Is there anything quite so satisfying as breaking open a new tarot deck? I just love that feeling of taking off the shrink wrap, cracking open the box and tipping those brand new, lovely cards into my hands. I love going through the cards, one by one, taking in their imagery, just letting it sink in on an emotional level and getting that first impression.
I can usually tell after the first pass-through if a deck and I are are going to get along well together and be able to communicate easily. Sometimes the connection is instant, and I could easily put the cards down on the table and begin reading with them. Sometimes that connection is not quite so rapid, however. Since the instant connection is fairly self-explanatory, I figured I’d take a few minutes to talk about what to do when you don’t immediately connect with that brand new deck you just shelled out money for.
The first step, in my opinion is to start spending regular time with the deck, even if it’s not a favorite. Carry it around with you. Let it pick up some of your energy. Charge it in your sacred space, if you have a place set aside for that sort of thing. I’ve even been known to tuck a deck underneath my pillow on occasion. Establishing a connection sometimes means forming a relationship that is more than just pulling the cards out occasionally to read with them.
However, speaking of reading with them–you need to do that, too. Exercise them. Attempt to do readings, even if they are simple ones. You’d be surprised at how much a single card draw can do to enhance your understanding of the imagery and facilitate the ease with which you can begin to read with the deck.
Journaling is an excellent way to dive into a new deck as well. I keep a tarot journal, and typically make notes on new decks. I make my own notes and also take note of the things said in the LWB (Little White Book) included with the cards. This exercise helps me seek out the details in the images; I often find things that I overlooked on previous examinations. It also helps me put my feelings and impressions of the cards down in written form, which helps me remember them in future readings.
Finally, sometimes none of the above helps. I’ve had decks that no matter how much work I put into them that I just could not connect with. They ended up looking like so many bright colors and pictures on cardstock with no messages attached to them at all. At that point, I’ve either decided to gift them to someone else who I felt would enjoy them, or just kept them in my collection for their artistic value.
I hope these thoughts have helped give a few ideas on building that connection with a new deck! Happy shopping!