My first experience with Tarot cards was way back in May of 1981 during my eighth grade class field trip to Whalom Park in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. The park’s motto (by the way) was “for a whale of a time!”
While wandering the grounds I discovered a tent with an older woman sitting outside. A sign nearby said she was a fortune teller. The interior of the tent was dark and shaded in stark contrast with the late May sunshine.
I paused and peeked inside. Watching me closely, the woman asked if I wanted to have my fortune read for $5.
Mustering up my courage I nodded “yes.”
She smiled, stood and entered the tent. I followed close behind and took a step inside. As my eyes adjusted to the shade she motioned for me to take a seat. She sat at the back corner of the tent behind a small, round table covered with a purple tablecloth which draped to the ground.
I sat in the chair facing her and fished a $5 bill from my pocket (lunch money my mom had given me that morning).
First, she asked me to extend both hands to her, palms up. She looked closely at the palm of my left hand and traced the lines with her index finger. “You’ll live a long life” she said. Then she looked at my right and smiled. Satisfied, she released my hands and started shuffling a deck of well-worn cards.
I was mesmerized.
One by one she started placing cards down on the table. I was captivated by the card’s artwork as she arranged them in a pattern. Satisfied with the layout she started telling me a story about my life, about “who” I really was, what my gifts were and what would happen to me.
Most of what she said was forgotten pretty quickly, but a few things she said that day would resurface for me later in life.
I remember her saying that I would have two children (this turned out to be true). She said I would live a long life but would have a few close calls with death (also true). And she said I would marry the third person I proposed to (also true, sort of).
When the reading was over she looked at me very closely. In a serious tone she told me that the future she was seeing was something that I could change if I wanted to, based on my own choices and decisions. That the future yawning ahead of me wasn’t set in stone, so to speak.
My second experience with traditional Tarot cards was back in 1993. This time I wasn’t alone.
A girl I was dating at the time brought me to a Tarot reader on one of our dates. I’m not sure what my then-girlfriend was thinking when she took me there (surprise!) and had me go first. Was she looking for some confirmation from the reading that I might be “the one?” Or, if not “the one” then a perfectly suitable “right now?”
We entered a small white house along a busy street in the greater Taunton, MA area. I took a seat opposite a middle-aged woman who smiled as she began shuffling the cards. No palm reading this time. She asked if I had any questions and all I could muster was a shrug. Strangely, as I sat there watching her shuffle there was no memory of my first experience at Whalom Park nearly twelve years earlier.
One by one she pulled cards out of the deck and laid them on the table.
The first message which came through was that I would get married to the third person I “intended to” marry, who, incidentally, would be my soulmate. The next was that I would have two children, a boy and a girl. Finally, she said I would live a long life and would eventually move to the west coast of the United States.
In a flash I remembered the reading from my eighth grade field trip. And what struck me most as I sat there was how eerily similar her messages were when compared to what I had heard years before.
A chill ran down my spine. My girlfriend looked me over but said nothing.
What were these two talented women able to see or “tune into” for such clear messages to come through, especially given the amount of time between readings?
If you’re raised in certain religious traditions you’re told not to seek out “divination” because somehow it’s bad for you, or a sin of some kind. As if God/Love/Spirit only talks through some “approved” channels and not others, as if your particular church/synagogue/temple has a monopoly on truth or a “hotline to heaven.”
In my case I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from Kindergarten to eighth grade. Thank goodness the nuns didn’t see me entering or leaving that tent during my field trip!
But I digress.
The important thing to remember is this — there is a
spiritual truth which often gets lost beneath all the “warnings” and rhetoric which you do need to keep in mind, neatly summed up in one word. Truth be told, it’s a word which has fallen out of favor in recent times yet it remains as relevant and as valid as ever. The word is “discernment.”
Now, the definition of “discern” is…
to distinguish (someone or something) with difficulty by sight or with the other senses.
The reason why this word remains vitally important is because traveling the spiritual path (which is an inward one) requires you to follow your own intuition or “gut feeling.” Because there are no external sign posts to look at, no Google maps or GPS system to “guide” you to your “destination,” you must learn to hear, and then follow, your own inner voice.
Does that make sense?
This is why so many online intuitive readers continually say that you should “take what resonates and discard the rest.” Because at the end of the day you and you alone are responsible for your choices, your decisions, and the path which you will ultimately take and follow.
In case you’re wondering by the way, two related definitions of “resonate” are…
- to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions
- (of an idea or action) to meet with someone’s agreement
The “someone’s agreement” is your own inner knowing, your intuition, your “voice” or quite simply, the feelings you feel based on what messages come up. Because the thing about any reading is this — they are messages which attempt to break through mundane reality to find you where you happen to be right now. But you have to interpret the signs, the messages, for yourself.
And herein lies the challenge.
No matter how amazing a reader is, no matter how “tuned into” spirit she or he might be, you have to make sense of those messages for yourself. Both general readings and private ones, too. Because the “art” to reading signs and symbols and then seeing where they fit (and where they don’t) is not as simple as reading off a baking recipe or doing basic addition. Signs and symbols are powerful because they are timeless, with a rich and vibrant history of meaning. But applying them to your particular situation requires imagination, discernment and your own intuition in order to get it “right.”
In my particular case, the fact that two different “readers”
nearly twelve years apart basically said the same things to me was extraordinary. And in both cases what they said to me turned out to be true. My then-girlfriend was someone I was considering getting a ring for in six months if things would have continued along the same trajectory.
But things changed. For the better.
By the way, she was the second girl I had thought about in this way (though she had no idea), but in the car ride back to her apartment she kept asking me if she was the third.
Let me tell you, that was a one long and awkward conversation back to her place.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t break up with her because of the reading. I didn’t have to. For no particular reason the whole relationship began to unravel on its own a few short months later.
Why a “re-imagined” deck?
My introduction to Oracle cards happened much later, back in January 2017.
This happened by way of YouTube at a time when the next phase of my spiritual journey was underway. It was there that I found (was guided to) Alison Lessard, a gifted intuitive reader whose videos did a lot to help me make sense (and confirm) the changes that were taking place in my life. A couple of decks I resonated with early on were the Rumi Oracle and the Journey of Love Oracle.
At some point between then and now I ran across an old Lenormand Deck and found the card titles and more “practical” applications of the deck intriguing.
I liked the idea of the deck but found the traditional artwork a bit dated and “off putting.” Additionally, two of the cards struck me as badly in need of an “upgrade” (the “Whip” and the “Coffin” cards, which have become “Rope” and “Headstone” in this new deck).
To be honest, I’m not sure when the exact idea or inspiration came to me to create a newly “re-imagined” Lenormand Deck. It was back in February 2019 that I started looking for photographs for each card, preferring clear and compelling images over artwork. The guiding inspiration for the “new” deck was a quote from my favorite author.
Here it is…
“Is it that we are so caught up in our own network of problems, our own desires, our own urges of pleasure and pain that we never look around, never watch the moon? Watch it. Watch with all your eyes and ears, your sense of smell. Watch. Look as though you are looking for the first time. If you can do that, that tree, that bush, that blade of grass you are seeing for the first time.”
~ J Krishnamurti
Nature is an amazing teacher (should we care to look, watch or observe attentively). And so the title for this new deck emerged, “Nature Speaks.”
The guiding principle of this “re-imagining” was to look at the traditional deck as if for the first time, find striking photos for each of the cards and then match each one with a short reflection. In this guidebook you’ll find 36 reflections along with “keywords” for both “light” and “shadow” aspects combined with questions to guide your own meditation.
It is my sincere hope that something within these pages will provide you with the guidance you seek.
How to use the deck
It seems that every guidebook I’ve run across has this section in it, as if you’re new to cards such as these. But the fact of the matter is that most people who will get this deck (or one similar) will most likely be adding one more to their collection.
So… if this IS your first deck you can Google the different types of spreads that people tend to use. Or you can simply start shuffling the deck and let your imagination or intuition guide you as you go. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to lay out the cards.
For my part, sometimes I have a question in mind and start shuffling until one card (or a few) falls or “pops” out of the deck. That’s usually all I do. Then I “sit” with the card (or cards) to see what comes to mind. But you’re different, so just be open and ask your questions and wait to see what happens.
For me, the key to cards such as these is based on the type of questions you ask and the issues you’re seeking clarity on. For example, questions like “what can I learn from this situation?” typically work better for me than super specific questions regarding time, like “when will such and such happen?” Remember, some types of questions are “easier” for Spirit to “answer” than others, because what you’re seeking is guidance and maybe some confirmation of your own intuition rather than solutions to a math problem.
Does that make sense?
Now, if you’ve used Tarot and Oracle decks for some time you don’t need me to tell you how to “use” this deck. You’re probably much more experienced with the “how” than I’ll ever be.
At the end of the day, whatever your background or reasons for getting this deck I hope you find it helpful and uplifting as you continue along your own beautiful, sacred spiritual journey.
To ORDER your guidebook and deck today please click the link.