Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Victoria Constantino, author of the new Tarot by the Moon.
So you know you want a new deck, but where do you begin? With so many varieties of tarot and oracle decks to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. It seems like there are decks for every interest and aesthetic preference. Even beyond appearances, the question remains: How do you find a deck with which you connect?
Those who work with tarot and oracle decks often know that what seems like a simple pack of cards can hold much greater significance. When you ask a question, whether it’s life-altering or quotidian, your deck becomes the mouthpiece of the universe. A deck you connect with, whether you practice tarot daily or just every so often, is key.
Whether your future deck will be your first or your hundredth, a few considerations can offer guidance.
1. Tarot, Oracle, or Archetype?
While tarot decks focus on archetypes we have inherited from ages past (such as The Fool), archetype decks tend to draw on a wider variety not commonly seen in traditional tarot decks like the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. Archetypes are the embodiments or distillations of energies that represent aspects of the human experience. For example, the vibrant and colorful Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck by Kim Krans uses archetypes such as The Threshold and Anima Mundi, while The Archeo by Nick Bantock includes cards like Sage and Warrior.
Oracle decks, on the other hand, may focus on themes. The Supra Oracle by Uusi meets at the intersection of Jungian psychology and Gnosticism. It includes cards like Silence, Unconscious, and Mysticism to indicate aspects that may be underlying our current experience or path, and energies of which we may not be aware. Other oracle decks may be based on themes such as moon phases or goddesses. Oracle cards typically feature a word or phrase on each card that conveys a clear message or concept to ruminate on. Unlike tarot, which may require research, exploration into symbolism, and an understanding of reversals, oracle cards are accessible to everyone, including first-time users.
2. Does it appeal to you?
Is it visually appealing? Does it draw you in? Do you want to know more about it? Do you just have a feeling about it? Does its intricate symbolism—or, alternatively, its simplicity—intrigue you? If the answer is yes, you may have landed upon something that will serve you well for years or maybe even for a little while. If you have a list of decks you would like but are not sure which one to choose first, it can be helpful to look over them and feel into which one is pulling you the most strongly. Sometimes decks, for whatever period of time we feel called to use them, can provide us with invaluable guidance and support that help us reach new levels of understanding or assist us on our journey of healing, discovery, and self-awareness.
3. Social Media
Following tarot readers on social media is a great way to discover new decks! If you see a deck that intrigues you, it can’t hurt to trust your instincts and give it a try. Try following tarot-related hashtags or your favorite tarot readers and authors and see what decks they are using.
Want to know more? Check out Tarot by the Moon: Spreads and Spells for Every Month of the Year. You can also follow me on Instagram at @victoria.constantino.author and @tarot_by_the_moon and on Facebook at @VictoriaConstantinoAuthor.
Our thanks to Victoria for her guest post! For more from Victoria Constantino, read her article “How to Use Tarot for Guidance.”