The Cartomancy Challenge

Do you love cards? Boy I sure do! Tarot cards, oracle cards, Lenormand cards, affirmation cards, meditation cards, playing cards, cards for games old and new, antique cards that were tucked into products for advertising, postcards, greeting cards, sometimes even pretty decorated index cards! (We writerly types have a thing for office supplies.)

I’m just in love with these handheld pieces of artwork, and I know a lot of folks in the magical community can say the same. I’m part of a number of online groups for cartomancy enthusiasts, and the one thing they all seem to have in common is card collections that could fill an occult shop! I’ve seen six foot tall bookcases overflowing with decks, and enviable custom built cabinets displaying gorgeous collections. In fact, I even have friends whose mighty Tarot collections put both occult shops and bookstores to shame. My own card collection is of more modest proportions, but it finally became large enough that it needed to move out of the “divination drawer” of the dresser I use as my altar, and into a chest of its own. 

Some people collect cards just to enjoy the art, and that’s totally cool. The range of art made for these cards is astonishing, and there is at least one deck available for just about every conceivable interest. But most of us in the magical world are obtaining cards because we intend to read them. And that’s the tricky part. So many decks, so little time, am I right?

We could all use a little more focus when it comes to cartomancy. This is the Flowers of the Night Oracle by Cheralyn Darcey.

This weekend, I found myself scrolling through some indie decks I’d been eyeing up for awhile, when it hit me. I haven’t read with the last deck I purchased…or the two before that. And the last deck I got before those was a lovely gift which I’ve so far only read with once.

That’s when I got the idea: I am going to challenge myself to truly read with the decks I have before I allow myself to buy a new one. I wanted to have a specific format for the challenge, so I decided I am going to do 78 readings before I buy another deck, for the 78 cards of the Tarot. I’m going to include my Lenormand cards and other oracle cards as well, just so long as I do 78 readings. I’m going to try to read with each deck I own at least once, which for me means an extra challenge of learning to read Lenormand cards, something I’ve been intending to do for years now. I’m also going to document the process in my personal journals, and share insights from my journey here on this blog. 

If you’re interested, I invite you to join me on this journey. I’d love to talk with others as we grow in our cartomancy abilities. There’s no set timeline for completion, although if there’s a deck that you’ve recently fallen for, that might amp up your motivation! What are your goals for your development as a reader? Do you have ideas for tracking the challenge, or building upon it? Let me know in the comments!