Question 3 of Ree’s 30-day Tarot challenge: Do you have more than one deck that you use, and, if so, do you have a favorite? If not, why do you like the deck you have chosen?
I’m up to about 12 decks or so, now. Hopefully, my addiction won’t get any worse for awhile! I take decks three ways; for the art or theme, for the philosophy and writing quality, and/or for the effectiveness/readability.
I am pretty adamant that the deck has to be more than pretty pictures. If it doesn’t include a well-thought out perspective in an accompanying book (doesn’t have to be big or long, just interesting), I probably won’t keep it.
That said, of my favorite decks for reading, I do use more than one. I like to tailor my reading method to the deck philosophy, and the deck to the type of question or context.
My overall favorite(s) are decks drawn by Ciro Marchetti. He’s quite popular altogether, and I see why. The digital imagery is stunning, colorful, well-themed and varied in theme, which is interesting. Sometimes eclectic choices from different historical periods or mythologies don’t work, but he pulls them together nicely. And he collaborates well with other readers, which gave multiple perspectives to his Legacy of the Divine Tarot, which I use almost every day. We’ll see if his Gilded Tarot Royale, which I just received for Christmas, and which does not really have its own book, will stand the test of time.
The other “theme” deck that I favor is the Druid Craft. The world that Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington have created is so rich and well-integrated with the Tarot that it all just rings true every time I use the cards. I use them every day.
I also use the Shadowscapes deck for in-depth psychological or spiritually oriented readings. I really connect with that one on an energetic/intuitive level and reads very easily that way. Quite magical with its delicate fairy sort of theme. I use it to help me focus on creative projects each weekend rather than using it every day.
My favorite Rider Waite Smith deck is the Universal Waite. I tried the Original initially, but the colors are quite muddy, and I found the URW to be so well recolored without being garish or cartoonish that I could enjoy Pamela Colman-Smith’s drawings and see a lot more symbolic detail. For basic readings, there’s nothing quite as reliable as the symbolism in the RWS cards.
I am also determined to master a Marseille deck, which I don’t try to read like an RWS deck at all. Again, I am looking to respect the original method used for the deck, in this case, the down-to-earth fortune-telling/playing card divination methods from 200 years ago and more. I am currently using Lee Bursten’s interpretations for the Universal Tarot of Marseille, but am also incorporating new/old insights from AndyBC, who has done a very careful study of how these cards were likely read long ago.
That about rounds it out. A deck for every occasion!