I just bought a tarot deck, now what do I do?

Once you have bought a deck, you must familiarize yourself with it and start your study of Tarot.  Open your deck, but don’t shuffle it yet. Or if you have played with it already, resort it into suites. Read the little white booklet  that came with the deck. Raymond Buckland made a good suggestion: read the booklet that came with the deck once, then throw it away. Instead of following what others say, try to see to see what the cards suggest to YOU.  Lay out the major arcana (that starts with the Fool and the Magician and goes up to the World (number 21.) Study each card individually. Look the objects people are holding and the colors of their clothes, the flowers or backgrounds of the pictures.  Look at how the upper row (cards 0-10) cards 11-21. Do you see similarities or differences in the cards? Try creating a story about them. Once a Fool (the seeker) bundled up his tools in a bindlestiff (a bundle on a stick, used traditionally by hobos and wanderers) and set out. He laid all his tools out (the Magician) and began to work. He met a High Priestess who told him of great secrets of the tarot,  and so on.

Then lay out the minor arcana in rows above each other from Ace to King and do the same thing. Tell a story of the cards from Ace up. Aces may not have much of a picture on them, they are new beginnings, “births” as it were: new ideas based on the suit (Cups are emotions, Swords are fears and pain, Wands are business and enterprise, and pentacles are money and power.) Tens are endings or ends of a cycle. Pages are students and messengers sending messages OUT, Knights are bring messages BACK, Queens are peers or friends, Kings are people in a position of authority giving advice or counsel.  Try telling the story from King down if it helps: a counselor or teacher gives you good advice, your friends give you their take, messages come for you and you study all of well, then….. eventually coming back to Ace and more new ideas.

Now that you are a little familiar with them, try shuffling the cards and using them. Keep them by your bed and every morning as you get up, pull a card. Study it and think about it all day. How does it relate to your day?  Did you pull the 2 of Pentacles and have to juggle a lot of jobs all day? If you pulled the Magician did you amaze everyone with your expertise or (reversed Magician) were you fooled by a sly someone?

Don’t be afraid of reversed cards. Think of them as meaning NOT whatever the upright meaning is. So the Fool is not bold and fearless, he is timid or maybe RECKLESS. Two of Pentacles Reversed: dropping things either because you have too many balls in the air or have decided it wasn’t worth it.

Try keeping a tarot diary. In the morning, write down the card you pulled and in the evening think of how it related to your day. Not all cards will work right but some will give you wonderful new insight and help you open up your Inner Vision.

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