Approximately 23 years ago, I picked up my very first tarot deck. I had wanted one for awhile but being 10 or 11 at the time, all I had was my weekly allowance which was painful to try to save. Also, I felt a bit weird and out of my element in terms of actually going in to make such a purchase on my own, so I asked my dad to buy it for me instead. I should say that my dad was an astrologer and the house was littered with oddities so, this really wasn't such a weird request in that context. I think some parents may be caught off guard, but the request really produced no different a reaction than if I would have asked for a pack of gum. So at the time, it all felt kind of normal even though I also had a sense that maybe it wasn't. Well, I must have had some sense that it wasn't what my peers were doing, because I kept it a secret from most people, as I did many aspects of my spirituality growing up, but that's a whole other topic.
So off to the local Coles we went and without having done any research or having any understanding of what I wanted in a deck, I grabbed the first one that "spoke to me" and that deck was The Servants of The Light.
The Servants of the Light was created by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and published in 1991 by Aquarian Press. The summer I aquired it, and in between playing with my Fantesy Fighting books (so 90's), I spent my time trying to commit each card's meaning to memory. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that it was all a bit over my head, and for all my good intentions, I had a really hard time taking the book meanings and applying them to actual life. Probably because, at that age, I'd barely lived!
I'm not sure where exactly I lost track of that deck but somewhere along the line, it disappeared from my life. When I picked tarot up very seriously again a couple years ago, I wished desperately that I still had it. A quick internet search affirmed that reaquiring this deck may not be easy since it was out of print and costly (even as a used deck), and that's if I could even find it.
But now, just this week, it's come back into my life courtesy of the lovely Alaina of exploringlyyours.com; thanks girl (And go check her out)!
When it arrived, opening the box was like unearthing a time capsule. A wave of nostalgia swept over me as I eyed the strange casing that I'd forgotten over the years. It's a plastic box that looks more like it should contain an audio book than a tarot deck, but it was the early 90s after all and so perhaps, right on trend?
It's funny looking at something that you haven't seen in the flesh since you were a kid. I imagined the cards so much bigger than they actually are, for starters, and thicker, I seem to recall them being much thicker. Everything is bigger when you're little though. Below are a handful of cards that stand out for me and which I have pretty clear memory of from when I first used them. The 10 of Weapons...ouch!
For funsies, I showed the whole thing to my dad to see if he would remember it. His reaction as he leafed through the cards was as such: "you were probably too young for these, hmm, maybe I shouldn't have got these for you." I snatched them back and thanked him for his commentary.
It's especially strange looking at the court cards now. Below are 4 from the Crescent family. As you can see, this deck does not follow tradition and has renamed the court charecters and their suits. Rather than Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins we see Staves, Crescents, Weapons and Spheres. That meant nothing to me back then but now, this would probably bug me. I like my Cups and my Swords and while a bit of variation is ok, i.e. Pentacles to Coins, a complete overhaul doesn't appeal to me.
Only time will tell how me and this deck will click now. I think the first thing I will do is give it an interview and let it tell me what I can hope to get from it and perhaps, why it's returned to me. Until then, I am thrilled to have it back in my collection. I have history with these cards and owning them now is like an awkward introduction between the past and the present. My other cards are side-eyeing this one, as it stands a bit to the left, wondering why it's here and where it came from. But it and I both know it holds a special place and if it were not for it, maybe I wouldn't be doing what I do today. Now, perhaps its influence is overstated or at least, depatable. Even still, it would be impossible to untangle its connection to the current and for this reason alone, I'm so pleased to once again call it "mine".