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For our topic this time around our wrangler, Stephanie Arwen Lynch, wants us to talk about tarot traditions.
Beltane is a time of many traditions. The maypole, the maybowl, the belfire – these are all amongst my favorite things to do a Beltane. This blog is illustrated with a maypole cake from a Beltane Tarot Circle gathering a few years ago. Beltane is a time to honor the traditions that hold us together as families and as a community.
But what are my favorite tarot traditions? My favorite tarot traditions are about decks, rather than reading techniques. I love to see how different traditions of tarot design emerge over the years. Tarot, like all art, is constantly evolving. It is a reflection of our ever-changing culture.
I am a Waite girl. I prefer to work with decks that are influenced by the designs of A.E. Waite. However, I like Crowley’s key words, so I incorporate those into my tarot understanding.
I started reading tarot in the 1980s. As a feminist, I enjoyed the emerging tradition of feminist tarot. Today we see the influences of those first feminist decks (Motherpeace, Daughters of the Moon) in more modern decks such as Gaian Tarot and Tarot of Transformation.
Another emerging tarot tradition I have noted over the years is what I like to call “archetypal assignment”. Lisa Hunt and Kris Waldherr have done a great deal to bring this tradition forward. In this tarot tradition we see themed decks that assign a particular character within that theme to each tarot card according to the card’s archetype. These decks are a wonderful tool for tarot study as they help us understand the tarot archetypes in new and different ways.
In terms of tarot reading, I think each reader needs to develop their own style; their own personal tarot traditions, so to speak.
That tarot can speak to so many in such a variety of ways is a testament to its usefulness and its power. Understanding the power of tarot is one tarot tradition we all share.