August 13, 2020

My copy of Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen arrived. This book is massive! It contains 874 pages. Holistic Tarot is now the second thickest book I own after Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Most important – the book smells fantastic!

I also started trimming my Radiant Rider-Waite deck. I first tried out trimming with a paper cutter on one of the additional cards. It turned out nice but didn’t feel right. So I tried scissors, and the result was very pleasing. Sidenote: I heard some people complaining about the glossy finish of the Radiant deck. My cards, however, are not glossy at all! I wonder if they forgot to laminate the cards or just decided to get a different finish to the deck.

As I mentioned the other day, I already started watching Benebell’s video lectures. In one  lecture, she speaks about bonding with your new deck. I felt that trimming the deck with scissors instead of a paper cutter helped to build a relationship with the cards. It was also a very therapeutic experience, and it didn’t hurt at all! I kept the leftovers with the names of the cards. Maybe I can use them for something during the learning process.

Trimming the Radiant Rider-Waite tarot deck.

When I first read about trimming your deck, I couldn’t understand why someone would ever want to do such a thing. But trimming this deck just felt right, and as I wrote in a previous entry, wide borders and text on the cards do get me distracted. Also, I do shuffle overhand, and the cards would have been too big for that. So trimming the Radiant Rider-Waite deck was also for practical reasons.

I couldn’t get the cards ready yet because I am still waiting for my corner cutter to arrive. After some research, I choose to purchase the Sunstar Kadomaru Pro Corner Cutter. I can’t wait to see how it does its job. I will also edge the cards. This means another tool I need to buy is a permanent marker matching the back of the cards.

I also extended my Kindle library with A. E. Waite’s The Pictorial Key to the Tarot (1911). Now I have the initiator’s interpretations of the deck I’m going to use. This work can be found in the public domain:

Another book I added to my virtual library (because of its foreword written by A. E. Waite) is the General Book of the Tarot by A. E. Thierens (1930). I’ve read 36% of the book and must say the associations of the cards with the planets and signs of the zodiac, and the explanations for these are a pain to read. Thierens assigns the first twelve cards of the Major Arcana to the twelve signs of the zodiac in ordinal sequence. The Magician is associated with Aries, the High Priestess with Taurus, the Empress with Gemini… Temperance he associates with Mercury, the Lovers with Virgo, the Hermit with Sagittarius (!), Mars with the Devil, Neptune with the World… The Fool, he writes, symbolizes the principle of the Earth.

Well, Thierens says that no-one before him came up with this. However, he is convinced that his associations are the correct ones and must have been in use at some point in history. He says: “So we may conclude, that this key has been lost or has been hidden from those who kept the practice alive and left the system to us.” I’ve decided to be brave and make it through the whole book, although I already sense (did I mention I want to give more space to intuition?) that this is not the best source. The General Book of the Tarot can be found in the public domain here:

Oh, another thing… I saw a picture of this spread below in my head yesterday. I couldn’t find any information about how it is called and how it is read. Maybe this is none existent, but if somebody knows how to call this, please let me know.

Next things to do:

  • getting the deck ready (corners and edging)
  • getting binder ready for the Holistic Tarot Companion Course

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