They say the first step in conquering a problem is admitting you have one. I, today, admit nothing. For some, collecting art is their personal expression of individuality- for me, an artist, I’ve found that art isn’t just painted canvases and sculptures.
I love the symbolism, the creativity, and the esoteric mystery behind artistic tarot decks. They speak to me, as if the artist himself were to sit next to me and chat about the thoughts in his brain at that particular moment of creation. And, though I want to own them all, holding the artwork in my hand in a possessive osmosis of melding with the imagery, I know that I will never use them all.
Which prevents me from buying them all. A conundrum, I know.
I do have decks that I’ve bought simply for their art. Shadowscapes is one. I was disappointed with the quality of paper in the deck I received and didn’t really connect with the imagery to read with- however, it’s stunning to look at.
I’m constantly adding to my list, a growing obsession of endless decks that I will, hopefully, one day be able to call all mine (insert maniacal laughter here), and I thought I’d share some with you. Perhaps you have some you’d like to introduce to me- so you may enable my
Before that, though, I want to know if anyone else feels their decks have personalities? I find that different decks, for me, give me entirely different energies- as if they’re alive and sentient. It’s not too impossible of a leap, considering my belief about tarot, that these tools have their own chaotic form of energy- and might even possibly contain a bit of Universal Sentience. For some, that might be too much of a strange belief (and that’s an absolute phenomenal display of individualism at work!), but I wonder if even those who just see Tarot as a tool notice their decks speak to them differently. Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook- because I’d love to know your thoughts!
Now- let’s get into the decks. I’ll begin with the ones I currently have, as I love each of them dearly (in different ways) and the list is surprisingly shorter than I thought it was. Some of them might not be on your lists…yet.
This deck is the most easily recognized, and is currently the model in which most other decks are created after. It’s simple, symbolic, and best for beginners- in that it is not artistically manipulated according to the creators interpretations
Personality: My deck is feisty. It gives me no-nonsense reads, has no problem calling out anyone it thinks is hiding behind pretense, and is probably the most intuitively connected of all my decks. It’s my go-to when reading for other people.
Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy
I adore this deck. It was found during an internet-search black hole looking for another deck, and I was so entranced by the imagery that I stopped what I was doing and ordered it. It’s creative, but doesn’t deviate too drastically from the RWS interpretations. I love the colors, and the soft tones- but I mostly love how she was able to create an entirely new world inside her deck. It, to me, is very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and I love it. I use it often, for close friends, myself, my family, and anyone who requests it. The paper is quality, the deck is beautifully done- I just can’t say enough positive things about it.
Personality: Very Maternal. My deck is always trying to show me there’s a brighter side to things, and that I’m capable of anything. I’m reminded of the Mother Hen in friend groups who just wants to inspire and motivate her circle to see in themselves what she sees. My Joie de Vivre deck is very much like this. Though this is great, and welcomed (especially on those days I’m struggling to see the silver lining), there are times when tough-love and a hard slap to the face is needed to wake someone up out of their funk- this deck, instead, gently nudges them.
Easy Tarot by Ciro Marchetti
This deck was one of my firsts ages ago, and is one I plan to give to my son later this year. It’s a watered down version of the RWS and is a very smooth introduction to tarot. The imagery is simple, and not very artistic, but it gets the job done. Or, if you’re like me, inspires you to get the RWS and delve even deeper.
Personality: Dry but accurate. There’s no whimsical personality to this deck. For me, it’s simply a tool- and that’s actually an advantage for anyone who’s learning. It helps the reader remember the suits’ correspondences to the element- which can, and usually does, help the reader further interpret them. However, if like me you’re a visual learner and you read based on emotional responses to the cards, this deck is almost too simple. I think it’s going to be great for my son, however, because he’s a very active learner- and the more simple I can make something, the clearer he understands without much frustration.
Shadowscapes by Stephanie Pui-Man Law
This deck was supposed to be my go-to. I bought it after seeing the cards online, and knew that the imagery was going to resonate. I got the deck in the mail, opened up the package, and was so disappointed in the quality that I’ve only used it a few times. I still think the art is gorgeous, and have even considered mounting it in The Craft Room, but it’s not a deck I use for reads.
Personality: None. I haven’t connected with this deck at all. It is artwork to me, instead.
*Note: I have read that there were some bad batches, and mine must have been one of them. However, I’m not paying for another deck when I have so many others on my list.
Botticelli by Atanas Alexandrov Atanassov
This is another deck bought simply because it was beautiful, and it’s so new to me (less than a few months) that we haven’t developed a repertoire yet. I’ve alluded before that I’m an Art History buff- and anything that deals with the Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionism (just to name a few), or even certain artists, I’m going to be all over it. I love that this deck has gold foil, as that was a huge thing back in Botticelli’s time. Gold symbolized purity, and religious symbols- and since back then, art was only appreciated by the poor in churches, it is symbolic of the use of imagery to evoke emotions in masses. To include it in the deck was just a touch that I adored- not to mention Atanas’ art is truly a loving homage to the Great Master himself.
Personality: So far, quietly accurate and possibly a bit mischievous. Like the RWS, it’s no-nonsense, but it’s not so “in your face” with it. Where the RWS will beat you over the head with your own stupidity, Botticelli will calmly point you to the mirror and tell you to look.
The Wizard’s Tarot by Corinne Kenner
This deck has been on my list for ages, and has been out of print even longer. My wonderful husband found it at a local Witchy shop (brand new and unopened!), and he gifted it to me for Christmas. The level of excitement upon opening that fresh wrapper was supernatural- I hadn’t even found used ones in decent shape, and here I was opening a new deck. The artwork is everything I’d hoped for, and the colors are gorgeous. It has a magickal theme to it (obviously), but not in a patronizing or mocking way. You can tell that if Corinne herself isn’t a practitioner, she’s done her research and respects those of us that are.
Personality: This deck is way too new, and I haven’t gotten over the “it was a rare find and I don’t want to mess up the cards” phase. In all honesty, I haven’t done a single read with it because it is just too precious. Not only because I searched for so long for it, but in how it came to me. My husband finding it, in a shop I go to frequently, and remembering that it was on my list- it just…let’s just say I get a bit sappy when I think about it.
The Good Tarot by Colette Baron-Reid
One of my absolute favorite decks! It’s artwork is just incredible, and has caused me to place most of Colette’s decks on my list (though, for your sake, I won’t list them). The cards are a bit bigger, and with my child-like hands it’s a bit difficult to shuffle them properly, but it allows more imagery than the smaller cards. I love this deck and use it almost as often as the RWS.
Personality: Like the Joie de Vivre deck, it’s a very friendly and compassionate one to read. It’ll give you advice, but it’s always optimistic and it never speaks ill of the querent. However, just as with the JdV, that can allow us to indulge in our bad habits too, if we’re not careful. But I adore this deck either way.
That’s it for my personal decks. I have a few oracle decks, and a Tarot Deck from Spirit (the Pop-up Halloween Store) but I don’t feel like they fit into this post- Oracles are different reads entirely, and The Tarot Cards from Spirit are more prop than anything.
Now, onto my list! Since I haven’t touched these decks, and don’t own them, I don’t know their personalities- but would love to hear if someone out there has one feels a certain way about their decks! I’ve also only included ten for the sake of brevity!
Prisma Visions Tarot by Psychic Sisters
This deck is my “I keep drooling but never click buy” deck. It’s been on my list since they released the first (and now discontinued) deck with the special Strawberry Card years and years ago. Its artwork is hypnotizing and absolutely awe-inspiring. To me, it’s quietly impressionistic in style, while simultaneously modern. The color scheme, as well, suits my style perfectly. And, in all honestly, I think the biggest reason I haven’t bought it is that I’m afraid I won’t resonate with it. Something that gorgeous cannot just sit on a shelf, it has to be loved and used.
Radiant Rider Waite by U.S. Games
This is the standard RWS, but radiant! It’s brighter, the colors are sharper, and to me the imagery is clearer. I have a moderate form of Deuteranomaly, red-green color blindness, which means that at times I can’t see the cards properly. The brighter (and more different) the colors are from one another, the easier it is for me to distinguish them. Therefore, most people probably wouldn’t want two or more RWS decks, but I do.
Mucha Tarot by Lo Scarabeo
The muted tones, and romantic imagery on this deck just calls to me. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’ve seen it used in readings all over, and every time I’m just drawn to it.
Dark Autumn Tarot by Madam Lydia
Image Credits: The Attic Cartomancy
This is a Halloween deck, and while my aesthetic tends to stray away from the cliché “witch”, I immediately fell in love with this deck. It has a Victorian-esque vibe to it, while simultaneously reminding me of Rembrandt and Vermeer. I also love the idea of a seasonal deck.
Impressionist Tarot by Corrine Kenner
Like the Botticelli Deck above, this deck feeds my passion for certain periods of art. I see Degas, Van Gogh, and Monet inspired cards, and the Art Historian in me squeals with euphoric glee. This will be a deck I will own, without question.
Epic Tarot by Riccardo Minetti
Image Credit: Aeclectic Tarot
I love the colors of this deck. The artwork is very fairy tale-ish to me, and it’s simply adorable. Not sure it would resonate for readings, but I like it all the same.
Tarot of the 78 Doors by Peitro Alliego
Image Credit: Aeclectic Tarot
This deck is all about symbolism, and I love that. Each card has a metaphysical, spiritual, or physical door represented on it that evokes the interpretations of the cards!
Mermaid Tarot by Pietro Alliego
This is a beautifully themed deck surrounding, of course, mermaids. The color really calls to me, as apparently I’m a fan of blue and purple tones. Much different than his other deck above, this deck is more my style aesthetically. I love the muted and softened edges.
The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus by John Matthews
I love Nostradomus, and the history surrounding him and his prophesies. This deck is beautifully done and the colors are vibrant enough that I can see them clearly
True Black by Arthur Wang
This deck just got put on my radar, but it’s absolutely stunning. You’ll need to go to the website, linked above, and check it out because I’m simply at a loss for words. Arthur has done a stunning job with the entire package- from the website, to the box, to the cards. Minimalist in nature, but completely daring in its boldness. The cards that I’ve seen are not only gorgeous but resonate with the familiar evocations that RWS draws from me. Even just looking at the cards now makes me want to hold them!
What decks do you have? What decks do you want?
Until tomorrow, my friends…