Question #2: What was your first deck and why/how did you get it?
About 13 years ago, I’d gotten back into things esoteric, New Age energies and such, and I remember thinking about getting back to my old interest in astrology and stuff. Then I went to the local Renaissance Festival where a friend of mine knew one of the card readers at the event. His reading was very well done, and I was inspired to look into getting a deck.
My first deck was the Robin Wood deck, a re-do in many respects, of the Rider-Waite-Smith, but with stained-glass style illustrations by Robin, and some alterations to the more negative and Christianized cards to make them more neutral, which at the time, I liked, since I found the traditional Judgement card, for one, a bit off-putting. Beautiful colors. I didn’t know that Robin had created a companion book at the time. The cards were also featured in Anthony Louis’s Tarot Plain and Simple which was my first guide to card meanings. He did a great job of giving the overview and details of both New Agey and traditional meanings, as well as a summary of astrology’s relationship to Tarot.