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Author Topic: "Bad luck to buy your own deck" - how common is that, and where?  (Read 14196 times)
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« Topic Start: March 15, 2008, 04:50:36 pm »

Elsewhere, Rin mentions a superstition related to tarot:
It's considered bad luck to buy your own deck. You're supposed to get it as a gift. Maybe taboo was the wrong word? I view it more as superstition and I think its silly. I've bought my own deck before, tho' it wasn't right for me doesn't reinforce the superstition. I also don't see the point.

*snorts* Cheesy

The way Rin talks about it, it sounds like it's fairly common where she is - as it also is (or anyway has been; I'm not hooked in enough to the local scene at the moment to be sure if it still is) here.  Though there's not a lot of contact/connection between Calgary's and Winnipeg's Pagan/occult/divination/etc scenes, there's enough that ideas do cross-infect.

Most of those who responded in the original thread didn't mention whether it was something they'd heard of before or not - but they didn't say, " Roll Eyes Oh, that old canard again!" (or some approximate equivalent).  I didn't post that, but I sure as heck thought it.

So now I'm wondering whether it's a common superstition in a lot of places, or whether its commonness is a regional phenomenon.  Is this something you've run across a lot, or a little, or not at all, in your neck of the woods?  (Don't forget to give me a notion where your neck of the woods is - I know where lots of folks are, but I don't have a TC map in my head.)

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« Reply #1: March 15, 2008, 04:56:58 pm »

Elsewhere, Rin mentions a superstition related to tarot:
The way Rin talks about it, it sounds like it's fairly common where she is - as it also is (or anyway has been; I'm not hooked in enough to the local scene at the moment to be sure if it still is) here.  Though there's not a lot of contact/connection between Calgary's and Winnipeg's Pagan/occult/divination/etc scenes, there's enough that ideas do cross-infect.

Most of those who responded in the original thread didn't mention whether it was something they'd heard of before or not - but they didn't say, " Roll Eyes Oh, that old canard again!" (or some approximate equivalent).  I didn't post that, but I sure as heck thought it.

So now I'm wondering whether it's a common superstition in a lot of places, or whether its commonness is a regional phenomenon.  Is this something you've run across a lot, or a little, or not at all, in your neck of the woods?  (Don't forget to give me a notion where your neck of the woods is - I know where lots of folks are, but I don't have a TC map in my head.)

Sunflower

As I mentioned in the Wards thread, I have never heard of it. I am self-taught, mostly, but I have some friends who teach, and lots of friends who read cards, and afaik, these kinds of traditions/myths/superstitions/what have you are not something we pay much mind to down here in beautiful N. CA.
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« Reply #2: March 15, 2008, 05:25:49 pm »

Elsewhere, Rin mentions a superstition related to tarot:
The way Rin talks about it, it sounds like it's fairly common where she is - as it also is (or anyway has been; I'm not hooked in enough to the local scene at the moment to be sure if it still is) here.  Though there's not a lot of contact/connection between Calgary's and Winnipeg's Pagan/occult/divination/etc scenes, there's enough that ideas do cross-infect.

Great Lakes region, Stateside - I've heard it.  I don't know how /common/ it is, 'cause I don't talk to a lot of tarot-type people offline.  But I heard it long before I came to TC.
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« Reply #3: March 15, 2008, 05:35:59 pm »


Never heard of it. Think it's quite silly, myself.

My ONLY tarot deck, which I do use, is one that I picked out and bought for myself. I have not had any problems yet! Wink *knock on wood*
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« Reply #4: March 15, 2008, 07:17:37 pm »

So now I'm wondering whether it's a common superstition in a lot of places, or whether its commonness is a regional phenomenon.

It's common here in Central Kentucky. In fact, I know people who tend to freak out if some newbie comes along and even hints at buying himself his own first Tarot deck. Bad, bad ju-ju.

Now, having said that, I must say that yes, my first deck was gifted to me. Your standard usual Rider-Waite deck that doesn't make a lick of sense to me. It makes so little sense that the pack, which I received in March 1993, still looks brand new. The packs I've bought for myself, because the artwork had something to say to me, make much more sense. The Hermann Haindl is my preferred pack.
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« Reply #5: March 15, 2008, 08:06:07 pm »


Those crazy Canucks.

To tell you the truth, I'm not much connected to the local scene here either, because what I've heard or scene is mostly of the Wiccan/Wiccanesque variety. The two people I know who are openly Wiccan also believe in some form of this superstition. I have difficulty taking them seriously on the subject because of the material they often read is dubious for its factual content at best. But they are my friends, and I love them. Smiley

Where I've heard this is mostly on online forums, where the subject comes up and those few voices of reason chime in that its a superstition and there really is no difference between buying your own or getting a deck. I suppose maybe the "deck as a gift" was more popular years ago? Because nowadays I don't see it being taken seriously.

I should sign up for a local tarot shop that I got recommended to (the people you meet in libraries  Roll Eyes) and see what its like here. I wouldn't say the "pagan scene" is dead here, its just that its not that open. I think I mentioned a while ago that I felt apathy is quite rampant in Winnipeg, because it just seems like no one cares enough. We used to have a Pagan Festival (I know there is a correct term for it, its just escaping me at the moment. Ack!) here annually up until about 3 years ago when it slowly died off. I couldn't tell you why. We don't have ren faires and the pagan shops are slim pickings at best, as it seems most of them are filled up with Neo-Wiccan Goddess-based material. Plus some stories I've head of shop owners give me the willies, but I'm naturally distrustful of people older than me (online people I know who are older than me don't seem to give me the same vibe, especially here. I think its because of the level of intellectual discussion here that people who seem.. "grounded" to me that doesn't cause my cynicism to flare up. Cheesy).

Okay, I totally went off-topic. I apologize. I guess its not so much where I live, its the places where I frequent (which is mostly LJ (sadly), Witchforum, The Cauldron, and Aeclectic Tarot. Any other places are not in relation to spirituality) where it comes up.
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« Reply #6: March 15, 2008, 08:15:49 pm »

Elsewhere, Rin mentions a superstition related to tarot:
The way Rin talks about it, it sounds like it's fairly common where she is - as it also is (or anyway has been; I'm not hooked in enough to the local scene at the moment to be sure if it still is) here.  Though there's not a lot of contact/connection between Calgary's and Winnipeg's Pagan/occult/divination/etc scenes, there's enough that ideas do cross-infect.

Well, I live in PA, and a couple of summers ago I spent lots of time at local yard sales/flea markets trying to pick up occult books/tarot cards/etc. on the cheap.  I was at a woman's yard sale and saw a Rider Waite deck (actually just labeled a Rider Tarot Deck) probably from the 80s, so I asked how much it was...  At the time, I had a few other decks that I had bought but never really used, so that was one rule I had broken without even knowing it.  She talked to her friend and came back to me and said that her daughter told her to give them to whoever picked it up, for free.  I hadn't heard of the "gifting" of Tarot cards before so my first reaction was "I hope these things aren't cursed or something," but I couldn't resist a free vintage deck.

Once I read about the tradition of receiving your first Tarot cards for free, I thought it was a really cool gesture and obviously someone who must have known far more than me at the time was responsible.  I still have the deck and will probably always remember the circumstances of me getting it.
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« Reply #7: March 15, 2008, 09:05:18 pm »

So now I'm wondering whether it's a common superstition in a lot of places, or whether its commonness is a regional phenomenon. 

I've heard it a lot over the years -- mainly online, however.
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« Reply #8: March 15, 2008, 09:28:49 pm »

So now I'm wondering whether it's a common superstition in a lot of places, or whether its commonness is a regional phenomenon.

I got my first deck in Toronto in 1981, and yes it was a gift.  I didn't know much about cards at that point, but it did seem right and fitting, especially since the giver was my first teacher.  She had been reading for a while and her first deck had been a gift from her mother.

She was only my teacher for about three months when she 'fired' me (told me I needed someone who knew more than she did).  My second teacher was a professional reader.  He was my first 'real' teacher, and he also said that a first deck should be given.  He also said that it was fine to ask someone to give you one, or to trade gifts - the important part seemed to be that coin changing hands should not be the first experience 'shared' by a beginner and their first deck.  After that, buying a deck that pleases you is more acceptable.

I agree on one level, although I don't think it's essential, and I find it silly on one level.  I have bought lots of decks over the years, and I wouldn't think of telling somebody they shouldn't have bought their first one.  At the same time, I always give a deck to my students.  Not 'workshop' students - they are supposed to bring their own.  But private students always get one from me - always a basic, clear, deck, like the Rider, with images on the pips for easier learning.

After they know the basics, I encourage them to bring in and play with and explore other decks, but that first one (even if it isn't really, since most people already have at least one before they approach me) is always a gift from teacher to student.

I knowingly indulge in this superstition, just because I like it.

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« Reply #9: March 16, 2008, 05:42:34 am »

I've lived in different parts of Germany and never heard it until I came to TC, but I haven't met that many Tarot people face to face. I admit, I've bought my first deck, a Rider-Waite.

What I've heard in north-eastern Germany though, was that you shouldn't get a used deck and shouldn't borrow/lend cards.
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« Reply #10: March 16, 2008, 09:43:15 am »

Elsewhere, Rin mentions a superstition related to tarot:

Sunflower

I'm with Dania:  not only have I never heard of such a thing, I think it's silly.  Reading tarot is a highly personalized form of divination; if the deck won't talk to you, you can try all the ritual you want, nothing will happen.  The only way to know if the deck will talk to you is to hunt for it yourself.  I bought the deck that called to me off the shelf at the bookstore.

I have been gifted various tarot decks over the years; not one of them worked, and I've re-homed them all.  I've purchased four; only one actually works for me... which didn't surprise me.  I bought the other three decks because I liked the art, not because I expected to use them.

I can understand a teacher wanting to gift a student with a deck; the teacher will likely gift the deck he/she uses to teach.  If the teacher uses the Rider deck, and the student's trying to learn off the Motherpeace deck, the lessons are going to be *very* difficult...

Of course, I have no idea if this is how it works for other people.  JMHO; YMMV.

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« Reply #11: March 16, 2008, 10:54:09 am »


I'm not apart of the pagan scene here in SE Virginia but I have heard about it.  I actually read it in a book that came with a deck my grandmother gave me (it also said that you shouldn't let other people touch your cards without your permission).  Oddly enough, that was either my second or third deck.  I purchased two other decks.  The first I lost many of the cards so it was unusable (I don't know if anyone has heard of it, but it was the Parrot Tarot deck.  I didn't really like it anyway).

The other is the Quick and Easy Tarot and I like that one because the meanings are printed on the cards.  I find it useful for those trying to learn and I will probably buy another deck when I familiarize myself with the meanings.

The one my grandmother gave me has god awful artwork (I think Barnes and Nobel were the ones that printed it) and I only use the book that came with it to compare the meanings of the cards (the rest of the info in the book may be a bit suspect).
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« Reply #12: March 16, 2008, 11:36:13 am »

What I've heard in north-eastern Germany though, was that you shouldn't get a used deck and shouldn't borrow/lend cards.

Here in Argentina, I've heard this too. I've participated in a lot of argentinian pagan forums for many years, and I never read anything about bad luck if you buy your first tarot deck. I've seen many people asking what deck should they buy to learn tarot, and nobody ever said that was bad luck or anything like that. But I've heard that you shouldn't borrow or lend tarot cards, because the energy of the other person gets stuck on them (and I wonder, can't you clean them later?).

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« Reply #13: March 16, 2008, 11:44:17 am »

Elsewhere, Rin mentions a superstition related to tarot:
The way Rin talks about it, it sounds like it's fairly common where she is - as it also is (or anyway has been; I'm not hooked in enough to the local scene at the moment to be sure if it still is) here.  Though there's not a lot of contact/connection between Calgary's and Winnipeg's Pagan/occult/divination/etc scenes, there's enough that ideas do cross-infect.

Most of those who responded in the original thread didn't mention whether it was something they'd heard of before or not - but they didn't say, " Roll Eyes Oh, that old canard again!" (or some approximate equivalent).  I didn't post that, but I sure as heck thought it.

So now I'm wondering whether it's a common superstition in a lot of places, or whether its commonness is a regional phenomenon.  Is this something you've run across a lot, or a little, or not at all, in your neck of the woods?  (Don't forget to give me a notion where your neck of the woods is - I know where lots of folks are, but I don't have a TC map in my head.)

Sunflower

As I mentioned in the Wards thread, the variant I've heard is that you aren't supposed to buy your first deck, and what is meant by "first" is "first deck you've ever done a reading with."  Basically, you're supposed to either borrow or get gifted the deck you do your first reading with.

I think it's silly, but I didn't buy a deck until after someone taught me using theirs.
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« Reply #14: March 16, 2008, 12:11:36 pm »

What I've heard in north-eastern Germany though, was that you shouldn't get a used deck and shouldn't borrow/lend cards.

I've heard that one too, but it is not that hard to clear a deck and recharge it. Mary Greer has some good ideas for doing this in Tarot for Yourself, I think.
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  The power of Fire,
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  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

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