So this has been a thing I originally planned for myself and not exactly as a challenge. I still wouldn’t call it a challenge but rather a journey I felt was neccessary for me to embark upon as a part of my Depth year and wanting to improve and deepen my relationship with the tarot decks I own and love.
I was looking at my tarot collection and for quite a while now felt like some of my decks really require a more in depth study for me to actually work with them and know them the way I wanted to. So I was tryng to figure out how I want to go about this and had to put some ideas to paper. As I did that, I figured I might as well share it with others and we can share our experiences on this journey.
The 78 pieces of tarot, as I decided to name this challenge, will be a study that will last for around a year and a half. I know, I know, it’s A LONG TIME. But I work with tarot on a daily basis anyway so this will not be a big deal, apart from the fact that it will set a structure for my work with tarot and will keep me really dedicated to a specific deck for a specific time frame. As I do not plan on getting any more tarot decks this year, it’s not a problem for me to dedicate that time.
It will be structured in 5 bigger chunks as we will be studying 5 decks. Each deck will get 90 days of study which will be structured in 10 day intro period, 78 days of card per day study and 2 days for reflection and a wrap up. It will be followed by 14 days of a break period, which will also serve as some extra time to catch up with the study if you happen to leave out a day in between or if your deck has more than 78 cards (like for example the Hidden Waters tarot).
For the sake of unity and giving the sharing experience more purpose it is best for everyone participating to be studying the same deck at the same time. I believe it will give the whole experience more depth and meaning. If someone wishes to pop in while we already did half of the study for a specific deck, they certainy can. It is up to them to catch up or simply just do one part of the study. I will try to keep posts in the facebook group where we will share the experience, as systematic and clear as possible, so anyone can access older study posts at any time to reflect upon.
Each day of study I will pin the main post to the top of the page, under which, members will then share their own photos of their journals or simply their thoughts and experiences as ellaborately as they wish.
Participation through instagram or youtube is also welcome. Make sure to use the hashtag #78piecesoftarot so we can all find each others posts on it.
The list of tarot decks we will be studying:
- Mary El tarot
- Thoth tarot
- Hidden waters tarot
- Tarot of the Hidden realms
- Eclectic tarot (Piatnik)
I am very much aware that not everyone have the decks listed in their possesion, but this is simply a list of the decks I planned on studying myself in the first place and consequently means these are the decks that will be worked with in the study group. The list might change if I feel it is neccessary and it doesn’t neccessarily imply the exact order of the specific deck study. It is certain however that the first deck we will study will be the Mary El tarot.
If it becomes too much of a project we might also take bigger breaks in between study of different decks than only 14 days.
For studying you will need a simple blank notebook of any kind and a pen, and of course the deck of the current study. Any other artistic tools are completely optional. Keep it as simple an easy going as possible so it doesn’t become too much of a chore but it is also fun and relaxing to do. We’re working mainly for connecting yourself with the deck and awakening your intuition in relation to the deck, not studying for an exam.
- Day one: Deck interview spread and a dedication page in your journal. I will share my own deck interview spread but I know a lot of you also have your own spreads so feel free to use whichever you wish.My deck interview spread:
1 – How the deck sees me?
2 – Personality of the deck
3 – Strengths of the deck
4 – How will this deck challenge me?
5 – How will it change me?
6 – How can I best work with this deck?
- Day 2-3: Go through the deck and look at the images. Pretend that the deck is a person. What kind of a personality does it have? Gender? Appearance? Clothing style? Is it more of a tea or coffee type of a person? Beer or wine? Introduce it like you would introduce someone new to your friends. Don’t be too serious, it’s supposed to be fun 🙂
- Day 4-5: Do some research on the author and the artist of the deck. Read upon their idea behind the deck. Jot down some notes about it, anything that peeks your interest. It’s good to know what people had in mind while creating the deck we get to work with.
- Days 6-8: The Fools journey – YOUR JOURNEY – pull out only the cards of the major arcana and use the cards to write your own life story. I encourage you to use all 22 of the major arcana but use less if you feel that there are cards that you absolutely cannot fit in in any way. Of course the order of the cards will fit your own life experiences and situations and will very unlikely be in the same order as it is made in the tarot system. This exercise can be as in depth or as simple as you want. Just don’t let it consume you too much. Don’t lose yourself in the guidebook either. Just look at the images and go with the flow. Remember, fun?
- Day 9 & 10: The sassy court cards – who doesn’t like those? Time to pull out those court cards and find in them your friends, family members, co workers, or even characters from a fantasy novel or a movie. Match them up and don’t overthink it. Make it fun. Who gets along with who? What are their signs? Power animals? Elements? Who annoys who? What are their strengths and weaknesses? You can of course include yourself among those court cards.
- Days 11 – 88: Working with a card per day, we will start with the Fool and go on until we finish with all the suits of the minor arcana along with the belonging court cards. We want to be using this same deck for our daily draws so there is no need to keep it in order – we will simply pull the card we need to study that day from the deck for the time of journaling and then shuffle it back in. Daily prompts for the card per day study are:
Take a moment to look at the card and write down what you literally see on the card. Images, symbols, colours, patterns and explain what it means to you. Then go through the explanation of the card in the guide book (if there is one) and add anything from it that resonates with you to your entry.
- Creative expression
Allow yourself a creative expression inspired by the card. It can be anything from painting, drawing, photography, a poem, a short story, collage, even a card inspired makeup or dance which you can include into your journal with taking a photo of yourself to memorize the energy of the moment. Do not stress yourself about how it looks. You’re not creating to impress but to express. You don’t have to show it to anyone if you choose so. Also do not overthink it. It’s not about the left half of the brain, it’s about the right half. Meditate on the image on the card for a minute if you feel like you need to and then set a timer to 10 minutes and just do it, go with the flow, let it happen.
- Creative expression
- 78 pieces of tarot – an optional prompt.
Yes it’s funny to use something that helped me name the whole thing as an optional prompt, but I don’t want it all to be overwhelming. This is an idea of a final picture, a mosaic, a collage of the three months worth of study. Each day as you study a card, find a piece of imagery, a sticker, a piece of fabric, a cutout from a magazine or a brochure, pressed flowers, words, a specific colour paint, or basically anything that can be put/glued onto paper, anything that resonates with the energy of that daily card for you and gather it in a box. All of the 78 pieces. In the last two days of the study process take these pieces and create a bigger picture. Stick them all together on a big sheet of paper and create a sort of a visual board. It doesn’t have to be “pretty” or make sense – that is not the point. The point is to bring it all together and help you reflect upon this process.
- 78 pieces of tarot – an optional prompt.
- Days 89 & 90: Time for reflection and analysis.
Use these days for reflecting upon the whole study process. Do your 78 pieces of tarot mosaic if you choose so and journal about the study process. How did the process influence your life? How did it challenge you? How did it change you? How did it influence your relationship with the deck?
The study itself will begin as soon as we reach the minimum number of five participants in the facebook group, but hopefully as soon as possible. The most favourable date of start would be 19th of April as the full moon or the 1st of May (Beltane).
I hope I didn’t leave out any important information on the study process and that some of you might find it useful and interesting to participate. Feel free to contact me in regard to any additional information and join us in the facebook study group the 78 pieces of tarot .