I'm someone who loves to trade decks. I don't like to hold onto decks that I don't use, so I regularly find myself on the Buy Sell Swap groups on Facebook looking to rehome those decks that aren't getting the love they deserve from me.
To some, the idea of getting rid of decks is a bit scary - "But what if I miss it?!"
Usually, that's not an issue for me. More often than not, it's a bit of a relief to send off an underappreciated deck. And it creates space on my shelf for the decks and books that really make me feel excited.
But occasionally, there have been those decks that I really did miss, whose empty spot on the shelf is never satisfyingly filled by a newer purchase. One such deck was the Dreams of Gaia Tarot by Ravynne Phelan.
It was a deck that experienced a lot of hype when it was released by Blue Angel Publishing about a year ago. The art style is distinctive and the creator has developed a unique take on the tarot system. It wasn't a deck that I was immediately drawn to, but I was curious. So, when I found it on eBay for half price, I took the plunge.
I had no strong expectations. I knew it came with an extensive guidebook, which I assumed I would devour, cover to cover, being the book nerd that I am!
But, when it arrived in the final days of 2016, I was surprised by just how strongly the images spoke to me. The vibrant artwork was so talkative, I didn't even bother with the book. I didn't want to overthink this organic and intensely intuitive experience I was having.
So, I asked questions, drew cards, and let those mystical, alive images speak to me. The deck was expressive, sassy, funny and forthright. I used it every day and had a lot of fun experiences as well as several breakdown/breakthrough moments during those first few months.
(I loved it so much, I even made a video about it being my 'deck crush' in January!)
But then, without warning, the Dreams of Gaia went cold, and its chatty messages muted. Where I'd once struggled to keep up with the intuitive hits I received from the deck, I could barely get a whisper out of it.
So, it went back in the box and sat on my shelf until I eventually posted it off to a new home.
Our love affair was short, fiery and magickal. But it was over... or so I thought!
Now, almost exactly a year after I first opened and fell in love with the Dreams of Gaia, a second copy has just arrived in the mail, and I feel like I've come home to an old friend. Almost as quickly as our spark had fizzled, it burst back into flames and I needed this deck in my life.
I'm not sure exactly what it was, or what changed, but I'm so excited to explore a relationship with this deck again.
Then again, maybe nothing changed. Perhaps I misread the cooling of our connection. Perhaps this fiery deck is a seasonal one, meant for the fiery, transitional height and heat of the Australian summer.
I'll always love trading and maintaining a curated collection, but the Dreams of Gaia has given me an opportunity to reflect on just how different all decks, and the relationship we have with them, are. Each deck takes us on a unique journey and travels at its own pace.
Next time, I don't think I'll be so quick to assume that a passionate love affair has an expiration date!