26 March 2015

Tarot de Marseille

Jean Dodal's Marseille deck is officially my third set of tarot cards. One of my spirits has been pushing me towards the Marseille tarot for some time, and thankfully The Hermit's Lamp in Toronto imports various decks of that style from France. I am very picky about which tarot decks I use (I've been reading tarot for seven years now and I've only owned two decks in that time) and choosing between all the various kinds of Marseille decks was difficult. The Dodal one won me over with its strange and uncomfortable, unconventional quirks.

So I picked up Yoav Ben-Dov's Tarot: The Open Reading and Camelia Elias' Marseille Tarot: Towards the Art of Reading and read through them both today. No form of cartomancy has ever felt so natural. Even with the Thoth deck I would rarely keep myself contained to spreads, constantly adding on new cards in weird positions to qualify and elaborate on the things I scryed, but with the Marseille tarot everything flows with uncanny clarity. My first reading was so ridiculously insightful. I surprised myself with how quickly and easily it came to me. I'm well familiar with the meanings of the individual cards, but tracking where the characters were looking, what they seemed to be doing, whether they were distant or close, what each particular aspect of the drawing meant for that instance, and so on came like the easiest thing in the world.

I admit I was initially put off by the "simplistic" drawings and colours of Marseille-style decks, and so buying one along with accompanying books was a bit of a leap of faith. The spirit who was very keen on seeing me practice it is now happily smirking. I thought I would find it interesting and useful but ultimately secondary to my preferred decks, but now it almost feels like I can't go back, haha. I can see why it's easy to go downright evangelical for Marseille.

I think everyone needs to try the Marseille tarot at least once. But definitely get the two books. They will change the way you read tarot no matter which deck you use.

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