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Witches and The Use of The Tarot


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#1 Guest_Ophelia_*

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:43 PM

I have recently begun a class in learning the Tarot. I understand this is a very difficult and time consuming area of divination to not only learn, but to wrap your head around the meanings of each card and then how they pertain to life. My question is,

"Do Traditional Witch's use the Tarot alot or as often as other paths such as wiccans?" Or is it considered more of a "specialized field"?

The class that I"m taking is being conducted by a Wiccan HP...(sweet friend of mine...butttttttttttt.....I dunno.....last night was my second class, and her "explantions" of some of the meanings I thought were off abit) I"ve tried to study the Tarot on my own...that flopped bigtime!

What say ye?


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#2 Jevne

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:32 AM

We have discussed this subject before, but I'll weigh in. Understand what I say is true for me, most definitely not all Witches. I can and do read Tarot, but I have a few personal rules in regards to the practice. I will never ask another person (Witch or otherwise) to read my cards. It's a waste of time, because I can make the cards say whatever I want. I used to enjoy freaking people out with that one. They think I have the most terrible or lustful future of any living person (hehe). Most of the "professional" Tarot card readers eventually figured it out and won't read for me anymore. They accused me of mocking them, which is an accurate assessment.

That said, I learned the Tarot from my grandmother, who taught me that the cards' meanings change in context to the surrounding cards. These days I mostly feel my way through the deck. Before I say this, I already know that many people disagree, but I was taught to not charge for using my Craft gifts. I'm not saying that Witches who make their living by reading Tarot or providing other psychic services are bad people, so retract the claws, my Witchy friends. I just cannot do it. For ME, it cheapens the whole experience. If I get to the point at which I cannot figure out for myself what mundane and/or magical steps need to be taken in a given situation, I may resort to some form of divination, but usually as a last resort.

Jevne

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#3 EarthFaery

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 04:00 PM

Oh I have to comment again!
Definitely not a specialized field. Anyone from all walks can read tarot. It's really just a form of divination. I think that people like us are more open and have more experience with divinity in general. Believe it or not in all the time I've been teaching, I have never had a student that was a witch. There is no special anything to the cards, they are nothing more than printed cardboard mass produced in factories.
The key to tarot is learning how the pictures speak to you not so much what each card means...and that you will have to find out on your own and does not require any special type of spiritual practice :) just an open mind
I have my students keep a daily journal. They draw 1 card for morning, afternoon, and evening. At the end of the day they go back and see how those cards described the events of the day...or lack of. What happens is when a card comes up in a reading they can relate it to something and will know exactly what that card means to them, that meaning combines with either the whole picture or little pieces of the pictures and the story just unfolds. Eventually it becomes second nature. The only way to know the cards is to experience them so don't get discouraged. We all experience life differently so the cards are going to mean something different from person to person. It's completely normal and I wish you the very best on your new adventure!
There really is no connection with tarot and witches at all. Originally, tarot was nothing more than a game of cards played only by royalty.

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#4 Guest_Ophelia_*

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:54 PM

We have discussed this subject before, but I'll weigh in. Understand what I say is true for me, most definitely not all Witches. I can and do read Tarot, but I have a few personal rules in regards to the practice. I will never ask another person (Witch or otherwise) to read my cards. It's a waste of time, because I can make the cards say whatever I want. I used to enjoy freaking people out with that one. They think I have the most terrible or lustful future of any living person (hehe). Most of the "professional" Tarot card readers eventually figured it out and won't read for me anymore. They accused me of mocking them, which is an accurate assessment.

That said, I learned the Tarot from my grandmother, who taught me that the cards' meanings change in context to the surrounding cards. These days I mostly feel my way through the deck. Before I say this, I already know that many people disagree, but I was taught to not charge for using my Craft gifts. I'm not saying that Witches who make their living by reading Tarot or providing other psychic services are bad people, so retract the claws, my Witchy friends. I just cannot do it. For ME, it cheapens the whole experience. If I get to the point at which I cannot figure out for myself what mundane and/or magical steps need to be taken in a given situation, I may resort to some form of divination, but usually as a last resort.

Jevne



Oh crap....U know Jevne, I went up to the "search" button like Sandy said to use..(it's our friend ;) ), but I couldnt find the answer to my question! Sorry....I'll take it down if u think it's redundant...no problem! But, I have a question for you...you say u wont let anyone else read your card for u...is this due to the fact that u can "will" what cards they'd turn over for u? My question on having readings is..."when we choose the cards, are they random....or are we choosing each card for a reason?" I"ve tried to do my own tarot spreads; I"ll lay the cards down...and do the reading. Then, I'll shuffle them, and RE-DO the exact same spread...this time...all different cards come up???? Is that expected? I mean..now, my indentical reading..is different, giving me different messages??

~Ophelia~

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#5 Guest_Ophelia_*

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:01 PM

Oh I have to comment again!
Definitely not a specialized field. Anyone from all walks can read tarot. It's really just a form of divination. I think that people like us are more open and have more experience with divinity in general. Believe it or not in all the time I've been teaching, I have never had a student that was a witch. There is no special anything to the cards, they are nothing more than printed cardboard mass produced in factories.
The key to tarot is learning how the pictures speak to you not so much what each card means...and that you will have to find out on your own and does not require any special type of spiritual practice :) just an open mind
I have my students keep a daily journal. They draw 1 card for morning, afternoon, and evening. At the end of the day they go back and see how those cards described the events of the day...or lack of. What happens is when a card comes up in a reading they can relate it to something and will know exactly what that card means to them, that meaning combines with either the whole picture or little pieces of the pictures and the story just unfolds. Eventually it becomes second nature. The only way to know the cards is to experience them so don't get discouraged. We all experience life differently so the cards are going to mean something different from person to person. It's completely normal and I wish you the very best on your new adventure!
There really is no connection with tarot and witches at all. Originally, tarot was nothing more than a game of cards played only by royalty.



Hi EarthFaery! Nice to see u again....thank you for responding to this post. In my studies of the Tarot, I was under the impression that the Tarot existed starting somewhere in the 1400's. During the Hunts and Inquistions, many Witches and Sorcerers went underground. The enemy was destroying everything we had...including all written work. So, to preserve this knowledge, Witches from all over the world came together to share in their knowledge. They then wrote their "secrets" or meanings of their work on cards, and drew pictures depicting their secrets...sort of like in code. Which of course, would make the Tarot an ancient method of revealing our secrets to those who wished to learn it for their own Magical purposes. My teacher said it isnt a good idea to draw one card each day...rather, to draw a full spread once a week, then watch for signs regarding your reading. I however, like your idea of keeping a journel and drawing a card in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening, then reflecting on the day to see if it coincided with the reading?? Nice...ty!

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#6 Jevne

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:33 PM

Oh crap....U know Jevne, I went up to the "search" button like Sandy said to use..(it's our friend ;) ), but I couldnt find the answer to my question! Sorry....I'll take it down if u think it's redundant...no problem! But, I have a question for you...you say u wont let anyone else read your card for u...is this due to the fact that u can "will" what cards they'd turn over for u? My question on having readings is..."when we choose the cards, are they random....or are we choosing each card for a reason?" I"ve tried to do my own tarot spreads; I"ll lay the cards down...and do the reading. Then, I'll shuffle them, and RE-DO the exact same spread...this time...all different cards come up???? Is that expected? I mean..now, my indentical reading..is different, giving me different messages??

~Ophelia~


Oh, Sweetie . . . I didn't say that first part, because I thought your question was redundant, but because I was warning others that they have heard this from me before. Sometimes, I forget what I have said to whom.

It is not the individual cards that I seem to be able to control, but the overall meaning of the reading. I don't do that often, though, because I really do respect the Tarot as a divination tool. I am by no means an expert, but in my experience the Tarot cards, like many other divination tools, are doors, gateways, channels, etc. through which knowledge can flow. But, just because you opened the door doesn't mean anyone or anything is standing on the other side.

I do practice reading the Tarot, get a feel for the cards, analyze the meaning of the cards in terms of their position in the spread and to each other, but if I am really performing a reading for some specific purpose, my entire approach changes. I am not in the habit in reading Tarot or performing any other divination technique for trivial reasons. A trivial reason gives you a trivial answer or at least a confusing answer.

Jevne

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#7 Guest_Ophelia_*

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:34 AM

Oh, Sweetie . . . I didn't say that first part, because I thought your question was redundant, but because I was warning others that they have heard this from me before. Sometimes, I forget what I have said to whom.

It is not the individual cards that I seem to be able to control, but the overall meaning of the reading. I don't do that often, though, because I really do respect the Tarot as a divination tool. I am by no means an expert, but in my experience the Tarot cards, like many other divination tools, are doors, gateways, channels, etc. through which knowledge can flow. But, just because you opened the door doesn't mean anyone or anything is standing on the other side.

I do practice reading the Tarot, get a feel for the cards, analyze the meaning of the cards in terms of their position in the spread and to each other, but if I am really performing a reading for some specific purpose, my entire approach changes. I am not in the habit in reading Tarot or performing any other divination technique for trivial reasons. A trivial reason gives you a trivial answer or at least a confusing answer.

Jevne



Oh!!! Okey dokey...ty Jevne...(derrrrr ophelia) I have a better understanding of how you think of the Tarot.. You must have a gift to channel your...emotions, or thoughts as to produce a desired outcome for a reading...and I think you make an excellent point by saying trival reasons for using divination gives u trival answers....I have found that when I'm not in the mood to do a self reading, whether I'm tired, in a unfocused frame of mind, or...hungry, that my reading lacks..."zing"??? I dunno what the right word is.....I just feel like "whatever"....and put the cards away and that's that! Probably holds true due to "intent"?

Thanx Jevne, as always!
~Ophelia~

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#8 EarthFaery

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:49 PM

Hi EarthFaery! Nice to see u again....thank you for responding to this post. In my studies of the Tarot, I was under the impression that the Tarot existed starting somewhere in the 1400's. During the Hunts and Inquistions, many Witches and Sorcerers went underground. The enemy was destroying everything we had...including all written work. So, to preserve this knowledge, Witches from all over the world came together to share in their knowledge. They then wrote their "secrets" or meanings of their work on cards, and drew pictures depicting their secrets...sort of like in code. Which of course, would make the Tarot an ancient method of revealing our secrets to those who wished to learn it for their own Magical purposes. My teacher said it isnt a good idea to draw one card each day...rather, to draw a full spread once a week, then watch for signs regarding your reading. I however, like your idea of keeping a journel and drawing a card in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening, then reflecting on the day to see if it coincided with the reading?? Nice...ty!

I wish there was more documentation on tarot, there are many theory's out there on how the tarot originated, it's hard to really pin point. The earliest deck found was from the 1400's, it's a Marsielles type deck, it is believed to have been drawn by a french artist but there is nothing really to back that up besides the style of the deck. That's just the deck, they were probably around for much longer. No one knows if the artist was summoned to make the deck, or if it was a gift. History says that anyone other than royalty caught with the cards was punished by death! Can you imagine? I think someone was afraid that hidden truths would come out, that's a pretty drastic punishment. IMHO, picture reading as communication has been around since the stone age. At some point along the way it was recognized as a way of predicting future events probably long before the 1400's.
What you say though, strikes a chord, I did a reading once on this very subject, I don't remember much, but the cards said that the tarot originated with the "gypsy's" or traveling people, as a way of making money fortune telling. They were hand drawn (obviously) majors only with symbols and what looked stick figure drawings. The pips didn't come in until a bit later on when the it was used as a regular playing card deck.Then back to it's original intent adding illustrating pips to provide more details. I'll have to see if I wrote it down somewhere, .

The daily draws seems like a lot but it really isn't, By trial and error I found this to be the easiest and fastest way to learn what the cards mean, along with other fun exercises and going through each card 1 by 1. I encourage my students to read on anything and everything no matter how big or small, just keep on reading.

Well, we may not ever know who invented them but I 'm glad they did! I'm a tarot junkie! LOVE

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#9 Guest_Ophelia_*

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:59 PM

I wish there was more documentation on tarot, there are many theory's out there on how the tarot originated, it's hard to really pin point. The earliest deck found was from the 1400's, it's a Marsielles type deck, it is believed to have been drawn by a french artist but there is nothing really to back that up besides the style of the deck. That's just the deck, they were probably around for much longer. No one knows if the artist was summoned to make the deck, or if it was a gift. History says that anyone other than royalty caught with the cards was punished by death! Can you imagine? I think someone was afraid that hidden truths would come out, that's a pretty drastic punishment. IMHO, picture reading as communication has been around since the stone age. At some point along the way it was recognized as a way of predicting future events probably long before the 1400's.
What you say though, strikes a chord, I did a reading once on this very subject, I don't remember much, but the cards said that the tarot originated with the "gypsy's" or traveling people, as a way of making money fortune telling. They were hand drawn (obviously) majors only with symbols and what looked stick figure drawings. The pips didn't come in until a bit later on when the it was used as a regular playing card deck.Then back to it's original intent adding illustrating pips to provide more details. I'll have to see if I wrote it down somewhere, .

The daily draws seems like a lot but it really isn't, By trial and error I found this to be the easiest and fastest way to learn what the cards mean, along with other fun exercises and going through each card 1 by 1. I encourage my students to read on anything and everything no matter how big or small, just keep on reading.

Well, we may not ever know who invented them but I 'm glad they did! I'm a tarot junkie! LOVE


Thanx again Earthfaery....I've started my journel and drew one card this am...so, we'll see! We'll never know the truth of anything in history unfortunately...I suppose it's all heresay...it's all about what one believes in I guess... OH! btw, not sure if you're aware of it..but there is a website called "tarot junkie"....they have humorous "politically incorrect tarot" cards!

Edited by Ophelia, 07 October 2010 - 02:00 PM.

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#10 EarthFaery

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:40 PM

OH! btw, not sure if you're aware of it..but there is a website called "tarot junkie"....they have humorous "politically incorrect tarot" cards!

LOL, no I didn't! I'll go check it out. Sounds like it's right up my alley

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#11 sarasuperid

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:12 PM

I like reading the tarot for friends. I have learned the cards by reading a few books with meanings on tarot, I didn't memorize the meanings, but after a while, I was able to associate meaning with different symbols. Sometimes during a reading, one card's meaning might elude me, so I look it up. Certain cards come up repeatedly in readings for the same person and so I start to recall what that card tends to mean for that person. If you haven't found a particular deck that speaks to you, but you are still very interested in learning Tarot, then just use the Rider Waite or the Robin Wood deck or some other popular beginners deck and practice. Usually you can get them from a friend who has moved onto their favorite deck and has an old deck sitting around. The important part is associating meanings with different symbols, then you will start to see those symbols repeated through out the the cards--like some of the major arcana have symbols from the minor arcana in them (wands, cups, etc). Once you have a good feeling for various symbols, you can relate the symbols to the querant.
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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#12 Guest_Alayna_*

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:24 PM

I like reading the tarot for friends. I have learned the cards by reading a few books with meanings on tarot, I didn't memorize the meanings, but after a while, I was able to associate meaning with different symbols. Sometimes during a reading, one card's meaning might elude me, so I look it up. Certain cards come up repeatedly in readings for the same person and so I start to recall what that card tends to mean for that person. If you haven't found a particular deck that speaks to you, but you are still very interested in learning Tarot, then just use the Rider Waite or the Robin Wood deck or some other popular beginners deck and practice. Usually you can get them from a friend who has moved onto their favorite deck and has an old deck sitting around. The important part is associating meanings with different symbols, then you will start to see those symbols repeated through out the the cards--like some of the major arcana have symbols from the minor arcana in them (wands, cups, etc). Once you have a good feeling for various symbols, you can relate the symbols to the querant.



Great input Sarasuperid...thank you for adding to the post....much appreciated. I have several decks, not one really speaks to me, although the one I use the most seems to be the Pagan Tarot. They throw modern pics in with Pics of the Old ways...

Alayna

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#13 ejfinch

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 04:12 PM

I have seen the Rider-Waite deck recommended for beginners several times. I purchased two decks at the same time (the only ones I've purchased, so far)-the Rider deck and the Thoth. I have had almost zero success with the Rider deck but the Thoth almost always gives me good results that make sense to me. I'm starting to feel like this is odd or something......
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#14 EarthFaery

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 04:29 PM

I have seen the Rider-Waite deck recommended for beginners several times. I purchased two decks at the same time (the only ones I've purchased, so far)-the Rider deck and the Thoth. I have had almost zero success with the Rider deck but the Thoth almost always gives me good results that make sense to me. I'm starting to feel like this is odd or something......

There is nothing odd about that all! I know a lot of people that feel the same way, I think it's pretty amazing actually. It is normally an an easy deck to read from. There is something about that deck tho that can almost pull your subconscious right out of you, some people are just drawn right in to the symbols and swirls and whirls and just flow right with them. lol...not me though, it doesn't do squat for me ha, unless I used it as majors only. I like the Liber~T, it's sort of a mix of both thoth and rws with illustrated pips. I personally need mega details in the minors, the more the better!

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#15 sarasuperid

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:41 PM

I think that if you aren't drawn to a particular deck at first, just getting a learners deck is a good idea, and most of the books are written about Rider-Waite, it certainly isn't the only or best deck out there. And really your first deck might just be the beginning of the journey. I gave my first deck away because I didn't care for it and I ended up loving my Robin Wood deck that I got later. Very similar symbols but more colorful prettier drawings.
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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#16 Jevne

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:46 AM

I have seen the Rider-Waite deck recommended for beginners several times. I purchased two decks at the same time (the only ones I've purchased, so far)-the Rider deck and the Thoth. I have had almost zero success with the Rider deck but the Thoth almost always gives me good results that make sense to me. I'm starting to feel like this is odd or something......


Maybe, this isn't what you mean, but I would not necessarily discount a Tarot reading, because it doesn't make sense at first. I know someone who reads her cards over and over again waiting for good results (i.e. that she likes or that fit in with her current understanding of a situation). I would make note of the "strange" or seemingly nonsense results, wait a while and try the reading again. Try to be open to other possibilities, beyond what you think you should be getting.

Jevne

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#17 ejfinch

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 01:25 PM

Maybe, this isn't what you mean, but I would not necessarily discount a Tarot reading, because it doesn't make sense at first. I know someone who reads her cards over and over again waiting for good results (i.e. that she likes or that fit in with her current understanding of a situation). I would make note of the "strange" or seemingly nonsense results, wait a while and try the reading again. Try to be open to other possibilities, beyond what you think you should be getting.

Jevne


No, I definately do not repeat readings, even when they seem strange. It's just that, with the Rider deck, with the exception of maybe two readings, the results just seemed completely random and not related to the question at hand in any way. I can't seem to connect with them. With the Thoth, it was immediate. My very first reading made perfect sense. And no, my readings with the deck are certainly not all positive, some are downright disturbing, but yet they feel right. Does that make any sense or do I sound like a complete Loon?

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#18 Jevne

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 02:42 PM

No, I definately do not repeat readings, even when they seem strange. It's just that, with the Rider deck, with the exception of maybe two readings, the results just seemed completely random and not related to the question at hand in any way. I can't seem to connect with them. With the Thoth, it was immediate. My very first reading made perfect sense. And no, my readings with the deck are certainly not all positive, some are downright disturbing, but yet they feel right. Does that make any sense or do I sound like a complete Loon?


Well, you probably are a Loon :witchnana: , but I understand what you are saying. I was shopping with a group of friends recently. They were all standing around a pendulum display trying to pick the right one. I had no interest in purchasing a pendulum at that time, so they were surprised when I leaned in and grabbed one off the shelf. It just spoke to me, so I picked it up.

Jevne

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#19 JessicaAFM

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 05:59 AM

I hadn't looked at this thread yet, and lo and behold I see a friendly face :vhappywitch: Hi Sara!

I agree with ejfinch on this. My Rider-Waite gets so-so readings but my fantasy deck really gives me strong impressions. But I wouldn't have bought my RW if it hadn't somewhat called to me. I remember looking at the cheapest box set (intructions and deck) wondering why I just didn't get it when this deck was getting my attention more. That was nine years ago and I have since only bought one other deck. Although there are plenty of them on my wish list.

Jessica

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#20 Jevne

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:56 AM

A family member gave me a little set of Rider-Waite cards, which literally fit in the palm of my hand. They are about half the size of a normal set of playing cards and absolutely adorable. As a general rule, I only read with my personal deck, but I may make an exception for these lovely, little cards. It is not convenient or safe to carry around my private deck, but these tiny beauties, I can easily conceal.
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