This is the very first Tarot deck that I ever owned.
It’s the Barbara Walker Tarot deck. She’s amazing, and I’m now reading her book: The Secrets of the Tarot.
I bought her deck at a used bookstore near my childhood home in Vermont when I was 13.
I remember the experience well, not just because I was so excited to get my own Tarot cards after reading about them for so long, but also because, when I got up to the register, I didn’t have enough money.
I’d probably saved up the money that my dad used to pay me for picking up his cigarette butts in the driveway. I’d get 1 cent per cigarette butt that I collected in an empty coffee can. He smoked a lot so there was always money to be earned, but you can imagine it would take a lot to earn enough for a Tarot deck – even at a used bookstore in the ’90s.
The bookseller could see the crestfallen expression on my face when he told me that what I handed him wasn’t enough, and he empathetically asked me if I knew how to use them.
I said yes. That they’re a guide for your life. They can help you make decisions and guide you through hard times. He nodded solemnly, and I could see him thinking this over. He knew I was young, but also knew how much I needed those cards, and that I wasn’t planning to use them as a mere fortunetelling game.
Unexpectedly, I have tears in my eyes remembering this encounter.
I think this man had special gifts of his own and recognized the importance of the cards. I didn’t have the easiest home life growing up with my father, and I think he knew that I really needed these cards.
He sold them to me for the money that I had. Surprised, I lit up, I thanked him excitedly, I used them every day, and I am forever grateful to him for his generosity.
These cards were the guide that I needed. The guide that maybe a good father could have been – and maybe even better because of the perfect and profound truths that they hold.
I still use this deck today as my personal deck and guide.
This deck means so much to me, and meant the world to me then – and so does the bookseller who recognized a child in need and couldn’t let me leave the store without them.
That was the beginning of my journey with the Tarot cards. My journey started with study, a longing that became a need, saving, discovering my deck – or it discovering me – and, finally, it started with the generosity of a stranger.
Some believe that your first tarot deck should be gifted to you. I don’t believe that’s true, but I guess my first deck was both one that I bought for myself and one that was given to me as a gift. It’s a gift that I’ve cherished my whole life, and continue to cherish to this day.
My journey to becoming a #witch started much earlier – in early elementary school – also from the generosity of a stranger, and I believe that it may have saved my life. But that’s a tale for another day.
Do you love the cards? How did your Tarot journey begin? Maybe you’re new and have questions. Wherever you are on your path, I’d love to hear from you!
Love and blessings! 💖