I bought my first tarot deck when I went through what I like to call a “mystical” phase in college. I had watched dozens of witch movies and thought that tarot had everything to do with witchcraft and spells.
I was wrong.
Tarot has been around for centuries, even though no one quite knows where it came from. There is evidence that it was in Egypt for a time, as well as in medieval England.
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More commonly it is believed that gypsies are somehow responsible for endowing the world with the mystical, magical tarot cards.
Tarot cards are not about witchcraft or spells. They are, instead, about looking into the soul of another person.
How to get started
It’s actually extremely easy to get started reading tarot cards. If you have never used tarot before, and know nothing about it, you should find some instructions.
There are dozens of books available for purchase, as well as hundreds of websites devoted to tarot reading. Then you have to pick a deck. There are dozens of different types of decks out there, and most of them are fine to use.
Eventually, after you get some practice under your belt, you may find yourself wondering if you can, and should, make your own tarot deck. After all, it’s just some cards with pictures on them, right? It shouldn’t take that long to make some pictures and color them in, right?
The Conundrum Of Crawley
Let’s take the example of Aleister Crawley. Aleister believed that he could make up a deck of tarot cards within a very short time. As a matter of fact, he believed that he would be done the deck within two weeks.
He requested the help of skilled drawer, Lady Frieda Harris, in helping him complete his task. For months and years the two went back and forth, doing their best to create the perfect deck. Finally, the deck was published, but not until both Crawley and Lady Harris had passed away.
His deck was named the Thoth deck, and is absolutely breathtaking and very unique. But keep in mind that this beautiful deck of tarot cards took over five years to create.
To draw, or not to draw
There are some people who believe that you do not have to draw pictures on your tarot cards. Personally, I find this just plain wrong.
Tarot cards have a history of being as beautiful as they are prophetic. The question then arises, if you are planning on drawing your own tarot deck, of how good an illustrator you are.
I know that I am a terrible drawer. If I ever wanted to create my own deck, I would probably do as Aleister Crowley did and find myself a good artist to illustrate the deck for me.
You have to realize, though, that there is always the possibility that you and the artist might lock horns about the design, especially if the artist has a lot of pride in their work and are not getting paid for the project.
The bottom line
If you do decide that you would like to create your own deck, you need to be prepared for a number of things. For starters:
• Be prepared to spend some time. It take a long time to make quality tarot decks, so don’t get discouraged if it seems to take a few months or even a few years. At the end of the process, you’ll have a beautiful deck that you can be proud of.
• Become a tarot expert. In order to make a good deck, you need to understand all of the pieces of the deck, as well as why they mean what they do. The pictures are there for a reason, and should help you to weave a story together, when they are laid down properly.
• Size does count. Most tarot decks in the store now a days are overly large. The reason is because the artists create very large illustrations, and then the publisher scans the picture down. If they go too small, it will be very difficult to see anything in the picture. Big decks, though, can be uncomfortable if you are not used to them. Most professional tarot readers us cards that are the same size as regular playing cards.
• Don’t scrimp. If you’re making your own tarot deck, you’re going to want it to last for quite awhile. What’s the good of making a deck that gets destroyed in a few months? Use good material and your cards will last a long time.
It is not necessary to make your own tarot cards to read them. There are dozens of beautiful decks out there that have been around for hundreds of years, and you can easily use one of those.
Do not be discouraged from creating a deck. If you have the desire to do so, go ahead! After all, tarot is all about knowing yourself so that you can create the future that you want.
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