This page is devoted to tarot decks that I either own or desire to own. My criteria are based almost purely on the art, with a few exceptions (for instance, as far as I know you will not find a single “Photoshopped” deck in here – I hate them with a passion); in fact, there are only two exceptions that I can think of right off. The Hanson-Roberts deck was my first, and is the one that I use on the rare occasion that I actually do a reading; and the Faery Wicca deck, which I would never even have looked at normally (based on the name alone!) gave a truly extraordinary reading when an experienced friend read it for me.
Most of the links that follow are to Aecletic Tarot because it’s easy and they have good card images.
[NOTE: If you actually want to learn something about tarot, I recommend starting with these links:
- Mary Hanson-Roberts – This is my reading deck.
- Tarot Art Nouveau – This one I have.
- Art Nouveau Tarot – This one I don’t have, yet – but I love the stained-glass effect.
- Tarocco delle Vetrate (aka the “Stained Glass Tarot”) – Did I mention I love the stained-glass effect? I think I did.
- Olympus Tarot – I picked this up for reasons that seemed obvious at the time, but on further inspection I found that some of the associations were… a bit odd, and the art was not all I could have hoped for. Overall, for a Classical mythology themed deck I prefer the next one…
- Renaissance Tarot – A mythology deck done right. There is also a companion book written by the artist (Brian Williams).
- Buddha Tarot – This is just a phenomenal deck by Robert M. Place, creator of several other decks that I’m oddly not interested in (except his Vampire Tarot and eventual Pre-Raphaelite deck, both of which you can see elsewhere on the linked site). If you get this deck, DO be sure to get the companion book – it’s worth it for the introductory essay alone, and to see the rather remarkable parallels he draws between the story of the Buddha and the seeker’s journey as laid out in the major arcana.
- Gothic Tarot
- Fenestra Tarot
- Haindl Tarot – I was completely not interested in this deck online, but the moment I held it I knew I had to have it. This is an incredibly dense and compelling deck, and I know that I have only barely begun to scratch the surface.
- Old English Tarot – I waffle about this one.
- Pagan Tarot – This one, too.
- Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights – Ooooh. Pretty.
- Tarot of the Secret Forest – I would have to hold this deck. On the surface it just looks sort of weird, but I suspect that in person it might have the same impact that the Haindl deck did…
- Lunatic Tarot – Could be great in person.
- Faery Wicca – Who’dathunkit?
- Whimsical Tarot – A delightful fairytale deck by Mary Hanson-Roberts; I’m hoping my daughter will become interested enough to pick this deck up some time soon.
- Fairytale Tarot – A radically different approach to the same basic concept.
- Chinese Tarot – I’m not normally big on “cultural” decks – the Egyptian Tarot and Ukiyo-E Tarot, for instance, leave me cold – but this art in this deck is exceptional.
- Rumi Tarot – Another gorgeous deck with a Middle Eastern theme.
- Ancient Egyptian Tarot – There are a few decks out there that try to look like hieroglyphs on papyrus, and usually fail. This lovely deck by Clive Barrett is not one of them.
- Ramses: Tarot of Eternity – An interesting looking variation on the theme, the majors focus on events in the life of Ramses II and the suits depict daily life in Ancient Egypt. Very pretty.
- Favole Tarot – Gothic sensibility without all the drama…
- Tarot of Duerer – The art is good, but… something about the Temperance card draws me in and makes me want to see the rest. Probably the fact that it screams “Hera” to me.
- The Rabbit Tarot – I bought this watercolor deck as a birthday present for my daughter, who is deep into a rabbit phase, but the more I look at it the more I think I need to get my own set… yes, the rabbits are cute, but there is unexpected depth to many of the cards.
- Brian Froud – The Faeries’ Oracle – This was the first deck that I bought entirely for the art.
- Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards
- Celtic Tree Oracle – What can I say? It reminds me of woodcuts – I like woodcuts a lot.
- Fortune Teller’s Mah Jongg Cards
- Druid Animal Oracle – I have this.
- Druid Plant Oracle – Don’t have this one yet.
- Green Man Tree Oracle – The last of my Will Worthington trilogy…
- Astrological Lenormand oracle – Lovely deck (can only order from Germany)
- Another Lenormand deck – from Lo Scarabeo
“Adult” decks – There are a small handful of erotic tarots out there that I actually find attractive rather than vulgar… I make no excuses for including these decks – if you don’t want to see them, don’t look.
- Tarot of Casanova – The prettiest of the lot.
- Manara: the Erotic Tarot – Milo Manara has a wicked sense of humor.
- Decameron Tarot – This deck sometimes veers over the line into vulgarity, but most of the cards I’ve seen have a strong Rabelaisian flavor that works beautifully.
- Black Tarot – The art of Luis Royo.