A Long, Long, Time Ago, When I Was Sixteen

A long, long time ago, I can still remember the first time I played with the Tarot. 

I was pretty sure, until recently, I’d told you all the story of how I got into the Tarot when I was sixteen. I can’t find it, so here it is. 

When I started thinking about this blog post, I was trying to find the story I’d already written on a page about when I was sixteen. I began it on May 4th but instead of Star Wars going through my head, I had Don MacLain & American Pie in my head. As is usual with me, that song wouldn’t shut up until I’d sang the song (badly, probably!) in full & it inspired the title. Like the music itself, the Tarot touched me deep inside & the music so far hasn’t died.

tarot, sixteenSo, what happened all those years ago? Well, let’s begin at the last time I undertook Confession. I finally realised that the Church wasn’t where I was going to get my life-long answers. I wasn’t even allowed to ask the questions I had! They were more concerned with what I’d done wrong & what I was going to do to atone for it.

That to me was just not right! Rather than ask people what they’d done wrong, ask them what they’d done right & what they could do better next time to get the desired results!

We all have faults, but I was getting rather fed up with being told I was bad, naughty, wrong. It wasn’t just me they were saying that too either. Being bullied at school by the very people in charge of my spiritual education finally got to me.

No More Church

On one Saturday, I had dutifully attended confessional & I’d forgotten to confess something; can’t even remember what it now! I was happy & elated for all of 3 minutes before I recalled the “sin” I had to confess to. I stopped dead, looked up at the sky & said; “You know what? If you’re all-seeing & all-knowing, why the heck do I need to tell you what I’ve done wrong? You know as well as I do what I’ve done! Walk with me on this path of life if you want, but I’m living it my way, as of NOW!” That, as they say, was that.

I still had questions, but I went home & told my mum & dad, I was never going back to Church. They weren’t upset or surprised. They didn’t force me to go to Church anyway. Looking back, it was almost a case of; “About time!”

I was in college a year later, so I was now sixteen (Oh, UK college isn’t USA College, so don’t start thinking I’m a swat or anything) on the Edge of Seventeen & my college friend (my longest, best friend EVER!) and I went to the local esoteric witchy shop; It was her suggestion (I think) one lunchtime at college, when I told her the above story. I wanted to pick up a very different deck from the one I walked out with. I was advised to go with the RWS. (Looking back, bang went my one chance to own The Greenwood on the original print run!) The RWS is a deck I still have today.

First Deck

So, when I was home, I took to my room & tried to read what the cards meant from the little white book (couldn’t get the two to match up, what I was reading in the cards wasn’t what was in the book!) I’d maybe done this a few times before my mum came into my room & stopped dead in her tracks.

She looked at me, sat on the floor with the cards before me, then at the cards & asked: Are those what I think they are?! I gulped, I was still only sixteen & living at home: Err, what do you think they are mum?? Mum straightened herself up & replied: Tarot cards? but pronounced it with a hard T at the end. Well, Taro cards say I, trying to be nice in correcting her pronunciation. Aye, well says my mum, I don’t want them in the hoose. Put them away if you’re gonna carry on living here, and I assume ye are. 

She turned and walked out of the room. That was that! They were wrapped up in their black silk cloth, put back into their wee wooden box & I only got them out a few times when she wasn’t around after that. They were mostly put away for a decade or so.

After the Sabbatical

sabbaticalNow, what happened when I moved out & set up a house with the now hubby? It was a birthday and he bought me a red-bound book, all about being a Witch by Sorita D’Este. Well, until then, I didn’t put that label on myself but as I read, the more it resonated with me. So my spiritual journey really started, right there & then. There was one chapter on Tarot Cards & I commented to hubby that I had a deck, somewhere?!

His reaction was to get my birthday butt out of bed & go find it! It came with me when I moved out of the parental home (yes, he got told the above story too!) So it had to be somewhere! Whilst he cooked me breakfast (bacon was involved!) I had dressed & had ruled out a few boxes where the deck wasn’t. After breakfast, I found it.

Tarot Association of the British Isles

The Internet was just coming into people’s homes & we had it, a dial-up modem. It was his suggestion to browse for a Tarot group to learn the cards that took me to TABI  & thus, my Tarot journey began. It’s never ended. With TABI, I learned the cards, joined in their Forum (that was then, on Yahoo!) & have enjoyed my 15+ years with them (And for £10 a year, why wouldn’t I!?). Most years, there is a Conference which I usually attend (it is on my doorstep after all!) which is a great learning tool & social event all in one!

Thanks to TABI, I gained enough confidence to read professionally & even now, I learn a new meaning for one of my 78 friends when I turn the cards over. Experience does that to you. Before you ask, yes, I do sometimes dream in Tarot cards & in different decks! It’s crazy, but well, that’s me!

That’s my lifelong journey, one that began inadvertently when I was sixteen, on the joint whim of a friend who wanted a companion to go to the Witchy shop & see what was there. In some ways, I’ve never been normal (there’s no such thing as normal anyway!) For that, I am SO very glad!

So, there you are. A very quick personal Tarot history from when I was sixteen to around when I joined TABI.

Tarot Academy

Tarot Academy

Now I help others in a Tarot Meetup twice a month with another TABI cat, Mary Collin. There are a few TABI people who come to our little meetups, but I doubt I’d have met Mary without TABI & I wouldn’t have read at Zen for the time(s) I have. Now I work alongside Mary helping to spread the good aspects Tarot can help with. 

To that end, I’m going to bid you adieu & let you get on with your day. You can find out about the Tarot Academy by clicking the link & viewing the website; it has all the links you need! You can also browse more of this site, buy yourself a reading now you’ve read my story, or leave a comment; I’d love any of that!

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