OG Tarot: The Standards & Their Modern Counterparts

If you want to get serious and scholarly with your Tarot studies and history, you'll ultimately run into the three decks that pretty much form the backbone of tarot as we know it today. Historically, the Tarot de Marseille reflects the beginnings of tarot with its non-scenic pips and archaic visual interpretations of the Major Arcana. The Rider Waite Smith (RWS), on the other hand, infuses the "original" Marseille cards with a scenic Minor Arcana that, along with the Majors, incorporates esoteric messages and the occult leanings of the Golden Dawn (an organization from the late 19th century to early 20th century). 

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Better Together: The Sasuraibito Tarot and the Awakened Soul Oracle

For most of my readings, I like drawing from two to three decks. Mixing up the tarot with oracle is a favorite practice of mine because I get the best of both worlds—the structure of the tarot and the soft, affirming hug that an oracle delivers (granted, not all oracle decks are all-affirming and the ones I do own also carry a lot of hard-hitting shadow messages).

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The End: Death

When first time querent get their cards read, one of the biggest concerns they voice out is that they don't want to see the Death card popping up in their spreads. This is why, as part of my spiel to tarot newbies, I explain that Death doesn't really mean Death… and what they perceive as a generally bad, ominous thing can actually be positive.

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Tarot Top 5: Intention Setters

Confession: Sometimes, I pull cards just for the heck of it. As in last week's Tarot Top 5, I find shuffling the cards and just playing around with them a great way to bust through boredom. A lot of times we look at the tarot as a highly esoteric and spiritual practice that helps us get in touch with the deepest parts of ourselves.

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Upside Down: The Hanged Man

From one of my challenge cards, Justice, we move on to one of the cards that sometimes feels threatening or scary for clients who aren't used to tarot imagery. The Hanged Man does, after all, typically show you someone who's literally turned feet over head. But by infusing your readings with some positivity and perspective, it's possible to find opportunity in this precariously positioned Major Arcana character.

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New Moon: Work vs. the Doldrums

Here's a familiar scenario: You're stuck at your desk, knowing full well that your employer / boss / Entrepreneur To Do List is waiting on you to get things done. Technically, you know how to get results but Real Life is getting in the way. When a lot of stuff is happening outside the workplace— and I mean the kind of stuff that stirs up emotions in not-so-good ways — it can be extremely difficult to get back to business and just get on with your top priorities. 

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Tarot Top 5: Boredom Busters

While it would be super ideal to always be pulling cards because I want to set intentions, give someone a positive message, or soothe my soul, I think I actually turn to my tarot collection when I don't have anything better to do and I just feel like playing. You're never bored when you're toting a tarot deck with you—even just one image can provide hours upon hours of inspiration and creative prompts

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Fair is Fair: Justice

When I think of Justice, my mind immediately goes to fairness—people getting their just desserts. When we're on the losing end of a black and white situation and feel we've been unfairly treated, we sometimes wish that someone would intervene and defend us. In this card, that would be Lady Justice… the person whose role is to help restore balance in any situation.

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Tarot Top 5: Tarot for Down Days

Songwriters come up with their hits when they're at their lows, we pull out our journals when we've got a bunch of complaining to do or anger to be released, and oftentimes, we turn to the cards when we need some cheering up. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's shuffled the cards as an alternative to: a. calling up a friend and talking about the same problem for the 100000th time, b. going out for a few drinks (I don't drink, so therein lies the problem…), or c. Netflix as a way of forgetting.

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Luck of the Draw: Wheel of Fortune

Unlike a lot of the symbolism found in the tarot, the Wheel of Fortune is one thing that's still very present in the zeitgeist. You could be familiar with the game show or maybe have heard the term in a heist / gambling / casino-type movie… Even without any tarot associations, it's easy to equate the term "Wheel of Fortune" with chance and luck.

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It's Oh So Quiet: The Hermit

The Hermit is a special card for me because not only is it my birth card, but it embodies who I feel I am (for the most part!). The Hermit is usually coupled with a light, representing the insight and enlightenment that can come from solitude, self-reflection and silence. In the Spirit Speak Tarot's off the cuff rendition of the Hermit, the spark comes from the Hermit's finger.

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