On this beautiful Beltane day, our wrangler, the joy-seeking Arwen, asked us what traditions are important in how we read Tarot. Now, there’s a question!
My first impulse was to say that tradition isn’t very important to me. For instance, back when I was a child in the 70’s my mother had an original Rider Waite that she kept wrapped in a silk scarf, inside a wooden box. She never let anyone else touch her cards, and she always laid a Celtic Cross when she had a question. Perhaps, though, that’s why she gave up reading the cards - too many restrictions which didn’t actually suit her.
My cards are housed in bags of a variety of materials, chosen because I like the design, or just because that was what I found at the time when I got the deck. I like bags because they are easy to open and don’t get damaged by repeated use, like the sometimes flimsy cardboard boxes decks come in. They’re also less cumbersome than wooden boxes! Practicality, rather than tradition, rules my choices. Likewise, I choose spreads based on the question, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach and using the Celtic Cross.
And yet, there are things that I always do with my decks. There is the somewhat complex procedure of going through the entire pack (including organising the cards by suit and number if they don’t come that way), then shuffling them and going through them again out of order to see how easily I recognise each card. Or the far simpler practice of doing a daily draw. Simple or complex, there are plenty of things which an outsider might name as my traditions if they were to watch me in my dealings with decks.
One thing which has become a tradition for me is to create a spread for these blog hops, and so I came up with this quick reading, for which I drew two cards from the DruidCraft Tarot (Connections, 2004).
Oh my, yes! At first glance, tradition is something I see as binding me against my will, as placing heavy restrictions on me. I see it as something that can weaken me, making me do things I don’t want to do. It is something that creates pathways we follow without awareness, without stopping to question why - like the couple asleep in the grass, unaware of what is happening around them, sleeping through life.
And yet, Cernunnos is also a fertility God. If we accept his guidance, if we consciously choose that path...
Ah, DruidCraft, how wise! Here we have the Lord, someone who makes his own rules, and then sticks to them. He decides what he feels is right, taking the good from the past and mixing it with what he has found to work in the present. I notice the fact that he wears a helm with horns which echo Cernunnos’. He chooses with awareness, rather than having something imposed on him by a shadowy figure in the background.
This brings me back to awareness. I honour traditions that I choose, that I practice and in so doing make my own :)
Here’s hoping you enjoyed this little spread, and that you might give it a quick whirl. And I also invite you to hop on over to US Games' blog, where we're bound to be delighted by a variety of wondeful cards and ideas!