I bought my first deck of tarot cards in my late teens. The mists of time have blurred the facts but I do know it was the Aquarian Tarot because I still have it in my possession. My star sign is Aquarius and that seemed a good enough reason to claim the deck as mine; even back then I didn’t feel an affinity to the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck but there weren’t as many decks to choose from as there are today. Next came the Tarot of a Moon Garden, which was first published in 1993, providing more clues for my tarot timeline. That deck has since been lost so on a whim I bought another copy last week. Leafing through the cards I’m immediately transported back to that 20-year-old art student sitting on my bedroom floor trying to Figure It All Out. It’s like slipping into that younger skin, remembering her confusions and questions, and the pain of my first big relationship ending.
More than twenty years later my passion for divination cards has only grown stronger. They are creative and illuminating companions to my journaling and a constant friend in harder times. Funnily enough, it’s never once occurred to me to do readings for others. My relationship with the cards is extremely personal but while some of my decks are very precious to me, I don’t believe the cards themselves have inherent magical powers — they are simply pieces of cardboard after all — but my decks are special like my old journals are special: familiar, worn and loved. I treasure them like I treasure my books — and buy as many, too 🙂
As you can probably tell, I’m not big with the crystal balls and fortune telling. For example, I wouldn’t use the cards to make a decision, I’d use them to help me uncover how I FEEL about a decision. For me it’s less about “what’s going to happen?” and more “what am I really feeling? What do I need right now?” The cards are like mirrors reflecting me back to myself, an inspiring collection of clues and prompts that help me connect to the wisdom inside and around me.
I’ve wanted to create a course that explores using the cards for our own creative and personal growth for some time so I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of the Daily Guidance class! Eventually I’ll have my own deck of cards you’ll be able to use with the lessons (can you imagine?) but for now we’ll make do with the extraordinary array of decks that are currently available… Prepare to get addicted, my friends.
There’s an old wives tale floating around that your first tarot deck should be gifted to you, which I think is hilarious, because a) you’ll probably be waiting for a long time and b) it’s much more meaningful to take the time to find a deck that really sings to your soul. I’ll be sharing lots of my favourite in the class — I’m a huge fan of independently produced decks — as well as breaking down the different types of cards and styles of art to help you find decks you’re excited to get to know.
For now, here are some recommendations for a potential first (or fifth!) deck:
The Universal Waite — this modern version of the traditional Rider Waite Smith deck is easier on the eye, with softer colouring and lots more detail. As the majority of tarot books refer to this system it’s worth investing in a RWS deck (or clone, like the Anna K and Dreaming Way decks below) so you learn the basics — it will stand you in good stead.
The Anna K Tarot — this sweet deck gives super clear readings, by which I mean it’s easy to understand what the cards are saying! I love the whimsical figures and friendly vibe and found I could read with this deck straight out of the box. Great for beginners. (artist’s website)
Dreaming Way Tarot — modern and yet oddly nostalgic, this is another RWS clone that breathes life into the cards. I find the art exquisite and since cutting off the borders (I’ll talk about making your decks your own in class!) it’s fast becoming a favourite.
Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot — never in a million years did I think I’d love this deck as much as I do. Quirky, unkempt, fun and utterly charming, this self-published deck gives the traditional RWS imagery a nautical-themed new spin. I simply adore it.
The Wild Unknown Tarot (above) — this is the deck I pull out most frequently and always find new ways to appreciate its simple beauty. Possibly not the best choice for your first deck as some of the cards might leave you scratching your head; on the other hand, if the art speaks loudly to you it will find its way into your heart. There’s a reason why it’s so popular! (UK stockist)
Shadowscapes Tarot — Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s ethereal paintings take you into a new land, one filled with magical beings that have their own stories to tell. Gentle and intuition-enhancing, this deck loosely follow the RWS system and dreams up new fantastical ways to envision the cards. (artist’s website)
Mother Mary Oracle — this is such a nurturing deck of cards, it’s my favourite Alana Fairchild deck (and I have them all). Her words are as beautiful as the paintings on the cards themselves and I love to draw a single card when I’m looking for a word-hug.
Magdalene Oracle — this is a deeply feminine sultry oracle that always inspires me to dig deeper into my desires. You’ll often find one of these cards on my altar.
The Goddess Oracle — this beautiful deck showcases goddesses from cultures around the world. It’s supportive and illuminating with a sizeable guidebook filled with mythological meanings, interpretations, poems and rituals.
Earthbound Oracle — a new favourite that I like to read with alongside a tarot spread. So simple and clear, I love how they eloquently add another layer of insight to any cards I’ve pulled.
Vintage Wisdom Oracle — there’s a quietness to this deck I find very soothing. The artwork is gorgeous (how a deck looks is as important as how it reads to me) — I love this one especially. Definitely one to add to your collection.
Soul Cards — this deck doesn’t have any words or even interpretations in the booklet. Instead, you meditate on the image to find your own meaning. Excellent journaling material and deeply intuitive, I’ve had some profound readings with this deck.
To celebrate the launch of the new class I have six decks up for grabs — The Wild Unknown Tarot, The Shadowscapes Tarot, The Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot, The Mother Mary Oracle, The Magdalene Oracle and a set of Soulcards.
There will be 12 winners in total — 6 peeps get a deck of cards and a place in class PLUS! another six peeps will also get a place in class.
** If you win and you’ve already enrolled in class I will send you a refund! **
I’m happy to mail the decks anywhere in the world, so this giveaway is open to all.
How to play
You can enter up to five times in the following ways:
1. Leave a comment on this post sharing something that has already made you smile in 2016
2. Pinterest: Pin the first image below with a link to this post (then leave a comment saying you’ve pinned it)
3. Instagram: Share the second image below including a link to my IG profile @SusannahConway and the hashtag #dailyguidancecourse (then leave a comment saying you’ve shared the pic)
4. Facebook: Share this post on Facebook (then leave a comment saying you’ve Facebooked it)
5. Twitter or Google+: Tweet/share this post with your peeps (then leave a comment saying you’ve tweeted/shared the post)
Comments will close on Friday January 22nd at 11pm GMT comments are now closed and I’ll contact the 12 winners on Saturday 23rd (please make sure you type your email address carefully when leaving a comment)
Good luck and thanks for helping me spread the word about Daily Guidance! xo
* UPDATE: All the winners have now been notified 🙂
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