Welcome to the 2013 Belteine Tarot Blog Hop, in celebration of the "first of May", called everything from "May Day" to "Maypole Day" to some things, particularly the ones by Jonathan Coulton and others which celebrate music, dance, and traditions of weddings, free love, and springtime. "Tradition", as our friend Tevye sang in "Fiddler on the Roof". And so, thinking of Tarot, this is the 'Hop' wherein our wrangler, Arwen Lynch, asked us to consider the following question: "What traditions are important to you in reading Tarot?" You may have seen Morgan Drake Eckstein's answers prior to this blog, and you'll enjoy reading Joanna Ash's contribution next, if you're following the 'Hop in order. For me, the idea of Tarot participates in all kinds of traditions. Here are a few:
1) First things first--preparing the deck. I am something of a "tarot-a-holic", currently owner of over 100 decks, all of which have had their seasons of being my "standard" deck, from the Voyager Tarot which was my very first one, to the Sirian Starseed Tarot which I just purchased. Currently my primary deck is the Haindl Tarot, which has so deep a resonance on so many levels that I haven't even begun to get all of it yet. But each and every deck, once brought into the house, gets the traditional "cleansing" so it can "bond" with me. So--sage, a sprinkle of salt and water, in order to empty it of all other energies but my own, and then a particular "first card ritual" where I teach the cards to know my voice and speak to me.
2) All my readings are done without my knowing what the question the querent is asking pertains to, I prefer to let Spirit speak, and if I know the issue, my own innate desire to counsel and help has a tendency to get into the way. So I don't let the question be spoken, and what happens is usually that the person has a much easier time relating the cards to their own issue than they might have if I had been interpreting it.
3) I do not read for other people on the Dark Moon. For me, this is a time when energies turn inward, and this is the only time I can read for myself without my logical mind getting in the way. So a "Dark Moon reading" is a pretty regular component of my personal Craft practice, and it is always for me, never for anyone else.
4) I don't use anyone else's layouts. I see the cards as a living oracle, conveying to me, through the Sight, insight into the energies surrounding a person and their own issues. Therefore I let the energies present in the querent dictate to me what spread to use..and I use only ones I have created myself. That is another way I know the cards are speaking to me.
5) After each and every reading, the cards are cleansed, so that the energies of the preceding reading are laid to rest and do not partake of the new endeavor. I use incense and a bit of a cleansing oil to do this, so it can be done even if another reading is waiting in the wings.
6) Usually, I prefer not to be paid for readings, as I consider the insight I receive and convey to the querent not to belong to me, so I have no right to "sell" it. But it has been pointed out to me that for this kind of spiritual insight, an "exchange of energy" is necessary. Having become a house reader at our local Pagan Community Center, Crone's Hollow, I now feel as if the payment made by the customer at the counter is their payment for services rendered by the Crone's Hollow Staff, and I am a member of that staff and happy to render that service. This feels more to me like an 'energy exchange' rather than commercializing the gift of the Sight.
7) And finally, after a day spent reading for others, I do take a traditional cleansing "ritual bath" to release the energies brought to me and left with me by various querents. I also cleanse my cards and other divination tools in order that each and every time I use them I will be getting a "clean start".
And those are some of my "Tarot Traditions"...what are some of yours, and won't you enjoy learning about Morgan's ideas, or those of Joanna, depending on which way you're Hopping? And if you should get lost, there's a Master List, here. Have a wonderful May Day, and a fun Hop....and, maybe, since it is a Sabbat, you might think of getting a reading!