opinions

Tarot Lies #2: You have to be gifted your first deck

hah. I started this post months ago. I guess it’s worth finishing and putting up…

Previously on Tarot Lies, we discussed how we’re told we can’t read for ourselves. Today I’ll be ranting about another fucking lie that really gets to me: “You have to be gifted your first deck.” From what I can tell this lie isn’t spread as much as the first one. But it still makes me roll my eyes.

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This deck was gifted to me in my early days of taroting, back in 2001ish.

Don’t get me wrong about gifting. It’s wonderful to give and be given a deck! And if it’s your first one, that’s fantastic! Even better if it’s a hand-me-down, something from an elder, perhaps? That is really awesome and I am jealous of people who have family members who hand their decks down. SO JELLY.

But let’s get fucking real here. If you’re afraid of buying your own deck because you think it’s bad luck, something bad will happen or whatever – you’re just being superstitious. STAHP. We don’t like superstition around here. (if you do then I apologize but you’re at the wrong blog)

I’ve done some poking around to see if there is some sort of origin behind this silly lie but I couldn’t find anything. So let’s break this down, look at it a little more logically than “DURR HURR SUPERSTITION”. (wow I’m really being a bit of a cunt now)

Gifted a First Deck

Pros:

  • Free deck, yay!
  • If it came from someone you respect, that makes it special.
  • It could be a good way to get your feet wet in the hobby, especially if you’re nervous about picking your own deck (which you totally shouldn’t be!). And specially if you hadn’t really thought to try it out before.

Cons: 

  • This is the biggest, most detrimental con I can think of: many people would be waiting their whole lives to be given a deck and that’s just depressing.
  • You may not like the deck given to you and if you’re completely new to it, it may put you off the hobby.
  • It’s just silly. Go buy your own deck if you can.

 

Buying your own Deck

Pros:

  • You got to pick your own deck, something that you were (hopefully) attracted to.
  • You get to be the one to break it in! Nothing wrong with receiving a used deck but it’s also nice to be the first to break in a deck. It’s clean, fresh, and crisp, and probably smells amazing and doesn’t have anybody else’s cooties on it.
  • You’re taking control of your wants and needs, which is rather powerful and very important here.
  • The process of looking for your very first deck can be so fun and educational. At the very least if you’re an art lover you can enjoy it as an art journey.

Cons: 

  • You just spent $15+ on something that maybe you won’t actually be into. That can be a huge chunk of money in some situations.
  • Like the last pro above, looking for your first deck can be overwhelming to some people. You may feel like you may pick the “wrong” one and that can be detrimental to your tarot future if you let it.
  • I really can’t think of any other cons. Just go buy your own deck!

 

Final Thoughts

I feel like the pros greatly outnumber the cons when it comes to buying your first deck. I really don’t know what else to say about it!

I think the only way this “rule” can work is if you have a family that is into this sort of stuff and you know it’s just a matter of time before you’ll receive your first deck. Like I said above, I think that kind of tradition is pretty neat if all parties involved are into it.

So tell me! Did you recieve your first deck as a gift? Tell me all about it! Did you have an interest in it before? Was it a family tradition thing? Was it random? Was it something you asked for? Tellll meeeee.

 

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Tarot lies #1: You can’t read for yourself!

I was originally going to call this post “Everybody has been lying to you about Tarot” but that seemed a bit dramatic.

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clusterfuck tarot tower aptly represents my feels

I have so many bones to pick in the tarot world and the longer I’m in the online community the meatier the bones get. And the more I feel called to help people read tarot, especially for themselves, the more twitchy I get.

This post is a knee-jerk reaction to a video I saw on YouTube this morning. The lady in the video says:

“It’s recommended that you only do tarot readings for yourself at least twice a month. Anything else and you’re going to be getting regurgitated information thrown at you. So if you could do it no more than twice a month that would be really really awesome.”

There is this stigma or superstition about reading for yourself. It’s not every reader but it’s just way too many. Not only can you read tarot for yourself I think you should.

I’m going to mention two things a newbie might hear about reading for themselves, with a suggestion on what they should be told instead.

1. “You’re going to be getting regurgitated information thrown at you.”

I’m quoting from the video I mentioned above, of course, but I’ve seen it worded differently all across the web. I read almost exclusively for myself and I’ve never had “regurgitated information”.

Instead try something like: “You should try reading for yourself for awhile and see how it goes. Don’t forget to journal about it! Figure out if it’s for you and if it’s not you are most certainly encouraged to try again later after you have learned more about the tarot and grown as a person.”

2. “You can’t read objectively for yourself.”

This is a big one and it’s really understandable but I still call BULLSHIT. People are perfectly capable of being objective with their own readings. The problem is of course that there are people are think they can but are just fooling themselves. I don’t want newbs hearing this and turning them off the idea of ever reading for themselves (unless they know they can never be objective).

Try: “To help you stay objective you can get a second opinion on your reading from someone else and make sure you’re really reading what the cards are saying and not trying to make them fit what you want them to say.”

I’m on /r/tarot and some Facebook groups and I’m always seeing people asking about a second opinion on their spreads. I think it’s a pretty good idea for the most part.

My only warning is if you’re an intuitive reader, the cards may tell you something non-traditional and a traditional reader may tell you you’re wrong. In that case you really do need to have a good think and ask yourself if you’re really being objective.

Biddy has a good post on this. Here is another, but similar article.

Final Thoughts

There are a handful of other reasons people give on this issue but they are kind of silly and not as big as the two above. I think the basic idea I’m trying to get across here is “Don’t let others dictate your tarot practice. If it works for you, do it!”

(Tarot Lie #2 is up!)