In 2018 we saw so many incredibly innovative and ground-breaking decks to name that I could not reduce it down to just five. This was a difficult list to make and I wish I could name more. I even thought about doing a special mentions section, but then even that would get unduly long!
These are my top five tarot decks from 2018, though two of these decks were published in 2017. Also, my own deck, Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, was disqualified, since come on. I can’t pick my own deck.
The AlcheMystic Woodcut Tarot by D. W. Prudence and published by Red Feather was one of my personal favorites in 2018. You can click on the hyperlinked deck title to read my review of it. As I’m sure you can see, the medieval woodblock print art that Prudence used is right up my alley. How could I not love this deck?
I loved the renaming of the suits. The imagery and even the choice of coloring is provocative. It isn’t for everyone, I can give you that, but it was definitely for me. If you’re looking for a tarot deck to work with in Renaissance magic, this is a strong contender.
The independently published Luminous Void Tarot by Laura Zuspan was perfection in its aesthetics. I love the oval cut of the cards, the cardstock, everything about the presentation of this deck, and the abstract watercolor artwork evokes a lucid dream state in me when I did readings with the cards.
In terms of production value, Luminous Void is notably one of the ground-breaking decks of 2018. Plus, it’s functional. As a tarot deck, it reads simply, elegantly, and beautifully. Truly a modern mystic wonder.
The Luna Sol Tarot by Mike Medaglia and published by the small indie press Liminal 11 expressed a universal spiritual consciousness that I really liked. I appreciated how it was modestly diverse, and what I mean by that is it wasn’t one of those contemporary decks that shout from the rooftops with gloating self-congratulatory pride about how multicultural and diverse they are. I appreciated how the inclusiveness came naturally and in no way forced. I also love this as a beginner’s tarot deck.
This is the deck to read with when you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or just feeling down. It’s soft, nurturing, and comforting, but not one of those fluffy airy-fairy decks that are too saccharine sweet. Luna Sol is the spiritual sustenance we need in our world right now.
The Spirit Within Tarot by Steven Bright and published by Schiffer worked with silhouette art in a way that I thought was quite unique. It’s a modern yet timeless deck that clearly hit a mark with contemporary audiences, because after Spirit Within came out, you see a lot of popular tarotists copying Steven Bright’s style and coming out with tarot decks of similar aesthetics. Nuts! Ah, but imitation is a form of flattery, right? No, seriously– so many decks coming out after Steven’s look like his! =)
I love silhouette art. Not only does silhouette art have a heritage that descends down from antiquity, the metaphor of the shadow here conveys to you the sense that you are looking at yourself when Light is cast upon you. It’s what you see of truth and of your own realities when you shine the Light on yourself, and then look at the circumstances you have created around you. Working from that powerful metaphor, of course you’re going to get a powerful deck. I like a balanced set of decks to work with at any given moment (as you can see from how diverse in styles these five decks I’ve chosen are), and Spirit Within is truth in its simple, uncomplicated form.
And finally, the independently published Venetian Tarot by Eugene Vinitski. The artwork and production value of this deck and, really, any of Vinitski’s decks is stunning. Every aspect and detail of Venetian Tarot is a deck collector’s dream.
I loved getting to know the story each and every single card told, the characters and their circumstances, and the motif of the Venetian masks, reminiscent of the masks we wear to get through life. And, of course, the High Renaissance art style vibes with me so much. I said this before: Venetian Tarot is a true tarot masterpiece, both in its form and in its function. It reads exquisitely well, one of those trusty and reliable decks you can always pull out for a clear reading, and yet it is so, so beautiful, almost hauntingly and untouchably beautiful.
Don’t forget to click on any of the hyperlinked deck titles if you’re interested in reading a full review of the deck!
I’m participating in Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot, January 2019, tarot community challenge. This blog post answers the prompt for Day 2. To learn more about 31 Days of Tarot, check out the full listing of the prompts here on Ethony’s site.
lso, check out my original posts for each of the prompts on my Instagram, linked below.