I always approach Tarot with a tremble, and some trepidation. Maybe it's the Romany in me, feeling its way across the generations, that let's me know that Tarot is not the toy that many believe it to be - a quaint way of telling tales of the Past, Present and Future. Tarot is, indeed, much, much more. Never a toy to be fooled with, but a tool for the guiding of Life.
Like most Tarot practitioners, I have many decks, but only one that is charged with links to my psyche and spiritual energies, and that's the one I use when doing readings for myself, or others. My elder sister once tried to use this deck, and it burnt her hands when she held it! Judge for yourself whether this is a strange phenomenon or not!
The other decks I collect for a number of reasons - often to see if they do feel charged when I hold them and study them, but most often for their beautiful artwork. Tarot decks are, indeed, small collections of amazing artistry and beauty, filled with archetypes and images derived from Humankinds impressioned Past, leaving us guidance and choices for Humankinds Present and Future. One of the most beautiful and powerful decks to be released in recent years is The Fenestra Tarot by Chatriya Hemharnvibul. Fenestra is Latin for Windows, and this deck is designed as a series of Windows filled with Tarot symbolism and beauty. I chose the Ten of Swords from this deck as the image for my avatar, and background. Here is why...
Every time I look at that image - it makes me tremble! It portrays a beautiful Woman, prone and pierced with the Ten Swords of the card. But it is more than just an image. It has beauty, both in the artwork, and in the image of the Woman, beauty showing the love the artist had, and the viewer sees. The body almost seems to be real, and the Swords piercing her show both Power and Passion. Power, in the sense of absolute ownership of that Woman - ownership enough to give the owner the right to do to her what they did. Passion in both the driving force to perform those incisions, and in the need to do that! What has driven the Perpetrator of those acts to perform them? What did the Woman do to deserve such treatment? And why are the swords driven in the locations they are? Some are definitely sexually driven, seeming to be forced into the sexual zones of the victim. Others are positioned to cause pain - yes - but not to distract from the lissome beauty of the Woman. None of them are placed at random, but with care and attention to result, again displaying the Love and Passion the artist and the Perpetrator have for the Woman.
All that I see in that card - and it grows every time I study it - ties its imagery to my own passions and psyche, and that is why I chose it, and why I love and venerate it so much.