Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Which Tarot Deck Should I Use?

By Alan Joel

I get asked this question all the time, which is not
surprising since there are hundreds of versions of the Tarot in
existence. My key criteria for choosing a Tarot deck is that it should
form a complete working system of symbology.

Magically, when we
use the Tarot, it represents a microcosm, a smaller version of the
Universe. Therefore, everything in the Universe has to be able to be
represented by the cards in the deck.

There are three major magical uses for the Tarot:

1. Straight divination

2. Spell work (these decks are especially designed for spell work)

3. Working the Tree of Life (for doing a great work)

Very
few Tarot decks can fulfill all three of these requirements. There are
only three modern Tarot decks that I know of: the Waite-Rider,
Morgan-Greer and Thoth decks. The other decks are incomplete for these
endeavors. For instance the Aquarian deck is a beautiful tool for
divination if you are used to working with Zen or Hindu concepts, but
it's virtually useless for spell work and has no relationship at all to
the Tree of Life.

Who Created These Modern Tarot Decks?

All
of above-mentioned Tarot decks were created by members of the Golden
Dawn. Arthur Edward Waite created the Waite-Rider deck (Rider was the
name of the publisher) and Pamela Smith, also of the Golden Dawn, did
the artwork for the cards.

Lloyd Morgan and William Greer
disagreed with Waite's approach, arguing that the Waite-Rider deck was
too austere, too mental and too intellectual. They created the
Morgan/Greer deck by adding fancy symbols, such as vines, to the top
half of all the cards in the Waite-Rider deck.

Aleister Crowley
created the third deck, the Thoth deck, which has some notable
differences. For instance, there are no Kings in the Thoth deck because
Crowley felt that men never reached maturity, but were always stuck at
the level of the Prince, or adolescence.

Learn More About the Tarot

Although
the teachings of the Tarot were originally given orally, in more modern
times people have written down some guidelines as to the meaning of the
cards. However, the true use of the Tarot is to allow the cards to
represent something different and specific in each reading. There is a
magical ritual to "key" your deck to your energies, so that the cards
will do this.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Alan
Joel co-founded the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic with the
goal of the helping people create permanent, positive change in their
lives through the study of magic and shamanism. Get free magical and
shamanic tips and resources at http://www.shamanschool.com
To learn how to key a Tarot deck and use it so it actually does act as
a microcosm of the Universe, check out our Tarot Home Study Course or
join our upcoming Basic Magic Class. Check out the upcoming Basic Magic
class at http://tinyurl.com/basicmagic


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