Tarot Cards and Cast Iron Pans

If you’ve ever had a reading with me, you most likely began by choosing from one of my go-to decks: the Rider-Waite, which was my first deck ever, or the Golden Tarot by Kat Black. They are like my favorite cast iron pan and my favorite wok side-by-side. Well seasoned.

So when I noticed that my Golden deck was short 11 cards — the exact count of my previous reading — it was a huge disappointment. Scary, even! I’d lost the use of half the tools of my trade! The bright side is that it forces me to break in a new deck, and in so doing, I’m getting a first-hand lesson in tarot card energy.

Decks store energy and become stronger with use. Readers and seekers alike inform the cards every time we touch them. This leads some to want to protect their decks from negative energy, but that hasn’t worked for me. Early on I followed tips to cleanse my cards by dealing them out in a star shape, or by periodically storing them back in numerical order. Each time I did, the subsequent readings felt hollow, like I’d smacked a magnet against a table and jumbled its magnetic field. Or, to stick with my original metaphor, it seemed the tarot equivalent of washing a cast iron pan with dish soap.

Some energetic rituals work for me. I love to shuffle my cards in the light of the full moon. I smudge them with sage smoke from time to time, though not if I’m expecting guests anytime soon. After those treatments, the cards do feel better. They feel rested, enhanced and responsive.

While I wait for my 11 Golden Tarot cards to resurface, I get to focus on a new deck: the Fountain Tarot, by Jason Gruhl, Jonathan Saiz and Andi Todaro. I will study it, smudge it, sing to it, and gradually start reading with it. I get the feeling it will work for me. The Fountain Tarot was just published this year, and is absolutely gorgeous. Here are some of my early favorites. Take a look!

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