I went to Barnes & Noble earlier today to look for a book a friend of mine was telling me about. It was Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner, and according to Amazon, I seriously overpaid. Still, instant gratification and all. It looks like a great resource to add to my collection and I’m actually pretty excited to get into it. They also have a couple of tarot decks that looked pretty amazing. One was the Tarot of Vampyres deck and book set. This is not a deck I would normally choose to work with, but I could see it being very handy for writers of vampire fiction. The other deck that caught my eye was the Steampunk tarot deck and book set. Again, this isn’t a deck I would choose to work with since I don’t write Steampunk fiction, but I can see this being a great tool for people who do.
This brings me to today’s topic: choosing a tarot deck.
Different decks are going to work better for different types of stories. Even if you picked up a deck with absolutely no idea what you were doing or how to read any of the cards, you could still intuit means just from the card. That’s the main reason I don’t use my Celtic dragon deck when I write. I haven’t written any fantasy stories. I’m sure I could still use that deck once I’m better at working with the cards, but the deck itself is fantasy, so it would be perfect for a fantasy story. My Gilded tarot deck is my working deck because it fits well with the stories I’m currently writing. So, how do you choose a deck?
The first, and probably the most obvious, choice is to look online. Pro: you will get the largest variety of decks. Con: You only have the pictures to go by. Call me crazy, but I don’t like to buy a tarot deck that I haven’t personally handled. Even though I’m not a reader, I still feel an attraction to certain decks over others. That’s why, even though it’s a respected deck, I will never own a Rider Waite deck. It doesn’t speak to me. I found a dragon deck one time at B&N, and it spoke to me so strongly that I could barely get out of the store without buying it. I didn’t, and I’ve regretted it ever since. The dragon deck I have now is a display deck, and maybe I’m giving the cards too much credit, but I think they knew that because they sit in my display and I’m rarely tempted to bring them out.
Find something you enjoy looking at because you’ll spend a lot of time looking at them. Find something that speaks to you in some way. Don’t buy a deck you don’t love because you most likely won’t use it and it will be wasted money. Buy more than one deck. Like I said, some decks lend themselves to certain types of writing better than others, so the more decks you own, the more versatility you have in using them for your writing. Invest in an instructional book of some kind. Most of the decks I’ve seen have books that come with that specific deck. Since decks can vary in number (some have 1 extra card per suit), you’ll need the book for that deck in order to know how to read the extra card. My local library has several books on tarot, so I would recommend checking some out, going through them, and then purchasing one you feel is the most helpful. In fact, I picked up a couple of books from there earlier to go with the one I just bought. Most of all, have fun. Remember, you can’t do it wrong.