When I first started reading tarot, I vowed to only have one, MAYBE 2 decks. So, how many do I have now? Six, or eight if you count my oracle decks…or 10 since I’ve pre-ordered the Brady Tarot Deck and I plan on getting the Tattoo Tarot when it’s re-released this summer. I guess it’s a fairly conservative number compared to others who have fifty or more, most of whom are big into deck collecting, which is awesome! There are so many beautiful decks out on the market right now being produced by both independent and corporate distributers, so it’s easy to understand how it can be hard to not pick up that hobby. However, my fiancé asked me a question a few weeks ago that I thought would be a good concept for my next post: “Why do you need so many tarot decks? Don’t they all kind of have the same meaning?” My first reaction was, “Uhhh, no!! Whatever..he just doesn’t get it.” Then I thought to myself, “Hmm..why do I have so many decks? Is having more than just a couple really necessary for my personal practice?” The answer, was of course, yes! Absolutely! I’m going to briefly go through each deck I own and explain why I bought and kept them as well as what type of readings I use them for. Enjoy!
The Prisma Vision Tarot (PVT): Although I began my tarot journey with The Wildwood Tarot (I’ve since given this away as a gift to a friend who I thought connected with it better), I REALLY learned how to read cards with this deck. At the time, I was looking for something that I could instantly connect with and truly enjoy the art that would be represented on each card. It wasn’t long before I stumbled across PVT and I was instantly hooked. The cool thing about this deck is if you lay out each suit, it ends up making one, giant, panoramic picture and then I would create a story based on each picture. This helped me tremendously with learning the minor arcana and it’s still my “go to” deck. I’ve also found that I tend to use it more when I read for others since I’ve become so comfortable with interpreting it.
The Universal Rider Waite Smith Tarot (URWS): The PVT really helped me to get to know tarot on a more intuitive level, but I felt that it didn’t give me quite enough practice with literally interpreting each card (this is a common critique I usually hear when it comes to this deck). I decided I needed to go “back-to-basics;” I was going to buy a Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck. However, about 6 years ago I bought the traditional RWS deck and I was very turned off by it. The art was archaic and it just kind of creeped me out for some reason, so since then I had always tried to avoid buying another one. Luckily, there are a ton of RWS models to choose from and the one I loved the best was the URWS deck, primarily due to the softer illustrations featured on the cards. I use it for my weekly spreads as well as when I read for other people. It’s not only great for gaining a better understanding of how to read the tarot (which is a never ending process!), but it’s also amazing for divinatory purposes.
The After Tarot (AT): When I first saw that this existed, I was very intrigued. Each card is the scene that takes place directly after what you see in the original RWS deck; fascinating! I thought it would really add to my understanding of the card meanings and help me to better develop my interpretation skills. Although the book it comes with is fairly detailed and does give you some great background information about the reasoning for the images used in the traditional RWS deck, it doesn’t really tell you anymore than you probably already know. I find it’s not that useful if you want to figure out the deeper meanings of yourself or a situation, but it’s pretty decent if you’re just doing a reading for that day or the question being asked isn’t too complicated. It’s a really pretty deck and it’s nice to have it around if I get a little tired of seeing the standard RWS imagery.
Slow Holler Tarot (SH): I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted this deck, but I finally decided that, as Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World put it, “It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.” I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started to read with it; it was and still is the ONLY “dark” deck I own and I truly have no need for another. It is absolutely GORGEOUS. I mean, I just can’t stress that enough. The card stock is a little thin, which kind of sucks since it has a $46 price tag, but it does come with a reading handkerchief as well as a well-detailed companion booklet so I feel like it somewhat balances out. This deck is entirely personal and I haven’t (nor do I think I ever will) used it to read for anyone else. I conduct readings with it whenever I want to do some “shadow work” and tap into any feelings I maybe ignoring/suppressing at the time. I usually walk away from these readings feeling irritated, which lets me know that these cards are doing their job. No matter how frustrated I can get with them, they have been absolutely necessary in order to gain a better understanding of myself and, if you are in need of a solid “shadow deck,” consider investing in this one.
Tarot de St. Croix (TDSC): I also went back and forth on whether I should purchase this deck or not, which should have been a clear sign that this was necessary for my practice since I had so much success with the SH. Where the SH is dark and penetrating, the TDSC is full of light and wonder. My connection with it was instantaneous; I wanted them to go everywhere with me. Although the card meanings are more or less based off of the RWS model, each individual card is so personal due to all of the imagery being related to someone or something in Lisa de St. Croix’s (the creator) life. There’s so much love in this deck and you almost can literally feel the emotion she’s associated each card with. Because of this, you never walk away from a reading feeling perplexed or frustrated; instead, you leave lighter and happier than when you first came in and began to shuffle the cards. This is also a personal deck I don’t normally use with others, although I’m open to it if I feel that person needs emotional and/or mental healing, which is its main purpose when I do readings for myself.
Everyday Witch Tarot (EWT): Last, but certainly not least, is the EWT. I LOVE Deborah Blake, but I initially hesitated on buying this deck only because I kept hearing that the card stock was extremely thin. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine; if I’m going to pay $26, I’d like for my card stock to be a little thicker so I don’t have to come back in a year in order to buy a whole new deck due to the cards falling apart. However, all of that went out of the window when I took the beautiful and, surprisingly, dense book and cards out of the box. Yes, the card stock is pretty thin, but it’s also fairly sturdy as well, which I know must sound like an oxymoron; there’s just no other way to describe it. This is probably the most favorite deck I own. The imagery is adorable and super comforting and, even though it follows the traditional RWS format, the accompanying book does an amazing job at really getting to the heart of the message each card has. It reads perfectly, and similar to the TDSC, reading reversals aren’t just unnecessary, they really don’t make sense if you try to use them. The EWT is my every-day, divinatory deck and I do intend to eventually use them in readings with others once I feel comfortable enough with interpreting them without help from the guidebook.
See? Every deck has a purpose and a special place in my heart. So, the next time someone asks you, “Why do you have so many tarot cards?”, just smile and know that there’s a rhyme and a reason for everything and you most definitely are not the only ones! 🙂
Love and Light,