Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Care and Feeding of Tarot Cards - Practical Advise For People New to Tarot
“These are my Tarot cards.
There are many others like them,
but these are mine.”
Apologizes to “Full Metal Jacket”
It’s thrilling when a new Tarot deck comes your way. There’s that moment of flirtation when you first spot each other across a crowded card display, (“Hello, good-looking! Do you come here often?”) or when you pull them from their shipping box and your new deck sees you for the first time. In either case, you pick them up and feel that lurch in your chest that tells you there’s a connection between the two of you. Maybe your hands start to burn, maybe you get lightheaded, but in some way the energy of a new card deck makes itself known to you.
Clearing and waking a new card deck is pretty simple. Place your cards in your writing hand. You write with your dominate hand and it’s also this hand that receives energy from the universe and senses changes in the energy fields around you. For example, when you’re testing a crystal’s vibration, you place it in the palm of your dominate hand. You do the same thing with your deck. Your other hand sends energy. Focus for a moment and imagine white light gathering in your sending hand. Now pull your hand into a fist and rap it sharply on the deck in your opposite hand.
Turn your deck face up so you can see the images in each card. This is the best part. Your cards are in order and they may never be in order again - unless you’re OCD, that is. Starting with The Fool, pass each card from one hand to the other as you study the images. As you review the cards, imagine a beam of white light coming from your third eye going directly into each card. Think, or even speak the word, ‘clear’ as you go through the deck. Your deck is now clear of residual energy from idle handling in transit to you.
There are many ways to establish a connection with your new deck. The methods are as many and as varied as the decks themselves. Some people like to sleep with their new decks, or carry them on their person for a while until they feel a bond has formed with their deck. If that works for you great. I like to show my new decks my reading table, introduce them to the crystal balls and the other decks. Then I build them a nest.
I usually have a bag handy, if I don’t, I make one, or wrap the cards up in a cloth. I like to think of a card bag as a comfy chair for decks - somewhere they can put there feet up and forget a hard day’s work. Weird, maybe, but I like knowing they can relax and sigh contentedly in their nests as they let go of the day’s events and come back into their own energy. Don’t we all feel better doing that? I put sprigs of lavender and a small piece of black tourmaline in each card bag to calm them and clear away negative energy. I sometimes also include a clear, quartz crystal or a piece of labradorite to assist in raising the vibration level around the cards and make it easier for them and me to reach a higher state of consciousness during a reading.
After a public event, where I’ve read multiple people, I pass the decks and bags (I always take two to three decks with me) through smoke from either a sweetgrass or sage smudge and run the crystals under cold water. I place the decks on my reading table with my selenite tower. Once they are cleared and contented, I tuck the decks away for a day of two. I never use the same decks for consultations two days in a row.
When you teach, students often bring decks to you that they can’t connect with, or don’t feel are a proper fit for them. It’s sad to see orphaned decks, particularly if you, yourself have enjoyed working with the deck in question. Many people don’t like reading from a used deck and I would never endorse purchasing second-hand cards from an unknown source. However, if you know the person giving you the cards and, more importantly, know and like their energy, there are good methods for clearing and balancing slightly used cards. Once properly cleared, you can reclaim an orphaned deck and pass them along to someone who is able bond with the cards. The deck is no longer an orphan and both cards and their new reader go on to live happy and productive lives together. I use the same method to clear orphaned decks as I do for ones I use at a public reading. I also take the extra step of misting their bag with Dragon’s Blood oil. The deck will be less likely to pick up your energy that way and will stay clear until you present it to its new owner. One important clarification: Clear means clear of all outside energy not natural to the cards themselves. Repeat clearing steps until you feel nothing but the energy of the cards themselves.
Cards are sensitive to moods and atmosphere. Even though we know this as readers, it’s very easy to forget. If you take the time to regularly work with your decks and keep them clear, you not only deepen their connection to you, but also maintain their flexibility for working with friends or clients. Together, you and your deck will accomplish amazing things.