I have a semi-large collection of tarot decks. It’s not nearly as large as some people (I’m looking at you, TarotTubers!), but it’s pretty large. I had about 80 tarot and oracle decks at last count, and I’ve gotten a few decks since then. That being said, I hate the consumerism of tarot collecting. That sounds strange considering what I just said, but it’s true.
I can honestly say that each of my decks holds a particular place in my heart, and most have a particular function in my readings. I don’t tend to keep decks that I don’t have a purpose for or that I don’t love.
The Revelations Tarot (by Zach Wong) and I have had an interesting relationship. I love, fear, and am saddened by this deck all in one.
Love- This art is BEAUTIFUL. I especially love the way the reversals are done so that you can read them clearly and understand the meaning behind each. The images are complex and symbolic, and the colors are drop-dead gorgeous. I really love how each suit of the minor arcana is done in cohesive colors that invoke the elements they represent. White borders aside (I hate white borders), this deck is a stunner.
Fear- This deck is scarily accurate. I’ll explain more in a minute, but I use this deck primarily to talk to the dead or to find out the outcome when someone I know and love is dying. SCARILY accurate. I’ve talked to my grandparents with this deck, my father, and I’m about to start using it for ancestor work and contact. It’s just incredibly powerful for these uses. And the faces with their stylized features and white eyes remind me of the dead too.
Saddening- There’s a story behind this deck, so settle in. When my father was dying, my sister and I spent the better part of 2 weeks with him, watching him decline. It was devastating. And I was so deeply rooted in the grief bubble (and clashes with his Southern Baptist friends who were treating the whole thing like a party), that we decided we needed to get out for a while and get some fresh air.
Fortunately, he happened to live really close to a Barnes and Noble. So we went and browsed, and I decided that buying a new tarot deck was just the thing that would make me feel more like myself again. I saw the Revelations Tarot, and was won over by the art.
So we took the deck back to his house after a nice lunch out, and I did a reading. I knew Dad was dying, there was really no doubt at this point, but I wanted to know how that passing would be.
I don’t remember what the other cards were, but I pulled the 3 of Swords. Not only does the card mean ‘suffering’ on a basic level, but the image of the card looked SO MUCH like my father, languishing in bed, dying. It felt like I had been stabbed in the gut. He was suffering. We knew that already, but it was there, so clearly spelled out by the cards as well.
I’ve used the cards to read the energy of several impending deaths since then, and the cards have always had some deep insight that helped me to steady myself for the worst. They’re just really good at that.
SO, I’ve recently been working on some ancestor readings as it’s that time of year to start working with the ancestors again. And I looked through my collection, trying to decide which deck would be best for that type of work. I didn’t want to use Revelations, because it’s energy has always seemed to work best with upcoming and recent deaths. But my eyes kept coming back to it on my shelf. And again, the kind of faceless faces really capture that energy of the unknown dead as well as the known.
So I’m going to give it a shot and see how they read. It feels like they WANT to be used this way. At the very least, they’ll get more usage this way. And these cards deserve to be used, troubling though they may be.
Have you used this deck? What do you think? How do they read for you?
Blessed be! <3