Do you ever stand in a bookstore, your eyes darting back and forth between the titles, unsure of which one is the right keeper of knowledge? When I first started to read tarot, it was out of necessity. I needed to put a pulse back in my chest, and a roar back in my throat if I was to brave another year. I went to the bookstore, knowing that I wanted a book worthy of this step. But all the titles professed the same action. They all held promise of expansion and depth, spirit making strides.
I finally settled on this book: The Key to Tarot: From Suits to Symbolism; Advice and Exercises to Unlock your Mystical Potential by Sarah Bartlett. Why did I settle on this book, because it felt beautiful in my hands. The hard, chocolate brown cover felt appropriate. The pages were colored. The pages were glossy. There was something about the shine, the texture, the lift of reds and blues from the page that made me settle on this one.
This book is a great beginner’s book because it goes into each card well for a beginner level. It includes exercises and meditations to connect more deeply into yourself and the craft. It also has some good spreads that I still use today. I must admit that I no longer reach for this book that much, but as my very first tarot book, it was a star-find. Other books that I have purchased since then have not fully compared to this book. Perhaps it is my nostalgia. Perhaps it is glossy pages and way the spine creases into the skin of my folded legs. I don’t know, but I love this little book.
I had placed this book on a shelf after I read it, and moved on to other titles. I came across some journal posts from when I first started reading, and I realized how much writing I did when I was travelling through this book. I wrote in my journal constantly. Everything was somehow related to the meanings of the cards that I was slowly absorbing with this book. I din’t think too much of it. I read the journal posts, smiled at how far I have come, and went about my day.
That was about a week ago. Since then I have gone through many books on my shelves, packing the one that I know I want to keep, but will not read for some time. Others, given away as donations. I pulled this book down off the shelf I was going through and again felt that tinge of nostalgia, like looking at an old picture of myself. I really wanted to go through some of the meditations and exercises again to really see how my tarot interpretations have become layered.
If you are new to tarot, document everything! Write it down, film it, take pictures, draw it. However you do it, just do it. Document your travels because it will become a map. It will show you how to rejoin an old part of yourself that perhaps has slithered deep into the dusky layer of the subconscious. Document so you can look back and see what your gut thoughts were. Don’t take the interpretations in the pages (no matter how glossy) as gospel. Make your own choices and see what is right for you. For example, the book mentioned here reads Court Cards as other people. I have never found Court Cards to be representative messages of other people. Never. Do what feels right, and keep it documented so you can come back with a seasoned heart later for reconnection.
You can find Sarah’s book here, along with many other books that she has written. This is not an affiliate code. I think this is a great little book if you are a tarot novice, or looking for your first book. I would love to hear the books that guided your path, tarot or otherwise. Much love wolflings!