Tuesday, October 22, 2019
My Journey with the Tarot de Marseille
It's funny, but if you'd told me a few years ago that my favorite tarot system would become the Tarot de Marseille, I'd have said you were crazy. Who could love those images? Or read with those pips?! I'd have told you that it's the hardest system of tarot to read, and I'd have meant it--and a lot of people would agree that they feel the same about it, it's just so intimidating.
And yet, this year I decided to learn the Tarot de Marseille and focus on using on this system to learn it really well. Every tarot deck and book I purchased had something to do with the TdM as it's fondly abbreviated. And I fell in love!
When I decided to study the Marseille tarot system, I thought I'd have so much to learn like new lists of meanings, numerology, astrology, etc. because I never used those with the RWS and Thoth tarot systems, and I felt very overwhelmed. I discovered that I was wrong because the ancient way of reading tarot doesn't use all of that, it's actually much simpler, which made sense when I thought about it. After all, this system goes way back to the 15th century, a time when education was reserved for the merchant class, clergy and royalty, not the average person, and it wasn't always as good as it is today. Also, the tarot started out as a game, Tarocchi in Italy, and was widely used in gaming halls before it was turned into a divination tool. My point here isn't to give a history, there are plenty of good resources for that, but I had to mention its origins to explain.
So instead of having to learn any of those things, what I had to do instead was to throw out everything I thought I knew about tarot and come to it as a complete beginner, and the result has been wonderful. It's a return to cartomancy, which I first really fell in love with when I learned Lenormand, and I almost never returned to tarot because I loved that system so much. Now I have the best of both worlds because I have cartomancy with tarot cards as well as Lenormand cards!
Tarotmancy has always been a struggle for me, really. And what do I mean by that term? Modern tarot, mystical tarot, tarot readings based on the esoteric meanings that Etteilla, Court de Gébelin, Levi, and the Golden Dawn. I'm just not into using numerology, astrology, and the Qaballah to give readings for clients who want to know if s/he's going to call again or if they're going to get the job. I also don't use tarot for Shadow Work as much as I use Oracle cards for it as those go deeper for me.
So, if you're thinking of learning the Tarot de Marseille, but you're feeling intimidated by all you think you have to learn, let go of that and begin the journey from the perspective of a beginner and it will be easier. It certainly worked for me!