Saturday, January 30, 2010

Buying a Tarot Deck...

So yesterday I showed off The Fairy Ring Oracle, which I think is totally amazing. But when I was surfing the net last night I found a book on called Tarot For Writers. After reading the reviews, I decided that I had to have it. I had already planned on using The Fairy Ring Oracle to help me with my writing anyway, as I think that I mentioned yesterday. There is just one tiny little problem, though... This book requires a tarot deck, which is 78 cards that are broken into various groupings. The Fairy Ring Oracle is an Oracle, not a Tarot, and only has 60 cards. Uh-oh!

I've owned Tarot decks before, most commonly the classic Rider Waite tarot that was the only mothod of tarot for a very long time. But the Rider Waite set is very boring in my opinion and I never managed to connect with it. The rules are different now, too. No longer am I fifteen and buying my deck for $1 from a flea market. I now have the internet at my disposal, and as such thousands of decks are just waiting for me to click the Order Now button that will take me to their site's checkout counter.

With the power of the internet, however, also comes dangerous levels of temptation and disappointment, as well as such an overwhelming set of options that it would be easy for one to become confused. For example, I cannot purchase the exquisite Bohemian Gothic Tarot because it is out of print, was a limited set to begin with, and now retails for anywhere from $250 on Ebay to $900 on Such a shame!

The Bohemian Tarot -- Proof the life is not always fair. Isn't it *beautiful*? I do -- but not for $900!

No, the most that I will be spending on my thrilling tarot adventure is $35. At least if I select anything off of this list, that is. That does not include the writing book I listed at the beginning, or the other odds and ends I will likely pick up from Amazon when I do eventually order. (Unless, of course, I split my order to pick up the one Llwwelyn only deck on my list -- yet another shame as I have a good history with Amazon and do not like buying from other sites as much.

At any rate though, here are the tarot decks that are battling it out for a chance to arrive at my front door -- ideally in time to go to Florida.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot: Rich computer generated imagery with black borders that are labeled with gold text. The set focuses on a jungian fantasy apocolypse. This deck is "Tarot In Motion" -- The cards are busy and the colors are rich and vibrant. The lesser arcana has images, not pips, but the deck keeps pip symbolism in the pictures, making it a Rider Waite equivelancy deck that has a lot more artistic punch. $20 on Amazon. Cards Only; no book.

Tarot for Hip Witches: Cute and edgy, modern and ancient, youth and wisdom. This girly cartoonish tarot is an interesting mix of ancient symbolism and modern girl power. Could be really fun for giving me the YA feel that I want for my book, although it goes a wee bit overboard with magical hats, etc. I love the color pallette but I am concerned about whether or not this has designed pips or not. $25 on Amazon, cards only, no book.
Necronomicon Tarot: Based off of an author's books. Dark, edgy and somewhat morbid. Darkly shaded cards with a black border. This is NOT a deck I would want to read from but it may be a good deck for creative meditation if I need to create certain moods in my wortk. $20 on Amazon for deck and 200+ page guide.

Sensual Wicca Tarot: Rich colors, lots of deep purple, detailed and busy cards and a theme of both Wiccan Magick and sensuality draw my attention to these cards. These would be the perfect cards for writing paranormal romance to get one's mind into the right set of frame. Not sure how hot they would be for Young Adult fiction, but I love 'em anyway. $24 on Amazon, comes with its own tarot bag. No book though.

Easy Tarot: This is a book and deck set, and the deck that it offers is The Gilded Tarot, a lovely black and gold bordered affair with rich central imagery that is related strongly to the Rider Waite tarot system. I noticed that there was an extremely heavy prominence on the suit themes but they still look striking and beautiful. Probably a fantasy divinatory tool. Not 100% sure on its validy as a writing one, but who knows? Book and deck $16 on Amazon.

Tarot of the Elves: This set offers beautiful fantasy art of Lord of the Rings styled elves done in computer photo imagery. It does not label the cards, but rather uses symbols and numbers for the minor arcana with traditional comor elements (yellow, red, blue, green) and roman numberals to mark the major arcana. Despite its labeless style I totally love it. This would be a good solid all around tarot for me, as I love elves and this tarot is very busy and thought provoking. $16 (cards only) or $28 for Cards and Book Kit on Amazon.

Universal Fantasy Tarot: I usually do not like decks that look like they are pasteled or painted. I will make a massive exception here. I really like this deck. The cards are action oriented, the borders are black and gold allowing the emphasis on the imagery. And the imagery is awesome. The Death Card, for example, depicts a dark and mysterious man leading a dark horse along a forelorn road at sunset. He comes across a wounded man along the side of the road. Extending his hand to the wounded stranger he begins to speak, his calm expression and ageless eyes bathing the wounded one in warmth and tranquility. " Come with me. Renew yourself within heaven's light. Fear not the moon, nor the setting sun. For where the sun sets it must also rise again, as shall you. " $17 on Amazon, cards only.

Witchy Tarot: Another varient on the Tarot for Hip Witches deck that I showed off above. I think I prefer that one for its pink borders, but this one is still cute. $16 on Amazon, cards only.

The Fey Tarot: Awesome mixed painting / CGI artwork of different fae creatures. It has clear labeling and seems to follow the Rider Waite tradition of tarot design. I was not sure whether this deck would have enough going on for me, but after seeing more images it would be just fine. A nice colorful option worth considering. $28 for book and cards from Amazon.

Gothic Tarot of Vampires: A hand painted vampire tarot with dark borders and rich imagery. I have read that this deck can be confusing since it is a thematic deck that bases things on the rules of its denziens, not the rules of humanity. For example, the Sun card in this deck is negative. Still may be an interesting deck to own eventually. $17 on Amazon, cards only.

Quest Tarot: This tarot is pretty cool. It is done with 3D computer graphics. The art style is clean and crisp with good color design. Another cool feature is that it labels both the card name and a word to describe the meaning of the card. This would be a fantastic deck to use for divination work. Since it has symbol pips rather then action pips, though, I'm not so sure if it would be all that hot for writing. $33.82 for book and cards on amazon

Olympus Tarot: I have been into Greek Mythology since I was thirteen. I even took courses on Greek Drama in university, writing a thesis on the play Alcestis. I know my Greek Myths, and I know them Very Well. That could be a blessing or a curse working with a deck though. I already have my own perceptions on how the varying Gods and Goddesses look, on how things appeared in the different stories. Can any tarot deck live up to the imagery of my imagination? This one looks like it wants to try. The cards are labeled, there is action going on, and the art style, while not as sharp and vivid as I usually prefer, is still solid. $22.95 at Amazon does not carry it.

Shining Angels Tarot: This is a deck that I would actually work with for meditation and spiritual study. Not sure how hot that it would be for a writing tool, but I love the fact that the cards are clearly labeled and that they name the angels in each image as well. The rounded shape of the cards is also fun and unique. $17 on Amazon, cards only.

The Fairy Tale Tarot: This set is done in soft water colors, which is unusual for a deck that I have chosen. But I am very into fairy tales and this deck is awesome and the softer colors suit the thematic subject matter well since this is Little Red Riding Hood, not Wizard's First Rule. Along with the deck you get a book that retells every fairytale associated with it, explaining their symbolism and its connection to the Rider Waite method of tarot. $21 for cards and book on Amazon.

So there you have it. I have a ton of different decks that I can choose from that are nice. It is a crying shame that the two that I was instantly drawn to are not going to be suitable for this project. Although I am going to get The Fairy Ring Oracle before it can share The Bohemian Gothic Tarot's fate. Still, that does not help me decide which of these decks to get to go with my new book. I am not sure the best way to make up my mind. Anyway, I will be writing about this again and telling you all which deck is the lucky winner. Thank you for reading. And feel free to tell me which deck(s) you like here. I bet my choices look pretty bizzarre all together like this. Bye!

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