My favourite tarot decks
Can’t decide which deck to buy? Looking for ideas for a new tarot deck?
Here are a few of my favourite decks to get you started.
The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans
Kim Krans’ artwork is stark and beautiful, with intelligent use of shape and colour which bring layers of meaning to what look like simple, beautiful ink drawings. Also, this deck features no people! Which means that image-wise, you get to steer clear of the heteronormative whitewash that’s a real problem with so many tarot decks.
Thea’s Tarot by Ruth West
A truly feminist tarot, created in 1984 by Ruth West and ‘revisioned’ in 2015 by queer tarotist Oliver Pickle. This black and white papercut deck features women of diverse shapes, colours, cultures and gender presentations. It is the perfect companion to Pickle’s queer tarot guidebook, She Is Sitting in the Night.
Buy here (original 1984 printing)
Sadly out of print, The Collective Tarot was the first truly inclusive, punk tarot deck. A collaboration between a collective of US-based artists, this deck is filled with diverse characters involved in all kinds of DIY activities. It’s punk to the core, with all four suits and many of the major cards renamed for the modern leftist vernacular.
The Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi & Kwon Shina
A whimsical, people-based tarot featuring some of the best outfits ever seen in a deck of cards, IMHO. Widely and affordably available online, this is a colourful, beautiful tarot that I use often for client readings.
The Fountain Tarot by Jonathan Saiz, Jason Gruhl & Andi Todaro
A stunning fine-art tarot deck which explores the finer details of the human psyche through sacred geometry. Beautifully printed on high-quality card stock with flashing silver gilt edges and a sturdy box, this is a deck for lovers of beautiful, meaningful things.
The Anna K Tarot by Anna Klaffinger
Austrian artist Anna Klaffinger created this deck because she wanted something free from heavy symbolism and which instead depicted ordinary people living ordinary lives (albeit in middle ages -type costumes.) This is a very ‘people-focused’ deck, and what I love most about it are the facial expressions, which really convey joy and pain, generosity and jealousy, hope and anger.
The Gorgon’s Tarot by Dolores Fitchie
A large, round, monochrome tarot deck created by a remarkable genius. The Gorgon’s Tarot is a boldly graphic tarot with a wicked sense of humour and the power to deliver readings which are both gentle and punchy at the same time.
The Mary-el Tarot by Marie White
Marie White’s labour of love is a deep and complex deck, definitely not one for the tarot dabbler or the faint hearted. I’ve been using it since it was published two years ago and I still don’t feel confident using it to read for others, so much is there to learn here. But it’s so worth the investment. These oversized cards feature White’s oil paintings, which are richly coloured and heavily laden with mythological symbols and references.
The Kitty Kahane Tarot by Kitty Kahane
A colourful recreation of the Rider Waite Smith tarot, Kitty Kahane’s tarot is a joy to use.
The Wildwood Tarot by John Matthews, Mark Ryan & Will Worthington
Pagan and nature-loving types will appreciate this deck, which works with the wheel of the year tradition and relies heavily on the seasons and the four elements, and comes with a detailed and beautifully written book explaining the archetypes and symbols used. One key idea that I love in the Wildwood Tarot is that it seeks to reconnect us with forgotten roots, to reestablish the human relationship with the natural world – with woods, seasons, animals, and our primal instincts.
The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore & Aly Fell
I bought this as a novelty deck, but it soon hooked me in with it’s ability to provide shockingly precise and clever readings and I often use it with my clients. These cards are filled with elegant Victorian ladies and gentlemen, punky pages (I so have a crush on the Page of Cups), wacky inventions and candlelit liaisons. It also comes with a proper, detailed book which is useful for beginners, but also a great read for more experienced readers.
The Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Piu-Mun Law
If you’re looking for something to take your tarot learnings to new depths, I highly recommend this deck. The artwork is completely original, but if you’re familiar with the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, it will make sense to you. Law’s intricately detailed paintings are filled with tiny details, more and more of which emerge over the time you spend using this deck, continually expanding your understanding of the tarot.
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