Deck Collectors' Challenge: Days 1 to 6
When the New Year kicked in, there were a ton of video and Instagram challenges, getting tarot enthusiasts excited about their intentions for 2017 and which decks they were planning to delve deeply into over the next couple of months. One of my favorite YouTubers, Avalon, who has an amazing collection put out a series of prompts about collecting decks.
I get a lot of questions from friends and followers about my deck collection. The most frequently asked question? "How many decks do you have?" LOL, I am not answering that, but I can proudly say that I haven't bought anything this year and only have five on my wishlist at the moment. With so much interest in tarot decks and collecting, in general, I thought I'd answer Avalon's questions through a month-long series here on my blog.
I collect primarily because of the art, although some decks, I did acquire for other reasons (for example, the Rider-Waite Smith is a learning "essential," and Doreen Virtue's Guardian Angel Tarot Deck would have been the last deck I would have ever bought except it haunted and stalked me like a MOFO). If you're looking to buy certain decks but aren't 100% sure, this would be a good resource to help you make your next tarot-buying decision.
Favorite tarot deck: The Wild Unknown, I have said, over and over again is my favorite. It's deep, it's beautiful, it's modern, it's wonderfully made and it's seeped into pop culture so well I don't even have to take a picture of it anymore—I'm sure you'll know it when you see it. But, if you have no idea what I'm talking about or who Kim Krans is, then please visit The Wild Unknown and do yourself a favor.
Least favorite tarot deck: The Manga Tarot by Selena Lin. My friend was given a hard box manga themed tarot deck and she had no idea what to do with it because she wasn't into tarot. When she found out I knew how to read cards, she gave it to me. I'm not a big (or small) manga fan, so that box sat in my closet for a while before I decided to pass it on to my cousin. It was unfortunate because it was such a generous deck, but… no.
Favorite major card representation: The Lumina Tarot's Hierophant. The Hierophant isn't particularly popular, I think because its classical symbol is a pope and many in the tarot community struggle against this depiction. I actually like what the Hierophant stands for because I did go through a time in my life where I was seeking mentorship and had a great respect for tradition and the guidance it had to offer. I love this depiction of the card because it's different but stands for many of the values I appreciate within the card. The use of color against a mostly black and white illustration is so powerful.
Least favorite major card representation: The Tarot Mucha's Judgement. To begin with, this is already my least favorite card. Add to that the depiction of a fire and brimstone angel coming out of the clouds—well no wonder those figures on the foreground are just folded over. I'm already a little iffy about angels in decks, but did they really have to make it look so terrifying? UGH. (And yes, I know my distaste for this card says a lot about my shadows—trust me, I've thought about this!).
Favorite minor card representation: The Fountain Tarot's 6 of Swords. That blue in the ocean, the way the swords are so subtle, the dynamism and directionality of the boat sailing off to more peaceful waters. I love everything about this card and it was why I bought the deck.
Least favorite minor card representation: The Cosmos Tarot & Oracle's Page of Earth. Like I said in my review of this deck, Light Grey Art Lab did a fantastic job on this one. Pulling together 100 illustrations from different people and managing to put them together in a lovely, cohesive, gold foiled deck is no mean feat. All the digital art in the deck is delicate, smart, and modern. So why a Pluto + Goofy hybrid made its way into the Earth suit is beyond me. They really could have done so much more with this!
Hope you enjoyed my first go at this challenge—I'll be posting my answers to the second round of questions next week. :)