About two years ago I bought myself a tarot deck. I had thought about buying one for a long time, mostly when I was in high school and my beginning obsession with witches was beginning, but good old Catholic guilt got in the way of that. It wasn’t really until a few years ago when Buzzfeed published an article about a tarot card deck that people were getting tattooed on themselves. I was curious; I knew very little about tarot cards aside from the fact that people used them to tell the future and that one of the cards was Death. They were used by fortune tellers on T.V. and usually brought about mystery and disaster with whatever the cards said.
Still, I was curious. So I read the article (or looked at the pictures, since that’s all you can really do when reading a Buzzfeed article) and was amazed by the artwork. Kim Krans, the illustrator and creator of The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, uses a lot of nature imagery in her design of the deck using trees, the moon, swans, deer, snakes, and other animals and nature symbols to represent the different courts of the deck. But my favourite part of her design is the colour, the focus of the deck whether it’s the animal or tree will be black and white while the background or certain aspects of it will be highlighted in colour. Some of the cards have a rainbow of colour, others are more subtle, but they’re all so striking that I was immediately drawn to the deck. I debated buying it online but went against it, telling myself that I wouldn’t use the deck, that it was just a strange and fun thing I wanted to own. I didn’t need it.
And there are some unofficial rules to the world of tarot. One thing is that it can be seen as unlucky for a person to buy their own deck and that you should receive it as a gift. While I understand the mysticism of this I’m not a fan of it. What if someone gets you a deck that you don’t like? I know we say don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do believe you have to be interested in the cards your reading, and before this deck I hadn’t found a tarot deck whose illustrations drew me in. Then there are the cards in general and how some sort of connection needs to be made between the reader and the deck. This one I understood more but again, how can someone buying a deck for you know which cards will mesh well with you?
So I decided not to buy the deck online and put the whole thing out of my mind until I went up north for vacation and found it in a store. Now, the store isn’t witchy or pagan per se, but it’s very hippieish and spiritual. They sell gemstones and incense, so a tarot deck wasn’t surprising but the fact that it was the one I had been looking at online and the last one in store seemed like some sort of cosmic sign (or maybe that’s just the cards in general) and I bought them.
I started writing my dealings from the deck to see which cards popped up most for me, what card might represent me, or what I needed to focus on. According to my notebook I officially started reading the cards on August 22 2017, not very regularly of course, but I’m trying to get better at it.
The first card I ever dealt was The Lovers, though its future wasn’t meant for me which is another thing I’m learning with the deck. When I started reading the deck I assumed every card I chose had something to do directly with me, and while they may in some vague way at times the cards also tell me about someone I know, a friend, a family member, something at work.
I sound crazy, don’t I?
Here’s the thing, I don’t know if there is any truth to reading a tarot deck. It’s easy enough to say that it’s all coincidence, that the meanings of the card are vaguely written enough that they can relate to any emotion, any thought that you are feeling that day. But from my short experience reading my deck I’ve found that the card I choose every day usually relates to how I’m feeling in some way, that it eerily mirrors what I’m thinking or some conflict in my life.
I don’t do the kind of readings you see on T.V., the “Past, Present, Future” readings. It doesn’t interest me, so I was happy to find the “Card a Day” reading in my book that came with The Wild Unknown. The “Card a Day” reading is literally shuffling the deck, asking “What do I need to focus on today?”, cutting the deck, putting it together, and choosing the top card to see what I should focus on. The book calls it a good way to know the deck and learn to do simple readings. It’s the reading I like best, it might even be the only reading I ever do.
I haven’t found one card that represents me yet, though a few different ones have come up at different times, trying to tell me things I sometimes understand and sometimes don’t. The card in the picture for this blog post is the “Mother of Wands” and it’s one I pulled twice in December and now once in January. Here’s what Krans says about the card:
“MOTHER OF WANDS (ATTRACTIVE, DOMESTIC, VIBRANT) – The mother of wands is a vibrant woman and happy mother. Family comes first in her world – she’s very protective of it and is the dominant parents within the home. Though proud and determined, she has enough grace and beauty that you’d hardly notice her forceful nature. Oftentimes she has overcome great pain or trauma in her life. It’s important not to get on her bad side,” (Krans, Kim 69).
The cards aren’t always as literal as their name, and sometimes there meanings are harder to decipher than I’d like, but I do believe they all mean something in my life or about me in one way or another. And who knows, maybe this card means something to you, whoever is reading this. Maybe it’s what you needed to see today, maybe it helps.
Or maybe you need a deck of your own to figure it out for yourself.