Every time I get a new tarot deck I do a couple of the same rituals over and over. First of all I cleanse and bless the deck then I usually will sleep with the deck underneath my pillow for the time that I am working and journaling with the deck. The newest edition to my collection is the Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot, which I fell in love with on Pinterest. I didn’t know that it was a Marsielle style deck, where the pip cards are just one image with multiple other images to represent the number for each card, for example the card shown in this picture is the three of swords, it has a sword which represents the suit and three feathers which represents the angel theme of the swords in this deck.
When I’m journaling with the deck, I look at every card and I look intently at each card, noting the image, how I feel, and what’s going on in the card. This method was difficult with this style but I made it work. The little paper book that this deck came with to me was completely useless. I hated the meanings and tossed it! I made stories for each one of the major arcana cards and each suit that made sense intuitively to me of what was going on in the images.
I also did something I’ve never done before with a tarot deck with this deck, I did a modification. The edges were originally not any color, just white from the card stock they were printed on… I took a red sharpie and edged each card individually. I think it adds such drama and romance to the deck and accents the already red little gems in the corners of the cards.
I feel like doing this process of getting to know the cards and making them creatively mine really helps me read better and it’s something I recommend to others frequently. After journaling and recording my impressions of every card, blessing and aligning the deck with my energy- I take her for a spin.
This was the first reading I did:
I did a three card spread that was Mind, Body and Spirit. A common three card spread for most readers.
For my Mind:
3 of Wands:
I interpret this card as new beginnings, opportunities and a lot to creatively think about in order to progress in life. This makes a lot of sense for me right now as I’m trying to work my creativity magic with gaining employment and making a fulfilling and happy life for myself and what that means to me right now.
For my Body:
The King of Cups:
In this deck all of the cups are vampires, which is super fun. I view the King as a balanced ruler, if he gorges on blood he becomes lethargic and apathetic, if he starves himself he becomes bloodthirsty and crazed. He has to find a balance in himself in order to rule his fellow vampire kin. For my body, this makes sense for me especially because I’ve been trying to balance my diet. I recently have gained a little weight and I’ve noticed some unhealthy eating habits. I’m trying to correct these by balancing my diet with healthier alternatives than the junk food I’m drawn to for comfort.
For my Spirit:
The Queen of Wands Reversed:
In this deck all of the wands are dragons, it’s beastly. The Queen of Wands is the queen of magic, she has a lot of personal power, she’s confident, she is independent and has many loyal dragons that follow her. Reversed it means a loss of personal power and lack of confidence. The past few months I’ve been heavily dealing with a dip in my own sense of self love and self confidence. I’m very quick to sacrifice my time and energy towards others but disregard my own needs. After making this realization I started to do some self work. This healing takes time and I’m still working, but it’s a perfect indicator that there is still work to be done before I return to my normal Queen of Wands self.
The fourth card is the Shadow Card, at the bottom of the deck:
The Tower Reversed:
The Tower is an agent of change in one’s life, traditionally it’s destruction of one thing to make way for another. In this deck a fairy is laying resting on a spider web with her spider friend, right side up I interpret it as they know that as soon as a storm comes they will have to rebuild their shiny web home, but are content in the ebb an flow of life. The cycle of destruction and creation is common place. However, reversed this card means that they are disillusioned that this web will keep them safe from everything and they will never have to rebuild.
Recently I’ve been changing my life a lot. I went through all of my possessions and got rid of what didn’t fit or was just gnarly looking, I deleted people from social media that were negative and I’ve been working on cleansing and clearing out the negativity while embracing my own shadow side. I didn’t think that after a prolonged period of lack of spiritual growth and focus on the physical could change me so much- but it did. I’m finding myself all over again and breaking my old mold. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it for a new life.
With the success of this reading, I feel that the deck is now ready to be read with spreads larger than only a three card spread and I’ll continue to use it and develop a feel for the meanings and interpretations to behold. Every deck is different and not every deck is for everyone. Four years ago me would not like this tarot deck but ten years ago me probably would love it. It’s amazing how introspective you can get after one group of messages is relayed to you via spirit. I always feel more in touch with myself and my guides after I read for myself.
I hope this helps with understanding the process that a reader like myself goes through to work with a deck helped you on your journey.