What Your Favorite Tarot Deck Says About You


Let me tell you what your favorite go-to tarot deck says about you. That’s right. I think I know you better than you know yourself. And all from knowing which tarot deck you like.

Visconti-Sforza Tarot by U.S. Games
Visconti-Sforza Tarot by U.S. Games

Tarot de Marseille

You’re kind of an elitist snob. You think your tarot deck is more authentic than other people’s tarot decks and so that makes you better. When you’re talking about tarot, you make sure to emphasize that you read with the Marseille (no, you would say “TdM”) deck because you’re pretty sure that fact alone conveys the depth and breadth of your tarot knowledge.

Oswald Wirth Tarot by U.S. Games
Oswald Wirth Tarot by U.S. Games

Esoteric Tarot Deck Pre-1900

You’re an elitist snob. You’re probably a voracious reader of obscure books, especially books bearing titles that begin with “Liber.” You get all academic and historian-y when talking about witchcraft or ceremonial magic.

Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial by U.S. Games
Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial by U.S. Games


You’re a traditionalist. You’re also probably a little bit of a snob about tarot, but thankfully not quite as snobby as the Tarot de Marseille (no, “TdM”) practitioner. You’re, like, down-to-earth snobby, if that could be a thing. “Oh, and seriously? You people need to stop saying that the RWS is a beginner’s deck. It’s not.” <– (What you think. Man, defensive, defensive.)

Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi and Kwon Shina (U.S. Games)

Rider-Waite-Smith Clone

The original RWS imagery doesn’t resonate with you, the Thoth freaks you out a bit because Crowley, and why are there no pictures on the TdM pips. <– (What you think.) You’re most likely right-brained, creative, and artsy fartsy.

Also hard to generalize here, given the diversity of RWS-based decks out there. But if you’re into the soft, pretty ones where the Death card is “Change” and The Devil is now a bunny rabbit holding a bouquet of flowers (or whatever), then you’re probably one of those who prefer to look at the occult through rose-tinted glasses. Love and light, right? XOXO.

See also “Contemporary Deck” and “Themed Deck” below.

The Fountain Tarot by Jonathan Saiz, Jason Gruhl, and Andi Todaro
The Fountain Tarot by Jonathan Saiz, Jason Gruhl, and Andi Todaro

Contemporary Deck

You can’t pick a team (i.e., TdM, RWS, Thoth… no, you know what? It really applies to all of life. You can’t seem to pick a team when it comes to anything). You’re “eclectic.” <– (What you think.) You also probably talk about chakras, aura cleansings, join drum circle meet-ups, follow guided meditations, and are into reiki. You’re finding the energy of this blog post way harsh. Now you’re rummaging around for white sage.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris (U.S. Games)
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris (U.S. Games)


You crave power. You can also sometimes be a little full of yourself. You may or may not be a Crowley acolyte. It’s not that you think you’re better than everybody else; you just are. <– (What you think.) You’re also convinced there are a plethora of idiots out there peddling about pretending to be tarot readers these days. It’s awful. <– (What you think.)

Tarot of the Holy Light by Christine Payne-Towler and Michael Dowers (Noreah Press)
Tarot of the Holy Light by Christine Payne-Towler and Michael Dowers (Noreah Press)

Esoteric Tarot Deck Post-1950

You may or may not have stood on a soapbox before to rant about the dilution and bastardization of the occult sciences. “Of course you must have studied the Kabbalah to be a halfway decent tarot reader!” <– (What you think.)

Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and Mickie Mueller (Llewellyn)
Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and Mickie Mueller (Llewellyn)

Themed Deck

Themed decks are decks that are based on one of the traditional three systems, except the imagery would feature all cats, or all fairies, or all paperclips, it’s gothic, it’s steampunk, Arabian Nights, or something like that. To which I say… you’re weird. Like, really weird. There’s “weird,” and then there’s whatever you are (“quirky,” you say you prefer…). Whether it’s Neptune, Uranus, or Pluto, I don’t know which one, but one of those planets has a very strong hold over your natal personality. If your favorite go-to tarot deck is a themed deck, then you’re not functioning on the same wavelength as the masses. Not saying that’s good or bad. Just saying.

Mlle. Lenormand Cartomancy No. 1941 (Piatnik)
Mlle. Lenormand Cartomancy No. 1941 (Piatnik)


Your grandmother was a psychic or intuitive… or that’s your story and you’re sticking to it. There is a streak of folksy in you. “And no! Lenormand is not easier than tarot! Gah, why do tarot people keeping saying that!” <– (What you think.)

[There’s also a current trend with the Kipper fortune-telling cards. For now I’m going to say if you’re a Kipper reader, see “Lenormand.”]

Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue (Hay House)
Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue (Hay House)

Angel Oracle Deck

You’re interested in the woo, but just in case the Bible thumpers are right about the end of days, you can say “well, no, I was never into the occult; it was just an angel oracle deck! It was perfectly 100% safe!

Also, the fact you’d even think about an angel oracle deck when it says “tarot” in the subject line… I can’t even! <– (What other tarot readers think and the sentiments they post anonymously on tarot forums.)

[I was going to say an angel-based tarot deck instead of oracle, but I don’t own any angel-based tarot decks in my collection. Maybe one day. Or maybe not.]


You Created Your Own Deck

Wow, seriously? None of the ten gazillion and a million thirty-one tarot decks out there were good enough for you?

* * *

::Benebell ducks.:: Please don’t send me hate mail.

59 thoughts on “What Your Favorite Tarot Deck Says About You

  1. Suzanne Pin

    HAHAHA Benebell, I love it. My fav deck is the Universal Waite deck. But I have many others as well, even the Alice Tarot which I love, but I keep going back to the Universal Waite.


      1. joseph zemek

        why do i feel like you read my mind? am i a tarot snob? anyway, do you perceive Tinkerbells? it made me laugh also. the die die die part was so funny. if murphy’s law wasn’t so cruel then i would probably be better known than you. yes. i’d probably be better known than myself, come to think of it and the Whole World Would love me and not you. they would all buy my tarot deck and cook my digusting veggies and walk around happy all day worried about their blueberries. and i could tell them all my pretty little welsh name origins. then dance around in my uncluttered room thinking i was some Flowering Fleecy Fluttering angel because i can not spell any higher words. or even read your Chinese name because i feel rather too stupid. and if i had anything important to say then i’d probably say it. plus my evil sister from another World Will Woosh a trance on you and we’d all vulcan like mind meld in a overflowing meteoric Vomitting Vanquishing Volcano. The End.
        P.S. Why doesn’t vulcan have a Capitol letter like the d in die? i am not sure about that though can anyone help me out with this regard? please ash! Nudge Nudge Wink Wink!!! My wings are like a shield of Pure Qi Gong Steel. the water will flow off me as if i fell out the window on the hour and then the second. let us all join hands and run around the room counterclockwise and dipsy toothily loo round the jolly horner. if everything was bright as day it would be a blessed bloody relief garret. happy birthday leo loin here comes the Sun. gee skip i fell out of bed.
        Then the morning and the evening were the second ending. The Ending.


    1. LMAO. This made me laugh. I love all my decks for different reasons and I’ve got a lot from all camps except for the bunny/rabbit/angel/bug eyed camp. I guess maybe I’m a hybrid snob. Is that a thing too?


  2. Tess

    LOL!!! This is great! Reminds me of those personality tests I used to love taking in Seventeen Magazine! 🙂
    My favs are Haindl (contemporary?), Tarot of the Holy Light, and the Alchemical Tarot (both esoteric post-50s).
    And by the way, I’m still looking forward to hearing about:
    1.Your mom’s neurotic phone call
    2.Your successful and failed attempts at contacting the dead
    3.The time you met a friend of a friend who was holding Holistic Tarot in her arms!


  3. C.S.

    This was absolutely hilarious! I think you about nailed it. As for me, I’m ALL OVER THE PLACE. Eclectic and wonderfully weird. Thanks for the laugh and re: your bookcase of decks, I love seeing “evidence” that I am not alone in my obsession. Yes!!


      1. Jessica

        I have only 3. My RSW and 2 oracle decks. I’m fine…really…I don’t need more…*cries*..but I WANT more…If applicable, I love to trim my decks so they can fit easier in my hands. Granted I’ve only done it on two of them but I love it. Anyone into trimming their decks?


  4. OMG I love this! LOL! So true, and so funny. 😉 I’m not sure where I fit in, somewhere with contemporary, RWS and RWS clones hmm… I just can’t pick one favorite. I’m definitely guilty of saying “People need to stop calling the RWS a beginner’s deck, IT’S NOT!” thought. 😉


  5. Beautiful! I think my favorite was “You’re finding the energy of this blog post way harsh. Now you’re rummaging around for white sage”. Fantastic, humorous post, Benebell. Thanks for brightening my morning.


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  7. Hilarious! I haven’t laughed so hard reading a blog post in a long time. So, yeah, I’m a bit of a snob. Ok, honestly, way too…but maybe you’re spot on. Or a little. In any case, touché! Clever and funny. Just what I needed with my cup of coffee.


  8. Suzi Petito

    Loved it!!! Although, what would you call someone who is into in ALL, except the TdM? I could self-identify as Tarot Whore, but even that word has the lineage of the SACRED built into it, and, therefore, will forever remain a Mystery:-) AS IT SHOULD BE.


    1. lol. That’s hilarious. I am most definitely a Tarot Whore too then. My favorite tarot deck today is a totally different deck (and category) from what it was yesterday… and is subject to change to a totally different deck (and category) tomorrow. I’m so pathetic!


  9. Nini

    😆😆😆 I loved this post. I agree with others it is extremely funny. I seem mostly to be a themed slash lenormand kind of person. I can live with that. 😉 Thanks for giving me such a nice start of the day. Love, Virginie


  10. As we can see from all the comments – this post was awesome and spoke for the majority of us. I’m a RWS girl, despite owning and occasionally using decks in all the other categories. Perhap I change personality with each deck I use? This is definitely a “Wake Up and Think” post – loved it.


  11. LOVE this, lol, unfortunately I’m definitely some kind of hybrid minus the angels and the TdM which when you type it out makes me feel like I’m missing out on something a little dirty LOL


  12. deb webster

    i just finished the thanksgiving month with the Housewives’ Tarot. the clients had such a good time, and so did i! an absolute giggle, and more informative than not. eg, the 2 of swords as a retro housewife carving the thanksgiving turkey, blindfolded; judgement as the bathroom scale; the hermit as a bubble bath alone—ahhhh…. strictly girl stuff. but oh, so accurate. have a grand holiday season, ben… be well, and thanx for all…


  13. Tiffany

    Hilarious! I love this blog! I do have heavy planetary influences like you said but I’m also a weirdo for themed decks. Haha! But my go-to decks are only RWS clones. Hybrid and multiple personalities is me! LOL. Glad I’m not alone! 😉


  14. Maria

    What about Osho zen tarot? I use Toth and I reałly belive there are too many wane-bees outhere! Hahaha! Do I reałly have to work on my personallity? Hm…


  15. seamlessone

    I’ve only been into the tarot for a couple days, and already see that I need my own deck. Might just order 20 decks and pick out my favorite 3.5 cards from each deck. I will probably need a little scotch tape too. It will be the best deck ever though, that is for sure. The most holistic for sure 😉


  16. sybes1

    OK I’m reading this and laughing out loud it’s so funny! So I guess I’m a snob…..a traditionalist snob. Yeah, I like the RWS deck even though I in NO way resonate with the Christian stuff (popes and crosses). No wait–I can’t say that can I b/c I am fascinated by The Tarot of the Holy Light–gosh is there any Christian stuff in there. I can’t even remember!) But wait I guess I’m also eclectic b/c I like the contemporary decks (YEAH! bring it into this century!). Gee maybe I’m just really a CONFUSED tarot practitioner! Although I don’t really ‘get’ themed decks I do have Neptune rising. I definitely don’t function on the same wavelength as the masses. ❤


  17. Rydra Huang

    Ha, totally harsh! I love the Wild Unknown deck; it’s what got me into tarot. (Yep, I’m still pretty new) I’d seen the RWS before and just didn’t resonate with it at all. But when I saw the Wild Unknown in the basement of the Strand – I couldn’t stop myself, I just had to see the rest of the deck. Your description was very me.

    About chakras – you seem to blow them off, is there a reason? I don’t know much about it. But – I had a chakra experience (I guess is what you’d call it, still not sure). A few years ago, I had a boyfriend who was a masseuse in training. He gave me a sampling one day, with elements of swedish, shiatzu, and something else – the thing is, he didn’t tell me anything about it, and I had never even thought of chakras before. But when he placed his hands on my back, palms down, light pressure i think, making a triangle near where I now know the 2nd chakra is, there was an incredible sensation – hard to describe. I squirmed (in a good way, like being tickled, but only in one specific spot; and super intense- I said later that it had felt like he was intensely blowing through a straw at me, like a focused beam, though I couldn’t determine if the energy was coming from him or me in the moment). He calmed me and continued, only explaining it later. He said he wasn’t doing anything, just focusing energy (or something – hard to remember because it made no sense, and he didn’t seem to really know)

    Has anyone ever heard of anything like that?

    Love the site! So much wonderful information – thank you for doing it! I’m Taiwanese American too! (Hoppa, dad’s a Texan.) My mother told me once that she had a neighbor of my aunt’s (in Taiwan) read fortunes for my sister and me when we were little, but she forgot most of it, only that one of us would work in the government. Ha.


  18. I’m certainly an elitist snob, so if find it rather amusing, if not flabbergastingly ironic, that a picture of a proper so called “tarot de Marseille” (something that has a precise definition which this article definitely eludes) illustrates this paper by its complete absence.


  19. shadowrose

    lol, my favorite deck isn’t in here – and I did not expect it to be, because it’s a rare and unique one. It is the Demeroticon by Dark Idol (Gustafo Ferreira Kikel).
    Ok, but if you have to classify it, than it’s a Thoth derivative. But it has its own vibe and unusual approach. It’s a majors only, though. Very dark at first sight, but actually positive when you made your connection.
    Actually I don’t have any preferences for tarot systems (only with respect to element correspondences and that I feel slightly more that 8 should be strength, 11 justice respectively – although in my favorite deck it isn’t). I like RWS and Thoth alike. But I don’t mind using any other system or themed decks, as well. I enjoy arts, but I don’t need it for a reading. So, I might fall right into that eclectic category (and that is pretty much true for my whole personality).
    However, when I feel like including the minors as well, I’m also using a/THE Thoth tarot. But that is due to the tiny size of my Thot deck (It’s about the same size as playing cards.) – easy to shuffle, requires less space and is unobtrusive in public places.


  20. Marie-Christine

    I read marseille and clones, rider waite and clones, angel decks, fairy decks, mermaids decks and some predictive oracle 😊


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  22. Josie Q

    Every single one of these is mean-spirited and overly critical, and read as if written by a “snob.” Probably why three of the 11 are labeled “snobs.” You see in others what is in yourself.

    Not a clever or fun read.


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