Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Tarot Journey

My name is Selene Lilitu, the Moon that belongs to the Night. I am a Diviner. We all are, in some way. We all read signs around us to understand what came before, what is happening around us, or to tell a story of what will happen in the future, whether it is five minutes or five decades from now. People will argue that if they see clouds ahead and say it will rain that it is a scientific fact, not mystical. My answer to that is that everything is mystical, even science. Everything on earth moves in time to the beat of a drum none of us can hear, but we can feel in the turn of the seasons, in the birth of babies, in the very breath and life of our Mother earth. No Scientist can ever tell us why we are, why the earth is, and the only how they know is the mechanics of the thing, We cannot grasp what Hand it is that flips the switch, we cannot fathom what entity keeps the cycle spiraling.

By that token then, all methods of discovering information about our present, past or future are equally valid and simply take practice. As with anything, we are all drawn to different things. Scientists are drawn to their science, they are the pragmatic kind that like to know the nuts and blots of everything, right down to molecular structure and energy synapses. And on the opposite side of the Wheel are the ladies who read tea leaves, those who watch the face of the moon, stare into a mirror or crystal ball or smooth pond, swing a pendulum, who read Cards. We are the ones who believe the same as the scientists but who call things by different names, and who embrace the part of our world we cannot see: the Divine. We understand that a thought or a feeling is a real, tangible, measurable thing, and we understand the power that we have to channel energies the way batteries and lasers do, and with the strength of our will, we can affect the things around us. So we pour our energies and belief into our chosen forms of Divination, and by so doing we can see the signs and their outcomes as clearly as others see the clouds that mean a storm. Subjective or not, we get the answers from the Divine in the way that is exactly right for each of us.

I confess that growing up under a cloud of Christianity I was a little wary of Tarot, but intensely curious. My step-mother was a very affected church-goer - I do not consider her a Christian - and my Gran was very much a Christian, my family was generally Christian-minded just because it was how they grow up and it was the climate they lived in and none of them were really soul-searching types. The country I live in is mind-numbingly closed-minded Christian. It's not that I intrinsically thought there was anything bad about Tarot, but it had been denounced so often during my childhood by almost everyone in authority that I was a little scared at first, and I was worried I could get in trouble. Then I went to University and a friend had a pack. I never touched it but she did a few readings for me, and I enjoyed it very much. When I returned hom from university, I had begun to investigate all the questions about everything I had been taught. They had been plaguing me for years, and I resolved to get to the bottom of it all. It was in this way that I came to Wicca. Paganism sat well with my soul, and when I came across the topic of Divination, my first instinct was to go back to Tarot.

The very first Tarot deck I ever actually held in my hands was The Aquarian Deck, seen below.


It belonged to my new boyfriend at the time (who became my husband two and a half years later). I had come to Wicca recently and was fascinated by anything minutely Pagan/Occultish, and was yet unaware as to where I could find such things in Barbados. He is buddhist, but had also always loved Tarot, specifically The Aquarian Deck, and a friend brought it for him from Canada. I thought it was beautiful, and ornate, and I tried to study with it, but it never really connected with me. Although it is based on the standard Ryder-Waite deck it is much more involved and detailed, and I had no book to study from. Broad-based Tarot books didn't help.

The first deck I owned was the Morgan-Greer Deck. Beautiful and colourful, is is almost exactly the same as the Ryder-Waite. The illustration style is different, as you can see from the two Fools, but the imagery is nearly identical, and so any book I could find on Tarot was helpful enough in learning the cards, their meaning, spreads and readings.

The Ryder-Waite Fool


The Morgan-Greer Fool

Then my spirit-sister Faemore opened up my world. I don't believe in coincidence. I do not know what inspired her to get me the Goddess Tarot as a gift, as opposed to some other deck. She knew that my Moran-Greer had taken a beating, and that I was ready to move on to something more advance. I had always known I would not use Morgan-Greer forever, that it was just a learning deck for me. On her trip to Atlanta in 2008, Faemore picked up a Ryder-Waite Tarot and The Goddess Tarot for me. The Ryder-Waite because she couldn't find a Morgan-Greer and she thought I might want a similar deck in the interim, and The Goddess Tarot because she thought I would like it. But when me eyes first fell on The Goddess Tarot I did more than 'like' it. I knew that this would be my most favourite deck in the world, for the rest of my life, no matter how many other decks I studied or used. It's kind of like when you meet your soul mate, if you have been fortunate enough to have that meeting. You realize how wrong you were about all your other mates, thinking they were it, but the moment of understand is so powerful.

There is something about the aesthetics that I love, the paintings by Kris Waldherr, the creator of The Goddess Tarot. I also very much like the way the major arcana centers around different goddesses and their experiences,, and that the minor arcana is drawn from four major societies in history: Egyptian, Viking/Norse, Roman and Indian. It is a very feminine deck, and I know through meditations that I am very feminine in my energies, and so I feel a kindred with this deck. The Major Arcana follows a similar path as that laid out for the Fool in the Ryder-Waite and similar decks, but changes the terms used for the cards in some instances, for example the term "Beginnings" instead of The Fool.

I have since had occasion to use other decks such as The Motherpeace Tarot, Shaman Wisdom Cards, and Manga Tarot. I now have in my possession The Dragon Tarot, Unicorn Tarot, and Osho Zen Tarot, in addition to the Aquarian Tarot and my Goddess Tarot.

The Dragon Tarot



Unicorn Tarot


Osho Zen Tarot



I also have the Tarot of the Witches in my possession, but it isn't a deck that I feel an affinity for, somehow. It kind of came to me by accident and I'm keeping it until I can either return it to its former owner or give it to someone that it speaks to, since I don't believe in destroying anything of value, and I do think it has value, though it is of no use to me. The imagery does nothing for me on a vibrational level, I do not feel these cards in my soul, which is no fault of the creator, but merely means that the aesthetic is not for me.

Tarot of the Witches


My Morgan-Greer deck was passed on to a friend for learning and practice, and it continues to serve well, as it did for me. The Ryder-Waite was also passed on to a friend. The Dragon, Unicorn and Osho Zen were gifts from a friend, there are technically on loan to me. I am safeguarding them until she has need of them again.

That latter deck, Osho Zen, is a breathtaking deck, and very spiritual in its nature, using clouds (Air), Rainbows (earth), Fire and Water as suits, and cards like Existence, No-Thingness, Aloneness, Change, Thunderbolt and Past Lives in the major arcana. It is a very specialized deck, more complex than most and yet so simple, and comes with its own book. Dragon Tarot is interesting and fun and speaks to our more animalistic side. The symbolism and imagery is very similar to the Ryder-Wait or Morgan-Greer except that instead of human figured, it is all dragons. The Unicorn deck is the same kind of deck as the Dragon, using standard imagery and symbolism but always with at least one unicorn present. It is whimsical and fun, and speaks to my day-dreamer's heart.

But The Goddess Tarot will always be the one I return to. I feel the most affinity with it and I get the most out of readings with this deck. I will do a blog later specifically about the Goddess Tarot and some of my favourite cards.

I encourage all to experiment, to search for you perfect divination tool. You might get lucky and find it right away or it might take years of searching. But almost as the Wand chooses the Wizard in the Harry Potter series, so too your divination tool will choose you. Keep looking!

Blessed Be,

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