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Join Date: 24 Jun 2009
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strings of life 
An introduction & my One Deck Wonder:

Alamaris, seeing this thread made my day !

I was contemplating starting a thread similar to this as well but couldn't decide how to resurrect the one deck study. See, it was called the One Deck Wonder, which seemed to focus more on reading with the deck, tossing the books and LWBs. When it morphed into the Intensive Deck Study, it felt...what's the word...inclusive to some degree in my opinion (read the threads, especially the guidelines). So many rules. I couldn't help but wonder, I don't want to study my deck. I want to read it! I signed up a few times and my interest died out rather quick. Like a few days quick.

Before the One Deck Wonder thread (in Alamaris' first post) there was another thread: The International Icon and Me. Satori explained why she started the thread (you can read about it there, but it came from a conversation with AT member Umbrae) and she decided to share what she was going to do: read with a deck exclusively in order to get to become a better reader. Umbrae said it best in this thread. He recommended using the International Icon Tarot since it was the RWS stripped down to the basics along with a TdM. I highly respect his opinion. Taken from the thread:

Originally Posted by Umbrae View Post
Let me back up and see if someone’s behind me…

A little history here.

I recommended that Elf use one reading deck for six months (actually 1 illustrated pip and one non-illustrated pips).

Now I prefer the International Icon as a reading deck for face-to-face readings with strangers (with or without candy).

It’s inherent and intended lack of detail allows for more fluidity of thought and intuition. The colors are brilliant in concept and design.
I recommend that folks go to the Tarot Garden Library and read the interview that Dan guy did with Robin Ator – they discuss the actual creation of the deck at some point.

It’s a readers deck.

And by it’s lack of detail, helps us make that transition to face-to-face readings for strangers.

Now that’s my opinion.

Freeing the mind allows us to focus more upon the sitter, and The Process of reading.

Six months is a suggested time for making that ‘transition’ of focus.

And no, I’d not suggest ‘cheating’. The way the mind works, you’ll find yourself sitting there with a client who’s reaching for a tissue and you start ‘thinking’, “if only I had my Fey” – and then you won’t see the answer that’s sitting right in front of you. It’s our minds and thoughts that have to be re-trained as we make the transition from ‘reader’, to Reader.
Originally Posted by Umbrae View Post
The idea here is to be basic. Simplify everything. Put it all away. Pack it all away. Pack the books. Pack the decks. Keep one very very basic WCS and one very very basic unillustrated pip'd deck.

A standard icky old USG Waite deck is fine if you don't have an ITT.

I really cannot recommend any other deck (or ANY books) for this exercise. You may wanna use a different deck; you may not want to pack up the books and the decks...

But this exercise is not about what WE want.

It's about being better readers in (face-to-face) readings with strangers.

This whole exercise is about stilling ego, so it's not about the deck WE WANT. It's about going basic, going lean.

Kind of like mystic casting off the trappings of the mundane world except a loincloth and a wooden bowel.

Go basic.

The IIT is the most basic of basic. In being so it helps open you up. Minimalism will set you free. You’d spend the money on dinner and a book – the deck is inexpensive.

Packing up books I hear you cry? You've got a book with 78-pages that can be arraigned in infinite chapters. What more do you need?

And I don’t wear armor…
** Edited to add some clarification: While Umbrae stressed (face-to-face) readings since that was what Satori was working on, I feel that this applies to reading in general, for yourself, even online readings. It encompasses any time of reading! **

The nuts and bolts? To become a better reader doesn't mean that you have to study a deck in an academic way that is unique to that deck. To become a better reader is to get to know your deck: the cards, what the colors and the symbols mean to you in a reading, anything that helps you tell the story you see. Numerology, colors and symbols have been used for centuries to evoke certain emotions and have meanings that transcend time.

However, if working with one deck and reading the companion books and studying is what floats your boat? Go for it.

Originally Posted by Alamaris View Post
As far as the rules are concerned, I think keeping it simple is the best policy.

I'm no arbiter, but going on the basis of old threads -- how do these sound?

1. Time limit of at least one month -- any shorter and you're better off doing a Deck of the Week study.

2. One deck, plus one Marseilles-style deck if desired (that is, one deck with illustrated minors and one with pips). I believe that in the IDS threads some people picked one tarot and one oracle, but I feel that's a personal matter -- any discussion of the oracle would be done in the oracle sub-forum anyway, so it's a bit of a moot point.

3. No cheating. If you buy or recieve any decks, you can check for completeness and flaws, and then promptly put them away with your other decks.

4. Handle your chosen deck every day even if you don't read with it -- a quick minute of shuffling while your soup heats up is better than nothing, if you're rushed.

5. Journaling as such is not necessary, but keep a wee notebook or a tablet nearby to write down any epiphanies, or quick reading sketches.

6. Have fun! If you're stuck or frustrated with your deck, post here for hugs, commiseration, and support.

I feel that books are well within the bounds of the ODW concept. Some decks have systems that can't be learned without a companion book or research, unless you're doing a full-on intuitive run.

We can do it!
Excellent rules because you know what? The less rules the better!


Now for me? My One Deck Wonder focus:

I'm going to use the International Icon Tarot (II). Since it is the RWS stripped down using iconographic signs, your eyes can focus on the colors and the symbols in an uncluttered way.

1) Time frame is 6 months and will introduce a TdM in July, after I have worked with the II for 6 months. You know what? When you are passionate about something, 6 months or even a year, isn't a terribly long time. I'll still acquire decks, but I just won't use them.

** ETA: I made it until March 21 - 3 months! I'm proud of myself, but am dealing with too much in real life right now and simply can't focus. I'll still be working with my II and still have plans to post in the Study Group. **

2) I'll be using The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols book to better familiarize myself with colors, numerology, and other symbolism. I also have 2 oracle decks on color that I may use: Dreaming in Color: Luman Deck and The Secret Language of Colour Cards

3) I will NOT read any Tarot books. None. I've read so many already. Just me and my deck!

4) I'll be journaling (blog TBD, notebook).

5) I will also post in this thread and in the II Study Group: Back to Basics - International Icon Study

6) I will handle my deck daily and will carry it with me when I can, and I'll draw a card a day or do a small spread a few times a week. My aim is for this to be an enjoyable journey, not a task.

In the end, I want to become a better reader and no a deck inside and out. And while the story in the cards may tell me something new each time, I want to know why certain symbols make us feel the way that they do.

I'm a compulsive deck flip flopper and I thought long and hard about what deck I was going to use after I read the One Deck Wonder threads and the original Talking The International Icon and Me threads months ago. It took a long time to decide whether I wanted to use the II and a TdM, just the II, just a TdM, or another deck and in the end, I decided to go with the II.
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