Most tarot decks have 78 cards divided in two distinct parts:
The 22-card Major Arcana (greater secrets) cards include the archetypes of:
The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance,
The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World and The Fool.
The 56-card and 4 suited Minor Arcana (lesser secrets) with 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards including the archetypes of the King, Queen, Knight and Page/Jack, in each of the four tarot suits (elements).
The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons/wands, coins and cups; in modern tarot decks, however, the batons suit is often called wands, rods or staves, while the coins suit is often called pentacles or disks. *Learn more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot#Occult_tarot_decks
In my tarot collection...
Osho Zen Tarot-The Transcendental Game of Zen: created by Ma Deva Padma.
What is so special about this deck: "In the traditional tarot deck this journey of self-discovery was perceived as a kind of spiral, with each Completion leading to a new level on the path, a new beginning with the re-entry of The Fool. In this deck, however, the Master card has been added. This card allows us to leave the spiral behind, to take a jump off the wheel of death and rebirth."
Why I love this deck: My aunt gave it to my mother who liked it but didn't really use it much. Mom being Mom, she eventually gave it to me as moving-out-on-my-own gift, as she noticed my love for it and the many other decks I had collected and cherished up to that point. This deck is fabulous at making you face yourself honestly and brings great clarity.
Celtic Tarot: created by Julian De Burgh and illustrated by Mary Guinan.
What is so special about this deck: “What culture is more steeped in mystery, magic, passion and war, or can more vividly inspire us to use and understand the Tarot, than that of Ireland? There is probably no other culture in the world which stimulates as much interest as that of the Celtic people. By using tales from Celtic mythology we can gain greater depth and insight from Tarot readings, for by interpreting these stories into concrete terms our unconscious minds allow them to become powerful tools for profound inner change and growth.”
Why I love this deck: This deck is the 3rd deck my father gave me. Yet, it is the first one he picked out for me himself as a gift for my 18th birthday- more on those story of the other two decks another time ;). His family roots are Irish, in fact, he proudly asserts he is still eligible to register as a Irish citizen there under the 4th generation clause, so to have a deck steeped in Irish lore is not only fitting but it also acts like a bridge to my ancestors. In many ways this deck is gateway to another world one where the magickal and the mundane are inseparable.
What is so special about this deck: "Open your Inner Vision... See through the keen eyes of the hawk for insights that transcend time and space. Merge your being with the ever-shifting flow of water, and tap a well of creativity you never knew you had. Hear the messages on the wind- it's possible, if you know how to listen. When you look at the world through other eyes and hear through others ears, you are changed. This is the power of the Shapeshifter Tarot: to broaden, deepen transform you. To uncover traits, characteristics, potentials that have lain hidden until now. To awaken your connection with wind, water, earth and every living thing. This deck will guide you through the magickal and Celtic symbolism , help you move into a world of new perceptions and insights. The Shapeshifter Tarot speaks the language your spirit knows. listen to the messages it brings... and see all your life's pathways , possibilities and dreams with clearer vision."
Why I love this deck: This is the first deck I was attracted too. I would visit a local pagan book store on my lunch breaks, over the course of the year had looked at many decks but always came back to the amazing artwork in this deck. At the end of that school-year the shop closed so my mom brought me to pick a deck out for my 15th birthday. I knew it was THE one for me to learn on after I asked it to show me a guide for divination and the same card showed up 21 times in a row. Twenty one is a sacred number for initiation and integration in Reiki for which I had my second degree at the time.
The guide in question is still with me to this day: Warrior of Earth: Queen Medb (Maeve), Goddess of Tara (ancient word for earth and the center of Eire/Ireland) and the land's sovereignty, turned Faery Queen of Connaught when the Tuathat De Dannan (children of the good god aka the Fae) merged with the land and it's people. She is known as a powerful warrior, lover and sorceress with the ability to shapeshift into a white unicorn, representing the pure power of Love over all things. She watches over anyone gifted with second sight or visions. Her main message is "You are the pattern maker and breaker of your existence." She is an aspect of the Divine Feminine principle.
The Truth-Seeker's Tarot-Oracle Cards of Insight, Clarity and Wisdom: written by David Fontana, and illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault.
What so special about this deck: "Tarot cards have captivated seekers of the truth since the 15th century. Whether used for self-development or meditation, these fascinating cards can hone your intuition and enhance your understanding of the many influences affecting your life. Beautifully illustrated in a vibrant, modern style, yet faithful to the Tarot’s traditions, the specially commissioned deck of 78 Tarot cards in this kit contains 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana ones. Interpreting the cards is made simple and enlightening by the accompanying book, Understanding the Tarot, which includes fascinating information on the history of the Tarot, in-depth commentaries on each card and practical advice on how to use the cards in layouts. The Truth-Seeker’s Tarot is the ideal gift for anyone interested in improving their self-knowledge and boosting their self-empowerment."
Why I love this deck: This deck was gifted to me in November 2012 at the conclusion of reading party. It came to me as I was honing in to my soul essence purpose as Truth-seer & welcoming Truth Seekers. It's gold highlights pointing towards the solar connection in harmony with and serving the whole. This echoes the golden aura I see around those living in their Truth and the golden light of Ascension that is bathing our world Now for the first time in 26 000 years. This really shines a light on Truth. Well worth exploring.
What's so special about this deck: "The latest deck of Tarot cards designed by Muriel Champagne, tarot specialist, is offered in an elegant box. Embellished with vivid colors, each card features authentic characters displayed on a 3D printed background and contains several significant symbols.
The box also includes a 328 page guide in a papyrus design and divided into four parts.
Trace the history of the Tarot, some of which has never been formally recorded. Revisit the major and minor arcana and examine the initiatory symbols that allow for a more profound interpretation.
Learn how to conduct different readings, especially the one based on astrology. Since this book reintroduces the initiatory teachings of the Tarot along with its divinatory aspects, the readings become more precise.
MASTER GREAT KEYS OF TAROT contains important codes, the mystical teachings of an ancient science. The term "Tarot" means "wheel", a symbol of destiny which can also be translated as the "tree of life". It is the synthesis of initiation courses offered to man to help him evolve and find the meaning of his life. It promotes balance, develops a certain wisdom. It is there to inform ...
Through its simple and authentic language MASTER GREAT KEYS OF TAROT can help you walk into the wonderful world that is the Tarot." From: http://tarotdemu.com/EN/index.asp
Why I love this deck: (en français/French- translation available) This deck was given to me by my aunt and Reiki teacher of the same first same as the author. This was just a year into my exploration for the Egyptian symbols and traditions that governed shamanic healing through the The Anubis Oracle: A Journey into the Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt. I was just beginning to scratch the surface of what Egyptian Mysteries could teach me when it became obvious someone must have taught them, as the jump in evolution was so vast. My research lead me to make connection between the Egyptian Neteru and Thoth's the Atlantean, who was also in fact one of the few descendants of the land of Mu to remain, before the fall of LeMuRia and our great
forgetting. Seeing these two cultures explored within one Tarot deck certainly makes this deck an interesting one.
What is so special about this deck: "This easy-to-use book and Tarot deck explains the key concepts of the cards in simple terms that the reader will find easy to remember and then put into practice in a reading. The Tarot has a 500-year history and most Western and Eastern cultures have created their own unique decks. The cards in this set, exquisitely illustrated by artist Emma Garner, express the rich imagery and symbols of the Tarot in a way that is both stunning and immediate. There are eight different card arrangements to try laying out, plus essential information on timing a reading; this is often omitted in Tarot instruction guides, even though the first question asked of a Tarot reader is often "When will these events happen?". Particular attention is also paid to interpreting the "people" or Court cards of the Minor Arcana, as these are often stumbling blocks for the new reader. Armed with the knowledge in this book, the reader will be able to make sense of a complete reading for him or herself or a friend, and use these inspiring cards to solve problems, identify opportunities, and ultimately divine the future."- http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-art-of-tarot
Why I love this deck: I was gifted this deck at the end of a friend's birthday party which I was a guest at while working as an intern at Gros Morne National Park. We had talked about my interest in reading cards and as she talked with her guests many expressed interest. By the end of the night I had given 7 readings in 6 hours at no charge to great reviews. This was a moment of realizing my soul gifts are not only wanted but in some cases I was providing a much needed service. After that summer, I never doubted my gifts or the wisdom of following my guidance again.
Golden Tarot of Klimt: artwork by Atanas A. Atanassov with instructions by Bepi Vigna.
What is so special about this deck: " Gustav Klimt’s art held a primary position in early 20th century Vienna - a city rich with intellectual, aesthetic and psychological movements that contributed to the formation of modern man. This Tarot, inspired by the Master, recounts love and death, sensuality and regeneration. Stamped with hot gold impressions. Klimt and his strong allegorical subjects inspired the Tarot designed
by A. A. Atanassov. The symbolism inherent in the Tarot is perfectly coherent with that symbolist culture that also gave origin to Klimt’s artwork."
Why I love this deck: This desk came to me as I was entering a very vulnerable time in my re-awakening process in 2011. I was working a lot at the time and although the work was fulfilling it was also demanding & left little energy for anything else. With a growing number of health issues coming to the forefront at that time, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Fibromyaligia. Both conditions run in my family so for me it was a moment I had been trying avoid since I started feeling sore after normal workouts at age 16. The deck itself was considered by the giver "tainted" by a "bad break-up" thus the giver could no longer connect with the cards. I gladly accepted the opportunity to transmute the energies and re-balance the deck to re-purpose it. I used Reiki and charged palm sized Elestial quartz crystal with the intention cleansing and purifying the deck. The thing about this crystal is that it came into my possession by mysterious means. This was almost a year before I had worked in the crystal shop and started my collection and as mysterious as it came it left. When I brought it to be cleansed by running water that Spring of 2012, I "accidentally" dropped it in the deepest part of the stream. I could not retrieve the crystal though I tried. At first, I felt distressed but I also knew the wisdom of crystals are their own. Thus the first lesson of this deck: when something has served it's purpose, let it go. This deck is all about allowing yourself to feel your vulnerability and makes you more aware of that experience in others. The images are sensual, real and help us tap into the shadow aspect of our Humanity. By accepting what we resist, we free ourselves. Vulnerability is the gateway of our humanity and authentic soul expression.
Rider-Waite Tarot Also known as Rider Tarot, Waite Tarot, Waite-Smith Tarot the Rider-Waite Tarot by Pamela Colman Smith the world's most popular tarot deck, for further study I recommend The Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite.
What is so special about this deck: "This classic deck has long been a favorite of beginners as well as tarot enthusiasts. Believed to have originated in 14th Century Italy, Tarot is an old trick-capturing card game like Spades or Euchre. The Tarot was adapted by occultists in the 19th Century, transitioning into a popular oracle for fortune tellers of the 20th Century. Rider-Waite Tarot deck was originally printed from plates that were destroyed during the bombing of London during World War II and is associated with the Tudor Rose."
Why I love this deck: This deck has been in my family since it was gifted to my father by a mysterious Romanian gypsy when he was backpacking across Europe. She told him to "keep it" as someone in his family will "one day" need it, he replied her no one in his family had any interest. She giggled as she gave him the deck firmly saying, "not yet there isn't but one day there will be." This was years before my father had even met my mother. It wasn't until I had dragged my father to Chapters to review a book on Wicca at the age of 12 AND showed sustained interest in the Tarot that he decided I was ready to receive the cards, at 16 years old. I was of course happy for the cards, although at that point I had my own as well, the greatest gift was the story of how the cards came to be in my father's care. I will always be grateful for the Divine interventions that pepper my path and the validations they provide.
These are decks that do not fit under the category Tarot as they are either based off another culture (ie: Hawaiian Huna or Shamanism) or are simply messenger cards that don't follow the Tarot structure.
In my oracle collection...
L'Oracle D' Hawai: Guides spirituels animaux du Pays de Lumière aka Hawaiian Oracle: The Animal Spirit Guides of the Land of Light created by Rima A. Morrell (Ph.D).
What is so special about this deck: "Here, for the first time, is an oracle depicting the spectacular animal spirit guides of Hawaii, gateway to the land of light. The ancient wisdom of these creatures is as relevant today as ever.The Hawaiian Oracle takes seekers on a journey into Huna mysticism. With a 36-card divination deck and 144-page guidebook, this kit draws on the multicultural traditions of Polynesia, presented in a groundbreaking tarot format. Hawaiian mythology consists of a pantheon of lively gods and goddesses, reminiscent of the ancient Greek deities, whose many adventures offer poignant lessons about love, power, and consciously creating our own destinies. The major arcana portrays these flamboyant figures, while the four suits of the minor arcana represent the birds, seas, lands, and animals of the islands. The cards resonate on many levels, and readings offer both cautionary and encouraging advice. The companion book provides detailed information on each card, how and when to use the deck, a glossary, a comparison to the Rider-Waite tarot deck, and six introductory spreads with interpretations. Easy to understand and fun to use, it allows novice and expert alike to experience and embrace the spirit of aloha."
Why I love this deck: My aunt gave it to me at my grand-mothers funeral. She had be living in Hawaii for 6 months of the year at the time so we talked a lot about Reiki 's roots there as well. She has always supported my love of oracle cards and this deck is very special indeed. A must try.
Celtic Messages created by Joules Taylor and illustrated by Emma Nelson.
What is so special about this deck: "Celtic Messages draws on the rich symbolism and striking imagery of Celtic mythology, and present a carefully selected series of 52 key ideas. Illustrated with the ancient and magical symbols of Celtic lore, the cards fall into four suits representing the four main aspects of Celtic culture - Places (Sacred Landscapes of the heart of Soul), Helpers (Deities and Heroes), Tools (talismans of Celtic ritual and festival) and Totems (Animal Guides). Each of the cards is fully described in the book, which includes divinatory meanings, and gives an insight into the importance of the symbols - both for the ancient Celts and for us today. Place cards symbolise where you are or where you ought to be. This can be a spiritual or emotional place as much as a physical location. Helper cards symbolise people and their personal qualities. Tool cards symbolise forces inside yourself, actions you need to take, or tools – physical, mental or spiritual – you need to use, to accomplish your aims. Totem cards are all animals sacred to the Celts. They symbolise the qualities you need to draw on from deep within yourself in order to resolve the problems facing you, achieve your goals, or take the next step in your journey through life."
Why I love this deck: It was given to me by a close friend who was exploring Reiki at the time and later became one of my first second degree students. I have always had an affinity for Celtic culture and art so to have this deck join my collection was not only welcomed but fitting. I love the uniqueness of working with round cards, echoes of the land who birthed King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table. This deck reminds me of the importance of community and cooperation.
The Anubis Oracle: A Journey into the Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt: co-authored by Nicki Scully & Linda Star Wolf, illustrated by Kris Waldherr.
What's so special about this deck: "The Anubis Oracle is a guide to the inner workings of the soul. It is also a guide to Inner Egypt and the shamanic mysteries of Egypt that live within us. Inner Egypt is a place of mystery, roots, ancestral wisdom, and love-home of the neteru, the deities of the Egyptian pantheon, who can guide us to the answers we seek today in our personal lives and our outer world. The full-color [35- card] deck contains a Key Card, a card for each of the 22 deities and 4 elements, and 8 composite cards that portray several deities together. These composites represent 8 major portals of initiation and complex archetypal relationships. The accompanying book provides detailed interpretations for each card and instructions for 8 divinatory spreads that include entering into the mystery, achieving higher love and wisdom, and identifying our sacred purpose. By divining with the neteru, the shaman within awakens. This allows the neteru to reveal the answers we seek in our personal lives and in our interactions with the world by connecting us with the wisdom, guidance, and shamanic mysteries of Egypt that live within us. Although here we sometimes use the language of tarot, the Anubis Oracle is an emerging new form that is more closely related to an ancient pre-tarot paradigm. This oracle is an elder of modern-day tarot."
Why I love this deck: This deck is a reflection of the principle of ask and you shall receive. As it was gifted to me as a Winter SOULstice gift. I had been having dreams of the Great Pyramids and Sphinx and drawing the visions. As I did Ma'at showed herself & began working with me strongly leading up to this deck coming into my life in Dec 2013. Energy art is very much part my connection to Solar Energy, in fact almost all my art has come through during geomagnetic storms from Solar activity. Ancient Egypt's relationship with the Sun is a strong one, be it Ra or Sekhmet, the Neteru remind us that we Are Source made Flesh. Spirit an Matter as One.
The Truth Seeker's Shaman's Oracle- Oracle Cards for Ancient Wisdom and Guidance: by John Matthews and Will Kinghan.
What so special about this deck: "This new oracle includes 52 cards, a chart of the hand set against a rock face and an 80 page book called Using Shaman Oracle Cards: A Guide to the Shaman’s Universe which explains the powerful and insightful system of card reading linked to Palaeolithic cave art.
The Shaman's OracleThe underlying principle is that the human hand is an ideogram for the Cave Dweller’s world through which the Seeker journeys, or from which the spirits emerge. The 52 cards are divided into five tribes – Spirits, Ancestors, Hunters, Dancers and Shamans – each representing a different aspect of human experience. As the cards are drawn, they reveal an oracle that will help to guide the Seeker on his quest for answers.
The images are not only very beautiful, but they also touch on the deepest memories we possess. The cave art is found all over the world; in Europe, China, the Americas and Australia."
Why I love this deck: Right after I had received The Truth-Seeker's Tarot of the same collection, this deck came to me through series of synchronicity events. I was studying Micheal Harner's The Way of the Shaman and beginning to explore the practices as well when one of my soul-sisters had a give away of this deck on her facebook page and youtube channel to the first person to email her saying why I felt guided to it work with this deck. I felt guided to it work with this deck. I felt this pull and went for it and much to my surprise even though I gave it some time i was indeed the first one to send in a email. Three weeks later this deck was part of my collection. This deck helps
connect with our ancestral nature, well worth exploring.
Un message pour toi par Laëla (en français/French- translation available) "A message, just for you! by Leila".
What is so special about this deck: These 52 heart-centered messages are powWhat's so special about Runes? Runes are an ancient alphabet used by pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon,Germanic, & Norse peoples over three thousand years ago. Imbued with a fascinating and mysterious history, these cryptic symbols are widely consulted as oracles- source of clarification or wisdom that may give us a better understanding of ourselves, our world and our path. Runes are symbolic of physical objects and abstract concepts. Runes can be used as points of meditation, in dream-weaving, intention setting and developing one's intuition. May these ancient tools help you walk whatever Path you choose with Love in your Heart.erful tools for self-empowerment. This deck was composed by a Algonquin aboriginal women living in the province of Quebec, in Canada, here on Turtle Island aka North America. This is the only deck I have that is self-published by the author and text only. As not everyone can read in french, I offer this deck with an English interpretation whenever requested.
What I Love about this deck: It was given to me by my aunt Carmelle as a tool to help me
realize the power of words. At the time, I had already worked with images and archetypes, thus I was immersing myself in soul-based writing and dream recall. Little did I know, the journey within would open doors to Dream Walking. One can only dig deeper when one feels safe and empowered. These cards can light the path home.
OTHER DIVINATION TOOLS INCLUDE
What's so special about Runes? Runes are an ancient alphabet used by pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon,Germanic, & Norse peoples over three thousand years ago. Imbued with a fascinating and mysterious history, these cryptic symbols are widely consulted as oracles- source of clarification or wisdom that may give us a better understanding of ourselves, our world and our path. Runes are symbolic of physical objects and abstract concepts. Runes can be used as points of meditation, in dream-weaving, intention setting and developing one's intuition. May these ancient tools help you walk whatever Path you choose with Love in your Heart.
Why I Love Runes: This set was hand crafted and gifted to me by my childhood best friend. It's is also the first divination tool I learned to use that was not a card deck and successfully test my intuition by casting my runes without the aid of the book to draw the meaning. Only after I had written or shred my own impressions would I then check for synchronicity in the meanings from the book. Runes have helped me connect to the deeper Wisdom of words/worlds we can create. Feeling connected to them helps me to remember Elvish/Norse Truths. Words have great Power, we must learn to use them Wisely.
Truth Fairy: Enchanted Pendulum and Message Board Kit: by Amy Zerner & Monte Farber
What's so special about the Truth Fairy Pendulum Kit: "This is a beautifully designed kit that includes a 48 page softcover four color book and a pendulum fairy sculpture on a chain---all in a box. Included in the book are 12 Life Lessons from the Truth Fairy. The Truth Fairy Pendulm Kit is an enchanted book/tool that can be used to bridge the gap between the analytical and intuitive sides of our being. Fairies help us to use our intuition more, and the pictures, words and pendulum necklace contained in this set enable us to tune into the right course of action to take. It helps us to find the right direction and contact our fairy guides. In the words of the authors: "This kit is designed to inspire our vision of The Enchanted World and help us to learn and understand what is true in Mother Nature's kingdom. The fairies can help us become what we were truly meant to be, if we listen to their messages."
Why I love this kit: I got this kit at a time where I was expanding my divination practice to include a variety of different tools and deeper my esoteric knowledge. It was a birthday gift from my mother, she intuitively knew I was ready for a more subtle, self-directed form of internal communication. In fact, it was that same year that I read a wonderful book "Enchantment of the Faerie Realm: Communicate with Nature Spirits & Elementals" which lead to me experience very powerful journeys, soul-memories and exchanges with the Fay. It's time to reconnect with our lost sense of the natural & magical flow of the Universe. The realms may be hidden to some but must never be forgotten, less we forget who we really are.
and any of the 15 practices described in
- "The Art of Divination: practices from around the world" by Didier Blau.
- The Ogham (Celtic)
- Venda Tablets (African)
- The Neteru (Ancient Egypt)
- Mo (Tibetan)
- Darb er-Raml (Arabian)
- The Tarot (Italian)
- Tonalamalt (Aztec Book of Destiny)
- Colors (Universal)
- Zulu Divination (South Africa)
- Futhark Runes (Nordic Alphabet)
- The I-Ching (Chinese Book of Changes)
- Numerology (Universal)
- Jogo dos buzios (Brazilian divination)
- Mahabo (Burmese divination)
- Kumalak (Shamanism from Kazakhstan)