My deck collection has grown over the years to a reasonable 50, and gradually more are added when I discover a deck I cannot resist.
But despite owning some real gems, I hardly read with them. I like the familiarity of my trusted decks, others are seasonal (like the Halloween Tarot or the Snowland deck), and some decks are for fun, such as the Housewives Tarot.
The Lord of the Rings Tarot is a fabulous deck except for the Fool card, which depicts Gollum rather than Frodo. Just one card can put me off a whole deck, even though it’s otherwise brilliantly executed. Tarot readers can be highly strung sometimes!
Here are the decks I not only love but also use on a regular basis:
The most famous and recognised Tarot deck on the planet. Created by Golden Dawn member Arthur E. Waite and artist Pamela Coleman Smith, this deck should be in every Tarot Reader’s collection. It is available in many different editions (including a radiant one), but this recoloured version by Mary Hanson-Roberts is at the top of my list.
If you prefer the original artwork of the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) Tarot, then you will be delighted with this commemorative set celebrating the life and art of Pamela Coleman-Smith. In addition to the deck, it also contains two books, postcard size art prints and an organza Tarot bag.
The first borderless deck I came across ten years ago; loving the rich colours and hippy 70s feel – long hair and moustaches abound . I own the Spanish edition, but it is available in English, too.
An excellent beginner’s deck, the images are clear and simple without the clutter of too much symbolism. The artwork is timeless and enchanting. This deck was the only one I used for three years when it was first published in 2002, and even today it serves me well for many of my client readings.
The images of this dazzling deck are stylish and contemporary. It was first published in 1988, and I’ve got a first edition copy printed in Germany, but nowadays it comes from US Games. I love using these cards to gain a different perspective, as a lot of the images are non-traditional.
A great alternative to Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, this deck is based on the Thoth images created by Lady Frieda Harris but with a contemporary twist. I like to use it for Tarot Magick and the planetary spread. Find out more in my review.
A dark deck, my favourite for shadow readings. With this deck, the truth hurts. The Victorian images are subtly dark, creepy, alarming at times, with some sinister characters, including vampires and demons. A thrilling deck for an old Goth at heart like me!
A very New Age visionary deck with large, glossy cards and non-traditional suits and images. Each card is a deeply spiritual message from the universe. My first choice for meditative and empowering readings. Find out more about this deck in my review.
Some people describe Doreen Virtue’s first Tarot deck as fluffy and lame, but I think it’s a wonderful deck to encourage positive thinking and emotional healing.
What are your working decks you cannot be without?
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