why 78 & change?
I’ve been working on learning tarot and looking at expanding my tarot musings beyond my little handwritten journal; I wanted something that I could keep in one place but re-shuffle (no pun intended) as needed. Something that I could tag and link and re-visit in a table-of-contents-y way, something living and breathing, easier than a binder or notebook.
I also wanted a place that was separate from my other social media presences – without any “oh I didn’t realize you were into that” or eye-rolling or snark. I signed up for a Tumblr — and then a few days later, they dropped the “no more adult content” hammer. I couldn’t, in good faith, stay. And so here I am, back on WordPress (hey!) and with my own dot com (hey hey!).
The “& change” comes from a phrase I use a lot when I mean “and a little more”. If I had a bag of pretzels, for example, and there were three whole pretzels and a bunch of little broken pieces in it, I’d say I had “three pretzels and change”.
I was brainstorming what I’d call my tarot space on the internet, and I got stuck; I couldn’t come up with something that felt like me – or that wasn’t already taken. So I went back to the fundamental roots, “okay, how many tarot cards are there”, and my immediate mental response was “there’s seventy-eight and change”. Seventy-eight cards – 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana (40 pips, 16 court cards) – are what we think of when we think of the standard tarot, but there are some decks that include a few more cards (the Fountain Tarot, for example, includes a 79th “Fountain” card), not to mention the expansion you can add in with oracle cards, etc. etc. Seventy-eight and change.
Plus, oh, you know, that whole thing about the journey, growing, and changing – change is the only constant, after all, and even once you finish your journey through the Major Arcana with the World, you get to start right back at the beginning.
I’m no one special! I picked up my first deck when I was probably twelve or thirteen and promptly lost it somewhere in the hell-hole that is a teenager’s bedroom (especially when your mom is Way Not Cool with you bringing tarot cards into the house). I bought a second deck when I was eighteen and lost that one in the same hell-hole, so now there are two decks unaccounted for somewhere in my parents’ house. I didn’t know what to do with either of them – I was fully reliant on the Little White Books and the classic Celtic Cross spread.
In the past several years, I didn’t have a proper deck but would casually pull a card or a spread from an online tarot generator when I felt the need. I had a few readings – one the summer before I left for college, one at a work event – and always felt drawn to it, but never quite enough to pursue it more seriously.
In 2017, I bought a classic Rider-Waite deck from the metaphysical shop near my apartment; I also asked my boyfriend for a specific deck for Christmas that was drawn, written, and published by our friend. In 2018, I began studying more in earnest, reading and taking classes both online and off, and writing my thoughts and such.
my decks (last updated: 12.31.18)
The Rider-Waite Tarot (classic yellow box)
The Wanderer’s Tarot
The Ophidia Rosa Tarot
The Wild Unknown Tarot
The Pythia Botanica
Edward Gorey’s Fantod Pack