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DO YOU remember the moment you became interested in Tarot?

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I was in Germany in the US Army in 1970, and a friend had a copy of the Aquarian deck sent to him from home. As a former graphic arts student I found the images compelling. I was already into astrology at that time, and tarot seemed like a natural complement to that.
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I don't really remember. I don't even know how I first learned of Tarot. I do know that I received my first deck as a teenager, when I was around 16. My parents gave it to me.
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Growing up I was obsessed with the middle ages. And not the way that most children are, with royalty and knights and castles - we're talking reading academic analysis of passion plays by the time I was in grade six (it helped that I had a university-level reading comprehension), and teaching myself calligraphy in an attempt to re-create illuminated texts. I still consider the Major Arcana, particularly in TdM decks, as primarily a passion play.

By grade seven I had exhausted my studies since I wasn't up to learning latin and I'd read all of the available resources, so I moved on to the renaissance. One of the first things that I learned about was the Medici family - and how a deck of cards was created to celebrate a wedding. And lo and behold you could still buy a copy of that deck! I desperately wanted it because I was now obsessed with the period and the idea of owning something (even a reproduction) from that period was mind-blowing to a lost thirteen year old in North America, with little hope of getting to see these marvelous things in person.

I read that you could read them similarly to playing cards, so I taught myself how to read playing cards while I let my parents (and their friends) know that I really wanted a Tarot deck. One of their well-meaning friends (she was wiccan) gave me the RWS at 14 explaining that it was the best deck for beginners (I never got allowance and I didn't know where to buy a deck so I didn't know how to ask for one) and, since it was what I had, it's what I learned. It never clicked with me, as I desperately wanted the VS.

I still dream of going to Germany to see the passion play in person.
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My mother gave me a deck on my 12th birthday and informed me that I was expected to learn how to read with it. It was the Universal RWS, and the book she gave me was The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, and apparently my patience and tolerance for texts I find dry was much better then than it is now.

But I know I was a lot younger--maybe five? six?--when I started noticing my mother's cards and asking her about them. She was the type that kept them wrapped in silk and didn't let anyone else touch them, so oh, how I longed to get my hands on that deck. I never did and she didn't read for me so I' not sure, but I thiiink it was a Swiss 1JJ, so now, as an adult, I own like three copies of it. Hah.
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Back in the stone age, 1973. My friends and I all played with an IJJ Swiss deck. I scared myself badly (it got too real) and stopped playing with cards, stopped getting hunches all of it. It wasn't until 1986 that a friend came to a room party at a science fiction convention and pulled out a tarot deck and said, "Look what I learned how to do!" that I rediscovered tarot and as Gregory said, "the rest is history."

barb
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Funnily enough, there was a family legacy of reading that I was totally unaware of when I got into it on my own. I had started with runes, but they didn't quite jive with me, so I asked my grandfather on my dad's side (who's a rather spiritual sort) if he'd get me a deck. He picked out the New Pallidini for me... and I struggled hardcore with reading from it, eventually deciding that tarot clearly wasn't for me.

When I hit college, I decided to get back into it and I started reading books, checking websites, all that good stuff. I think I spent at least a week and a half scouring through this very site to find a deck that actually vibed with me and lo and behold, the Fey Tarot came out and was on the front page near the end of that search. Bingo.

THAT was when I actually started reading in earnest, though I kept it rather quiet from my mother's side of the family. Which, it turned out after my grandmother on that side passed, wasn't just unnecessary but actually unhelpful, as it turned out that my family had depended on my grandmother's reading for years and years unbeknownst to me! Suffice to say, I inherited her cards (an ancient set I'll take pictures of and try to identify one of these days) and took up the position ever since then.
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I've no idea what age I was but when i first seen Solitaire making predications with a deck of cards I was obsessed, I was taught how to read tea leaves and palms by my great grandmother and my aunt, but cards, now that was exotic and mysterious. I made do with playing cards.
I was 16 when I bought a beginners set from Jonathon Dee. Funny thing is I came back to cartomancy of late. I find its simplicity soothing
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I have been nostalgic about this as of late- and especially today- felt it good to share.


My bubcia (grandmother) was an amazing woman and passed in 1979- the last full solar eclipse for me to see in this part of the world- with one coming up this year- and so she has been on my mind.

She always read with her piquet deck. Didn't realize at the time how odd it was to be learning such things- it was so natural in our home- reading cards, pendulums etc.

After she passed, I didn't have the heart to use the cards anymore. It was quite a few years later, I will never forget, being in a used bookstore, and there- on the shelf- a blue box with a word I hadn't seen before- tarot.

It was a 1986 AGM blue box Thoth- and I opened it up (as you could do back then) and fell madly in love with the Strength card.

That started it- just soaking in the pictures and hearing them speak. A few years later I looked at the RWS later and thought UGGGG- that is a horrid looking thing! (No tomatoes please.) Went right on back to the Thoth.

I really only used the Thoth until Ciro came out with the Gilded- and that deck opened up the rest. I have been in love and using all varieties ever since, and even went back to the little piquet deck, but now using it as a Lenormand rather than playing cards- as there is still something too sacred about using the playing cards themselves that I just cannot go past without having her here.
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I'd been interested in "occult" stuff all my life (using the broadest sense of the term here!) and was aware that Tarot existed, but it wasn't actually until I came across Maranda Elizabeth's writing around 2013 (which was a complete and total happy accident in itself) and saw them talk about how they used it to explore trauma that I decided to try it out for myself.

I was 17, just having moved out of an abusive household and back into my hometown, and was looking for some way to tend to a decade's worth of emotional abuse since I had no access to therapy. I bought a copy of the Rider tarot (yes, the yellow boxed plaid backed one no one likes, I didn't know!) at a local shop and that was that.
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