Last night, I had the pleasure of appearing as a guest on the Tarot’s Apprentice channel and had a lovely conversation with Johnie. I’ve embedded the video below, but if you would prefer to watch it directly on YouTube in a web browser, you can find the video here.
For those of you who may not know Johnie already, his was the first tarot class that I took, and I definitely recommend the class to others who want to learn more about tarot.
Our conversation is about an hour and a half long and covers a fairly wide range of topics (all personal opinions, of course).
We discussed what we each believe to be the best ways to learn tarot, what we each suggest as a good “starter” deck, and some ways to cleanse the energy of a deck.
He had previously been asked about possible recommendations for people with smaller hands, as well as some other deck-specific questions, such as:
- Is it normal to have a deck for “heavy” topics and one for “lighter” topics?
- What are some of your favorite decks?
- Do you have a deck that works well that you don’t actually like very much?
- How do you choose decks?
I surprised myself by getting excited about some of the mental “hooks” a tarot student can use in order to remember the minor arcana suits. I do plan to work on a blog article on this topic in the future.
We also went through what we would pick as the seven decks for the seven deadly sins, which was a fun exercise.
I was challenged to narrow my cards down to my three favorite decks, and I failed the challenge. I did get it down to five, but it wasn’t the specified number.
Another interesting topic of conversation had to do with whether it is important for a reader to stick with the traditional meanings, or whether he/she can use their intuition to read the illustrations. Our consensus was that it’s important to learn the basic meanings of the cards, so that the reader has that foundation secured. After that, then intuition and artistic illustration will certainly come into play, and can provide additional nuance to the reading.
However, some tarot cards don’t look anything remotely like the traditional RWS illustrations. In theory, you could make a tarot deck with index cards and simply write the names of the cards on each one. If you have the fundamental knowledge of the card meanings, you will be able to do a reading with those index cards and the words written on them.
Should you choose to dive more deeply, you can also do a reading with a regular set of playing cards. I’ve uploaded a video of the Divine and Play Tarot, which is a lovely combination of playing cards and tarot cards. Please do check out the video here (and subscribe to my channel while you’re there – it would greatly help me out with the YouTube algorithm and visibility in search results!).
As a side note, the gentleman who created the Divine and Play Tarot deck (Matt Green) has a new project on Kickstarter – please check it out and consider supporting his effort! I’m not affiliated with him in any way, just trying to help him out.
All in all, chatting with Johnie was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As I mentioned, he was my first tarot instructor, and I learn something from him every time we interact. If you ever have the opportunity to take his class and learn about the magic cards, I definitely encourage you to do so.
Random side note: I also discovered that I talk with my hands a lot more than I thought I did. That’s always fun.