My Tarot History

In 1985 or '86 I got a small Rider-Waite-Smith deck and the Pictorial Key companion book.  I just didn't click with the deck back then.  I thought it was too Christian and male dominated. I was 16 and believed everything was too Christian and male dominated. :) I found a used copy of the book for the Motherpeace Tarot deck, but the deck itself was out of my price range.  I would pull out the RWS cards every now and again, but I wasn't happy with it.

In 1989 or '90 a friend bought me the Daughters of the Moon Tarot and book set.  The black & white one that you color yourself.  I was much happier with this!  I used this deck exclusively for the next 10 years.  Never did color in the entire deck though.

I continued to read books about Tarot to learn more about using the cards.  The ones I remember most are 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack, Tarot for Yourself by Mary Greer, and  Joan Bunnings Learning the Tarot - An Online Course.  The problem was this was the only deck I had, I'd given away my little RWS, and it wasn't a traditional deck.  Which made learning about the Tarot in general, difficult for me.  When using Daughters of the Moon to do predictive readings for my friends and myself, the feminist nature of the deck posed other difficulties.  (I never did run off to join the local Dianic Witch Coven and dance naked in the  Redwoods under the full moon...sigh.) Still, I loved this deck.

Around 1999 or so I came across the Thoth Tarot.  I'd never heard of it before. It was an impulse buy as I was interested in all things Egyptian.  I sat the deck aside for a few weeks though when I saw that the cards weren't Egyptian in theme at all.

This same desire to learn how other witchy/pagany/goddessy types were working with Egyptian gods & goddess, led me to a totally unrelated purchase of Equinox of the Gods. I saw the cover and snatched it up, not knowing the Crowley connection between the book and the deck. After reading it I wanted to work with the deck, so I got The Book of Thoth and 777.

I happily went down that rabbit hole for the next 4 years or so, working only with this deck. Learning about The Tree of Life, Qabalah, & the Hebrew letters in connection with Tarot helped me sort of crack the tarot code.

I don't think the Golden Dawn or any other Occult system associated with the Tarot is organic.  None of the systems, including reading based solely on intuition, is any better than any other, IMHO.  All I know is that I gained more personal understanding of the cards (individually and reading them together) in 4 years of using a system than in the 10 previous using no system to speak of.

In 2003 my job and social life began to get in the way of my obsessive and thoroughly enjoyable occult tarot studies. I think my husband started to miss me! So I chose to take a year hiatus.  I would still read with my deck and keep a tarot diary of my readings, but I would no longer bury myself in books and write about it like I as working on a Master's Thesis.  One year turned into five.  During which time two children  were born and we downsized are living space and income.

I decided to get rid of all my Tarot books, and the 5 decks I had accumulated over 20 years. Two different sizes of the Thoth; Daughters of the Moon; Tarot Nova and Tree of Life: Kabbalistic Tarot.
It hurt, but we needed the room.  I knew some day I might have the time to work with the cards again, but I didn't know when.

Apparently, March 2008 was when!  I picked out a couple of decks for an anniversary present. Then I chose three more for my birthday in July the same year.  For Christmas, I got another three.  I already had more decks than I'd ever had before.  I had never noticed all the different decks that were out there.  I discovered Aeclectic Tarot and spent hours browsing through all the decks.  This time around I wanted to have fun with the cards as well as have decks that I could sink my teeth into to study. Now I have 39 decks.  Not counting duplicates or oracle decks.

These are the first eight decks I bought when my Tarot Drought ended:

Master Tarot (Mario Montano)
Tarot of the Saints deck & book set (Robert Place)
Bohemian Gothic deck & book set
Golden Tarot (Kat Black)
Housewives Tarot
African American Tarot
Afro Brazilian Tarot
Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot - I have a much better relationship with this deck now.  I actually like it a lot, although the radiant isn't my favorite version. In April 2010 I finally replaced both sizes of my Thoth Tarot. :)

What I'm Reading Now

What I'm Reading Next