I mostly use a Tarot deck that I created myself. This was quite an undertaking to make as I’m sure you can imagine. It does mean that it isn’t always as pretty as a commercial deck but it works extremely well for me.
The first Tarot deck I ever used was the ubiquitous Rider-Waite deck. It was given to the family and I used it more than anyone else.
I will admit that I really was never very comfortable with the deck. I find it trapped in a time & mindset that I think is somewhat negative. It is almost like the deck is trying to apologize to its detractors by trying to be what they are. However, I know it is still popular and to many the very definition of what Tarot is.
I think somewhere around this time we had the Mythic Tarot deck in the house. I was interested because it was using the Greek Legends I loved but it didn’t resonate well for me.
The Merlin Tarot
My next deck was R.J. Stewart’s rather complex The Merlin Tarot which is a very deep and fascinating concept that is all laid out in great detail in his books.
The Major Arcana & Court Cards are beautiful artwork but the Minor cards are somewhat like playing cards with a one-word tag which while effective in some ways is not so well suited to reading for others. That said, I used them professionally for a while.
The Witches Tarot
Life n I was asked to work when I didn’t have my cards with me. I was given Ellen Cannon Reed’s lovely “The Witches Tarot” to get me on the job.
The very emotionally engaging images which are beautifully airbrushed, on a borderless card, made them a joy to use in a public setting where I was having to see new people every few minutes (not a very healthy thing I can tell you).
I learned a lot from the supporting books. I would still encourage these books to anyone wanting to get a true understanding of what Tarot is about.
The New Possibilities Tarot
I always knew that eventually, I needed to make my own deck. I think it is a thing any dedicated Tarot reader should do before they can be considered a Master of the form.
It took me somewhere around a year to make the deck entirely as I drew and re-drew concepts for the cards in pencil, let them sit, inked them, and then coloured them all in. Finally, I took them to a somewhat bemused commercial laminating business where I had them cast as cards.
The whole process taught me so much about Tarot in general and my appreciation of how a deck & I work together. It also taught me to roll with what life does. When the cards were handed back to me by the laminator, they felt all wrong, but over time the very thing I thought wrong helped define the way I work best.
I use “The Hermit” to define the deck as Tarot is about a journey of self-discovery. You see a person in a dark & desolate environment on a lonely road with nothing but a lantern. Oddly the light shines only on him. In the sky you see him being “lead” by a star and “trailed” by the moon.
Many people see Tarot cards as having one defined meaning per card (with a reversed or negative version). And a “reading” is a result of regurgitating those meanings.
It isn’t that way at all. Tarot is about patterns & connections. The cards lay out a story around the person’s real question. It is not uncommon for the real question to be not quite what the person thought they were asking. The cards work on what the person needs instead of what they think they want. The cards are canny and hard to fool.
The name “New Possibilities” came from several sources:
- In my reading, I am always looking to help people find a way forward. If they are at a point of pain then that needs to be a new way, a new possibility.
- Tarot is a tricky thing. It is like a book that explains everything in life only some Fool forgot to sticky-tape it together so every time you open it, the story is different. The possibilities are endless.
I designed my deck with the sense of creating patterns & showing connections so many cards have features in them that connect to other cards. This can be a very powerful thing in readings as it helps show how the web of the story is laid. It also helps remind people that in one situation, the seeds of another wait.