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Two questions this week- Can I buy my own Tarot deck? How to I get closer to people? My answers, though different, hold the same truth. You gotta do it your way.

I’ve heard it’s bad luck to buy my own Tarot deck? Is that true? I want to start learning to play with the cards but I’m not sure if I should get my own deck or wait for someone to give me one. Thanks, Curious Cards

Dear Curious

This is a long held superstition that goes so far back no one really knows where it originated from, though there are a few speculations: Tarot was considered dangerous (a form of witchcraft) and so buying a deck put you under the watchful eye of the church; Tarot was an art form passed from mother to daughter, and the latter was only ready to read when she was given a deck; the ability to read Tarot was a gift, so you were only worthy of taking it up if divine providence deemed you worthy by sending you the cards.

While these are all interesting ideas, they don’t really hold up today (thankfully!) and most Tarot readers agree that buying your own deck is not only safe, but preferable. Reading Tarot takes a lot of dedication and you are unlikely to spend the time required to become proficient if your deck doesn’t resonate with you. There are hundreds of decks out there and it is important that you find one that suits your personality and needs.

The Tarot is traditionally made up of 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana, and is a comprehensive set designed to tell the story of the hero’s journey and the human experience. There are oracle decks as well, (also known as messenger, meditation, or divination decks) that have a varying number of cards and uses.

I would recommend taking your time to check out several decks and their artwork and application. I prefer to hold each deck in my hands and let my instincts guide me (you can also bring a pendulum with you or use muscle testing). You can buy cards online, no harm in that, but personally I like to engage all of my senses when choosing. It really is up to you.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find a deck that meets your needs and appeals to your senses. Reading Tarot is a magical practice and the first and only rule is to follow your intuition. If you worry that you may be cursed if you purchase a deck, find the deck you love and then ask a friend to buy it for you. I personally wouldn’t hesitate to buy my own deck; I’ve done it before and have yet to experience any negative consequences.

Hey Way Witch, I have a close knit group of friends that I have felt apart from for a while now. Many of them know each other from childhood, so no matter how connected I feel to these folks, they still treat me like a bit of an outsider (i.e. Overlooked, Uninvited to Events, Separate). While I would just focus on my other friends, these are my partner's community, so they are always going to be a part of my life. Do I just have to accept that I'll never be a part of their inner circle? Is there something I can do? Thanks, Friend of Friends

Dear Friend,

I wonder how long you've known these people. Childhood friends have had a lifetime to gain closeness, and you may just need to be patient- intimacy takes time. Since there is really nothing you can do about the others, let’s take a look at what you can do about yourself. Real friendship requires vulnerability- trusting others to see all of you, even the parts you may not be proud of. And likewise, you have to be willing to accept the limitations and flaws of others. (If you can’t, ie because they are terrible, racist, bigoted jerks, then obviously you are better without them in your life.)

Ask yourself what you are contributing to the community, and if it is wanted, needed, and appreciated. Are you helping out? Listening? Supporting? Sharing laughter, food, responsibilities? All of these things will tend to draw people closer together. For me, and important aspect of relationship is the fine line of following through on commitments, and understanding when that can’t always happen. People don’t want to be flaked out on, but they also don’t want to be guilted when they have to cancel plans. There has to be a balance of accountability and respect, but being shamed when you’ve had to make a choice is no fun either. Show up more often than you don’t, and forgive others for bailing once in awhile.

And, in the end, none of this might matter. We are drawn into relationships for many reasons, and we don’t put effort into other ones, and not necessarily because those people aren’t wonderful and worthy. Try not to take it personally if you always feel a little outside; real friends will accept you and welcome you in, and the others just aren’t meant to be.

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