Happy World Tarot Day! In observation of this day which honors all things tarot, I thought I would throw together a post full of my favorite tarot decks.
The idea for this post was inspired by Kate, the Daily Tarot Girl, who recently posted a Top 10 Tarot Deck article on her blog, and Carrie of Happy Fish Tarot who posted a tarot deck collection video on her You Tube channel not long ago. I enjoyed seeing their decks so much that I wanted to play too. So this is my top tarot decks/tarot deck collection/tarot show & tell contribution to the community. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
The Tarot Illuminati
This is probably my most used deck. It almost never leaves my messenger bag, because I always want to have it on hand. I love the detailed, colorful images (even though the digital art is wonky on a couple cards) and I’m a sucker for gilded edges and no borders. Its also a very sturdy deck, some of the best card stock I’ve come across. It is also the only deck I own which has its own dedicated crystal companion. I don’t work with crystals a lot, but I put this little piece of citrine (pictured above) in the bag with the deck one day and it refused to leave. 😉 If you have to get your hands on a copy of this deck, you can buy it here or check your local metaphysical shop, its pretty popular so a lot of stores stock it.
The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore & Aly Fell
There are a handful of decks out on the market called “The Steampunk Tarot”, but this will always be the definitive steampunk tarot in my mind, THE Steampunk Tarot if you will. Anyway, the amount of love and attention-to-detail that Barbara Moore and Aly Fell put into creating this deck is apparent in every image and every line in the guidebook. It was one of the first decks I ever owned (I think it was my second deck) and it was an incredible deck to learn on. The figures in the images are realistic without looking TOO realistic and there are quite a few female characters depicted in traditionally “masculine” cards, which I appreciate. I highly recommend this deck & book set to beginners and experienced readers alike. My only complaint is the card stock is not very sturdy. You can get this deck directly from the publisher here.
The Bohemian Gothic Tarot
It is creepy, macabre and downright disturbing, but holy mother of Bram Stoker…I LOVE this deck! Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov of Baba Studios in Prague, have filled it with vampires, werewolves, demons, phantoms and a plethora of other more than slightly unnerving characters. The settings of each card are practically characters themselves, and even the cards that are devoid of figures (The Tower, Eight of Wands, Ace of Pentacles) seem to be alive with personality. The atmosphere of this deck is just incredible and quite palpable.
I actually snatched up a copy of the mini edition too, because I really enjoy mini decks and this way I can always have a copy on hand in my bag and a copy on my tarot altar. You can order either the standard or mini edition from Baba Studios either via their webpage or their Etsy shop.
The Collective Tarot
This politically radical, queer, body positive, inclusive, anti-oppression tarot deck takes the traditional tarot concept and reclaims it for all the identities that aren’t represented in traditional tarot imagery. Yes it still has 78 cards with 22 majors and 4 minor suits, but a lot of the majors have been renamed to eliminate triggering or oppressive associations, and the suits are now Keys (fire), Feathers (air), Bottles (water) and Bones (earth). The court cards have also been renamed Seeker, Apprentice, Artist and Mentor to remove the focus from gendered attributes (masculine and feminine) and instead to emphasize concepts of experience or mastery of skill.
This was my very first tarot deck, which proves that beginners don’t need to start with a traditional Rider-Waite tarot deck to be successful. It comes with an incredible guidebook which includes card meanings that really get down to the nitty gritty of navigating life as a minority, radical or non-normative person. The deck itself includes artwork contributed by over 20 artists and represents a variety of bodies, identities, activities and values that aren’t always accepted in the dominant culture.
Sadly, The Collective Tarot has been out-of-print for several years. The Tarot Collective is currently contemplating a Fourth Edition. This world really needs this type of radical, inclusive deck, so please add your support for a Fourth Edition HERE!
Whew! I’m only halfway through my list and this post has already gotten quite long. I think I’ll send what I’ve got so far out into the world and finish up with a Part 2 in a couple days or next week.
Until next time,
Keep shuffling my friends!