Friday, October 14, 2016

Introductions Are In Order

I am a skeptical person. I have, throughout the years, struggled to maintain faith in higher powers be it a god, a force, etc. I have also managed to become quite cynical and pessimistic about the world at the same time. As a child, dreams of learning witchcraft and hunting ghosts plagued my every waking moment. I remember printing out "real life" ghost stories and pictures and putting them in a manila folder labeled "Ghost Research". And then my interests faded as I matured and came to realize that the world is big and the knowledge to be gained is vast, without having to put my faith in these things that had no basis in science.

Now, I find myself in a strange period of transition. First, religion is steadily gaining more prominence in my life again. I have found solace in the word of the Bible, even if my interpretations are so much different than that of most organized religions. I find myself craving something more spiritual in nature, more content with the unknown, and more open to things I previously wrote off as trivialized and silly.

A number of factors came together to finally convince me to take the plunge and buy a tarot deck. Some of these may seem circumstantial at best, and downright ridiculous at worst. However, is that not what faith is, in essence? A ridiculous leap into the unknown, or circumstantial evidence turning you into a devout practitioner?

The first thing that "happened", or more accurately just came to a point, was a need to fulfill a lifelong fascination with tarot. I have always found the cards intriguing; someone less skeptical might suggest a pull to them or some sort of divine nature fating me to find them. I am not yet comfortable with the term "fate", but in a romantic sense, that's what it feels like. From early childhood, despite growing up in a household where no one practiced magic and few believed in ANYTHING other than conventional science, I had an intense curiosity about what lies beyond the veil of human sight. I wanted a deck of my own so desperately. Over the years, I pushed that yearning away, calling it a childish endeavor not suitable for someone wanting to be taken seriously. However, the call returned to me recently and has been stronger than I had ever felt it before.

The second event which inspired this massive change in worldly position was a fool's journey to the birthplace of American witchcraft, or at least, one of them: Salem, Massachusetts. My boyfriend and I decided to go to Boston, and such as I might have been fated to delve into Tarot, so I was fated to find myself moved with the ancient eeriness and connection of Salem. I walked the brick pathway past the modern shops, and found myself feeling more free and in love than ever before. Salem was a place where I felt so disconnected from the "Modern Gods" - technology, social media, television, etc. And suddenly, my spirit was in harmony with the past. I felt connected to the women (and men) who lost their lives because they were accused of witchcraft. I felt empowered by the strength of the women who lived there now. I felt...alive. Walking in Salem made me feel more myself than I had felt in a long time. So when I saw a shop selling tarot cards, I knew what I needed in life. Even if I didn't have them then, I would have them soon.

And the final event which was the last stone to fall into place, was that I watched the first episode of Outlander. Now, I realize that after reading about my deep, emotional journey to Salem, hearing that the final piece was a TV show might seem downright mad. But in the first episode, the heroine watches a group of Druid women perform a ritual, which ultimately sends her back in time. And as I sat, watching what is, I am sure, not an actual ritual, I felt once more the call to explore that which I had shunned so many years ago. I felt a need to be spiritual, to open my heart to nature and to the forces guiding the world. Whether that force is just the expansion of the universe, the movement of the planets, or something else, I wanted to be a part of it.

After some research, I found a deck which I believe will suit my purposes perfectly. It is one of the few decks that "spoke to me", as they say. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted it. And when I read about it, it all came together so beautifully.

I chose the Linestrider Tarot by Siolo Thompson. Not only was I drawn to the artistic style of these cards, but the animal imagery pulled in the natural element that I was craving, and the most important aspect of all: the Linestrider tarot represents the straddling of one between the physical and spiritual realms. Perhaps, the journey from one to the next. As someone in transition or even caught between two vastly different perspectives on the world, this deck was everything that embodies me at this time.

Maybe as I grow in either one direction or the other, a different deck will become the one I identify with. But for right now, Linestrider seems to be the obvious choice.

So this all brings us here. I have ordered the deck and while I await its arrival on Tuesday, I have found myself deeply embedded in the study of these cards. I have been forming my own philosophies about them, and I have been collecting the information provided by so many others before me. Soon, I hope to acquire a true Tarot Journal (or Grimoire, as I will be calling it) to keep my thoughts in. However, I will be maintaining this blog as well, to chronicle my journey semi-publicly but also so that I must synthesize all the information I have into meaningful conversations.

Thank you so much for reading this lengthy introduction. If you would, please take the time to say hello, share your stories of how tarot had affected your life, or impart any other knowledge or advice you might have.

Until next time.
- Erebella

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