So many decks, so little time to study every one! There are traditional definitions for the standard deck of tarot cards, and then we have the artistic, free license decks. Some are based on the traditional Rider Waite deck, but we are now being flooded with decks depicting everything from cats to insects, and everything and anything you can imagine in between.
Some images are comical, some bright primary colors, some dark and mysterious, and some with a pastel, ethereal image that takes you to a dreamlike state of mind. There is even a deck with transparent cards that can be layered in several ways to create an almost three dimensional appearance.
How does one read these unusual decks—the ones that bear no resemblance to a traditional RW image? Do you read intuitively based on the visual image you see, or do you reach deep into your mind to connect it with what you’ve been taught that particular card means? Is it easier for a beginner tarot reader to use one of these non-traditional decks and form their own way of interpreting them, or does it confuse them? Would they benefit from a class teaching the traditional meanings? Are they able to pick up any deck, study it, and develop their own style?
As tarot becomes more and more accepted in society, we are being bombarded with all these new age decks—maybe to the point of over-kill. I, personally, collect tarot decks—mostly for the beautiful art, and sometimes for the subject. My decks consist of subjects such as cats, witches, dragons, Native American, Russian, celestial, crows, Halloween, many traditional based decks, and of course, the transparent deck! I find at different times, a particular deck will “speak” to me, and that is the one I will read with until I feel it is time for a change. Then I will play with several, and the one that feels the most comfortable when reading is the one that will be used through its allotted time. As many decks as I have, I am always on a quest to seek more—to further my knowledge of the cards, the images, and the messages they give me to pass on to the person who has come to me for insight into their questions.
Some of my decks will remain on the shelf to be admired for their beauty or uniqueness, and others will find their way to my hands to be read and used. It’s a personal matter, which deck we choose, which deck we read with, and which deck we just appreciate for being what it is.