Hey everyone, this week I wanted to discuss something that’s quickly become an important part of my life. Over the years, my interest in tarot card readings grew until I finally bought my first deck (you’re supposed to buy the one you feel most drawn to) in Salem, Massachusetts. I love tarot because you can go as in depth with the readings as you want, and it’s helped me learn a lot about myself not to mention the meditative space I get into while doing readings.
I eventually bought another one in Philly (the traditional Rider-Waite deck) which I eventually gave away since I also purchased Erik Dunne’s Tarot Illuminati Kit (which includes a booklet filled with the writings of Kim Huggens). I also recently backed this deck on Kickstarter and am hoping the project reaches its goal because I REALLY love the watercolor designs done by the Spanish artist, Vicente Molina. You can check out the work he’s done for the deck on his Instagram.
The purpose of this post is to discuss the different styles I’ve seen so let’s dive right in. The ‘original’ style that myself and many others would refer beginners to is the Rider-Waite deck. It has really simplistic color schemes and the imagery is easy to read and straight to the point. I’d like to mention that I also have a small book (aside from the booklets that often come with decks) that explains the cards a bit more thoroughly, provides instructions on how to do different kinds of spreads (there’s so many!!!) and offers a deeper insight into the readings in general (I would suggest getting one though they are NOT necessary).
I also wanted to offer a quick visual analysis of my favorite card: The Hermit. The design on the left is from the Illuminati deck and the design on the right is from the Rider-Waite deck. As you can see, the composition is mostly the same, The Hermit stands there with a staff and a guiding light. Noticeable differences include the more dynamic stance from the figure on the left, his clothing falls over snowy rocks whereas the other Hermit is as stiff and upright as the staff he grips in his hand. Going back to the snow scene, there’s seemingly a comet shower taking place in the card on the left whereas the design on the right keeps a simple flat, blue background. The figure on the right seems to be lifting his head a bit higher than the other, though both keep their eyes closed in deep meditation. Neither design is better than the other, it just depends on what YOU are drawn to when looking for a deck!
Tarot decks are split into Major and Minor Arcana (cards like the Hermit belong to the Major Arcana). In his Essential Guide to the Tarot, David Fontana wrote that “The Hermit shines light in dark places because he carries the message that solitude, silence, and meditation are essential aids to spiritual progress” and that “the card symbolizes the truth that many insights can only be discovered through quiet contemplation, away from human society”. A site I often refer to is Biddy Tarot because it offers meanings for reversals (basically the other meaning of the card if you draw a card from the deck and it’s upside down). You can do readings with or without including reversals. Tarot is very personal and very much catered to what you hope to get out of the reading and how you want to do the reading. Biddy Tarot is also great because they base their information off the Rider-Waite deck (again, easy for beginners).
I hope this short introduction to Tarot was somewhat helpful if there are any beginners reading this. There really is so much that goes into a reading aside from the beautiful artwork! I hope y’all have a great rest of your week and take care!