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My journey as a diviner started twenty years ago. I was in 8th grade back in the autumn of 2000, and I felt called to learn when I found a tarot deck that belonged to a friend on the table I sat at in the same course I decided which college I would go to. Coincidences aplenty, but for me certainly a meaningful turning point in my life. The first deck of cards I ever owned was the Faeries' Oracle illustrated by Brian Froud. The deck was originally published on October 31st, 2000. I purchased it not long after that by a recommendation. I think it was the only deck I had for six years.

I sat through dinner with a storm of curiosity and anticipation funneling all my thoughts towards how I would handle them, curiosity over what the book would say, curiosity about how it would impact my life, but in the end also wondering how it would come to influence me as a person. I knew it was a big moment for me and I promise it felt like such when I first opened the box and wrote my name inside of it and the book. I made it my own, and then with the self control of a saint I read the book instead of going over the cards. Until the book said to look through the cards... at which point I combed through the entire deck to find cards I resonated with or felt drawn to.

I remember the first exercise to be that I'd pile cards that looked similar together, and I'd try to group them according to how I thought they related to one another. Then I picked my very first signifier card, and the rest is history.

Not long after that I picked up a Voyager Tarot by Dr. James Wanless, which faithfully accompanied me through my first paid readings. It wasn't long before my repertoire started to grow. I purchased the Paulina Tarot in anticipation for the Joie de Vivre Tarot, I also got the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot, the Joie de Vivre Tarot and the Thoth Tarot eventually. After that, my collector's habit kicked in and I started amassing decks to use and review. My full collection can be viewed online here.

Mastering the tarot took much longer. That journey didn't start until the winter of 2006. I had found what was then known as the Aeclectic Tarot forum. Signed up, got started meeting others who were also passionate about it. Combing through their archives of decks available I came across the deck of all tarot decks for me. The Vertigo Tarot by Dave McKean became a deck I knew I absolutely had to have. I obsessed over it for months, printing out all the cards and pinning them in  a cork board for me to admire. Call it a fateful day, it was at the tail end of my first semester. I was studying for a final early in the afternoon with a cup of tea that was absolutely too hot for me. I took it to class with me to let it cool, then I went to the bookstore to sell my textbooks back. I was eyeing the art books when a gilded glimmer caught my eye. I recognized the logo immediately. The Vertigo Tarot had been reprinted and was in that campus bookstore. I sold my books and bought the deck, then ran home to open the box as fast as I could. My heart was racing, I was taking the pouch out for the first time and screaming internally. It was finally before me, and it was right for me. I looked through all the cards eagerly, and since then that deck went wherever I went.

The Vertigo Tarot is still my favorite deck today. The deck seems like you've been submerged into your subconscious, oscillating between life and death. The deck comes off as inherently dark to most people, but to me it is a comforting and very kind friend. I used that copy until its edges feathered and the sides started to corrode away. I gifted that copy to my friend Tarot-Dreams and opened a new set... but that set now looks just as old and battered as the first copy did. Reading with it is a special treat for me, and all my sitters can tell I am simply mesmerized by it.

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