Alchemical Thoughts

Starting to learn about the Tarot

Posted on: January 22, 2016

The Hermit, from the Marseilles Tarot.

I chose to illustrate this post with The Hermit, which is a card I often identify with.

I received a nice deck of Marseilles Tarot cards as a holiday present from The Better Half. I will start by saying that I do collect card decks, mostly playing cards, and I collect them mainly for the art.  I have playing card decks with themes such as Star Wars, Hot Wheels, a replica deck of those “wanted” poster cards that soldiers got during the Iraq War, and a few others. I also collect other decks; in fact, this Marseilles deck is my second tarot deck. Anyhow, I was drawn a bit more to the world of Tarot after a presentation by a Tarot card reader, Charla, a spiritual advisor, at my local public library. I am intrigued by the possibility of using the cards and maybe learning about their lore as well as learning to read them mostly for my own meditation and reflection.

You can find a review of the book that came with the card deck over on my book blog, The Itinerant Librarian. This post is one of what I hope will be a few down the road where I write a bit about what I learn along the way. I read the book at least once so I could write the review, and I know I will be keeping it handy for consultation as I get to know the cards.

In the book, the author discusses a bit about choosing your deck in order to find one that you can enjoy and relate to. Though the Marseilles deck did not thrill me initially, as I think the art is a bit too basic, it has grown on me. I can see myself now using it on a daily, casual basis. There are other decks I have looked over that draw me in more in terms of their rich imagery. For instance, prior to getting the Marseilles deck as a gift, I had acquired a Luis Royo Dark Fantasy Tarot deck. Royo is one of my favorite fantasy artists, so at the time I acquired the deck as a collector’s item to add to my collection. Now that I am starting to study and learn about Tarot, I may bring the Royo deck into use once I get the hang of the basics with the Marseilles deck. I will likely use the Royo deck for special times. At any rate, the Royo deck is a favorite of mine, which I treasure, and I look forward to trying it out down the road.

A little later, I added a Ciro Marchetti Gilded Tarot deck to my collection. The colorful and rich art on this one definitely drew me in. It is not as dark as the Royo deck; it is a bit more bright in colors, and it has rich imagery. Once I finish studying the book and feel comfortable with the Marseilles deck, I will begin exploring the Gilded Tarot deck. On a side note, Marchetti is also the artist who did the deck I gave The Better Half as a holiday gift, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, which I knew she was very drawn to.  It made me very happy to get it for her. The style is pretty similar to the Gilded deck, but the art and symbols are different.

Going back to my deck, another reason I am sticking with the Marseilles deck is that it was a special gift. Charla said that some folks believe a Tarot deck should be given to you. While I am fine with the idea of buying my own, since it is the way to assure you find a deck you enjoy as the book’s author suggests, the Marseilles came to me with love and affection, so I think it is a great reason to use it as my learning deck and in daily life. Plus I am finding much of the medieval lore and symbols associated with the deck to be quite interesting.

We’ll see where this journey takes me.

Peace.

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3 Responses to "Starting to learn about the Tarot"

[…] part of my journey into learning the Tarot that I started this year, I do a daily single card draw on Mondays through Fridays. That is my part of my morning ritual of […]

[…] of Tarot, when I started my journey to learn how to read Tarot cards, I started it with a Marseilles Tarot deck. While I do like the deck for being a classic and […]

[…] few readers may be aware that I recently started learning to use and read Tarot cards. These days, my learning deck is the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. I […]

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