My Favorite Tarot Decks – Part 2

Greetings Tarot Lovers,

I’m back with the second installment of my favorite tarot decks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here is Part 1.

So without further ado…

The Deviant Moon Tarot

The Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza

The Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza

This deck is wonderfully weird and twisted. I love how the images are so bizarre that they always provoke some kind of emotional response. Its tarot reading gold, those emotional reactions. This is the only deck that I currently read with reversals. Something about the whole energy of the deck being a little topsy-turvy just feels like it should be read with reversals. These characters are so crazy, it makes sense some of them would end up upside down. Visually, it adds to the weirdness and chaos, which I think is fun and very in flavor for this deck. I actually have three copies of Deviant Moon: the original edition with the borders trimmed off (pictured above), the original edition with the borders intact and a borderless edition. You can order this deck directly from the artist HERE.

The Antiquarian Tarot

The Antiquarian Tarot by Maree Bento

The Antiquarian Tarot by Maree Bento

I came across this deck when I attended the Northwest Tarot Symposium this past March. Maree had a vending table there and I found myself going back to look at this deck over and over and over again. I’m a sucker for vintage photography, so The Antiquarian Tarot was right up may alley. It also didn’t hurt that the creator was such a friendly person and so interesting to talk to. It takes love-of-a-deck to a whole other level when you get to meet the artist and see how passionate they are about what they’ve created. You can buy this deck direct from Maree by going to her website HERE.

Tarot of the Magical Forest

Tarot of the Magical Forest

Tarot of the Magical Forest by Hsu Chi Chun & Leo Tang

If you couldn’t tell by now, cutsy animal decks are not my normal fare, but the creatures in this deck are just creepy enough to suck me in…besides, a little cuteness is necessary every once in awhile, right? Also, this deck features the sweetest Strength card I have ever seen. It is beyond adorable. I literally cannot look at it without going “awwwww.” This deck is also one of those decks that always gives me really clear messages. If I need it clear and concise, these guys deliver. The deck pictured above is trimmed, brand new this deck comes with a white border with the card names in four different languages, your standard Lo Scarabeo borders. If you want to get your hands on a copy of this deck, I’ve seen it in a lot of metaphysical shops, or you can order it online from Llewellyn.


The Morgan Greer Tarot

The Morgan-Greer Tarot

All  jokes about the 70’s porn-staches aside, this is a really beautiful deck. The colors are so vibrant and the close up images make you feel like you’re being drawn into the cards, and perhaps best of all…NO BORDERS! Yep, I didn’t have to mangle my hands with hours of trimming, which I really appreciated. This deck mimics Pamela Coleman Smith’s imagery from the Rider-Waite deck almost exactly, which makes it really great for beginners who still want to use all the Rider-Waite based learning resources, but don’t connect with the Rider-Waite deck itself. I have not been into a metaphysical shop yet that DOESN’T carry this deck, so if you want your own copy, chances are your local store will have it. If you want to but it online, the Morgan-Greer is available from U.S. Games Systems.

Almost done…now on to my actual Rider-Waite decks…

Universal Waite Tarot

Universal Waite Tarot - Art by Pamela Coleman Smith, recolored by Mary Hanson-Roberts

Universal Waite Tarot – Art by Pamela Coleman Smith, recolored by Mary Hanson-Roberts

The Universal Waite Tarot was my third deck and my first Rider Waite Smith deck. I have the full sized version and the pocket sized deck pictured above…which, you guessed it, has the borders trimmed off. Wow, I didn’t realize how many of my decks I had trimmed until I made this list. I really enjoy the recoloring that Mary Hanson-Roberts did. It allows for more details in the images and a more visually appealing look overall when compared to the standard, yellow box, blue cross-hatch backs Rider Waite Tarot. This is another deck that you will find in almost any metaphysical shop or U.S. Games Systems has both the standard and pocket sized editions on their website.

The Smith-Waite Centennial Edition Deck

The Waite-Smith Centennial Edition Tarot Deck

The Smith-Waite Centennial Edition Tarot Deck

This edition of the traditional Rider Waite Tarot was created for the 100th anniversary of the deck’s creation and was renamed to give credit to the artist who’s images have become so iconic and synonymous with tarot. This deck was reproduced from an original Pam A deck, the first edition of the first Rider Waite tarot. The reproduction quality is absolutely fantastic, the coloring is gorgeous and slightly muted, giving the deck a wonderful aged, vintage feel. If you love the classic Rider Waite images, this deck is a must have. This is my go to when I want to use a Rider Waite deck and this deck has gotten a lot of use. You can buy the Centennial Edition deck either as part of the Pamela Coleman Smith Commemorative Set (which I highly recommend, it comes with a bunch of awesome goodies) or by itself via the U.S. Games Systems site.

And now for my Honorable Mention…

Tarot of the Cat People

Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall

Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall

The only reason this is an honorable mention and not properly among my favorite decks is because I’ve only read with it once and I haven’t spent enough time with it yet to say its a favorite. I really love the art and it departs enough from the Rider Waite images to make it interesting and fresh. I think it will easily become a favorite once I take the time to get to know it better. You can pick up your own copy of this deck from U.S. Games Systems.

Well there you have it folks, all my favorite decks. I really enjoyed going through my collection (this was almost my entire collection, I don’t have that many decks compared to some other readers.) and getting reacquainted with some old favorites which I hadn’t picked up in awhile.

What are your favorite decks? I’d love to hear what cards you simply can’t live without (and to get ideas for my wishlist.), so please comment and let me know. 😉

Happy shuffling!

Don’t Let The Chariot Run Away With You

Hello Tarot Lovers,

The Chariot Tarot of the Magical Forest

Tarot of the Magical Forest

I was working with my new Tarot of the Magical Forest deck this week and I got to thinking about The Chariot. When I looked through this deck, The Chariot was one of the cards that I particularly liked. I think the hedgehog and his ox cart are charming. The thing that really struck me about the image though was the perspective, the angle of the image really intensifies the card. There is a sense of motion that is generated by the way the picture is tilted that has a very erratic energy to it. That got me to thinking about The Chariot in general. Most of the time when I think of The Chariot I think of concepts like “being in control” or “victory” or “harnessing energies” all generally positive and empowering. With The Chariot from the Tarot of the Magical Forest however, I finally made a strong connection with the more perilous aspects of this card. I started getting an image of this hedgehog in his ox cart barreling through the countryside, tearing up fields and nearly running down citizens. He’s bouncing up and down, barely able to keep his footing, clinging to the reins for dear life. You get the picture.

The Chariot Universal Waite Tarot

The Universal Rider Waite Tarot

I know for myself, that spending a lot of time working with the Rider Waite deck had made The Chariot feel more stagnant and its energy more benign. Its never really come alive for me because of the lack of motion in Pamela Coleman Smith’s image. But when you think about it, The Chariot is about motion. Not only is it a vehicle, its a fast vehicle. Chariot racing was a wildly popular sport in Ancient Rome and you can bet that if you didn’t have control of your Chariot in that environment  that disaster would ensue. That is the darker aspect of this card, the one I connected with in the Tarot of the Magical Forest. It says a lot about the chaos and destruction that follows when you let external things in your life drive you or your decisions. If you’ve ever felt like your life is running away with you and there is nothing you can do to get it back on track, you’re just holding on for all you’re worth and praying for everything to slow down, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I think its important not to forget this when The Chariot comes up in a reading. Yes this card can be an image of power, control and triumph, but it can also pose important questions to the querent about who is controlling their life, are they letting themselves be tossed around in the back of their cart or are they firmly holding the reins and guiding their vehicle towards the destination that they chose.

four versions of the chariot

Tarot of the Magical Forest – The Steampunk Tarot – Universal Rider Waite Tarot – Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Deck-a-Week Challenge: Week 3 – The Deviant Moon Tarot

Greetings & Blessings. I hope everyone is having a lovely, tarot filled day!

Deviant Moon By Patrick Valenza

Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition

Sunday marked the end of my third and final week doing my deck challenge. To read about the challenge click here.

This past week I worked with the Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza. I love this deck and I was very excited to work with it.

I used the deck in my daily draws and for a couple personal spreads, including the large birthday reading that I did for myself.

Unfortunately this deck doesn’t have a companion book or guidebook which I would have loved to work with. The images are so complex and there is a ton of symbolism that I want a better grasp of. The good news is that according to the Deviant Moon Facebook page, US Games Systems has the manuscript for a companion book in hand and it should be released early next year. Here is the post. I’m really excited! I think a full guidebook will be incredibly useful.

Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza

Deviant Moon Tarot – Four Card Spread

One thing that I found very interesting to do while working with this deck was to consider the phases of the moon pictured in each card (each card has a moon in it somewhere.). That way I could gauge the intensity of each card’s energy within a spread and incorporate that information into my readings. For example in the four card spread pictured above, the waning moon is featured in the Ace of Wands, which indicates that the Ace energy is waning. This matches its spread position beautifully, since its the card of the Past. Likewise the waxing moon is featured in the King of Pentacles card which indicates that the King’s energy is growing and becoming stronger, it is in the Future position, so that also lines up. The full moon in both center cards, the Present and the crossing card, emphasize the intensity of the present situations energies. Since the center card is The Moon itself, there is a strong indication that perception or misperception is coloring the entire spread and that how the querent perceives things has a significant impact on what energies come or go or stick around. Its actually rather auspicious when you think about it. I might add that this was a naturally drawn spread, I didn’t set it up that way as an example on purpose. Auspicious indeed. 🙂

The spread, if you are interested is a simple Past, Present, Future with a crossing card. Its laid out Present, Present Challenge (crossing-card), Past then Future.

Until next time, have a lovely week.




Deck-a-Week Challenge: Week 1 – Morgan-Greer

Blessed Morning Tarot Lovers, MG moon fool 9

I am really excited because I just finished up the first week of my Deck-a-Week Challenge. I want to let you know right away that this is not an original idea. I modeled my challenge after Raecine Ardis Owl Moon’s Monthly Deck Challenge and I want to make sure she gets all the credit for this fabulous exercise.

The essence of the challenge is that you choose one deck that you want to get better acquainted with and use it exclusively for an entire week. For those of us who have an extensive collection of decks or who just bought a new deck, this is a great tool for really connecting with a deck that you want to get to know better.

morgan greer

For my first week of the challenge I used the Morgan-Greer Tarot. I just purchased it and I wanted to connect with it right away. I spent a little time each day looking through the cards, just enjoying the art. I used it every morning for my personal daily draw. I took it with me to use during tarot related outings, like a local tarot meet-up I went to last week. I used it for a couple personal readings during the week and also for doing tarot study exercises. I used Morgan-Greer for all my client readings too, though that certainly isn’t necessary, but I felt drawn to and the deck communicated wonderfully well for those readings. When I wasn’t using the deck I left it out on my altar so it could continue connecting with my energy.

MG Deck and CrystalAfter spending the week with the Morgan-Greer tarot I feel quite attached to it and even though I’m excited to move on to week 2 of the challenge and work with The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, I’m a little sad to be setting Morgan-Greer aside for a bit. We got on so well. 🙂

If you’re trying to get to know a new deck or reconnect with an old one, I would highly recommend that you try this out, even if you just use one deck for one week, I think its a worthwhile practice.

Best Wishes