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Reading the Entrails Part One – Divination and Tarot

By Josephine McCarthy

[Snip] When magicians first start walking the path of magical development, they are confronted with the huge task of learning the outer court skills. One of those skills is divination. The commonest way to learn divination is by learning tarot. The vast array of tarot decks available is mind boggling and can easily overwhelm someone who is just starting out.

When I am working with students, the deck I advise them to get is the Ryder Waite tarot deck. This choice is not because it is better than all others or more profound, rather because it is universally known (and therefore is a vocabulary that can be easily used in teaching/practicing) and it connects into the lines of western magic that flow through many of today’s magical lodges and groups. Like all decks, it has its strengths and weaknesses, but for learning tarot, it is a good basic tool. Eventually, once you have learned one vocabulary/deck, you will explore further.

Before I go any further, let’s have a look at what divination actually is and also visit some of the myths that surround tarot.

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