Welcome to my addition to the Lammas Blog Hop!
In case you have just randomly come across this (HURRAH!) then The Tarot Blog Hop is a collection of people who have decided to blog about a particular theme or question. By clicking on the links above or at the bottom of the page you can ‘hop’ to other people’s blogs on the same topic!
Our quest this Lammas-tide is…
So your mission this Tarot Blog Hop is to discuss how you show respect to the Tarot (remember it is called the “Tarot Blog Hop”) and things that you have learned not to do. It can range from smudging the deck periodically to elaborate rituals like the Golden Dawn uses, from not using the cards until the dinner table is clean to well, whatever it is that you do. We all have stories about this subject–if you don’t, you would be the first reader I ever encountered that didn’t have stuff to say on this topic.
Well… I must admit I was dumbstruck!
How do I respect Tarot?
Does Tarot need my respect?
I drew a few cards on the topic from my Noblet…
The Centre cards are the 2 de Batons and Le Fov. Tarot for me is a verb – a doing word – something I hold and value to do it, rather than think or read or talk tarot. Tarot and taroting is the magick. That and a matter of perspective for me is the ritual and the respect.
Of course, there are 2 sides to this story.
Respect comes from the tradition and to the tradition (Pape) and being a very eager student to learn and do tarot (valet de bastons) but a careful balance of that with thinking, or in my case being an over-thinker and analysing things (Roy d’Espee) to the point where I can actually paralyse myself from doing anything and trapping myself, like the 5th Baton that grinds everything to a holt (5 Batons).
From my experience, rituals and using them to respect things can be a double edged sword.
Coming from a very magical background (foreground, all the ground! I’m so magickal I walk on stardust haha) I have to admit I have ZERO special rituals with the cards.
NADDA – NOT ONE JOT.
I don’t cleanse them during moon phases, or put them with crystals… most of my decks live in the boxes they came with. Some of them are held together with hairbands or maybe have a tarot bag because they are going to be in my handbag and bags will just fall apart in there.
To me, the cards are 78 pieces of card.
Pretty, wonderful, lovely, but pieces of paper.
The most illuminating experience I have of how papery they are is that I once spilt tea on my Noblet deck. After getting over the panic of it all, I couldn’t bin them just because they were a little stained and a little warped after drying them out. I did press the deck under a stack of books, but that’s the most I did to make them ‘perfect’ again. And that was functional so they would shuffle better.
I think because of my utter lack of ‘faff’ with the cards, these cards are even more beautiful and the Noblet is one of my go-to TdM decks now. Not the Noblet in general, just this one. My one.
In fact – I would make an argument to say that unless you have loved Tarot decks so much that they are stained then you aren’t showing them enough ‘respect!. I want to see decks that people have loved and are loving using them, musing over them, carrying them with you and near you. I want to see decks that have been loved so much they ended up being spilt on, battered, a bit weather beaten, scuffed at the corners (perfect for pointy edge decks like the Noblet anyways as it rounds the edges), dog earred boxes and generally looking used.
Tarot decks that are new and shiny to me are like having snazzy gel pens in sealed boxes or lots of sticker packs but never sticking stickers in random things like notebooks. I feel that there has to be a balance between caring for something we want to last vs getting dogmatic and ‘superstitious’ about it.
Of course – the collector in me has decks that I love yet too scared to carry with me because I know now they are OOP or ‘valuable’. But my battered Noblet, my weather-worn Druidcraft, my dirty edged Thoth…. these are my babies that are with me or near me 99% of the time.
Rituals are great. I love rituals (like I said – I’m a magick loving ceremonial gritty woad wearing occultist and witch who loves a bit of mud in her Magick). I love things to look neat and tidy and lovely. But, to me, the biggest ritual you can do with a tarot deck to love it, is to spill tea on it.
For me, the Power comes from Within. When I shuffle the cards I breath in deep and connect to my Higher Power, my Centre and hopefully tap the shoulder of my Holy Guardian Angel to get some insight. I might say a little prayer to help me get into this headspace, as well as form my question. This for me is respecting the cards… this bit of connecting to the Power within me, the Tarot, Spirit, Great Spirit. This is the moment of when they go beyond just being pieces of paper and become the Holy Book of Tarot.
And all that I can do whilst in bed, in a cafe, reading the cards inside, outside, whilst my dog is trying to lick them, whilst having the TV on in the background. If I am not centred and in that Tarot-Space and trying to read… its just playing with the cards, holding, looking, shuffling… until that breath and that connection and then its reading Tarot and becomes something Sacred.
Words from the Great Mother Charge come to my mind which express this so well…
And for those that think to seek for me, know that your seeking and yearning shall avail you not unless you know the Mystery. If that which you seek you do not find within you, you shall never find it without you.
For I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
And just to upset some of the wooden box, silk scarf wrapping people, here’s something to make your toes curl…