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|Many people find it hard to choose their first tarot deck, so I wanted to write a bit about how to choose your first deck, which decks might be a better choice than others and give everyone a head start.|
One of the most famous decks is called The 'Rider Waite' or to be more accurate the 'Rider Waite Smith'. The publisher is Rider, designer was Arthur Edward Waite, and the artist is Pamela Colman Smith. It was first published in December 1909, 100 Years ago! and has been reprinted many times, and can now be found as the Universal Waite or the Radiant, or Golden Waite deck. The Rider Waite Smith deck was possibly the first tarot deck to change the tradition surrounding the minor arcana cards from being a plain card showing just 6 wands or 2 swords or 5 cups etc, to full blown colour pictures of scenes, thus making it much easier to interpret without specialist knowledge. The pictures have been updated and re-coloured in many decks and this coupled withthe easy to interpret pictures is one of the main reasons that it is still used today by so many tarot teachers and readers.
For our purposes the other main deck is The Book of Thoth or The Thoth Tarot, that was designed by Aleister Crowley using the artist Lady Frieda Harris to paint the cards. This deck was published posthumously in 1969 and some editions have 3 Magus (Magician) cards making a total of 80 cards.
| What is Tarot? |
Many people get confused over what is and what isn't tarot. A true tarot deck has 78 cards. These are divided into 22 Major Arcana cards, and 22 Minor Arcana cards. Arcana means 'secret' and the major arcana can show major secrets about our lives.
They are shuffled and then dealt in different layouts and spreads to form a reading which is then interpreted by the reader and can give answer questions, valuable guidance and insight into our lives.
Many people are wary of the tarot, and who can blame them when faced with cards that have names such as The Tower and The Devil and Death? Contrary to popular belief, these cards are not negative or evil. The Death card rarely means death but instead can show change and an end to something or time to move on. The Devil can show our deeper side, the part of us we keep hidden, and The Tower may indicate troubles and too much energy welling up that needs to be listened to.
Oracle decks usually have fewer cards than the tarot and quite often have message written on them with the meaning of that card and so are very easy to learn and use to give readings. Angel cards are very popular and can give a sunnioer optimistic reading that is gentle and supportive. Crystal cards can help with which crystal to choose each day. Animal cards can help us to link into our animal guides and totems.
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