My first Tarot Deck, a tale of loss and spiritual renewal.
My very first Tarot Deck was purchased in 1974 (I was 19 years old) from a small shop in a tiny room set up in the house of the first witch I ever met. She became my high priestess who I studied with for several years. The deck is a Rider Waite Tarot deck with an ankh on the back. I studied and read with this deck for many years. I kept the deck wrapped in a piece of white silk.
Then in 1990 we got a new puppy. One day while we were out our little puppy managed to reach up and pull down the Tarot cards from the shelf they were on and decided they would make a nice chew toy (the cloth had been wrapped and tied with leather shoe string). One card was in several small pieces, a few others had the corners chewed. I was devasted and at first tossed the entire deck in the trash. But after a few minutes, with tears streaming down my face, I rescued them and carefully wrapped up the cards and even the pieces of the destroyed card (Queen of Pentacles) back in the silk cloth, put them back in the drawstring bag, and tucked them away.
It would take too long to explain the circumstances of my life at that time in detail, so I will keep it brief. It was a time in my life of great stress, following the emotionally painful break up of our Circle and the beginning of an extremely stressful decade of loss, family betrayal, illnesses, financial and emotional devastation. I was questioning everything in my life, feeling lost, spiritually empty, and drained on every level.
I took the loss of my Tarot cards as a sign that I should never again touch them and as one more sign that I was unworthy of the wiccan path (there had been many incidents prior to this including a confrontation with my first priestess\teacher that had sown the seeds for this kind negative thinking). Life circumstances were so devastating before and following the loss of my Tarot cards, that I felt hopeless and spiritually disconnected for many years. Losing my Tarot deck had been one more blow to my already fragile heart and soul, and I felt it deeply.
It took almost a decade before I slowly began the journey to reclaim my sense of self worth and my wiccan path, my passion for living, and my desire to continue collecting and working with the Tarot was rekindled. I picked up a Tarot deck or two whenever I found one I really liked. My best friend (Mama Kelly) and I would do readings together once in awhile using the various decks we collected. But I could never find a Rider Waite Deck with the same back as my first deck. I could not replace the damaged cards, so I kept my first deck tucked away untouched, and worked with a new Rider Waite Deck. Eventually I gave up trying to replace them, but there was always a little nagging feeling of sadness and loss whenever I thought about them.
But don’t worry the story has a happy ending, I’ll post the rest of the tale (part 2) on Monday (Part 2 – Tarot miracle or coincidence?).
Namaste, Lady Rose
Check out a list of my collection here: TAROT COLLECTION AND MUSEUM PROJECT – dedicated to the perservation of Tarot Decks. If you know of a Tarot Deck in need of a good home and wish to donate it to the museum project feel free to message me on Facebook (profile) for details. All donated decks will be kept safe and loved, and available for viewing online (until such time as a physical location can be acquired for display), the donor’s name with a link of their choice and brief description will be posted here on the collection page next to the donated deck.