I was not impressed by the tarot when I bought my first deck of cards. I was in college and involved in a volatile relationship and I needed to know what the future held for me, so I rushed to the mall to buy my first deck. I went to Spencer’s Gifts and bought the only deck they sold at the time, the Rohrig Tarot. http://www.astroamerica.com/t-rohr.html
To say I was lost is an understatement. The German deck had layers of imagery and symbolism that I did not understand and the little white book (the small book of explanations that typically come with tarot cards) did not help me understand the complexities of my relationship and its future. So I bailed. I put the cards away and didn’t pay them a second thought. Eventually that all-important relationship faded away as well.
After moving to Los Angeles, California a few years later I wandered into a metaphysical bookshop called The Psychic Eye http://www.pebooks.com/ and started browsing their tarot decks. I’m not sure if it was the mystical ambiance of the store, the beautiful artwork of the cards, or just being in the mood to buy something, but I decided to give the tarot another shot. I ultimately settled on and purchased the Rider-Waite-Smith deck as that was/is the deck most people are encouraged to learn when first studying the tarot. http://bit.ly/1EYcD3q The bookstore also offered tarot classes, so I signed up and began again with my tarot journey.
There was about five of us. We sat in a little circle in the back of the store and vigorously scribbled notes as our teacher explained the symbology and layers of meaning for each card. The white dog in the Fool, the table of magickal elements in the Magician, the child riding a horse in The Sun…there was so much to learn, know and understand. It was daunting and overwhelming and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it. Though I found the whole idea of the tarot cards fascinating, I wasn’t clicking that well with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck either. It was much better than the Rohrig Tarot but its artwork was archaic and the colors were abrasive (way too much mustard yellow!). But I kept trying and studying and practicing spreads.
One day I mentioned to my dear friend Andrew my new found interest in these picture cards that can tell your future. So for my birthday he surprised me with the Mythic Tarot deck. http://bit.ly/2skOsPu Thank you Andrew!
This was it! Finally, MY deck! I loved it! It was the brilliant work of Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene with beautiful illustrations by Tricia Newell that created this deck. These ladies took the traditional tarot meanings and found a Greek character or myth that reflected those attributes for each card! Staying in sync with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, Newell created artwork of these Greek characters and stories, but portrayed them in concert with the original vision of the Waite-Smith deck. Being a natural storyteller myself, the Mythic Tarot was perfect for me. I was finally able to connect to each card immediately because all I had to do was look at who or what was pictured in the card and remember the Greek character or story that corresponded to it. As I bonded to these cards I learned the meaning for every one of them. In no time I was practicing spreads and reading for friends and family.
When learning the tarot, there seems to be two groups of people. There are people who believe the best and only way to truly learn the tarot is from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the other group believes you must find the deck you best connect to. I am in the latter group, as I know my true love and connection to the tarot began with the Mythic Tarot deck.
So for those who are new to your tarot journey, my suggestion is to have a Rider-Waite-Smith deck on hand and even explore your connection to it. If it doesn’t fit for you, keep searching, because YOUR deck may be coming to you and you will begin this mystical journey for yourself.