- What was your Gateway Deck?
My Gateway Deck was the Classic Tarot by Stuart Kaplan. It was $12.95, and I saved up so much change to buy it. It was the summer of 1990, just before my freshman year of high school, and I practically lived at the bookstore. I’d hide in the occult section, read horoscope stuff, and hold that box. When I finally took it home, I kept it in my bag or my bedroom all the time. My mom finally told me that she knew what I was hiding and asked me to read for her. It was quite terrifying.
- What about that deck made you want to stick with tarot?
It was mine. I didn’t understand it, I couldn’t remember the words or spreads in that little white book, but I understood those cards. They were magic, and understanding, and a mystical map of all the ways I could find a way through anything. They were the most honest voice in my life for two decades.
- Do you still read with/have that deck?
No. I gave away my original in 2010. I’d just found the Shadowscapes deck and gave my first deck to a friend. Recently, I purchased another copy, so I might read with it again.
- What is your favorite/most learned from/most drawn to deck?
Shadowscapes was my second deck. It was the deck that introduced me to the story that lives in the RWS style cards. There have been hundreds in between Shadowscapes and the Sasuraibito deck, but those two have taught me so much about the tarot.
- What is the deck that you just can’t use?
I’m not sure yet. I prefer not to use the Tarot Del Fuego, because there’s no need for all of those eyeballs. It’s a beautiful deck, but those eyeballs!! I struggle with Thoth style decks, and I’m sure with enough patience I can master the system. That’s the real struggle for me. Mastering a defined system. I read on intuition for twenty years alone.
- How do you feel about the RWS/Marseille/Thoth decks?
They each have something to teach me. I prefer RWS and am taking the time to learn the Marseille properly. When I just had the one deck, I read it more like the RWS than the Marseille. And that’s super weird because I didn’t know that there were books about tarot until I bought Shadowscapes. I didn’t know that there were systems at all! My first 20 years were all about that one deck, and that lwb, and what came out of my own intuition. I didn’t even know anyone else that read tarot until 2009, and I was the one to teach them.
- Where do you whip out your decks?
Everywhere. Anywhere. Anytime, Without Reservation.
- Would you consider yourself a Deck Dealer? A Deck Pusher? A Deck Enabler?
Yes. All of those. As well as a Deck Teacher, Deck Lover, Deck Collector, Deck Respecter, Deck Learner.
- What deck is at the top of your wishlist?
Oh. There are a few in the top spot. The All Hallows Tarot, The Collective Tarot, and I want Trungles and R. Black to finish their decks, so I can love them properly.
- If a Deck granting Magic Being appeared at your door, what is the deck you’d ask them for?
I thought this would be easy. I would probably feed the Magic Being some tea and let them watch me talk myself into and out of the decks I want until they had enough. Maybe Flagship? Or R. Black? Or the Ireland Deck that Baba Studios will have out in 5 years?
- How did your Gateway Deck influence your tarot preferences and reading style?
I think only having one deck, only knowing that deck, and not having access to other sources of knowledge, gave me the freedom to explore my own mind for the meanings of those cards. I would build off the keywords, I would trust the information in my mind. As much as I dislike the look of that deck, I loved the freedom it gave me. I really enjoy the perspective I have now of watching what I always knew meet up with what is taught by others in this field. Those moments have been awesome and validating. I’ll never stop learning, and I suppose that is my reading style. Layering and learning, together.
My reading style is unique to the person sitting across from me. I don’t ask questions, I prefer to read blind, and lay the cards according to the energy on the table. Then I connect them (the cards) with a secondary deck. We identify the situation and find a way through and look at how the situations are feeding each other. My friend once suggested that I call my tarot book, I’ll Read the Shape of You. That’s pretty much how I read cards.