February 22, 2023

My Journey Through the Tarot

Back in November, I went to the Salvador Dali museum in Monterey, California. There were several lithographs of Tarot cards that he had designed for the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die. My husband and I talked about the movie, which I did not remember seeing. I know I read the book as a child, since I read all of Ian Fleming's work, the few available books in English available at the Luxembourg airport, along with Agatha Christie.

I didn't really remember the story or that there was a tarot reader in it, but I do remember being about twelve years old and going to London for the first time. We went to the large department store Harrods, which I had heard had an amazing toy section. I searched and searched for Tarot cards. They had many different playing cards and card games but no oracle decks. In the twelfth grade, I wrote an essay on the tarot, even though I had not yet seen, let alone touched a deck, cobbled from some information in the Random House Encyclopedia.

It was only in my early twenties, the summer I came to Santa Cruz, that I encountered the tarot for the first time. I was at a LBQ-BBQ up at UCSC, and one of the women had brought the Motherpeace Tarot by Vickie Noble. I was enchanted. I went down to Gateway's Bookstore the next day for my own set. About a year later, in 1988, I came across the Daughters of the Moon Deck by Fiona Morgan, which was then just a black and white deck. I spent about a year living in Idaho and during that healing time hand painted the deck with watercolors.

After I returned from the Global Walk for a Livable World, I worked at a metaphysical bookstore called Aries Arts for three years. We carried around seventy different tarot decks. I loved bringing them out from the glass counter showing people the cards, talking about the cards, learning about the cards. Then I owned my own bookstore, the Herland women's book-Cafe, we carried at least three dozen different decks by female artists. When the store across the street, 13 Real Magik, closed, they consigned all their decks to me so now we had around a hundred different oracle card sets. After I closed the bookstore, I began doing reviews for US Game Systems. They would send me decks and I would post on my blog. By now I had a lot of decks, so a few I sold, a few gifted to clients and quite a few given to local metaphysical bookstores.

I moved from retail therapy to hypnotherapy. I finished my PhD in Holistic Health. My thesis was entitled Journey Through the Tarot: An Integrated System for Holistic HealingA comparison of the traditional Rider Waite Tarot cards to four modern-day decks (Daughter's of the Moon, Tarot of Transformation, Osho Zen Tarot and The Tarot of Transformation) demonstrates how the Tarot is an integrated tool for holistic health that offers insights for personal growth and transcendance through the use of symbols, archetypes, and allegories. It's a sweet little primer, check it out.

Then I took a class in Soul Collage at Cabrillo College. I set the intention to make my own deck of 78 cards which I call the Baby Crone's Tarot. About a year later, I wrote poems for each of the images which are now published as a meditation set.

I have been working on two other decks, one called the Tarot of the Banal which is photographs of everyday objects. The other is the Holistic Tarot which is a combination of colored pencils and watercolor focused on universal symbols. I also have a series of portraits. I've only done the Major Arcana but I think the Tarot of Kayla could be a totally fun project. I continue to take classes, most recently with Afefe of Touched By Tarot. It has been a long romance, yet I still feel like I've just begun courting the cards.

Blessed be.