In having to answer some questions in the past year as to how I got started in using tarot cards, I had to actually remember correctly the story. I was perplexed and then I remembered that my best friend from second grade, Christa, gave me my first Rider Waite deck. She is now a famous chemist, veterinarian and novelist. So I asked her to write her version of the Tarot Deck story. I publish that next.
My version is that I made my own divination cards when I was a kid and I had about 20 ideas, one on each card, like the "Yes I get my way" card. Or " my Brother wins" card. I used these to ask silly kid questions and I began to preform very simple magic spells to get things I wanted. Then in Middle School I bought a pack of Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Cards at a yard sale. From then on, I was golden. I knew about card readers because my mother had a woman come to our house and read cards for her. So I did it for myself.
Christa graduated high school early and then moved to New Orleans to go to Tulane, So I was able to drive over to New Orleans often and spend the weekend at the Tulane dorm rooms. Christa and I explored the city and shopped at strange places and ate college food. And it was my belief that she bought my Rider-Waite deck at this time and mailed it to me. But she says it was later in life once she graduated and got a job in Ohio. So I do believe she is correct.
Since the old Gypsy Witch days, I have used many types of Tarot decks. I do stick to the classical 78 card meanings coming out of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Eden Gray, and I have relied on many Tarot scholars who have brought this subject into the proper world of academics and history as well as it being a mystery tradition initiation system and a most practical and wonderful tool for common fortune telling. The photos are of my original deck from Christa. I read so much now that I have to buy a new deck every 4 to 5 months. I would have never seen that in the cards.