My First and Last Tarot Decks
My first tarot deck was actually the Osho Zen Tarot, but I got rid of that a long time ago. I consider Universal Waite Tarot to be my 'first' tarot (in photo on right). It is a Rider-Waite-Smith 'clone', and considered by some to be a 'prettier' version of the RWS. I am very fond of this deck. It seemed so BIG to me when I bought it, but now you see the deck on the left is much larger, and when I unpackaged it the other day, I thought the cards were relatively small. I like big cards.
When I bought the Universal Waite, I had lots of fears to overcome. It all seems so silly to me now. I had to reconcile myself to the pentacles. They looked like Satanic symbols to me. I had to confront my fear of the Devil card. Was tarot Satanic? Would I go to hell? I wondered this, even though I'd given up a belief in hell! What about all I'd been taught as a child about divination? 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying,' Leviticus 19:26. 'As for the person who turns to mediums and spiritists, I will also set My face against that person,' Leviticus 20:6, 'There shall not be found among you anyone who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, for whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord,' Deuteronomy 18:9-11. Well, there are just so many Scriptures against divination. I bought a tarot deck out of curiosity and because I had a journal that had a page in it for a 'card spread', and I was like, 'What's a card spread?' That's how this whole thing got started. I wasn't even a practising Christian when I bought the deck, I was practising Buddhism and just discovering Sanskrit mantras, but all my childhood training came flooding back the first time I saw a card with pentacles on it! But then I looked up the word 'divination' and found this definition, which I wrote in my journal (I just went back and found it) -- 'perception by intuition; instinctive foresight'. Well, how could that be a bad thing? So I started using the cards, and reading about them. I could not have known that my research into tarot would lead me down the path I currently walk. I am thankful for it.
The deck on the left is the Byzantine Tarot by John Matthews and Cilla Conway. It's a lovely interpretation of the tarot in the style of Byzantine art.
My First and Last Oracles
My first oracle deck is actually two decks combined, Druid Plant Oracle and Druid Animal Oracle. I always call it 'Druid Plant and Animal Oracle'. I trimmed it to borderless back when both were widely available. Now of course the Plant Oracle is nowhere to be found, so of course I wish I had one with the borders. I also wrote on the cards which seemed like a good idea at the time but now I don't like that. I never used these decks much, because even with the writing I could never really remember what everything was supposed to mean, and now I don't use them at all. I lost all interest in herbalism and lore. They're just part of my Worthington collection. I bought a second Druid Animal Oracle to use with borders and no writing, because I have some intuitive knowledge about animals, but plants? Not really.
My last oracle is Journey to the Goddess Realm by Lisa Porter. It is a colorful and fun goddess deck, and features a few goddesses you don't see in other decks. I mostly use goddess decks as altar decorations and this one is lovely for that.
I've pretty much abandoned divination tools other than tarot cards. I have tried runes, witch's runes, playing cards, dice, and even tried briefly to learn tea leaf reading. I scried with a mirror once and scared the bejeebers out of myself, candle-gazing gives me a migraine, and ceremonial magic just seems pompous and funny to me. I take little notice of natural omens, and have no memory for folklore about them. I do have this glass ball (I am too poor for an actual crystal ball) which can be good for staring into, particularly by candlelight. So I use this occasionally.
Well, that was fun! I would love to hear about your first and last decks and other systems, so if you do write something or make a video, could you link to it in the comments so I can go and read or watch?