The oldest surviving tarot cards are the 15 or so Visconti-Sforza tarot decks painted in the mid-15th century for the rulers of the Duchy of Milan. A lost tarot-like pack was commissioned by Duke Filippo Maria Visconti and described by Martiano da Tortona probably between 1418 and 1425, since the painter he mentions, Michelino da Besozzo, returned to Milan in 1418, while Martiano himself died in 1425. He described a 60-card deck with 16 cards having images of the Greek gods and suits depicting four kinds of birds. The 16 cards were regarded as "trumps" since in 1449 Jacopo Antonio Marcello recalled that the now deceased duke had invented a novum quoddam et exquisitum triumphorum genus, or "a new and exquisite kind of triumphs". Other early decks that also showcased classical motifs include the Sola-Busca and Boiardo-Viti decks of the 1490s.
You may find it helpful know that what you are experiencing is fairly common, and you aren't alone. Lots of people from all over the political, religious, age, class, race, industry spectrum have pulled me aside to talk about this. (So relax, alright?) It's just something no one wants to discuss because they're afraid everyone will think they're crazy. It's a terrible isolation loop, really. But moving on . . .
Most card readers recognize that the associations and preconceptions of the person being read for are just as important as the actual drawings on the cards: Divination cards offer a way to project certain ideas, whether subconscious or not, and to toy with potential outcomes for important decisions. Thus, like scenes from a picture book, the best illustrations typically offer clear visions of their subjects with an open-ended quality, as though the action is unfolding before you.
Matthews’ favorite decks are those with straightforward illustrations, like the Tarocchino Bolognese by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, an Italian deck created sometime around the 1660s. Matthews owns a facsimile of the Mitelli deck, rather than an original, which means she can use them without fear of damaging a priceless antique. “The deck that I enjoy most is the Mertz Lenormand deck because of its clarity,” she says. “The background on each card is a creamy, vellum color, so when you lay them out in tableau, you can see the illustrations very clearly. I frankly get so tired of all the new Photoshopped tarots and the slick art, with their complete lack of any framework or substance.
Now that you are becoming a medium, you'll need a very active, highly attentive spirit guide who'll take on the task of being the gatekeeper for communication. They'll help to screen spirits coming to you for communication and aid spirits struggling to get their meaning across. The guides bring the spirits forward to you and align their vibrations with yours. They are a little like a customer adviser. They manage the line of customers and give them access to you and the client when it's their turn. You need to establish who this special spirit guide is, there may be more than one, and build relationships with them. Your vibration must be tuned with theirs on a deep and permanent level.
Now that you have grounded yourself, please select the cards we will use for your Tarot card reading. Remember, I shuffle my deck and draw new cards for the Tarot spreads every day, and these cards represent each one as it was laid out in front of me. Please take a moment to pause between drawing your cards, and when you are done selecting your cards for your Tarot reading you will be whisked away to a detailed interpretation of each card and what it means in its position in the Celtic Cross Spread.