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Life as a Card Collector & Translator

Life as a Card Collector & Translator

Hi there! I’m Rei and I like to collect cards. Not name cards, no no. Cards such as pokers, tarots, and oracles. Why? Ooow… I’m not entirely sure why. But I think they’re unique and I am quite an anti-mainstream person.

I bought cards from every country I visited. Sometimes they have cards for every city in the country. Good for my health, but not for my wallet. I am usually broke when I travel but when it comes to buying cards, I don’t feel so broke any more. Is this an obsession? Maybe. I like them and I want to have them. But don't get me wrong, I don't worship cards. Trust me.

I see cards as a media, for communication purposes. Well, usually cards are used for playing, as a tool for games. Others use cards to do magic tricks. But only a few people see the symbols on the cards, in which symbols can be read, interpreted and we give meanings. Just like a language. The funny thing, my first time using cards as a media was when I was waaayyy younger.

Just recently a friend of mine from primary school found me on Instagram. It has been more than 10 years since we last spoke. She told me the one thing she remembers about me is that I use cards to see if there are any ghosts in our school. I am not trying to tell you a creepy story but what actually amazes me from this is that I had the interest of using cards as a media when I was so young, around 8-11 years old without anyone telling me before. I guess this is the reason why I am highly attracted to tarot cards today.

Tarot is a deck of 78 cards that consists of symbols, which 22 of the cards are major arcana and the rest of the 56 cards are minor arcana. Each card represents a certain meaning, tarot usually used as a tool to help consult about life issues. I actually wrote my thesis about the tarot. Surprise surprise. But I actually started to put some time and effort into studying tarot after I graduated. So what motivates me to pick the tarot as my topic is to have reasons to buy various books about tarot and, of course, the cards. 

One day after I graduated, my mother's best friend gave me a gift for my graduation gift. A deck of Shadowscapes tarot cards from Spain. I was beyond happy. I always wanted to have a deck that illustrates a fantasy world, with mermaids and unicorns. I didn't know such a deck existed back then, but now it's mine.

Today I figured that Shadowscapes was actually pretty common. Not that it really mattered to me. It is still my favorite. Besides, my deck is in Spanish, so does the guidebook. I didn't know any Spanish. But I manage to translate the whole book (it is pretty exhausting if you ask me). Thank you Google translate.

Today I have approximately 65 poker cards, around 42 of them are countries and cities designed like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Poland, Romania, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, and so many more. While the rest of my card collections are figures and random designs, such as Stitch, Disney Vile Villains, Mario Bros, Wild Flowers, Wayang, etc. While for tarot I only have a few, nine decks to be exact. And I only have one oracle deck: the animal spirit oracle. I bought this oracle because one, I love animals, and two, the design is super cute and calming, it is exactly the oracle that I need.

So about the oracle deck and how it differs from tarot; an oracle is a form of wise guidance but it is easier to read compared to tarot. They carry their own meanings and do not ascribe to the general meanings of the Tarot. I usually give an oracle reading as the closing after tarot reading to give positive feedback to my clients.

In this modern world, there are still a lot of people associating tarot with dark magic, mystical, supernatural, haram, and so on, while the readers are often accused as witches or shamans. Well here I am to tell you that I am a Catholic and raised by a devout Catholic family, yet I am a tarot reader who used tarot decks to help others seek answers within themselves. I have no six-sense, I have no ability to see ghosts (not complaining), and I can’t tell the future (duh). But I believe life has a way to communicate with us.

Have you ever experienced any "push" within yourself to do something because you felt you had to? Or perhaps, you notice some signs that are happening around you to help you make your decisions? Do you believe in coincidence or do you believe everything happens due to reasons? 

Let me give you a simple explanation. We live surrounded by energy, us humans create energy as well. Like when you see your parents yelling at each other you can feel the negativity in the room and makes you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, when you attend a wedding you can feel the air is full of the couple's happiness. There's this book that I read, called "The Secret" that mentioned the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking. When you think about something positive, you are creating positive energy that spreads around you. 

Let's put it in a tarot reading case. You as a client have problems that you keep inside and now you are focusing your energy to pick a card. You might think you are picking the cards randomly, but there was some energy that exchanges during the process. The cards that you pick will represent the answer to your thought.

Having the tarot as the media focuses the energy on the cards. Before I do any reading I usually say a little prayer to God to keep the positive energy. A tarot reader became a tarot reader because they are willing to listen to other’s problems and give them support. Nowadays it is not hard to find friendly tarot readers, they will be in all ears, acting more as a friend then psychiatrists. But as a friend, they are also humans who have their own perspective. When you tell your stories you’d prefer to tell it to a friend who understands you or shares the same perspective as you, right? Finding the right tarot reader for you is like finding the right friend. It’s about compatibility.

But you don’t need to worry about it. Answers will reveal themselves to those who seek it. So you should be asking yourself. Why are you here? Reading this exact writing? Are you seeking for some answers?

Thank you for reading this! I hope you find your answers soon. And also your happiness :) Cheers!


Reika Emmanuellanicknamed Rei.  Before settling down in Jakarta, Indonesia, she lived in Helsinki, Port Moresby, Bucharest and Gelsenkirchen. Reika studied Communications and major in Public Relations. She graduated from Universitas Katolik Atma Jaya in Jakarta. As of now, Reika is working in a startup company as a senior partner and event specialist. She would like to be known as a Tarot Reader (@readmytarot), a card collector, and a dog lover (@katataci). Do visit Reika's instagram @Reikartu

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