I get asked this question a lot. Especially when someone asks, so just how many decks do you have? I have given away far more than I keep. And I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for anyone who says they have a new awesome deck! I want to see it, I want to know if it will connect with me and my quirky brain. Right now I have about… 14 or 15 decks. Yes, I am guessing. I recently found several that I didn’t even remember missing. And of course my favorite deck by Ellen Dugan, Witches Tarot, has been missing several times…
I blame the fairies. There is a reason I blame them. The first time they disappeared was shortly after my husband had died. I had booked a Pagan Dream Cruise where Ellen Dugan was going to be our guest speaker and I hoped that she would be able to sign them for me. But then they turned up missing. I searched everywhere… I lived in what could be classified as a tiny home but really was a 40 foot travel travel trailer with pull outs. There weren’t that many places for them to disappear to. I searched under furniture and in cupboards to no avail. I am sure if Walt was watching he was shaking his head. He hated watching me search for things. I searched for months…. his driver’s license was missing too but that was a minor thing as he really didn’t need it anymore. Then several months later, when I stopped looking…. I found them…. on the floor in the center of the bedroom walking area. There is no way I could have been stepping over them for months. So I thanked the Fairies and took them on my cruise but missed the signing party due to getting kicked off the boat. (missing the boat isn’t really the same, but they made us leave and go to the hospital and then we couldn’t get back in time… it was a mess but more on that in a different blog post.) Each time they disappear, I now blame them, though clearly it was me the last time they went missing for over a year. That time I found them in an old organ bench that I had turned into a spirit board, along with the 3 decks I didn’t realize were missing!
You would think that I would notice other decks missing. But the truth is, I have given so many away that I just don’t remember what I have anymore. I am getting better and finding a central place to keep them all. I have a couple decks with cat themes. Sometimes I have clients that really love cats and they love getting the readings from these decks that put things into a Cat’s eye perspective. We always try to guess at what our feline friends are thinking, so they have a fairly easy intuitive feel to them because of that. Some of my decks are just beautiful, and that is the main reason I have them. The Shadowscapes tarot are unbelievably beautiful, but I rarely read with them. I do use them for spells though. The first time I did was so a friend’s pregnancy would be successfully carried to term. They worked very well, just ask her toddler!
I have a deck that is based on quantum physics and science! The Nerd in me loves this deck, but I would never use it to read for someone, unless they were Sheldon but then someone like Sheldon would not likely be asking for a reading anyway. They are great to explore the mystical elements within science.
My first deck was the Celtic Dragon Tarot. I bought it in 1999 I believe. It was new enough that Barnes & Noble had it on their end cap in the Divination section. I remember seeing it and pausing. At the time I wasn’t a practicing Witch and could remember being told that I would go to hell for owning a tarot deck. But a friend of mine had recently showed me her deck and I was intrigued. This deck is based in watercolor art. Very lovely art but not a vibrant deck. Of course I could only see what a few of the cards looked like ahead of time. I read the book cover to cover. Years later I gave this deck to my sister. Almost immediately I wanted it back but instead of asking her for it, I found a replacement copy. I knew that she loved the artwork in it.
Speaking of artwork. Most tarot decks are an impressive display of art. If it’s a RWS Clone deck then the images are similar but you would be surprised that the variety that can be displayed. Each deck is different and similar at the same time. There are hundreds of ways to interpret cards for this same reason. Tarot is a very personalized divination system if you are taught to read it intuitively. I have seen several different ways of displaying the art. The most striking is matted and framed cards arranged on a wall so that all the cards can be seen. One involves a wall of plastic sleeves, like one might put their Pokemon collection in. Though I have also seen a plastic, over the door, shoe rack hold all the different decks too. I just don’t know how I feel about encasing my cards in plastic.
My most recent deck is the Vice Versa Tarot. It actually has pictures on both sides of the card. As you can see, the images provide an either or perspective to the reading. There are a variety of ways you can read the card, though just viewing it as a reversal is not the only way one could read them. In this card, the four of swords, it could be that one is needed a rest and a time out is well deserved; however on the flip side, rest could be dangerous to your health if you don’t get up and start moving again. It’s an interesting take on seeing different sides of the coin. They aren’t all opposite meanings either, sometimes there are nuances that make the reading deeper and richer. I would like to take some time and explore these cards with you.
So yes, I collect them for art. I collect them for the connection I feel to them. I will probably continue to collect them. Do you collect tarot cards? How many do you have? Have you ever considered framing them?