I simultaneously love and hate questions like this. On one hand, it makes you evaluate everything and look at what’s really important to you. On the other hand, thinking of letting things go sucks. But when I looked at my decks, I found that the choices were easier than I thought they would be.
I decided to choose 5 tarot decks and 5 oracle decks for balance. I’ll start with the tarot cards.
We’re starting at the very beginning. This is the deck that my dad bought me for my birthday when I was 12. I had seen tarot used on TV or a movie, and was completely obsessed with it. All I wanted that year was a tarot deck. So Dad took me to a metaphysical store called The Sphynx in Midtown Atlanta, and bought my first deck. It was really hard to learn on, but it’s incredibly precious to me. I couldn’t let this deck go if I tried.
I ordered this deck from the UK before the American version came out. And I’m glad I did, because the colors on the American version are washed out and dull. I also trimmed the white borders off, and edged this deck in black. It looks great and it feels really good to shuffle.
It’s my ride-or-die deck. I use it to read at DragonCon and any other events because it’s just such a good reader. It loves to read for other people, but it doesn’t really read for me well at all. I’m OK with that. I think that you need a deck that’s primarily for other people. It’s my travel deck that goes everywhere in my purse with me!
I bought this as a study deck and forgot about it for a few years. I read somewhere that the 3 of Cups was associated with Persephone, and I was hooked! I started studying it here and there when I got a chance, but never really did a deep dive. Then, in 2022, I used it for my daily draws every day, and I learned a lot. I love this deck and its layers of symbolism. I should use it more, but I love having it near me. I could spend years studying this deck and never get tired.
I love this deck for a few reasons. First, the art is absolute perfection. It’s so complex and layered. Second, it’s based on Swedish folklore. I don’t know most of the references, but it makes me want to study the tales. Third, it was given to me by my awesome husbear. A trifecta of awesome!
What can I say about the Alleyman’s Tarot? If you know, you know. It’s just so fuckin’ COOL.
It’s a mixed deck of cards from different artists that come together to make a jumbled, crazy mess of fantastic art. And you’re encouraged to bend the cards (I could never), write on the cards (I have), and even get rid of the cards you don’t like (I just set them neatly aside).
The Alleyman has a few other neat tricks up his sleeve, including a dice set (that reads really well), and he’s coming out with some oracle decks as a Kickstarter early next year. LOVE!
This is one of my oldest decks. I can’t remember exactly when I bought it, but It wasn’t that long after it was released in 2000. I just love Brian Froud. And believe it or not, this deck is a good reader. The messages are deep and meaningful. I don’t read with it often, but when I do, it always reads true. I love it!
I really don’t know much about reading tea leaves, but these cards are just cool. They’re small and round, and they come with a huge bag that you can ‘shuffle’ them in. I should definitely use these more than I do, but if I had to make a choice about my 10 decks, they would definitely make the cut.
This deck is an irreverent collection of weirdness and I love it. Again, the husbear bought it for me, and that gives it a special place in my heart, but I honestly love how this deck thumbs its nose at how serious cartomancers can take themselves. It’s a big ‘fuck you’ to anyone who can’t take a joke, and I’m here for it.
This deck is MOODY AF. The art is stunning in shades of black and grey with pops of red, and the messages are creepy and eerie like you would want in a Samhain deck. And the red edges? COME ON. Beautiful. This deck is so much better than the Yule version, which screws everything up with all the thys and thous that are misused. It really begs to be used in the dark half of the year. The Mabon and Beltane editions are really great too, it’s a shame the Yule oracle is written so weirdly. I’m sure I’ll still collect all the sabbats.
This is still a pretty new deck to me, and I admit I haven’t delved into it like I would like. But there’s just SO MUCH TO LEARN and dive into with this deck. It’s deep. And the first time I read with it, it gave a really intense reading that I won’t go into details about because it hasn’t come to pass yet. I can tell that this deck is accurate and will give good messages, though. I could spend years on this deck and still feel like I have more to learn. And the art is stunning!
So that’s it! That’s my list. How about you? Do you have some favorite decks that you could never part with? Or decks that you keep around because you keep intending to spend more time with them? What are your 10 decks? Let me know in the comments. Blessed be! <3
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