Memories of a Deck, Old and New

Several months ago I traded away my Witches Tarot. In a way, I was glad to see it go. I had used it for many years, switching to it from my first deck, the Aquarian Tarot, but I had never really loved it. Recently I had really started to miss my Witches Tarot. The deck I had traded it for, the Mythic Tarot, had long ago been traded off for something else (the Tarot of the Cloisters). Neither felt the same. Truthfully, I don’t think I will ever develop the same sort of love/hate relationship with another deck. The correspondences annoyed me, the artwork seemed rushed, and the Cabala spheres were distracting.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed someone had the Witches Tarot up for traded. I quickly PM’ed them, and soon I sent them off a copy of the Zerner-Farber (a smaller version of the Enchanted Tarot, which I also once owned, but sold to a used bookstore many years ago) in exchange for a nearly new copy of the Witches Tarot. It arrived a short time later in a pretty blue bag with a book written to accompany the deck. I looked through the deck once, thumbed through the book, and put it all away.

Today I sat down with the deck again. I looked through it slowly. Some cards triggered memories, and others showed me details I had never noticed before. It was an odd experience though, since this deck as so new looking and my original one was worn. I knew every mark on it – the way the corner of one card as was a little bent, the way the card stock was coming apart on another, all the dark spots on the faces of the cards from the black backs. Memories of gently folding them into their black scarf, and tying it with a purple ribbon, after doing a reading in my high school drama class. The cold floor beneath me as I sat in front of my locker, doing a reading for a friend who I have long since lost touch with.

This is a new deck, though. I have done none of these things with it. I own other decks now that I get along with much better and who’s artwork I prefer (like the Robin Wood or Thoth). Will I bond with this new deck like I did with the original? I doubt it. My original deck was my friend through my difficult teenage years. It held all my jumbled emotions, which faded from it, and from me, as I grew up. It was well seasoned. This new deck is a blank slate. The memories and quirks of the original are still with me, but I have the chance to make this new deck something different.

Tonight though, I am going to find my old wooden box with the unicorn picture on the cover (and remember the trip I was on with my parents when I bought it), pull out my black scarf and purple ribbon, and gently put away my new, old friend.