one open and then make an evaluation of a new Deck?
What comes after taking a look at the box, checking the
style of the artwork, the quality of the cardstock, the
sequence of numbers used, seeing if the backside of the
card is truly reversible, etc? How does one move
beyond the superficial features of their new deck?
me, the opening and the later evaluation is based on
an energetic exchange that starts the moment my hands
actually make contact with the cards during the first read
through and subsequent shuffle. It is actually the
shuffle where I first begin to feel the energies bounce
back from the deck to me. As I shuffle I may blow my
breath into the cards or I may channel Reiki from my
hands into the new deck to activate it.
created has a particular way to tell the Story of Life,
but how it does so is communicated via the first
layout which reveals the purpose its Creator intended it
into being with and explains the conjunction or
relationship between those energies and mine in terms of
working with the deck. The first reading is
with the Deck name. The summary card of the layout is
the answer to the query, it is also a signature, and a
formula. as it is the way in which I will interact and
interface with the deck in "my" world.
Out of the decks I
do connect with, some speak through the
image on the
cards, while others do so through number, symbols or by
abstraction, i.e. the lack of imagery which allows the
intuition to flow unimpeded.
I have in the course of my
earlier work with Tarot sage-smoked decks, sat others with
programmed crystals, wrapped decks in silk cloth and put them
under my pillowcase. In some cases the decks have been
left waiting in their boxes until their handmade Tarot
bags were completed, an honor bestowed on the most
energy compatible decks that will work with me for my own
spiritual development, in magic and ritual or in reading for
Some decks purchased and opened are found to
lack a basic resonance to my energies. Since they
cannot serve in the meditative or reading processes, they
are set aside and earmarked as gifts. This gifting is
one of the traditional methods for a Tarot Master
(i.e. teacher or mentor) to pass a deck to be used for
divination over to one of his/her students.
customary in the way I was trained which involved a one to
one relationship and a lengthy term of apprenticeship
with a Tarot Master (i.e. teacher) or Mentor, for them
to construct a ritual that revealed what card would
function as an "opener" for the student to Tarot itself.
The very beginning of one's Tarot studies let the
Teacher know first of all, if there was an energetic
opening or a doorway that he or she could use into the
deeper levels of the Psyche of the student, and if so
would entry and work in this manner prove to be positive
for the student's development. The opener card also
functioned as a permanent Tarot Guardian and Guide from that
day forward. From this Old World or "guild" method of
choosing and training a student or apprentice comes the way
I open a new deck. The summary card that answers
the query serves to express the energies of that deck,
but beyond that it is a doorway. What that card is
lets me know if I can indeed work with or walk into
that particular deck without opposition as every deck
is actually a world unto it's self, with its own
Sphinx that must be passed in each attempt to penetrate
Some decks opened and evaluated
remain in their original boxes and are never entered into
use. The beauty and allure that caused the need to see
and handle the deck remains strong enough for them to
become part of my Art Tarot Collection, a line of silent
Sphinx sitting up on a shelf waiting for the feather
duster. They have little chance for a work permit save in
the cyclical changes in personal energies that may
come over Time.
Djenra is a Spiritualist with over 35 years experience with Tarot. She is a former member of the World Tarot Readers. Djenra is an initiate in several African based religious systems. She is working on her first Tarot Workbook and on a second book on Tarot history. She is a writer, the published author of a book about the Lukumi religion, and a poetess.
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