn tarot off and on for a long time but never really got the hang of it. I am once again trying it and one way I'm learning is by picking a card every day and then looking at that cards meaning in my day. For the last few days however the card meaning has not really been shown in the day. However, when I look at all the cards together and apply them to what is going on in life generally I can see how it does relate.

 

So what I was wondering is, when did you do your first actual reading of the cards? Where I have always fallen down in tarot is how to actually read all the cards together in a spread so it actually means something. This has made me wonder if I was doing card readings too early on in my learning process.

 

So if people are willing to share, when in your learning did you do your first spread, what was your first spread, did you try a simple question first, something almost not important before hitting the 'big' questions etc.

 

I would be grateful of any input.

 

Many thanks

 

Wanderinghawk

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OK. I hardly every use tarot. When i do use it, I find it's either extremely accurate, or else nothing relates to what is going on. I've used spreads and single cards, and several packs. Now, I'll cut a card occasionally, and it is either incredibly accurate or completely off-beam, so things haven't changed. :lol:

 

If I want to do serious divination (very, VERY rarely) I use runes. ;)

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Hi Wandering Hawk!

It is generally believed that you cannot read Tarot for yourself - you know too much about yourself, your needs and requirements and the desired objective - to be impartial and to read freely and correctly!

Like many skills, I found it was better when I had a teacher, especially when deciphering a spread. I don't use the Tarot any more and, like Moonhunter, prefer the Runes. Having said that, I am never averse to having someone else read the Tarot for me :)

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I don't use tarot very often either, and like the other two I find it is either extremely accurate or completely random. I don't think it's a matter of not being trained enough or anything - before I was pagan I used to read the tarot for my friends as a sort of party trick. None of us believed it, but it freaked them out when the answers seemed to fit so well! There isn't really any knowledge of the tarot that I think helps to make a spread more accurate, as far as I know. IMO it depends at least as much on the cards that are picked as on the way they are read, and obviously there is no skill to learn in picking them, it's about gut instinct and draw. But then, I rely a lot on the book still to gather the meanings.

 

I also absolutely agree with Naomi that reading for yourself is much more difficult. I do do it, but very very rarely and only because I don't know anyone who can read for me.

 

That said... have you tried different decks? The most important thing for me was always that I had a deck where I could look at the card and get an idea of what the card meant before I looked it up.

 

The other thing is that it might just not be the type of divination that suits you. There are loads of options out there that you might want to look at instead, if you really want to learn. Runes, ogham, pendulum, divination through watching the flight of birds, how stones roll down a hill (when you roll them) and where they land, the shapes of clouds, the movements of flames, the i ching, crystal ball, etc.

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you all for your responses. I had never thought that I might not be able to do a reading on myself because I know myself, sort of duh!

 

Also glad to read that I'm not alone in having cards that can be accurate and others that aren't.

 

Perhaps it is time to investigate other divination methods. Oooooo where to start!

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It is generally believed that you cannot read Tarot for yourself - you know too much about yourself, your needs and requirements and the desired objective - to be impartial and to read freely and correctly!

 

I completely agree. I picked them up years ago, but never really stuck at it, but I have been thinking about picking them up again. Maybe I should…

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I used to do a lot of work with Tarot while in college... but found the sheer number of cards a hassle (too many definitions to remember without anysort of visual clue)...

 

I ended up going in two different directions. firstly I tried out psycards that an ex girlfriend had introduced me to. There were less cards in the deck (40 rather than 78) and each one seemed easier to read with a greater synergy between cards.

 

The other deck that I started working with was the Sacred Circle Tarot. Some of the cards have changed name (ie. The Fool has become the green man, The hanged man has become sacrifice etc)... but the minor arcana all have visual references to the meaning on them (so it was less for me to remember)

 

To be honest I don't really read them anymore and tend to use them for meditation focuses now.

 

snuf

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Hi Snuf,

 

I've never heard of psycards, I also really like the sound of the Sacred Circle Tarot. I think it's time I did some investigating. :o_youpi:

 

Has anyone used Medicine Cards?

 

wanderinghawk

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I have read cards, both Tarot and playing cards since I was a child. I suppose for me, I don't use my mind to "read" as you would a book for example. I look at the cards and a feeling and picture forms of what to say and how to interpret the cards drawn. I read for myself often and get really good results. I used to watch my mother reading, so I suppose I just learned that way. I was lucky to have a good tutor :o_cat: If I can give you any help, it would be to draw one card a day and just look deeply into the card and see what feelings and thoughts come to you. Happy reading.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm a bit late to this thread, but here is a site I really like - it explains the fool's travels, using the cards to represent his obstacles and discoveries, in an orderly sequence, as he goes on his way.

 

Under the large purple area on each page, is a link to the next card. Just read the "Fool Tarot Story" to begin with and scan the rest.

 

(Caveat: I am no expert on Tarot)

 

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/learn/meanings/introduction.shtml

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I am a bit of a tarot tart to be honest! I have a number of decks, novelty and traditional, but only ever use 2 on a regular basis. One is the traditional deck which I first learnt from. It came from a crappy'How to' kit but has been with me so long, it now has it's own history. I use these on the rare occasions I read for others and when I need a structured answer. The second is a novelty pack that resonates with me deeply - the Brian froud illustrated pack. These are ridiculously accurate for me and seem to be imbued with appropriate life advice regardless of the question so I use them regularly just for a 'focus' on how to manage my day/week/mundane issues!

 

I can see where others are coming from and I certainly find that the cards can give me the answer I 'already know' but I don't use them for prophesy, I use them to see the wood from the trees or when I can't hear what my heart is telling me.

 

In short, I guess my advice would be - pick a pack that speaks to you, use them regularly in a singlet or small spread and don't expect deep revelations. You will be surprised what you already know.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Get a deck that calls to you.

 

I was an on/off user of Tarot for many years because I had this crappy version of the traditional Rider-Waite deck that did absolutely NOTHING for me other than get me frustrated that nothing was happening.

 

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ Has loads of Tarot and Oracle cards you can look through and I would definitely spend some time doing it because once you find that deck that sets your NEEEED alarms off, your readings will be great and you'll finally get really into it. That's what happened for me anyway.

 

A lot of the more popular decks can be found on Amazon reletively cheaply (specially in the new/used section) and you should do an image search with google to see what the deck looks like in more detail.

 

Don't believe the nonesense that you have to get someone else to buy your deck for you as well. Choosing your very first deck with intent is a wonderful experience and because the Tarot is such an insightful way to divinate, you'll most likely grow as a person and find some very interesting things about yourself!

 

You really should do some proper searching though. Trying to read Tarot with uninspiring cards is really counter productive and you'll find yourself giving up for good (which sucks cause Cartomancy is awesome!).

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By the way, for anyone who is tentative about starting Tarot or getting back into it after a while of being away, TheFourQueens on youtube has an absolutely excellent course to help you out.

All free, wonderfully thought out and just a massive help all round!
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Hi All

 

Thanks for the messages. I'm still sticking with my card a day. Sometimes I can 'see' the message, more often I cannot. I'm trying to think of ways to move on from just a daily pick, but I'm not sure how to progress now.

 

Any pointers?

 

thanks

 

WH

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One of my favourite spreads is the really simply three card one. If you're already doing a sort of "what does the day hold for me?" or "what should I remember today?" or "what lessons should I remember today?" or something similar, you just expand it. The middle card is the one you have at the moment: let's say it's "what does the day hold?" because I don't know exactly what you seek from your card when you pull it out. The card to the left of the middle card is "what action should I avoid today?" but could easily be "what negative energies will I experience?" or "what will not be important today?" or something else. The card to the right of the middle card is "what action should I take today?" or "what will be important today?" or something.

 

Generally I think multiple card spreads are easier than single cards, because you can look for patterns and similarities. It feels like less of a stab in the dark. Just take your time :) and don't be afraid to refer to literature. Sometimes I still can't see a message in the card until I read about what the card was meant to mean. Vary your shuffling and picking techniques and see if that makes a difference. Small things but obviously it affects directly which cards you pick.

 

It might also be worth, if you are doing a "what does my day hold?" future-type question to try something more retrospective. I find future questions very difficult and psychologically strange (I always worry about self-fulfilling prophecies!). Perhaps draw the card at the end of the day and ask what should you take from the day you've had or something. If you aren't asking about the day ahead then just ignore this :P

 

Are you actually asking a specific question at all? I have suddenly realized I'm just assuming you are because it's the method I always use! Do you ask the cards something or do you just sort of... think about the cards/life in general as you draw them? I have no idea if this makes a difference at all, I'm just curious :)

 

Out of interest, what deck are you using?

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Hi Samhainmooncat,

 

Thanks for the response. I can't find the deck online, I've had it for about 14 years, its celtic inspired in its imagery.

 

When I pick my daily card it is like you said a 'what does the day hold for me' and then on the Sunday I try and look back on the week and see what I can 'see' sometimes I'm ok but lately I've just not seen the connection. Perhaps it is like you said I should try doing it at the end of the day or do the three card spread. Do you do the three card spread at the beginning or the end of the day?

 

The way I see tarot working and perhaps I'm wrong is not that they can foretell the future but that they help bring out your own inner questions or understandings, perhaps things you've never really acknowledged yourself. So in a sense they can help draw your attention to things that you are subconsciously picking up on. Does that make sense?

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Yes, that does make sense. It's always good to practice introspection and be aware of the thoughts and feelings which otherwise might pass by unnoticed. In that sense I suppose the tarot is more like a starting point - maybe it gives you a topic which you should think about throughout the day.

 

Thinking about it, I am probably not the person best suited to give you an answer - because unlike a lot of people nowadays I do believe that the tarot can tell the future (somewhat. It's nowhere near perfect! And of course there are issues with interpretation) and that is part of the reason I don't draw cards every day. I am all too aware of self-fulfilling prophecies and I am someone who is very responsive to stimuli (i.e. impressionable).

 

But if I were to read every day, and in the sense of throwing up issues to consider and things that need attention, I would read in the evening. I'd also say it's easier!

 

The thing that I like about my deck is that each card has a picture and its name, but also has a single word on it to sum it up - like "frustration" or "generosity". I find this really, really helpful and it has completely revolutionized my readings. It also makes it harder to misread the intention of the cards.

 

But yes, I am sure there are many people on here more practiced than I am who can give better advice :)

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When I pick my daily card it is like you said a 'what does the day hold for me' and then on the Sunday I try and look back on the week and see what I can 'see' sometimes I'm ok but lately I've just not seen the connection. Perhaps it is like you said I should try doing it at the end of the day or do the three card spread. Do you do the three card spread at the beginning or the end of the day?

 

The way I see tarot working and perhaps I'm wrong is not that they can foretell the future but that they help bring out your own inner questions or understandings, perhaps things you've never really acknowledged yourself. So in a sense they can help draw your attention to things that you are subconsciously picking up on. Does that make sense?

 

When you're just starting out it can be helpful to do mini spreads to begin with so you don't get overwelmed with information or find it frutrating that the cards don't seem to add up. For me, I like to do a 1-3 card spread in the morning/whenever i'm in the mood to give me an idea on what obsticals that might arise/are around me or things to watch out for in the day. When I read for myself, I don't go in with the mind of 'what exactly will happen to me' more so 'what are the things i should pay attention to today/at the moment'.

 

If you're not connected to your cards or they give you no inspiration to read from them then that could be a massive problem too. You need a set of cards that you can be open with. Amazon has a massive selection of cards you can choose from and like I said above, you should spend some time finding the right deck for you as I think it will help you overall with getting along with the Tarot.

 

If you truly feel Tarot isn't for you then there are loads of other forms of divination you can choose from. Runes, Oracle, Lenormand, tea leaves, black mirrors, water, coins, general playing cards, ect. If you do want to stick with cartomancy though but are finding the Tarot too hard at the moment, you could try getting some Oracle cards as they tend to be more direct and you don't need to do a massive spread each time you use them. You could even make it a part of your daily getting up for work/school/whatever you do ritual. E.g, wake up, wash face, pull out an oracle card, contemplate with ten mins of meditation, get food/dressed/go about your day. Whatever!

 

Good luck anyway. Try not to worry too much about all this. There isn't a rule that says you have to use any form of divination as part of your practice so if it's not for you then that's okay too.

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  • 1 month later...

I was gifted my first deck of cards by my lovely mam 11 years or so ago now, and she hasn't stopped pestering me since ;)

 

My personal experiences have taught me to never stretch myself thin - constant readings take it out of me and I often have a short break. Sometimes I have put away the cards for a few months then come back to them. I am also a collector of cards and I find that certain decks I can work with better than others - who can say why, maybe it's just my personal life experiences make it so I identify with certain symbols and images better than others. My major learning curve came through using Ciro Marchetti's Gilded Tarot and his Tarot of Dreams.. I just found the way he portrayed the cards to be so blatant and easy to read, but some other people find his decks difficult. The 9 of swords in Tarot of Dreams is a perfect example for me to use (google the image ;) ), it so obviously portrays anxiety, which is what I find the 9 of swords is generally rooted in.

 

I agree with Samhainmooncat about multiple cards as often cards take different meanings depending on what they are surrounded by, and I find positional meanings to be very useful, too. For example, the 4 of swords in an 'advice' position, could be telling you to take a breather, relax, take some time out from whatever it is you're doing to reflect and gather energy. In a 'crossing' position (what is hindering progress) it could be advising that you are all talk no action, you're stuck in a rut, idle, not moving. So meanings alter slightly depending where the cards come up in a spread. There are countless numbers of spreads and you can make your own to suit any question, though I've found my learning easier with one or two well rehearsed spreads under my belt.

 

I also find 'reading exhanges' very helpful.. just dive right in and exchange readings with other tarotists. There are plenty of forums with tarot readers on and with free reading exchange subforums (they ask a question, you ask a question, and give each other feedback - feedback is so important to learning imo, to know that you are on the right track, and to familiarise yourself with a certain personal structure of reading). This also helps with that issue of being too biased to read your own cards - I definitely find that I am not objective enough to look too deeply at my own situations although I do still use the cards for myself for practice and for day to day advice if necessary. ETA: I am happy to exchange if anyone wants to.

 

Changing the wording of questions can be helpful - closed questions can give very difficult to interpret answers for beginners (there is no card that has the words 'yes' 'no' '13th june 2018' etc on it). The tarot can be a great advice tool when asking questions like ' what do I need to know about..' or 'how can I improve...'

 

Some of my decks include Golden Tarot (Kat Black), Bonefire Tarot (woodeneye), Tarot of Dreams, Gilded Tarot, Deviant Moon Tarot and Universal Waite tarot.

 

I also have started on the Lenormand cards.

 

Perhaps I should ask the cards why I have to choose hobbies (as in deck collecting) that cost me a bloody fortune ;)

 

 

Good luck!

Edited by Gorse
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Hi All,

 

Many thanks for the replies, it's been very helpful. I'm still finding it hard, but I guess that's true with learning anything new. I've had a bit of a break from doing a daily reading.

 

I would like to try and do a slightly bigger reading than just a one card draw but I have an issue. I read a lot about people asking a question to the cards, the thing is I don't really have many questions. Okay I do but they are pretty big ones and a lot of what I have read says to start out with simply questions.

 

So my next question would be, when you were first starting out what 'simple' questions were you asking in order to improve your reading ability.

 

thanks

 

Jenny

 

PS who would have thought that one post could have the word 'question' in it so much!

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How about questions that will give you pretty fast results - so you can compare your interpretation to the event rather quickly. For example you could do a reading on 'what do I need to know about the coming week' then pull cards for the coming week. You could decide on 7 cards, one of each day, or you could do a general spread such as the following if you're looking to get a little more direction from the spread:

 

Card 1: Situation - what is going to be the main focus for you during the week, or an event that will be more at the forefront.

Card 2: Challenges - what challenges may you be facing this week, or what you can challenge yourself to.

Card 3: Advice - what can help you this week

Card 4: Environment - what influence will other people or your environment have on your week

Card 5: Outcome - what direction will you be headed at the end of the week.

 

Then if your reading comes up with a majority of Cups cards, you can say that there is a lot of focus on emotions or relationships. If there are more Wands cards, there is probably some sort of creative project or you may be feeling more creative and productive yourself.

 

Things like this are good for beginners, or anyone to keep skills sharp, as they have a pretty quick turnaround, and if you keep a tarot journal or record yourself reading then you can refer back and see how the cards relate to actual events.

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Ok...not into divination...

 

but...

 

its so nice to see a set of clear instructions not wrapped up in mystical gobbledegook...

 

all that waving wands, special costume, chanting incantations and exotic smells for that special magical environment...oh and don't forget to buy that special discount Occult jewellery on the way out...see y'all

 

thank you Gorse

 

restores my faith in humanity somewhat

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Well when it comes down to it, they're just bits of card that have been printed on with nice pictures. They're made in a factory just like regular playing cards. They aren't mystical relics from ye olde mists of avalon or wherever. But they can be shockingly accurate, they can act as a conduit for the subconscious, and as I personally believe all consciousness is linked, then tarot can be the key to that, but I can't be bothered with all that dancing around waving incense and asking the gods to bless my readings on TOP of the energy I need to read (they'd probably tell me to bugger off and stop pestering them with daft requests anyway [god voiceover: if theres nee ale, sod off]), and in any case, how am I meant to see the cards with nagchampa burning my eyeballs? That's just my personal speculation and mad ravings on the subject (intending no offence - noone knows for sure HOW they work, just that they do) but I suppose my point is, learning the tarot can seem quite a daunting task, especially if the directions given are obscure.

 

It boils my pee when I see certain high horse readers state silly things like 'you must be gifted your first deck' or 'you can only read tarot if you're psychic', pardon me but what a load of bollocks.

 

Tarot can be very easy to read when broken down into basic building blocks. I am a tarot enthusiast, and am happy to bring it out into the light of day for anyone who would ask me for advise. I'm not an expert, but I do have many years experience that I feel would be greedy to keep to myself :)

Edited by Gorse
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I know this might sound daft to a lot of you...people mention all these different types of cards...are they different in ways other than appearance, are they used differently..do some react better to certain questions/scenarios....some for males some for females...you see what I am getting at ??

 

any chance of some images so I have a clue what you are talking about

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Standard tarot decks are all made up of 78 cards. Different artists put different views on it, but I find that most modern decks are roughly based on the original RWS deck in their symbolism. I think in terms of reacting it's all a personal thing. I find my deviant moon deck to be great for questions more related to my psyche or spiritual self and generally keep them only for myself. My tarot of dreams is my 'go to' deck as I find it reads well across the board but really I feel it's more a case of how I personally relate and react to the images. So, for my tuppence worth, it's a matter of appeal and affinity in terms of specific decks. I'm on my phone right now but I'm sure I have pics on it.. Lemme check.. uva6utaq.jpgyzazanen.jpgru8u8uru.jpghabebupy.jpgyme2u8en.jpg

 

Yep there we go hope they show! Those are readings/card pulls from Golden Tarot, Universal Waite, Bonefire Tarot, Tarot of Dreams and Deviant Moon. Nice selection of artwork but all based on the same basic structure.

 

Lenormand cards and oracle cards are totally different.

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each one a minor work of art - I can see the appeal of them

 

another stupid question..is the interpretation a matter of looking up a chart or reading a book...or a more holistic intuitive thing altogether

 

just interested to see if everyone would interpret the same cards in the same way

 

pedantic sod aren't I

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(With the pages I've linked to, just scroll down a little bit and you'll find pictures of the decks).

 

As Gorse says, Oracle cards are quite different to the normal tarot. I prefer oracle cards if I'm honest - they offer different messages, different perspective and different readings to straight tarot cards.

 

For example, I have a beautiful set based on animals. I use it for readings to do with much more subconscious and instinctual matters. http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/animal-wisdom/

 

I have another set based on the Greek myths. I use these as a way to communicate with my gods as well as to do readings on the big influences on life. http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/mythic-oracle/

 

But my trusty set is the Wildwood tarot. Traditional number of tarot cards and mostly familiar meanings, but some of the cards are different (e.g. "The Ancestor" rather than "The Pope/Hierophant"). The imagery is so clear and it's based on the woodland and the natural world rather than just on humanity (eugh). http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/wildwood/

 

The cards are what you make of them. The differences between the decks become important when readers have images and symbols which resonate with them to a greater or lesser degree, thus affecting how they read the cards. The decks which are most evocative for the reader are the ones which work the best for them. Decks are of course aimed at specific groups of readers, so in a sense yes, there are decks designed to appeal to males, females etc. Decks for Druids, Wiccans, Ceremonial Magicians... Spaghetti Monster worshipers!

 

As to how to read cards - it's a mixture. With my animal oracle I may as well throw the book away because I read much better solely from my own intuition and interpretation/examination of the cards. With others, it's useful or even necessary to consult the book. The professionals don't use books of course - I know the lady near me who does tarot readings uses a mixture of personal interpretation and messages from "Spirit".

 

And yes, they are all definitely works of art! Collecting tarot cards becomes an obsession if you aren't careful.

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It's a mix of standardized meanings and intuition for me. All the cards have a general base meaning if you like. These have been gradually added to as the tarot have evolved. Some readers choose to incorporate numerology and the Kabbalah, some prefer to use their books.. There is no right or wrong way. I suppose tarot is an ongoing experiment in that way. I started with a book, then threw that out and learned with a tutor. Then I just jumped right in and learned the most from trial and error and from literally 'reading the cards' I.e. What symbols are in the card? How are the persons positioned, what are their reactions, what is my gut instinct and what jumps out of the card when I turn it over?

 

There is a logical way of reading. Think of it like a cycle. Through the major arcana we start at the fool and come full circle to the completion of the world. The same is true in the minor arcana, aces are generally new beginnings and 10s can be the end of a cycle. Pages are generally learning, new projects, knights are generally doing, action cards and so on. I love the structure of the tarot. I find oracle cards more difficult as there is no basic guideline-all my oracle decks are different and I have to use the book. All decks come with their own LWB (little white book) which is generally short interpretations of the cards from the deck creator. Oracle decks have more in depth little booklets as appropriate for their variations. I hope this makes sense? I'm watching game of thrones and replying through the ads :P

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It has always interested me and I do have a deck, I used to read just ordinary playing cards which seems easier than all the symbology that tarot contains so that's probably why I have never used my tarot deck. I use runes these days and made my own set.

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      I’m probably second guessing Nettle wrongly but it wasn’t all that long ago that you would have read posts about alters, magic, Shamanism, spells etc. I think it was either Teatimetreat or Drachenfach that had a hex on her handbag and her car.  When the car was stolen it crashed and the thief was caught. I agree and would very much like to see more of the colourful side of Paganism back here.  Quite right Ellinas.  I do not understand how anyone can claim to be Pantheist (or even pantheist) and atheist at the same time even though the most prominent Pantheists do exactly that.  As I’ve said elsewhere: why can’t they call themselves Panists.  The prefix “pan” means everything and everywhere as in “pandemic”.  The god’s name arose from the adjective so it wouldn’t necessarily mean a devotee of Pan. pee ess - it may be worth mentioning that there are a vast number of belief groups under the umbrella word Paganism.  Druids Witches, Polytheist and Shaman are only a small part of what the greater picture of Paganism depicts. Dunno and don’t care are probably the biggest groups.
    • Ellinas
      All the above, plus the impression of a preponderance of atheism is currently, as well as historically, inaccurate.  Certainly, I am no atheist.  I believe MS rejects the term as applicable to himself.  Stonehugger, I think, recently said he had headed in that direction, but I've not seen the other resident atheists for a while. However, our ideas of deity are not the same, necessarily.
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