I bought my first deck of tarot cards in my late teens. The mists of time have blurred the facts but I do know it was the Aquarian Tarot because I still have it in my possession. My star sign is Aquarius and that seemed a good enough reason to claim the deck as mine; even back then I didn’t feel an affinity to the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck but there weren’t as many decks to choose from as there are today. Next came the Tarot of a Moon Garden, which was first published in 1993, providing more clues for my tarot timeline. That deck has since been lost so on a whim I bought another copy last week. Leafing through the cards I’m immediately transported back to that 20-year-old art student sitting on my bedroom floor trying to Figure It All Out. It’s like slipping into that younger skin, remembering her confusions and questions, and the pain of my first big relationship ending.
More than twenty years later my passion for divination cards has only grown stronger. They are creative and illuminating companions to my journaling and a constant friend in harder times. Funnily enough, it’s never once occurred to me to do readings for others. My relationship with the cards is extremely personal but while some of my decks are very precious to me, I don’t believe the cards themselves have inherent magical powers — they are simply pieces of cardboard after all — but my decks are special like my old journals are special: familiar, worn and loved. I treasure them like I treasure my books — and buy as many, too :)
As you can probably tell, I’m not big with the crystal balls and fortune telling. For example, I wouldn’t use the cards to make a decision, I’d use them to help me uncover how I FEEL about a decision. For me it’s less about “what’s going to happen?” and more “what am I really feeling? What do I need right now?” The cards are like mirrors reflecting me back to myself, an inspiring collection of clues and prompts that help me connect to the wisdom inside and around me.
I’ve wanted to create a course that explores using the cards for our own creative and personal growth for some time so I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of the Daily Guidance class! Eventually I’ll have my own deck of cards you’ll be able to use with the lessons (can you imagine?) but for now we’ll make do with the extraordinary array of decks that are currently available… Prepare to get addicted, my friends.
There’s an old wives tale floating around that your first tarot deck should be gifted to you, which I think is hilarious, because a) you’ll probably be waiting for a long time and b) it’s much more meaningful to take the time to find a deck that really sings to your soul. I’ll be sharing lots of my favourite in the class — I’m a huge fan of independently produced decks — as well as breaking down the different types of cards and styles of art to help you find decks you’re excited to get to know.
For now, here are some recommendations for a potential first (or fifth!) deck:
The Universal Waite — this modern version of the traditional Rider Waite Smith deck is easier on the eye, with softer colouring and lots more detail. As the majority of tarot books refer to this system it’s worth investing in a RWS deck (or clone, like the Anna K and Dreaming Way decks below) so you learn the basics — it will stand you in good stead.
The Anna K Tarot — this sweet deck gives super clear readings, by which I mean it’s easy to understand what the cards are saying! I love the whimsical figures and friendly vibe and found I could read with this deck straight out of the box. Great for beginners. (artist’s website)
Dreaming Way Tarot — modern and yet oddly nostalgic, this is another RWS clone that breathes life into the cards. I find the art exquisite and since cutting off the borders (I’ll talk about making your decks your own in class!) it’s fast becoming a favourite.
Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot — never in a million years did I think I’d love this deck as much as I do. Quirky, unkempt, fun and utterly charming, this self-published deck gives the traditional RWS imagery a nautical-themed new spin. I simply adore it.
The Wild Unknown Tarot (above) — this is the deck I pull out most frequently and always find new ways to appreciate its simple beauty. Possibly not the best choice for your first deck as some of the cards might leave you scratching your head; on the other hand, if the art speaks loudly to you it will find its way into your heart. There’s a reason why it’s so popular! (UK stockist)
Shadowscapes Tarot — Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s ethereal paintings take you into a new land, one filled with magical beings that have their own stories to tell. Gentle and intuition-enhancing, this deck loosely follow the RWS system and dreams up new fantastical ways to envision the cards. (artist’s website)
Mother Mary Oracle — this is such a nurturing deck of cards, it’s my favourite Alana Fairchild deck (and I have them all). Her words are as beautiful as the paintings on the cards themselves and I love to draw a single card when I’m looking for a word-hug.
Magdalene Oracle — this is a deeply feminine sultry oracle that always inspires me to dig deeper into my desires. You’ll often find one of these cards on my altar.
The Goddess Oracle — this beautiful deck showcases goddesses from cultures around the world. It’s supportive and illuminating with a sizeable guidebook filled with mythological meanings, interpretations, poems and rituals.
Earthbound Oracle — a new favourite that I like to read with alongside a tarot spread. So simple and clear, I love how they eloquently add another layer of insight to any cards I’ve pulled.
Vintage Wisdom Oracle — there’s a quietness to this deck I find very soothing. The artwork is gorgeous (how a deck looks is as important as how it reads to me) — I love this one especially. Definitely one to add to your collection.
Soul Cards — this deck doesn’t have any words or even interpretations in the booklet. Instead, you meditate on the image to find your own meaning. Excellent journaling material and deeply intuitive, I’ve had some profound readings with this deck.
To celebrate the launch of the new class I have six decks up for grabs — The Wild Unknown Tarot, The Shadowscapes Tarot, The Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot, The Mother Mary Oracle, The Magdalene Oracle and a set of Soulcards.
There will be 12 winners in total — 6 peeps get a deck of cards and a place in class PLUS! another six peeps will also get a place in class.
** If you win and you’ve already enrolled in class I will send you a refund! **
I’m happy to mail the decks anywhere in the world, so this giveaway is open to all.
How to play
You can enter up to five times in the following ways:
1. Leave a comment on this post sharing something that has already made you smile in 2016
2. Pinterest: Pin the first image below with a link to this post (then leave a comment saying you’ve pinned it)
3. Instagram: Share the second image below including a link to my IG profile @SusannahConway and the hashtag #dailyguidancecourse (then leave a comment saying you’ve shared the pic)
4. Facebook: Share this post on Facebook (then leave a comment saying you’ve Facebooked it)
5. Twitter or Google+: Tweet/share this post with your peeps (then leave a comment saying you’ve tweeted/shared the post)
Comments will close on Friday January 22nd at 11pm GMT comments are now closed and I’ll contact the 12 winners on Saturday 23rd (please make sure you type your email address carefully when leaving a comment)
Good luck and thanks for helping me spread the word about Daily Guidance! xo
* UPDATE: All the winners have now been notified :)
TO SHARE ON PINTEREST:
TO SHARE ON INSTAGRAM:
TO SHARE WHEREVER YOU LIKE :)
Something that has made me smile: New York City! I just made a move here from Canada and am loving every bit of it.
Something that has made me smile in 2016 is happening right now. It’s Sunday morning, I’m sitting in my favourite chair with a hot coffee, gazing out the window at the lake and watching HUGE snowflakes drift lazily from the sky. Life is so good and I am smiling.
I have been smiling for days because I feel so blessed to have stumbled upon your Find Your Word course; and because, having found my word – OPEN, it has already led me into some exciting and unexpected adventures in ‘openness’, which include buying my first ever pack of cards …I’d really love to learn how to use them to further support my journey this year.
Thank you Susannah, for everything
So far in 2016, I have been smiling at the realization that this is a new year – and I continue to smile at the slow realization that changes for the better really are a possibility, not just wishful thinking. Here is to more SPACE and smiles in the new year.
Bike riding on the beach!
Several somethings that have made me smile in 2016…
Discovering YOU, Susannah and this course made me smile! My word for 2016 is IGNITE – this makes me REALLY smile! I am launching my new business in 2016 – this makes me TINGLY all over and has me smiling like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland! Experiencing your passion and honesty about this course and that the cards are not “magic” – LOVE IT – this too made me smile! It makes me smile to realize 2016 is all mine to create and the possibilities are endless! HUGE smile!
Pinned it – http://pin.it/3dVJKk8
Hearing my daughter complain about me singing made me smile so far this year, it’s been a while since I sang :-)
This month has given me the realization that keeping my body moving makes me happy.
pinned this as well :-)
My dogs make me smile, especially my labradoodle puppy Mabel :-)
My wonderful grandchildren made me smile! Now to pin and post.
My husband makes me smile everyday!
Thanks for the opportunity to win
Have a great week
Yoga practice. Making art. Exploring Nature. All sources of overwhelming smiles in 2016. :)
I am so excited for this class and the possibility of winning my spot (and a deck!). Thank you for that! (posted on fb, pinterest, instagram, twitter) One thing that has made me smile yet this year is that I was just visited in the dreamtime by Mary Magdalene earlier this week…and you have a Magdalene deck to give away. Yes, please! :)
SO much has made me smile already this year – going to teach French lessons to enthusiastic, wonderful students every day; Sunday walks around the frozen lake with my friends; drinking tea in the mountain hut; writing every day; drawing; the sound of the kettle whistling; the stars in the night sky that I see every night when I go outside to the toilet; snuggling up in my warm bed with the love of my life. 2016 is very good so far! :)
I’ve laughed at my cat who sits at the back door and scolds the squirrels who are stealing the bird seed from the bird feeder. I’m so excited about this give away that I’ve posted on Twitter and pinned it to Pinterest
Going on nature hikes with my dog makes me smile
A big beautiful rainbow!
What an exciting new course Susannah. The one thing that has already made me beam this year was my 3 year old nephew (and I know you absolutely feel me on that!) My favourite recently example was when he very earnestly interrupted a conversation between my brother (his dad and I), with “excuse me, excuse me Aunty Libsy…I LOVE YOU!!” Can you get any better. He has my whole heart! I always love reading about your nephew because I can see that the relationship you share is so similar :)
Coming face to face with a herd of bighorn sheep on a New Year’s Day walk made me smile
Our young lop rabbit playing in the snow made me smile and laugh out loud
Pinned, Instagrammed and Tweeted!!
My word for 2016 has made me smile, with its deep sense of trust.
My word is FLOW.
As I surrender to the FLOW of all things, the more I trust that all is as it should be, and as the little signs appear, I smile.
The amazing sisterhood I have with the women in my chorus, it’s like no other bond I’ve known. They make me smile, and make me feel like I’ve come home. <3
I shared your Giveaway on Twitter!
I shared your Giveaway on Google+!
I shared your Giveaway on Pinterest!
PS: I shared on Twitter, FB, Pinterest and IG xx
Love oracle cards (have yet to do tarot spreads though). Would love to take your class.
My tween girls have made me smile each time they have gotten on well and acted like good mates (less often than when they were little so i appreciate and soak it in)
Shared on instagram and pinterest xx
What a great giveaway!
Making me smile: My cute little 2-year-old niece, who, whenever she’s asked a question, puts her finger on her chin, makes a dramatic thinking face and then says, “Aha! Ice cream” as the answer – no matter the question!
I’ve added it to Pinterest too :)
My children make me smile. Their little quirks, the questions they ask and seeing the way their little minds work and think. They truly are my sunshine.
I’m a new follower and am very intrigued. I’d love to take part in your course.
Shared on Instagram :)
Pinned it too!
Cross-country road trip to bring my daughter home ? such big smiles!
Cross-country road trip to bring my daughter home ? such big smiles!
pinterest shared! :)
Oh so many smiles! An unexpected kiss, gazing at a perfect slither of crescent moon & enjoying the first daffodil blooms x
Synchronicity brings me rushes of pure joy and always makes me smile!
My daughter’s smile… every day
My husband makes me smile all the time, be it a joke or a tickle war.
I pinned, IG, FB and Tweeted it
Crossing my fingers I win!!!
This new adventure with you makes me smile! I am the exception to the rule that you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks. This old dog loves new tricks. Thank you!
My son helping to clear the snow off the cars! he’s been waiting since beginning of december for snow :P
Shared on Facebook and Pinterest :)
IG has to wait, my phone is sitting in rice while I’m hoping it’s not dead :P Will be trying it tonight.
My cat loves her new fluffy cat house (a Christmas present). Everytime I see her sleep inside and hear her gently purring it makes me smile.
shared on instagram
shared on fb
I have been smiling about my 8 month old son. He is my first and I am in awe over how much he is changing every day.
Thank you for the giveaway! I’m excited and I haven’t been excited about something like this in a long time.
Shared on Facebook!
Shared on IG!
Tweeted! Thanks Susannah.
2016 started out a little rough but has been looking up so alot has made me smile. Planning out my goals for this year and already seeing them start to unravel has caused my biggest smile. Other causes for smiling have been interview at a place I’d love to work and finding more self care time. :)
Thank you for this opportunity and list of cards you like, I have been having a hard time deciding what cards to get. This helped.
Shared on Pinterest to Marilee McCarthy. :)
Posted on FB! : *
Finding you has made me smile!! Seeing that your first deck was the same as mine (also chosen because I’m an Aquarius and it seemed to ‘make sense’, not to mention the gorgeous artwork!) Reading this post and learning that your relationship with Tarot is pretty spot on to my own (I struggle to so eloquently explain it to those that do not understand, though. Most people instead poo poo me/it as being spooky and silly mysticism.) Also, seeing that this giveaway ends on my birthday!! Serendipitous all around!! Smiles from ear to ear to learn more about and from you :D
I have pinned this on Pinterest <3
…And posted to Instagram as well ;)
I was reviewing my year of last and decided to go through all of my pictures that were on my phone from the first to the last. What a delight! Memories so close but forgotten, I had a smile from ear to ear. What a blessing it was. I was in the process actually of drawing cards and creating a vision for myself for 2016. Thanks so much for your amazing blog, you are an inspiration for me to honour and become whole in all areas of my life. What a gift.
i love this :) xxx
I shared everywhere you asked! :-) As for what has made me smile so far in 2016…listening to my kids discuss Norse mythology made me smile just today. I love your offering. Thank you!
and shared on instagram! : *
My family makes me smile almost daily, notice how I said “almost” ;-) Today finding my word for 2016 has made me smile. I have enjoyed working through your Find Your Word course and today was the day it just came to me, so BIG SMILE! Thank you! I have shared your site on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
2016 has been off to a GREAT start!!!! I just returned from a trip home (to Orlando, Florida – I live in Seattle, WA) and it was so wonderful getting to see so many family and friends over the week I was there. I am feeling sooo incredibly thankful and whole.
Plus, I returned home to an email letting me know my application was accepted to speak at this event called Ignite. I am so excited because more public speaking was one of my intentions for 2016… so this is a great start!!
Trying snowshoeing for the first time, watching snow fall with a warm cup of tea, sharing a meal with good friends I don’t see often, playing board games with my family… that made me smile
And shared on Pinterest!
My kitty girl! She’ll be turning ten this year!
My phrase for the year makes me smile! Blue Skies!!! Saying it and feeling it, bright shining blue skies open my heart and mind to possibility.
Posted on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter! Thanks for such a fun contest – so excited about this course!!
Something that has made me smile this year is the warmth and friendliness of the online community.
I have tweeted (Lishbrarian)
shared on Facebook (Alysha Esdaile)
shared on Pinterest (alyshajane) and
Thank you for your wonderful site and this giveaway! :)
i just FB’d and Tweeted, too :) (boom, boom!)
Resolving to knit from my stash and my queue has made me smile this year. I don’t need enough yarn to make 100 sweaters! I want to take the time to make things that I will love and wear frequently. That feeling makes me smile.
The little car I recently inherited from my mother in law makes me smile every time I see it through the window.
Shared on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Having just returned to the States from 9 months of journeying through Southeast Asia, I’m ILLUMINATING (my word) 2016 by starting each day with meditation, the Morning Pages and a draw from Kyle Gray’s amazing Angel Prayers Oracle Deck. When I read this email yesterday afternoon, of course my pick from the morning was “balance”. My cards are truly a reflection of the wisdom within. I love when they reflect the wisdom around me, too <3
Dancing to Michael Franti live in Bali on New Years Day truly made my heart and soul smile (and ILLUMINATE)!
Went to a physicpsychic fair the other day made me very happy.
Posted on Instagram and Pinterest
So far, 2016 has been a good year for bonding with my children. They both have been extra loving, compassionate, and affectionate lately. Makes my heart smile!!
I’ve pinned to Pinterest
Shared on Facebook!
Shared on Instagram
And shared to Google+ :)
Skiing powder has made me smile more than once already in 2016 — the snow we’ve had in the Colorado Rocky Mountains has been pretty amazing so far for this powder hound!
And reading about your new course has made me smile, too!
Thanks for the opportunity Susannah!
I’ve shared on FB today, too.
I found a new tarot deck this fall, one created by one of my favourite YA authors who is also a stunning artist and musician with strong Celtic roots (Maggie Stiefvater). The deck is more intuitive, less literal. I asked Maggie about that old wives’ tale about not buying a deck for yourself. Maggie’s answer was (paraphrased): I do not believe the deck is magical. I believe *I* am magical.
This made me so happy – and I bought that deck pronto.
My cat Théo, makes me laugh everyday of the year. He’s such a funny guy and I love him so much.
An impromptu visit from my bestie. Recharged the soul.
My cat Théo, makes me laugh every day of the year. He’s a funny cat and I love him so much.
I share on Facebook.