It’s all in the (Tarot) cards

I’d been curious about the Tarot since I was about 18 years old. I was fascinated whenever anyone read my cards (whether they were right or wrong) and I remember buying a book written by Emily Peach about tarot cards – I didn’t get beyond Chapter 1. In fact I don’t even know where that book is now (and I keep track of ALL my books)!

The first Tarot deck I remember buying was the Legend of the Arthurian Tarot. I was at a shopping mall in Sydney (well, Parramatta actually) in 1993 and was wandering through a book shop and came across the Tarot shelf. It was the only deck available in the store so I decided to buy it. Again, I don’t even know where that deck is – if I go through everything in storage it might show up again… When I did a Google search for some of the images, they didn’t even look familiar – that’s how long ago it’s been since I’ve looked at this deck. I didn’t get very far with this deck – I was in Indonesia and wasn’t able to get hold of any reading and soon lost interest in the cards…




Fast forward to 2001. I had spent a long weekend in Madrid at a friend’s wedding and was on my way back when I spotted the Salvador Dali Tarot deck for sale at a shop in the airport. I just *had* to have them. 




The deck came with a thin booklet which didn’t really tell me very much about how to read the cards. I just knew that I loved looking at them, loved the gilded edges and loved how they felt in my hands… I did a couple of online courses and also managed to find some courses on Tarot reading at the College of Psychic Studies in South Ken (yes, it really does exist). I even did a course on finding your spirit guides – I remember sitting there with my eyes closed wondering if I was wasting my time because I couldn’t sense anything, when I felt someone push me from behind. I turned around in surprise but of course there was nothing there apart from the wall, which was about three inches behind me. I sat up and started paying more attention at that point. 

But back to the Tarot courses, I went to three courses – for three different levels – all on a Saturday. They were brilliant. While I loved my Dali Tarot deck, I learned that they were just too awkward to shuffle if I was going to use the cards regularly – they’re a little bigger than the other decks I have which fit perfectly in my hands. One Saturday afternoon I went to Mysteries, a shop in Covent Garden to look for another deck. I spent ages in there and eventually decided to go for the more traditional Rider Waite deck (of which there are several versions)…




I used these cards for years – I think I get my most accurate readings from these cards because I used them for so long.

A couple of years later, I started using the Robin Wood Tarot deck – a friend had given them to me for my birthday and I was familiar with the images on the cards as I had been using a book called Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis. The images are based on the Rider Waite deck but have their own character and seem more modern somehow…



On one visit to my own Tarot reader, I noticed she was using new cards – she always used the Connolly deck but was using something else this time. She’d bought Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Tarot deck – the cards were beautiful and I fell in love with them.




Of course I bought them, but while using them I noticed that the quality of the card they were printed on wasn’t as thick as the other decks I have and each time I shuffled the cards, the corners would scuff. 

While looking at Ciro Marchetti’s website, I noticed that he had a new deck coming out soon after I’d bought the Gilded Tarot and decided to buy The Legacy of the Divine Tarot when it was published. 




The quality of the card used is a little better than that of the Gilded Tarot and what I like about both decks is that they come with an organza drawstring bag you can keep your cards in. Very handy! The books that come with the Marchetti decks are also more detailed than other deck-specific books I’ve seen.

I think that while a reader could use just one deck for reading, it doesn’t stop them being intrigued by other decks and wanting to see how they feel when they’re used. Let’s hope this addiction doesn’t grow as big as my addiction to books!! 

What decks do you use? And why? How do you break in a new deck? 

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