Modern Divination - The Tarot

 The Tarot has always fascinated me.  I have completed numerous reviews over the years on Tarot decks of shape and fashion for this blog. I have even participated in a Tarot card project where I was cast to represent several of the cards. My favorite by far was recreating The Star card. (image below)

Photo Credit  - Renee Sosanna Olson

The Female Mystic Project was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed researching the card I was to represent and trying to convey that messing in the photo.

So what is Tarot?  Tarot is a deck of cards separated in two main groups (Minor and Major Arcana) used for the purposes of divination or fortune telling. The earliest mentions of tarot dates back to the French 1400's.  With the rise of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the 1880', Tarot traveled across the English speaking countries where it eventually found it's way to the creation of the Rider-Waite Deck we are all so familiar with today. 

By Pamela Coleman Smith - a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley ( for the public domain, and retrieved from (see note on that page regarding source of images)., PD-US,

The table below from Wikipedia shows the progress of the Major Arcana cards from their creation up to the Crowley and Rider-Waite decks.

The process for reading cards varies from reader to reader. Even the guidance on obtaining cards has its own set of mystery and superstition. Do you buy a deck or should it be gifted (or even stolen). Should anyone else touch  your cards? Should they live in a wooden box or velvet bag?  A quick Google Search will let you know that EVERYONE has an opinion on this. (LOL)

So what about the act of reading? Each reader has their own process for preparing for a reading as well as providing that reading for a client. There are as many variations are there are Tarot decks. One process isn't the be all end all process for using this tool. Amazon returned over 7000 results for a search on this single product.

To get some insight on what a reader's thoughts are, I contacted Alexis, The Bonesong Witch to share her process with us. She is a reader of Tarot and a hunter of  Irish Totems.

Here are her interview questions.

Q: How did you get started?

A: I found I had a penchant for it, when I picked up a deck and started practicing with the Tarot. There was an immediate bond, and I've had a relationship with Tarot for 25 years now. I see Tarot as both and entity and the spirits of the earth. I actually started off reading Totems for people. That came from an exploration of Native beliefs by way of a dream/vision I had while meditating. I met with Native leaders that were in the Virginia Beach area at the time, and was taught their way. I then dug into my own ancestral past, and found that totems are a part of nearly every indigenous culture in the world. I am careful not to present my was of totem-hunting as native to the Americas. Rather, I do work with the spirits of the land in which I was born, as well as those of my ancestry.

Q: Explain your process for getting started with a reading.

A: Usually, I will cleanse the space with dragon's blood resin or a blend that I order from Tree of Life Apothecary in North Carolina. I may or may not light a candle, depending on the situation, and I ground. I cannot emphasize how important grounding is when working with Tarot or with Totems.

Alexis - The Bonesong Witch

Q: How does the information come to you?

A: I just "know" something that I didn't. I know that's a strange explanation, but my accuracy does come from the fact that I allow Tarot to "tell" me things, and then I give that information directly. I have a geis to only tell the truth, and not skirt around what I see or know to be truth from it. So far, I've never had a person tell me that what I told them wasn't spot-on. When it comes to totem readings, I spend more time exploring each of the person's directions and allow the totems to speak for that direction.

Q: What other information would you like to share with my readers?

A: I'm happy to answer any questions they may have, or help new tarot readers or totem hunters, as well.

I want to take a moment to thank Alexis for participating in our this exploration of divination via Tarot.  You can reach out to her via her website or via email.

No comments