There’s a lot of care and love put into your divination tools that may go unnoticed to the eye of the querent. Not only does the diviner cleanse and charge their tools, they make them theirs by editing them and changing them to suit their divination style and who they are as a person. A couple of ways that readers do this is by edging the deck a certain color that they believe matches the deck more than the white sides of the card stock. Not only does this aesthetically enhance the deck but it also incorporates some basic color magick into the deck by adding more of the spirit of that color to the deck. Edging the deck can be done by simply using a marker or Sharpie. Slowly and precisely color the edge of the deck card by card. I would not advise holding the deck as a whole and coloring as you might damage or color on cards where you do not want the color to be. I have edged three of my decks so far in my practice and in my collection of cartomancy tools. It usually takes me about 3 hours as I’m a stickler for perfection.
I edged my Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot in red as there’s a lot of the color red in the cards and the deck feels like a blood red to me. It has many gothic themes and dramatic expressions. The color red feels intense as it’s a color associated with passion, anger, love, lust, blood, death, hunger, heat, strength, fire, survival, the root chakra and power.By edging the deck with this color I invoke those feelings into the deck even more than before. Anne Stoke’s Gothic tarot deals a lot with life and death, the fantastic and the strong so to me it made sense. The energies aligned and after edging the deck, I could feel the difference. The tool was mine and made more sense to me. I’m not a fan of the back of the card as it has written at the center “Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot”, which is fine but it’s not reversible. I always read reverse so it’s a bit of an eye sore. I plan on coloring that in red or black, haven’t made up my mind yet as to which color but that’ll happen once I get the chance. There’s many ways to customize a deck that may or may not be a deck that originally would work well with you and your style. However, it’s your tool, you bought it, you blessed it- do what you’d like to do with it! This concept took me a while to grasp as I coveted my decks as my babies and would never touch them with a marker or scissors or glitter or anything up until this year!! Although now I’ve edited and altered decks I own there’s still a deck I will never touch with a marker or scissors or anything and that’s my first deck I was ever given. For my thirteenth birthday my mother got me a Universal Rider Waite deck, it’s very special to me. I still use it all the time and would never touch it or alter it as it was the deck I learned with and fell in love with the tarot with- it’s what it should be and should not be changed.
Another deck I edged is my Tarot in Space deck. It’ so fun and unique. I fell in love with the deck on a kickstarter and donated. The space theme is fun because it’s a throwback to the midcentury modern idea of the future from the 60’s when the space craze was happening.
There’s an homage to Laika, the first dog in space on The Moon card and other little space goodies in there as well as aliens. The deck felt very sparkly like the stars and very blue to me. The color blue evokes feelings of calm, silence, tranquility, deep thought, the ocean, science, meditation, insight, sadness and loneliness, moodiness, gentleness, and the sky. So, thinking of this I edged my deck with a blue glitter marker and now they really sparkle like the stars! Here’s halfway through my process, you can see the plain white deck that is not done yet and the sparkly blue deck that’s on it’s way to being super blue. I always lay the newly done cards on a paper towel to dry for a while until I run out of room then put them in the finished stack. Although it is a lengthly crafty process, I believe it’s worth it. Not only do you have an energetic connection to the deck, now you have a physical connection as you contributed to them becoming what they are for you.
Another way to customize your deck is to cut off the borders. Some decks have very large borders some have small white borders, sometimes the small white border frames the image nicely and other times I feel it takes away from the images presented in the deck. If the border is distracting from the artwork and you do not like it, I’d suggest removing it! Cut if off!
This is not something I have encountered often but there is a deck I recently purchased called Tarot of the Ages. I love the concept and the artwork of the deck but I absolutely hate the thin white borders. Whenever I get the chance, I plan on cutting off these little white borders. That way it’s just the image and the symbols and title of each card that already have a black border line to emphasize the end of the image. I don’t feel any pull to edge the deck with a color yet because there’s so much white right now on the title and border. Perhaps after the border is cut I’ll start feeling out the deck’s true colors per say. I haven’t had a chance to work with the deck yet because I get bogged down in the ugliness and strangeness of the borders! It’s distracting and the copyright mark on the lower right edge also takes me out of the divinatory mood. This may seem like a small detail and an over exaggerated big deal to me but it’s just that when you look at the image to divine, you see all of the image. It must be something that evokes your psychic self to work and let your higher self speak. I’m a very visual person and notice these things immediately. Others, it may not bother them as much.
I’ve seen some diviners write on their decks key words, quotes or feelings that the card invokes to help guide them to the messages they need to deliver to their client. I have not done this practice yet as sometimes the cards give me different messages and feelings than their normal keyword message. That’s just how I read. It’s part archetypal keyword message and part intuitive flow. Maybe in the future I’ll find a deck that speaks words to me that need to be written down, maybe I won’t. You never know.
I hope that on your journey as a reader or as a client you embrace the care and creativity of others in their own style. There’s a lot of time, effort and care there. If you have any questions or want some input on what to do with a deck, contact me- I’d be happy to help.