Using Different Decks

I love tarot decks, so naturally it follows that I would have several. The problem that I have come across with owning multiple decks, is trying to use them all. I’m not a collector in that I don’t like to buy decks just to own them, I want to use all the decks I have on a regular basis.

Deck BagsSomething I have noticed is that when I don’t use a deck regularly I seem to lose touch with it, or don’t feel confident in it. It does make sense that the more familiar with a deck you are the quicker and easier your intuition is able to pick up on the messages, but is it still possible to connect with a deck that has been sitting on your altar or shelf unused for several months?

It seems to me that having one deck that you are extensively familiar with would make readings easier and more seamless since your subconscious would synthesize familiar images into information faster.Ā  But I anticipate working with one deck exclusively to be quite boring and runs the risk of producing stale, dull readings after awhile.Ā  I know there are readers who do a wonderful job working with only one deck, I just get bored quickly.

One things that I’ve considered is designating certain types of questions to particular decks. I have the Fenestra Tarot which is a beautiful sepia toned deck that I find very romantic and so might be good for love and romance readings, or readings on creativity and fulfilling one’s passions. I have a Universal Rider Waite Smith deck which I would consider good for spiritual readings based on its occult history and extensive symbolism. I also own the Deviant Moon Tarot which may work well for shadow work because of its dark, dreamlike imagery.

Deck BacksI also thought about having a rotation and just using a different deck for each reading going in a particular order. That seemed a bit too arbitrary, but more importantly it felt wrong on an intuitive level, at least for me.

What I’m currently trying, and I’m still not certain if I like it or if its a good long term answer, is using one deck exclusively for a month or two, then switching to a different deck, then to a different deck etc. The advantage is that I have the opportunity to get to know each deck quite well. The disadvantage is I still end up ignoring certain decks for months on end. I’ve also noticed that I’ve had a harder time “trusting” a new deck or a deck that I have just rotated to. I imagine that setting up some exercises to “break in” a new deck or newly rotated deck would help with that.

I would be curious to hear how other readers go about using different decks, so please comment and let me know. Thanks


13 thoughts on “Using Different Decks

  1. Hi there! I’ve gotten myself 3 oracle card decks. What I do to keep them going were to place them near to me (near my bedside) to retain my energy around them. These cards can be familiarized with your energy by being around your auric field. Hence, I’d suggest that you pick a few/ one which you understands easily and calls out to you and leave it near you at all times. Also, trust in the cards are very important when you do a reading. Hope this information helps! šŸ™‚ xx


    • Thanks. I have considered storing them on my bedside table to keep them close. I also carry two around in my bag with me everywhere I go. I think you are absolutely right about needing to trust the cards. šŸ™‚


      • No problem! Yes, trust is indeed very important. It’s like building a friendship. Without trust, there’s no friendship at all. It’s the same with the cards. You must love and care for them as well. This is like a two-way communication and intimate relationship šŸ™‚ hope this helps!! xx


  2. I admit there are some decks in my drawer I don’t use. Perhaps haven’t used for months/years :0
    Mostly I pick the deck that appeals to me for one reason or the other. When I haven’t read with a deck for a long time we have to get to know eachother a bit before we really hit it of.Personally I wouldn’t want to commit myself to a deck for a period of time because then I would feel confined. And of course I have my favorites which I use very often. But they do change from time to time šŸ™‚
    Nice Subject


  3. I always let the querent pick the deck, so that helps with the variety of my readings a bit. For myself, I just let my intuition guide me towards whichever cards have the most to say to me. (Of course, I only have four decks, as opposed to some people who have thirty.)


    • That’s an interesting idea JJ. I do most of my readings via e-mail, so I can’t show my clients the deck to choose one, but when/if I begin doing in person readings I think I will try that.


  4. I have a couple of decks in my collection. I love to look at them and I’m always looking for new decks to buy but I seldom read with them. Currently I got myself the Radiant Rider Waite because I love the vivid colours. For years I didn’t want to use the Waite deck because I found the images dull and flat. But now with the Radiant deck I want to learn the Tarot from the very beginning. I really like your idea to use specific decks for a certain theme or kind of questions.


    • I am currently using the Universal Rider-Waite-Smith the most, reason being I just finished reading Rachel Pollack’s 78 Degrees of wisdom, which uses the Waite deck. Also I like using it because of its history, though it certainly isn’t the oldest tarot deck in existence, I feel like I’m tapping into the wisdom and tradition of all the readers who have used that style deck in the past.


  5. Hey,
    I used to collect decks – I didn’t have *loads* but a good fifteen or so. Like you I had trouble getting around to using them all…I found myself repeatedly drawn back to the same few – whether for myself or for work with querents.
    Last year I moved onto a tiny boat – that forced me to give up most of my collection! I kept my very favourite five (perhaps still too many!) and the rest were passed on to loving homes.
    And you know what? I haven’t missed them one bit. I actually feel more focused now – like these are my special decks – I know them inside out.
    Always fighting the urge to keep buying though…ack!
    Thanks for the interesting post!
    Beth x


    • Thanks for the comment Beth. I have started considering gifting away some of my decks, I’m up to about 8 now and it feels overwhelming. I’ve noticed that I seem to go back to the same couple decks too and I’ve actually started buying different editions of several of the decks that I particularly like, for example I have a Universal Waite, Universal Waite Pocket Edition, Giant Rider Waite and “Original” Rider Waite deck also an original, original trimmed and borderless edition of The Deviant Moon Tarot. I also find myself fighting the urge to buy…I’m currently thinking about purchasing the Pamela Coleman-Smith Commemorative set and the Illuminati Tarot. Ack indeed! šŸ™‚


      • Haha! Well, don’t beat yourself up about it, for sure.
        I had the commemorative deck – I truly LOVE the colours, but it wasn’t very good quality, the print wasn’t calibrated properly so colours bled outside lines and it was all a but flimsy. I gave it away to a friend who was learning, but kept the books. It is worth getting the set purely for the Pamela CS book as as far as I can find out it’s the only book ever written about her! It’s pretty slim and again not very nice quality but at least it is *something* you can read about this fascinating woman.
        Good luck passing on your decks (if you do!!)


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