I’d been curious about the tarot since I was about 18 years old. I was fascinated whenever anyone read my cards (whether they were right or wrong) and I remember buying a book written by Emily Peach about tarot cards – I didn’t get beyond Chapter 1. In fact I don’t even know where that book is now (and I keep track of ALL my books)!
The first tarot deck I bought was the Legend of the Arthurian Tarot. I was at a shopping mall in Sydney (well, Parramatta actually) in 1993 and was wandering through a book shop and came across the tarot shelf. It was the only deck available in the store so I decided to buy it. Again, I don’t even know where that deck is – if I go through everything in storage it might show up again… When I did a Google search for some of the images, they didn’t even look familiar – that’s how long ago it’s been since I’ve looked at this deck. I didn’t get very far with this deck – I was in Indonesia and wasn’t able to get hold of any books and soon lost interest in the cards…
Fast forward to 2001. I’d been in Madrid for a friend’s wedding and was at Madrid airport when I spotted the Salvador Dali Tarot deck for sale at a shop in the airport. I just had to have them.
The deck came with a thin booklet which didn’t really tell me very much about how to read the cards. I just knew that I loved looking at them, loved the gilded edges and loved how they felt in my hands… I did a couple of online courses and also managed to find some courses on tarot reading at the College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington (yes, it really does exist). I even did a course on finding your spirit guides – I remember sitting there with my eyes closed wondering if I was wasting my time because I couldn’t sense anything, when I felt someone push me from behind. I turned around in surprise but of course there was nothing there apart from the wall, which was about three inches behind me. I sat up and started paying more attention at that point.
But back to the tarot courses, I went to three courses – for three different levels – all on Saturdays. They were brilliant. While I loved my Dali Tarot deck, I learned that they were just too awkward to shuffle if I was going to use the cards regularly – they’re a little bigger than the other decks I have and those fit in my hands perfectly. One Saturday afternoon I went to Mysteries, a shop in Covent Garden to look for another deck. I spent ages in there and eventually decided to go for the more traditional Rider Waite deck (of which there are several versions)… And over the years, I’ve seen my tarot card collection grow as more and more interesting and unconventional decks are created.
What do I like about the tarot? I like pulling a card for myself every morning – just to have some guidance for the day. I also like reassuring people that they’re moving in the right direction. I believe that when people come to me with questions for the cards, they already have the answer within but are looking for that extra validation. Also, a tarot reading isn’t written in stone – if you don’t like the outcome, change what you’re doing. It’s as simple as that. Your destiny lies in your own hands.