Personification of Tarot Decks

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So I was sitting here on the back deck drinking wine and crocheting, when I decided to take a break from the yarn and check my email. There was a blog post about Tarot deck personification in there from Benebell Wen. If you’re into Tarot and you don’t subscribe to her, I highly suggest you do. She is a fabulous writer and Holistic Tarot is a divine tome. I mean that in the best sense of the word. If you owned no other book on Tarot that would be fine if you owned this one. 

So for a hot second I thought maybe I was one of those people that DIDN’T do this and then I remembered that I refer to numbers and planets as conceited bitches and I corrected myself. I AM one of those people that does this. 

I read around a little bit before writing this and something that popped up a few times was “You aren’t personifying a Tarot deck. You’re projecting your like or dislike of the art onto an inanimate object.” If I don’t like the art, I’m not using the deck. End of story. It won’t have a personality ever, unless gathering dust in the basement on a shelf is a personality trait. 

There are two decks that I use that have HUGE personalities. The Crow Tarot, by MJ Cullinane and the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, by Sallie Ann Glassman. 

Both of these decks are blunt bitches. The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot is like an auntie that puts you in your place. The Crow Tarot is mouthy and knows it all, like I did over 30 years ago. Neither of these decks will tell you that you’re awesome if you’re being a turd. Other decks I have might soften that blow – Green Witch Tarot and Robin Wood Tarot come to mind, but not these two. 

Because these two decks just tell it, they are my two favorite decks for my personal readings. 

Tarot Readings From A Bitch, another blog you should follow, has a YouTube account. Cody – I have heard one person say her name – I hope I’m spelling it properly – posted a YouTube video about this subject. She asked a few questions and so I will attempt to answer them here:

The first question I couldn’t figure out. I was waiting for something posed as a question but it was more of a rambling statement on connecting to a deck and seeing meaning past the artwork. She was wondering if that was a witchcraft related thing because the people who don’t personify their Tarot decks weren’t identifying as witches. That’s what I got out of it. I mean, I am a witch but most of the time that isn’t my first identifier – and like I said, I started out my reading on this subject believing that I did not personify my decks. Obviously I do, though, and I do see meaning past the artwork. I see backstories and unfolding journeys and a whole farking lot of things. 

The second question was whether or not people who don’t personify Tarot decks work with crystals. I personify Tarot decks and I have one or two crystals here in the house somewhere gathering dust. I don’t work with them. I try, but it’s not me. Crystals don’t feel like anything special to me. I have been around other witches as they pass crystals and gems around going, “Oh man, can’t you just feel how heavy the energy is?” and I’m like, “Yeah, I need to remember to pick up asparagus on the way home. Here’s your rock back.” 

The third question was what was the framework of belief if you were using a Tarot deck that doesn’t have an energetic personality? Since I do see personalities in my cards, the best thing I can do is talk about crystals again. I have gone through the motions of preparing crystals for use and then used them. The work I was doing was successful so I can only conclude that crystals will do their part whether I can feel them or not, or “believe” in them or not.

I say the same thing about numbers when I explain numerology to people: as long as you add correctly you will get a reliable answer that can be interpreted against a body of work that has been written down over the centuries, which is consistent. So even if you don’t “believe in” numerology the math will still math and the chart will still work. I assume that even if people don’t feel any sort of energetic connection to their decks and see them simply as an inanimate object to be used, they can still give a good reading. I don’t know that my readings are better because I think my cards give advice like the aunties at the bingo hall. 

So, that is my response to this. I may go and make a TikTok about it later to see if anyone on WitchTok has an opinion. 

But that’s all I got for now, so remember, as you move forward in life let shit unfold and be excellent to each other!!

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