Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

The Tarot is an ancient tool for divination and personal discovery. A lot of Wiccans use it as part of their journey on this path. I’ve found Tarot to be an interesting side study to my study of witchcraft. In my experience, it has been the most profound form of divination that I’ve used.

The origin of Tarot cards is a bit of a mystery. A lot of authors have theorized the history throughout the years. Aleister Crowley, the famous occult author, believed that the Tarot could be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians. However, the first concrete appearance of the Tarot was in 1392. The cards first appeared as instructional tools for young people, and used for gambling. It is not known how or why they started to be used for divination purposes.

If you want to start studying the Tarot, the first decision you have to make is to choose a Tarot deck to work with. There are literally hundreds of Tarot card choices. One of the most popular decks is the Rider-Waite deck. It makes a good beginner deck, and I’ve used a variation on the Rider-Waite deck for years. Golden Dawn mystic Arthur Edward Waite conceived this deck and instructed artist Pamela Coleman Smith in their creation. The artwork and symbology are clear and easy to understand, yet still beautiful to look at.

Some other good choices for beginner decks are the Hanson-Roberts deck, the Robin Wood deck and the Aquarian deck. All three are very nicely illustrated and have easy symbology to read.

After working with a basic deck for a while, you can look into a ‘specialty’ deck that is centered on a particular theme. I’ve experimented with a few of these.

The Herbal Tarot uses illustrations of herbs on each card, and has similar graphical elements to the Rider Waite deck. Each card has a specific herb. This deck helped improve my knowledge of herbal correspondences. The deck works well for readings that deal with health and healings.

The Thoth Tarot Deck was invented by Aleister Crowley and illustrated by Frieda Harris. The cards are very rich symbolically and include references to the Qabballah, Egyptian mythology and numerology. There are a few substitutions to the normal tarot pattern. There are Disks instead of Pentacles, and he uses Princesses instead of Pages. This is a difficult deck to read as it has many layers in symbology.

The Voyager Tarot is absolutely beautiful. It is made up of collages, and contains both ancient and modern images and symbols. The numbered cards include keywords printed on them. This deck is much attuned to the subconscious and the suits are changed. The Swords are Crystals and the Pentacles are Worlds. The standard court cards are replaced with Man, Woman, Child and Sage. The Voyager Tarot is a very modern tarot deck, which some may not be comfortable with. If you appreciate modern art though, you’ll like this deck. This should definitely be a second or third tarot deck purchase since the symbology is very rich and somewhat hard to interpret for beginners.

Currently, my favorite deck is a little gem called the Tarot of the Cat People. The deck is perfect for anyone with an interest in cats and/or sci-fi worlds. The deck is set in a world inhabited by Cat People, and representations of these people appear on every card in the deck. They are beautifully drawn and I’ve found that readings with this deck are profound and insightful.

Of course, your experience with these decks may be different than mine. Most people who begin studying the tarot collect several decks to try them out. You can find Tarot reviews online, and pictures of decks. Go with a deck that speaks to you and seems to call your name. There is a whole world of Tarot to explore, and I encourage you to make it part of your walk on this path.

Love And Light,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

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