I bought my first tarot deck from a New Age store at fifteen. At the time, I lived in a small city where finding this kind of establishment felt almost scandalous.
I had been brought up in a loving, kind, and supportive Christian environment and my exploration into other beliefs was often encouraged. My mom, who was working on her masters degree in ministry at the time, would take us to these kinds of shops herself. All paths held value in our home. (She did later tell me that she didn’t want tarot cards in her house, but by that time the cards were already comfortably sitting in my room. There’s more to that conversation-later.)
I remember it all so vividly. I tried to be very practical about it. The deck that I couldn’t resist had a large book sold separately and of course I wanted the complicated cards. I bought the book first and began reading through while I earned the money for the deck.
I began getting anxious as I waited. It was as though my time was running out. I finally had the funds, even if it was a stretch and excitedly bought the deck roughly a month later. About a week or two after that I wanted to find more goodies at the store, but it was gone. Boarded up and empty. It was as though it had never existed. I had always had company when I went, but it was as though no one even remembered the place.
We’ve been thick as thieves ever since. I often carried them with me, studied the book over and over. I wrote out all my readings and mapped out the correlations and extra meanings. Because they are circular, the readings have even more interpretations; more nuance. Some names are different and the layouts are really in-depth.
Until a year ago, they were my only deck. I had tried a more traditional one, but we never clicked. I tried a fairy Oracle deck, but they were too fluffy for me. One deck was plenty and I was satisfied to keep it that way.
Then, this past Halloween, I came across a Hocus Pocus deck at Target. They practically jumped into my cart. My oldest has a Nightmare Before Christmas deck and I really love the way they represented the cards through the story characters. This deck is the same way and has its own specific layouts too.
Then, I came across an Alice in Wonderland deck at Jo Ann Fabrics. I actually talked myself out of buying them, but couldn’t resist. I raced back after work a couple days later to grab them before heading home to get the kids from the bus stop. Three decks. It feels like a good number.
They all seem to get along. Mother Peace is still my main deck with over twenty years together. The Hocus Pocus is more for fun. Nothing too heavy in those readings.
The Alice in Wonderland has been more exciting than I had thought. It’s almost as though we’ve known each other all along. They fit with a different aspect of me than my Mother Peace.
I’m enjoying unlocking a deeper understanding of tarot through these three different perspectives. My kids have gotten really into tarot as well, and each have found a deck they like. With their permission, I’ve been looking at those layouts and meanings and delighting in their different ways of seeing the same thing. The different intentions of each set.