I've been doing my Card a Day ritual for the last five days. Irony of ironies, instead of choosing a nice Rider Waite clone (I have a lovely Legacy of the Divine, a Gilded, and even an actual Rider Waite sitting in my Working Deck collection), I got the most charge from my New Star deck (Erika McGinnis, there is only one deck in my whole collection - and I do mean all of them - that actually demanded a blood sacrifice in order to use it. Guess which one. Two words: Rounded Edges. Think about it) which is, of my Working Decks, definitely the most temperamental. Recall that my first deck, the Tarot of Transformation, has a creator/destroyer goddess attached to it - just for a little comparison - when I say the New Star is the most mercurial.
(((Is that crazy woman talking about her decks having personalities again? Funny, I think she might even use it as a subject for a future blog...)))
I say it's ironic I chose it (or it chose me or we mutually chose each other for the current Card a Day cycle) because like many of my nearest and dearest deck, it is not a particularly traditional deck. And here I was thinking I was going to start down the path of traditional study. I actually giggled when I chose the Six of Cups the other day and went to look it up in the guide book. (All decks have guide books. Mine collect dust, deepest apologies to those who write them. I know it is a lot of work. I simply haven't been interested in having the expert comment on my relationship with my decks. Until now.)
If McGinnis finds this, she'll get a little giggle right now, too. For those of you who don't know (and many do not know the New Star - it isn't exactly mass-market produced), the "guide book" that comes with the New Star deck... is actually... a journal.
Yep, much to my chagrin, inside the New Start Journal is really, truly, and exactly A JOURNAL. There are images. There are phrases. And then there is blank space. Every page in there describes the image upon the card in 3 sentences or less - and is just descriptive of the image itself. It doesn't tell me what to think about it, what others have thought about it, or any detail about the minute symbolism. It gives you a phrase, and then encourages you to put down your own thoughts.
Why, oh why, would the Divine want me to begin my faithful traditional Tarot study by choosing such a deck with such a guide book for the traditional Card a Day ritual? Heck, the New Star is even a bit Thoth-y - like my Tarot of Transformation, it has kept the original order of the Major Arcana (the Rider Waite swapped Justice & Strength). And I was really pretty sure I was heading down Waite road. I'm honestly not sure if I've dead-ended & need to U-Turn or if the Universe is trying to tell me that a little more off-roading is in order.
Or, maybe, the Universe is trying to remind me to have fun. Every time I think of cracking out my Astrology for Dummies or the Complete Idiot's Guide to Numerology, I cringe. I cringe! Why? Because I got about five chapters into Astrology for Dummies and three chapters into the Complete Idiot's Guide to Numerology and then re-read those same chapters, and re-read those same chapters, and realized I was so bored, that I physically could not absorb the information. Especially in Astrology for Dummies. I didn't think it was possible to suck the life out of a subject as charged as astrology is. I was wrong.
The Six of Cups in the New Star deck is tagged "Pleasure" at the bottom. I've always found it a difficult card to read (actually, many of the cards in the New Star show an image that seems to be either opposed to or a strange shade of the word below it - at least to me - which I find endlessly fascinating) because it shows a scorpion looking about ready to strike surrounded by (I looked it up) opium jars. Before I looked it up, they were just jars. I did a little more digging into the Six of Cups today (I went to my visual encyclopedia or - "What does the Waite image look like for this?") and googled some, and figured out the card is usually about simple joys and innocence and innocent simple enjoyment. Pleasure.
Honestly, that word, that concept, gives me the fidgets. I do a lot of things that I like, don't get me wrong. But I rarely do things that I enjoy simply for the sake of enjoyment. Most of the time, I am going from one purpose-driven thing to the next purpose-driven thing, and everything in between that is either sleep or "power relaxing." Opiates - TV, easy reading (nothing too deep), movies, computer games. Whatever will numb out my brain enough to get it to stop racing a mile a minute, jumping from task to task to task. But enjoy? I guess if I'm honest with myself, I never expect to derive pleasure from... well... anything. I don't gear my life toward pleasure, and do not make my life choices based on whether or not the results will be pleasant, or innocent, or simple. Pleasure is the very last thing (well, no, dating, dating would be the very, very last thing) I make time for. Or perhaps "room" for would be more apt.
I have a sneaking suspicion life is not supposed to be about a series of purpose-driven tasks.
My Card a Day ritual has been very much leaning that way. The cards I'm pulling make me think about what I really want out of life.
It also makes me ask, what do I want out of a traditional Tarot journey?
Decisions... decisions... decisions...