The Living Magick Tarot Challenge: November 2010

Images Courtesy of Living Magick

A few months back I found myself thumbing through a magazine and I found an advertisement for a company I’d never heard of called Living Magick. Their ad touted the release of “self study flash cards” for astrology, runes, and tarot. I said to myself, flash cards! Brilliant! Why haven’t I seen anything like this before? The “Tarot Learning Cards” in particular really got my attention.

It’s no secret that I love me some tarot cards, but I’ve repeatedly lamented, online and otherwise, that I cannot sit down and do a basic tarot reading. I don’t feel psychically inclined so the idea of using intuition to read the cards, which seems pretty popular these days, holds no interest to me. I’ve wanted to really learn the cards and be able to give a technically correct reading. I know that kills a lot of the romance of tarot cards but what can I say, I’m an occult fan girl, it’s the technical aspect of these things that matter to me. So I sent an email to Living Magick pitching them the idea that I get a deck of their “Tarot Learning Cards” and I’ll chronicle my attempts to finally, at long last, learn tarot. The folks at Living Magick were terribly nice and very enthusiastic. Next thing you know, I’ve got myself a deck of “Tarot Learning Cards”!

Despite how excited I was to get the deck I made sure to wait until November 1st to open the box. I wanted to be able to give a 100% honest account of what I accomplished with the deck in the first month. Here we go!

I opened the box and thumbed through the cards. The most obvious thing was that the cards are not playing card sized or the traditional tarot card size. The cards are more square, very much like a deck of flash cards you may have used in school to learn math or letters. For those of you truly curious, the dimensions of the cards are 3.75″ x 5.25″. They are very basic in appearance, with the Major Arcana having the name of the card with its corresponding number in Roman numerals on the front and a nice brown and white border. The Minor Arcana are the same, but instead of the Roman numerals they have an image of their suit; cups, swords, wands, and pentacles. The backs contain information about the card, but more on that later.

After taking a look at the tarot card portion of the deck I turned my attention to the six supplemental cards that came with the deck. The cards included information about the associated elements to the various suits, numerology, terminology, information about reversals, general information about the Court cards of the deck, a list of recommended reading, and most important to me and my task at hand, how to use the deck.

Since I wanted to give you guys the real deal on how Living Magick’s “Tarot Learning Cards” worked I decided to follow the advice on the card about how to use the deck. They suggest that you break the deck down into manageable parts, adding that the Major Arcana is good place to start. I thought that sounded like a good approach so I dedicated November to learning the Major Arcana with the idea that next would be each suit of the Minor Arcana, then the Court cards, and then start over to work on the reversals, as was outlined on the “how to use the deck” card.

I had thought that like an elementary school student I would need someone to run me through the flash cards, but actually with the sturdy cards I really could run myself through them without needing someone else to hold the cards to “keep me honest”. The back of each card lists the theme, astrological association, and general keywords associated with the card. I’m happy to say at this point I am familiar with the overall theme of each of the Major Arcana cards and their astrological associations. I’m still struggling to remember a few of them, and I definitely still need to work on remembering more of the keywords. However, knowing the themes goes a long way to figuring out at least some of the keywords associated with each card.

You might be thinking geez Rebecca, a whole month and you couldn’t learn 22 stinkin’ cards? Here’s the thing, I had a few setbacks this past month. Generally I would devote 10-15 minutes an evening to run through the cards, but often times I skipped weekends, and I lost a week to illness. I think if I had that lost week back I would have the Major Arcana down cold. As it is, I’m rather pleased with what I accomplished. I have a terrible memory, so getting as far as I did in one month probably means that an average person could already be onto another section of the deck by now. Yes, the deck really does work; all you need to do is be able to dedicate 10-15 minutes a day to the task.

I’m thrilled with my progress this month with Living Magick’s “Tarot Learning Cards” and I can’t wait to learn more! The tarot deck is working so well for me that I’m seriously considering tackling astrology or runes too, at some point. I plan on sharing with you my progress each month so you can see how the deck works out for me.

Yes my friends, Rebecca has taken on yet another challenge! First it was “The Colbert Healthcare Challenge”. Then it was the “Everyday Dharma Challenge”. Now I’m proud to introduce the “Living Magick Tarot Challenge”! Stay tuned!