I’ve not written about tarot in a while so just wanted to get down a few things. I’ve not actually managed much tarot because I’ve been so tired and Aug was stained glass month. Did I tell you about that? I did an amazing course with a fantastic and thoughtful teacher and made a piece of stained glass from scratch!
A card a week
Ok, back to tarot. I’ve almost reached the end of my sort of a card a week thing. It was inspired by Carrie Mallon’s memento mori post and I had wanted to blog about it each but that never happened. What did happen though was that I developed a deeper understanding of the cards.
Each week I reflected on the previous card and how it had featured over the week for me. I also used it as an opportunity to read Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom for the card and I updated my little white book with what I had discovered. Mostly so that it would fit better with a year cycle, I only used the minor cards and some weeks drew two and others life took over and I didn’t draw any. This means that assuming I manage the remaining weeks, I will have completed the minors over the course of a year. I’m starting to think about how I can use the major cards, all 22 of them, this coming year (October to October). Had there been 24 I’d have perhaps drawn one at each full and new moon… Thoughts are welcomed!
Brady Tarot Deck
I am very excited about the Brady Tarot deck which is being created. It is drawing on natural history and uses print making which is one of my favourite forms of art. The images so far are beautiful and offer a lot of scope for getting to know the card as they are detailed and evocative. The images draw of North American flora and fauna and part of the profits will go to a conservation charity. They are clearly a work of love and passion and because of this, they are taking longer than expected, but I don’t mind at all. I love getting the updates and am excited about seeing all the cards!
Alternative Tarot Course vs 78 Mirrors
I recently had an email from someone who was reading my blog (I love emails, go for it if you want to get in touch!) and was wondering about whether the Alternative Tarot Course or 78 Mirrors would be best for her. As we were pinging emails, Beth from Little Red Tarot announced her new course which sounds amazing! I can’t comment on that as I’ve not done it but I thought it might be helpful for other people to hear about the other two courses.
78 Mirrors and the Alternative Tarot Course (ATC) are both great. And they are totally complementary. I did the ATC very early on in my tarot journey and the 78 Mirrors as a more established self reader and this obviously affects how I engaged with the courses. The first thing I would say is about money. ATC is considerably cheaper than 78 Mirrors and a lot of that is because they are delivered very differently.
ATC is self guided so if you learn better on your own, or can’t commit to a set time scale course that might be best for you. 78 mirrors has more of a structure in terms of when emails get sent etc but if you get behind or whatever you still have all the info to catch up with. What you would miss to a certain extent if you couldn’t keep up would be the value of the facebook group (I joined facebook just for the group) which was good for getting other people’s ideas and things. Because of the number of people on the course and the way facebook groups work, I think if you got really behind in the course you’d find it hard to find the relevant bits of conversation and could miss out on the interactive side of things.
78 mirrors covers things more from a card by card perspective which builds up your own version of the little white book. On the other hand little red is more about helping you get to know the cards in your own way. for example she looks at the way elements interact with each other and what sort of a reader you want to be.
I couldn’t possibly say which was best and as I think I’ve made clear, a lot will depend on how you learn and what time you have available etc. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s started Beth’s new course which is taking a card a day and could possibly be a sort of bridge between ATC and 78 mirrors.
Same card, different deck
The final thing I wanted to mention was a post over on Little Red Tarot about using different decks to deepen understanding. This is one of the most powerful things I got out of Susannah Conway’s 78 Mirrors course. For the course, she advised we had a Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck, a take on the RWS deck (in my case Tarot Of Pagan Cats: Tarot Deck) and a third more independent one (of course this was going to be my beloved Wild Unknown). I did not chime at all with the RWS deck but using it along side the cat deck helped me deepen my understanding of the cards and helped me to see the wild unknown cards from a different angle. There are so many decks out there that it can feel overwhelming and you can struggle to know which one to use. I trust my gut when I turn to my cards and whilst I almost always go for the wild unknown, from time to time I feel compelled to either combine it with another deck or use another deck entirely. It can be expensive but there are various tarot apps which can reduce the cost. Or if your hope is to compare cards and meanings, you could try one of the many many websites which offer interpretations as well as images of the decks.