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Tell me about your favorite tarot deck

All the cool cartomancers are down with...

  • Waite-Smith

    Votes: 11 45.8%
  • Thoth

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Marseilles

    Votes: 2 8.3%
  • Special snowflake

    Votes: 11 45.8%

  • Total voters
    24

Isator Levie

Registered User
Validated User
Hmm, I'm not actually sure where my Hexen deck is... hopefully it's still in storage and will be easily found when I next check that. If it's somewhere in my apartment...
 

Mallus

Registered User
Validated User
I really like the aforementioned Wild Unknown deck. Stumbling across an article about it rekindled my interest in tarot after many, many years.

This Carnival at the End of the World deck is also beautiful. An artist friend of mine up in the Hudson, NY area knows the artist.



And while I don't own one yet, I've been told the Arcane Bullshit tarot captures the spirit of my approach to RPGs. Or humor. Possibly life.

 

johnnype

Emaciated do gooder
Validated User
I don't own a deck but every now and then the thought does cross my mind. Then I spend half a day looking at cards. The one that comes immediately to mind is Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's Shadowscapes Tarot:


I also like the Mage the Ascension, Mage the Awakening and Kult Divinity Lost Tarot decks. I don't know what I'd do with them but there you have it.





 

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
Validated User
Robin Scott's Urban Tarot. I backed the original Kickstarter, and the deck has just been reissued in a second edition. The page I linked to shows the original Tower, but it's been changed in the 2nd edition.
I recognize that Fool. I think I might have seen someone hyping this while it was still in early development.

What did they change the Tower to?

Fun fact, my very first published Pathfinder product was a book about magical decks of card. For inspiration, I actually bought a Crowley deck off of Amazon. (I already had a rider Waite deck from when I was a kid).
I remember coming away from The Book of Thoth thinking that a) Crowley came off as a surprisingly funny guy and b) his tarot deck is a pain in the ass and it's definitely on purpose. It's thought out in intricate detail, but it's also stuffed full of obnoxious, more-esoteric-than-thou hotdogging.

That said, a lot of the decks I like do show its influence to some degree.

I know the Waite-Smith deck as the Rider-Waite deck, but that's the one I voted for.
As Arethusa noted, Rider is the name of the company that first printed that deck. Arthur Edward Waite wrote descriptions of the cards, and commissioned Pamela Colman Smith to illustrate them. For some reason she got kind of forgotten about for a while spoiler alert it's sexism.

And since I should probably answer the question of the thread, my favorite Tarot is (are) the original Visconzi-Sforza decks from the fifteenth century.
They're magnificent little works of art showing the beginnings of the game and its solid grounding in Italian Renaissance Christian culture and folklore.
You saying that reminds me of a book I read a while ago, called The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, written by Robert Place. Mr. Place admits up front to being kind of a Waite stan, which colors his analysis of modern tarot, but despite that the book's first half is a solid, no-nonsense introduction to the evolution of the tarot, and the various traditions that influenced its development. (The back half has a pretty solid, no-nonsense introduction to some basic spreads and approaches to interpreting them, along with a card-by-card listing of the RWS deck that's nothing really special.)

Here are a few examples to give a sense of what [Hexen 2.0 tarot is] going for [...]
This is a deck that I quite like because I'm rather fond of that encoding in symbolism going on in classical alchemy in its own right, enjoy the novelty of this post-modern take on it, and find it informative about various conceptual developments and figures across the 20th century.
Haha wtf. This looks really wild.

I don't own a deck but every now and then the thought does cross my mind. Then I spend half a day looking at cards. The one that comes immediately to mind is Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's Shadowscapes Tarot
I think I might actually have this one in the shoebox.

Yeah, I do. It doesn't really click with me for whatever reason, but the artwork is very pretty. The style and subject matter of the illustrations makes me think you could build a pretty decent fairyland fantasy storytelling game around it.
 

Tom B

Registered User
Validated User
I got it more because I liked the cards and the symbology, but if I had to pick a favorite I'd go with this:


 

Isator Levie

Registered User
Validated User
Haha wtf. This looks really wild.
Yes, I suppose it is. Looking at others, it's certainly a lot denser than is the norm for tarot art.

At the same time, something about it feels pleasantly mundane to me, because those kinds of mystical and alchemical diagrams were the sort of thing I had a familiarity with and attraction to before purchasing the deck; a picture of one of the cards' illustrations being on the box was of course what drew me to it in the first place.

Still, there are certainly a few cards that I find rather trippy even by those standards. And in all cases, the most psychedelic thing to me would be the barrage of philosophical, science concept and historical information that most of the diagrams fire off.

Mostly I just appreciate having a source for those types of images that is rendered a bit more grounded and comprehensible by its enclosure with easily understood tarot symbolism and utilising modern figures, events and ideas (even if several of them were the likes of which I would not have been familiar with prior to getting the deck).
 

Owesome

Social Justice Warmonger
Validated User
My favourite deck doesn't, technically, exist: In Fallout 1, there is a character who does a series of tarot readings for the player, and the description of the cards used is really evocative: the Magician is depicted as using the tools of the world order that damned the world, for example, and it really gives the sense that in the years following The Bomb the survivors have developed a culture rich in its folklore and symbolism and adapted the symbolism of the past to their present.

I haven't been able to find the text or screenshots of the scene in questin, sorry, but its stuck with me since I first played the game in the 90s.
 

Amethyst

Registered User
Validated User
I haven't bought a deck yet, but my favorite one I've seen is the Welcome to Night Vale tarot deck.
 

Anno Nimus

Registered User
Validated User
The first and thus far only deck I've owned is the Aquarian Tarot, which was Illustrated by David Palladini in a very unique Medieval engravings crossed with 70s kitsch art style.
 
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