Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

I’ve had a working draft of this blog post, on this topic, started in 2020, and already I was feeling late to it, since it was a topic trending in 2019. Life and other priorities got in the way so I left this draft unfinished.

In 2021 I started seeing this topic discussed with fervor again. It inspired me to reopen this post. I worked on it some more, but again, just didn’t care to finish my train of thought, for whatever reason.

Now it’s 2022 and this same exact topic of conversation in the tarot community is still going strong.

Maybe this time I can finally finish what I was trying to say. I’ll divide up my thoughts by the recurring subtopics or points of argument you hear when community members start talking about tarot deck collecting, culling, and consumerism.

To balance out the paragraphs of text, I’ll be sharing random photos of decks you’d spot around my house.

How I Became a Deck Collector

Throughout the 90s I had maybe a grand total of 5 decks to my name, and I only ever used my 1971 yellow box RWS. Even into the early 2000s, my “deck collection” increased by maybe 2 more decks.

Back then I would have probably been of the opinion that the tarot is my spiritual tool, and to have more decks than you’re able to use would be excessive and materialistic. (Don’t you love being 20-something? To be that self-assured and arrogant with your opinions while having such little actual life experience?)

By the 2010s I achieved a level of financial stability where I did have the disposable income to spend on decks “just for the heck of it.” I bought decks, posted reviews of them, and eventually attracted the attention of deck publishers, who would then send me decks for review.

There’s this strange law of nature where the more you have of something, the more it multiplies. The more decks I received for review, the more deck reviews I posted. The more deck reviews I posted, the more decks I received for review. And that’s how my deck collection multiplied.

By the way, as of this date, there are 260+ deck reviews posted to my website. And I review only about a quarter to one-third of the decks in my possession.

Why? Time constraints. That’s all. I keep hoping to get more deck reviews done. There are so many decks I love that I want to share with you, but just haven’t gotten around to.

I’m constantly asked how many decks I have. I don’t know. I stopped keeping track years ago. I have decks I don’t realize I have, like literally a deck name will come up in conversation and my response is, “Oh I’ve never heard of it” and then later realize I’ve had a copy of that deck in my collection all along.

There are hundreds of decks packed away in storage boxes in the back of closets, so one day I’ll remember a deck I have, go looking for it, and won’t find it because it’s packed away, and I don’t even know where.

If I’m attempting to be self-aware, what do I think about all this? Hmm, I’m not sure it’s a bad thing. It’s not a detriment in my life. Applicable strictly to my own personal life circumstances, it doesn’t have an impact on my financial health or on house clutter—we have plenty of space to house these decks. If or when space constraints becomes an issue, then yeah for sure I’ll be singing a different tune.

But for now, I love having access to a diversity of tarot and oracle decks at my fingertips. Experiencing different perspectives and pictorial interpretations has made me more open-minded.

I also don’t believe in just keeping decks I “resonate” with. If anything, decks I do not resonate with pique my interest even more. Cultivating a sincere appreciation for that which feels unfamiliar or at variance to your own perspective is one way you can become a more effective and unbiased card reader.

The act of discarding something that doesn’t “resonate” with you because it’s in dissonance to your ways can potentially have the subconscious effect of reinforcing prejudicial concepts of right and wrong in your mind. And heart.

On the other hand, I get that personal space is limited, and maybe you need to make hard decisions on what to keep among your possessions and what you have to give away so that you don’t amass clutter.

Okay so here’s where I’m probably a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs… You know how if you adopt a child and bring that child into your home, but if for whatever reason you decide raising that child in your home is causing you too much trouble and so you attempt to rehome that child? Or an animal—you adopt a cat or dog, then decide it’s not working out for you so you give that animal away?

Even when it comes to stuffed animals, as a kid and now as an adult, I’ve continually held the belief that once I’ve welcomed them into my home, either they are here for good or I am genuinely and lovingly transferring them to a better home, where they will be happier. Not me, them.

Please be clear—no one is saying that you’re obligated to think this way. If anything, my perspective is heavily influenced by animistic religious beliefs. Funny enough, even when I store away my decks in boxes, I try to group them with decks they “might be friends with” (I know, laugh away).

Receiving decks for review and that irrational belief of mine– that once a deck is here it’s home– is how I came to accumulate my deck collection.

Is It Commodification of a Spiritual Practice?

I mean, probably. Is deck collecting spiritual? Heck no! I don’t think any tarot deck collector claims that it is.

Here’s the point of distinction: for certain people, tarot reading can be spiritual, and therefore a tarot deck can be a spiritual tool. A whole system of thought, rituals, and practice will arise from that approach.

That’s not in the same ballpark as the conversation on deck collecting.

No rational person thinks that collecting decks is spiritual. It’s not like there are instant karma points where the more decks you own, the more psychic and magical you become. No sane person thinks that.

Deck collecting is a hobby. Yes, there’s a focus on something material, and the hobby of collecting decks will raise questions around materialism and money. But collecting decks on its own isn’t materialistic, at least not the dictionary definition of “materialistic,” because there are strong cultural, social, intellectual, and emotional components to deck collecting that run deep.

The core themes of the 78 keys in tarot are universal. But how an individual deck creator interprets those themes and pictorializes them with specific cultural or philosophical elements is where it gets interesting.

Me wanting 100 different decks at my fingertips isn’t about needing 100 different ways to tap in to the collective unconscious. It’s me wanting to expand my perspective by seeing the tarot through 100 different points of view.

It’s not unlike reading many and diverse books—just like reading many and diverse books, studying many different and diverse decks has helped broaden my perspective.

I don’t just read books that reinforce what I already believe. Instead of reaching for books that make me feel smart, I reach for books that make me feel dumb. Of course there are times you just want some light reading. But the most enriching experience is when a book makes you work for it.

This is in no way saying that you must acquire many decks in order to broaden your horizons or knowledge base. It’s just one of many possible approaches to learning. And if you love tarot, what better way to learn than through tarot cards? =)

Whether something is good or bad comes down to how it is affecting you. Is it good for you or is it bad for you. And then we have to be self-aware enough to detect when we’re just giving excuses.

If tarot cards are causing you grief, anxiety, or exacerbating the problems in your life, then I’ll be the first to advise getting rid of the cards. Personally, no I don’t think the cards are the problem, but if the gesture of getting rid of them starts you on the right track of healing and self-development, then off they go.

At the end of the day, I see my deck collection and my personal spiritual practice as unrelated to one another. However, my beliefs inevitably influence my approach to deck acquisitions, the way my beliefs inevitably influence every aspect of my mundane life. In the same way a purported wand is just a piece of wood, and a bell not yet a ceremonial or ritual tool unless they’re consecrated (again, obviously these are just my beliefs), a tarot deck is just pieces of cardstock unless it’s consecrated.

My Tarot Deck Collection

I like to have a healthy number of decks that align with my point of view, and an equally healthy number of decks that challenge my point of view.

Sure, everybody’s got their preferences when it comes to art styles, but I also make a concerted effort to acquire a diverse range of deck art, from realistic to abstract, ornate to minimalist, photorealism and impressionism, both naturalist and surreal, from classical to modern, and everything in between.

I enjoy having a sub-collection of art decks, meaning their purpose is to highlight one specific artist’s portfolio or complete oeuvre. I have a sub-collection of what I refer to as esoteric decks, which means they were designed specifically by occultists for occult purposes and integrate various esoteric schools of thought. I also like to have fun, so I have a sub-collection of fun decks. I love themed decks as curios. I really love decks that celebrate one specific region of the world, culture, civilization, or time in history.

Gothic, Renaissance, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Late Modernist, Postmodernist, manga, high-fantasy, oil painting to digital collage—I’ve come to develop an appreciation for every art style and every medium by understanding the key strengths of each style.

Training my eyes to see beauty everywhere helps to dismantle bias and overcome the limitations of personal experience. I can only see so far on my own, but augmented by someone else’s perspective, I get the privilege of new insight.

This may seem goofy to you, but I believe it’s made me a better human being. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and when you genuinely appreciate every form of subjective beauty, you genuinely come to value the humanity of each and every beholder.

For me, my deck collection isn’t about needing to dedicate one deck to, say, shadow work, one deck to mediumship readings, one for connecting to ancestors, one for love and relationship readings, etc.

Which is to say I don’t feel the need to acquire, say, ten different decks to do ten different types of readings. So having many decks has no bearing on me as a tarot reader. As a tarot reader, I look for what can become a workhorse deck.

You know I’m sharing a very old photo when my late kitty cat makes a cameo appearance in the corner. ❤

A hallmark of a compatible personal workhorse deck is that it’s going to be versatile. A querent can come at you with any sort of question and your personal workhorse deck is at the ready.

But again, that’s different from the decks in a deck collection. The personal workhorse deck, at least for me, is now a tool. Not every deck in my collection is a tool.

Deck Hauls to Anti-Hauls, Collecting to Culling

I can remember every single instance I’ve ever given away a deck from my collection, which is to say I don’t really anti-haul. However, I see the merits of anti-hauls.

I recently had to anti-haul my wardrobe because I was amassing so much clothing and so many shoes that I couldn’t even find the stuff I wanted to wear. I had too many articles of clothing I had only ever worn once. And for me, clothes were something that made sense to anti-haul, whereas tarot decks are not something that makes sense to me to anti-haul.

In other words, to each their own and you have to honor each person’s values. To another, anti-hauling Dior and Givenchy is sacrilege. Whereas to me, it just made good sense. Some people think, “If I’m not using that deck, then it doesn’t belong in my collection; time to anti-haul it.” I don’t personally feel that way about tarot decks, but I definitely feel that way about clothes. See? Everybody’s got their own priorities, and that’s cool.

The question to ask is why publicly share hauls or anti-hauls, deck collections or your process of deck culling on social media? For one, it makes for great content and that type of content always generates high view-count.

Second, I think it’s our own way of reaching out in search of community. We want to connect with those who are going through similar circumstances. Sharing a haul is sharing our moment of happiness and joy. Anti-hauls are not easy to do, so sharing our process of culling is a way to get the support and affirmation we need.

We’re proud of our collections, as we should be. So we want to share them. Is it a flex? Probably. Why is that a bad thing? I’m thrilled for my friends when they share their flexes. Because it means life is good. They’re sharing something they live for, and if my happiness for them can amplify their happiness for themselves, well now that’s just good for everybody all around.

Tarot Consumerism and Social Media

Has social media enabled rampant consumerism in the tarot community? Sure. We need to have the conversation on social media’s effect on consumerism in general, not just in the world of tarot. In the 90s, even those who were really into makeup only had a handful of eyeshadow palettes. Nowadays your typical gal thinks she needs 50.

But just as there is a shadow side to social media, there’s also the positive. We forget how alone and isolated so many of us felt back before online communities. Back in the day, the only tarot decks I knew existed were whatever the local bookstore was willing to carry. Now I have at my fingertips access to a diversity of possibilities. I can buy a tarot or oracle deck keyed to pretty much any theme I fancy.

For those who share their love of tarot on social media, yes, admittedly it’s easy to get into the space of feeling like you need a gazillion decks so you can create new content and keep up with everyone else who’s doing a gazillion reviews, walk-throughs, and hauls.

For those who have cultivated a social media platform of creating tarot-related content, yes, there is most undoubtedly an unspoken pressure to create new content, which requires regular new purchases.

You get tempted to buy more than you probably should just so you, too, can talk about the latest trending deck. I know how it feels when authors are peer-pressured, in a totally unspoken way, to churn out more books and fast, because all of their colleagues are churning them out once a year.

And yet this is also an opportunity to pivot and do something original. There are too many reviews, deck hauls, and walk-throughs now. Maybe what’s going to make you stand out is the unique approach to tarot reading you share, or commentary on different community issues and tarot topics.

Nevertheless, that’s a tough one. Because there is definitely an unspoken peer pressure to buy all the decks so you can join in on the trending conversations happening in the community.

Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot

I’ll close out with a list of TarotTube community links. I fear that this list is not comprehensive, and I know I’m missing some great videos I watched and liked. Ack!

Yet I’ve tried to include differing perspectives and a range of opinions on the topic, in chronological order.

The reason this topic becomes contentious is because people with lots of decks, whether intentionally or not, make those with only a few decks feel badly about it, and vice versa, where people who’ve got their consumerism in check and cull/anti-haul with great mastery make those who don’t feel guilty.

So I guess the key takeaway here is to value, to honor, and to be kind when you encounter differing perspectives.

You only need one deck to be a powerful tarot reader.

I only ever have about 3, at most 5 decks in actual rotation. A few are my perennial go-to decks and a few are the ones I’m working with for the time being, for the purposes of deck reviews.

You do not need to then become a deck collector. You can just read cards– the only decks you keep around are the decks you actually use as tools.

Collecting tarot decks is a separate issue from tarot reading.

You can be a great reader and be materialist with decks. You can also be a great reader and not materialistic.

Like these are not related issues, at least not in my view. Maybe materialism is going to be an issue per your religious beliefs, but even that is now a separate topic for discussion.

In short, I do think consumerism is a compulsion we each need to self-evaluate on and keep in balance. And for those who love tarot, sure, that compulsion of consumerism will apply to decks.

Me? I’m a collector, if that wasn’t already obvious. =) I’m a deck reviewer. And just as much as I enjoy having a personal library of books in my home, I enjoy having a personal library of decks.

Deck collecting and deck reviews are not part of my “spiritual practice.” They’re my hobbies. The handful of consecrated and well-loved, worn-in workhorse decks I go to when life’s a mess– yes, that’s part of my spiritual practice.

So what have you found to work for you? Do you collect tarot and oracle decks? Do you get tempted into buying more than you should out of #fomo, a fear of missing out? Or do you stick to only a few tried-and-true, and you don’t get pulled in to the vortex of #fomo?

Also, how many of you reading this have, too, been following the community discussions on this topic?

42 thoughts on “Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

  1. Sally

    Wow Bell, this was such a fun read for me! Your thoughts brought up issues for me: like why the heck didn’t I connect with a deck and why wasn’t I willing to explore that? I had a pretty big collection (200+) before the Tubb’s Fire in 2017 but replaced my favorite ones almost immediately (and thanks to several Tarot friends who gifted me decks!). One thing that’s kept me from collecting many many decks again are the recurring local fires. I really did have to choose a couple of decks that would go out the door with me in an emergency. But I love the different styles of Tarot–I do! I just got to a point where I felt like I had to limit the numbers and make them ‘workhorses’, as you say. Thanks for this timely posting.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Elisabet

    I’m not a collector, but I find it super interesting! Both the internet discussions about tarot and people showing their collections in general. For me tarot decks/oracle decks are tools and you’re supposed to use your tools regularly, that can mean once or twice a year but it also means that I rarely find any reason for buying a new deck. I haven’t gotten around to “cull” the decks I don’t use but it might be three or four and I’ve given away decks if I brought them to take a look and give it a try, or repurpose them in different ways (I thought SKT would be a great addition but I can’t stand the sound the cards make against each other, sorry to say, thinking about ways to use them more creatively). A collection might be impressive due to size or scope and in our consumerism society I think we often confuse “having a lot” with “having a collection”, I have a lot of seeds but it’s not a collection due to lack of focus, in comparison with someone who collects snowdrops and is a galantrophile. Even if the snowdrop collector only have five types of snowdrops in the garden I might consider it more of a collection compared to having a lot of tarot decks, if the purpose was to have a lot of decks, however five tarot decks might be a great collection if the collector searches for idk, Christmas themed decks. No real conclusion, just thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s so interesting how different our physiologies are, re: how we react to the shuffling sound that the SKT deck makes. (I totally know what you’re talking about, lol.) Some people love it because it has an ASMR-like soothing effect. And others find it grating like nails on a chalkboard. Interesting!


    1. stankbeest

      Funny, cause I really do love that ‘new card smell’!
      Interesting too that I got into Tarot first through I Ching. I picked up one of my father’s old books on the subject (yes, he had lots of books on Eastern & Western mysticism, especially Buddhism – very unusual for an older white guy in mid-1960s Bronx, NY) and started using I Ching as a teenager in the 1970s. From there I got hold of one of his old Tarot Decks, and been hooked ever since the late 1980s…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Bennie, that was the coolest read I’ve enjoyed anywhere in a really long time! I too am a Tarot collector, with a ridiculously huge collection – but still not even as impressive as yours (though I do see an awful lot of the same decks as I have). One thing I do love is going through an old box stored away and re-discovering a deck that literally gives me a (pleasant) chill up my spine. Though I have occasionally inadvertently re-purchased a deck I didn’t realize I already had.

    Anyway, the thing I have noticed several times over the years is that sometimes when I do sell or give away a deck I thought was not for me, I’ve ended up haunted by it – remembering things about the imagery or a specific card that seems to be calling me back. Usually I end up re-purchasing it and it swiftly becomes a favorite.

    And yes, I do believe there is a distinction between the “collection” decks and the “working” decks. I only have about 3-4 decks that I read with regularly, mostly ones I got early in my Tarot days. But nearly all the rest also give me joy in one way or another.

    Thanks for this wonderful and thought-provoking post!
    Stan K. Beest

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rachel

    I agree with so much of this and am glad this conversation is ongoing. (I’m also glad to see you call certain decks “art decks” in the same way I do.) Agree with your point about social media driving consumerism in general – I have lots to say about that but I’ll stay on topic. I definitely love watching videos on new decks in order to find new things. And I always look at walkthroughs, if possible, before buying. I have my own collection that I love. I like your point that collecting is very different than the actual study and use of tarot. The only thing I’d add is the impression all these videos might make on others, even beyond FOMO. Some online collectors seem to have nothing else to say about tarot beyond hauls/anti-hauls/walkthroughs. Obviously for every topic, you have to find those few you like to follow and disregard all the others. Tarot is the same. I just know even back in the days of Aeclectic Tarot, many in the forums seemed to have nothing else to say beyond “I really want that deck. I just bought this new deck.” I hate when walkthroughs are presented like reviews. I still have a bad taste from when someone I respected did a “review” of a deck I later bought and I realized he obviously never even opened the book even though he claimed to have read it. It was *not* a RWS clone, as he described, but it’s very different own thing. I love haul videos and reviews. I just think they are so prevalent partly because they are so easy and require relatively so little knowledge or experience. That makes them frustrating. Like you pointed out, maybe a more distinction should be made between videos aimed at the collecting hobby and videos on actual use.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, I *totally* see certain decks as “art decks!”

      I, too, am glad that the conversation on this topic is ongoing in the community. I’ve really enjoyed hearing everyone’s differing perspectives, and also how they each personally deal with collecting, culling, and consumerism.

      I like that idea of content creators thinking how they want to curate their own content—is it for deck collectors or tarot readers. Because the content will be, or ought to be, different depending on the answer.


  5. Andrea

    Wow! Not just my commentary on the decks and books you’ve given home to, but the article itself doesn’t miss a beat! My thoughts are now swimming with the reality of why I have my decks and why I lovingly house them or find them a new one with family or friends. With so many decks I just pick one and shuffle to be with that one to get reacquainted or say hello to it. Thanks BW!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ursula

    You’re right. I don’t have too many decks 🙂 Speaking of only hearing what you want to hear… I really only “use” two decks and one if then was an impulse purchase after reading one of your posts, but it is the Tabula Mundi which is the clearest deck I’ve ever used, and the other is the pocket sized Thoth deck with the fuzzy edges from frequent use. Sometimes I think I’ll rehome the couple dozen or so that are collecting dust, but like you I’d like to find better homes than mine for them to go to…
    Thank you for your clear thoughts as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. You blow me away. Great article!

    ” It’s me wanting to expand my perspective by seeing the tarot through 100 different points of view.”

    This is the sentence that hit me hard most. Yes, so much yes! Although I have a mini collection compared to your (120 decks) it is all about seeing the beauty in each deck.
    I have become even more critical about which deck I take home and search mostly for OOP.

    Tarot is just awesome and I love the fact that the whole indie designer community in tarot is developing rapidly the last 5 6 years. I love the fresh takes on the tarot cards!
    Warm wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mariam Zadeh

      Fantastic post and insightful observations as always. I was wondering if you or the group had thoughts to share about the aspect of collecting that has some wanting to buy indie decks just to turn them around and sell for a profit when oop or they go mass market, and others who are searching far and wide for their elusive unicorn deck (The Collective Tarot, Slow Holler, Spolia, Delta Enduring, Sakki, Silicon of the Dawn etc.) that are fetching prices for resale In the $1,000+ range, making it that much more unlikely that the dream of obtaining that deck that will “complete” the collection that much less attainable.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aubrie B.

        Yeah, totally. Like I deeply yearn for the black and white SKT but since they go for $600 on eBay, that’s really outside what I can ever afford so I don’t see how I’ll ever get one. I love black and white decks. I think they have to be stripped down to the essentials without color, and I love the stark simplicity of them. I feel like it makes me think harder, as a reader, about what’s important in that card. There’s a lot of independent decks that I adore but resell for so much I don’t think I’ll be able to get most of them, which makes me terribly sad.


  8. Hi Mariam!

    Ooh, what a provocative question! I’m sure every person, especially every indie deck creator, will have a slightly different take to that issue. The way OOP, rare, and first edition/first print run decks skyrocket in price on the secondary market is, unfortunately, a side effect to living in a free market capitalist society. The increased demand and the “haves” vs. the “have-nots” who are willing to shell out that kind of coin for the OOP deck is something that could only really be controlled at a fundamental policy level. =/

    I think I made a video many years back on this very topic actually! It’s somewhere on my channel on YouTube I think. =)


  9. Really great. I never thought that the decks I don’t like might have something to teach me, not as a working deck, but a meditation deck. Thanks for that.

    I am curious of what decks you are working with currently (i.e. your go to decks).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My circumstance might be a bit unique to those who’ve created their own decks. =) Because my go-to workhorse deck is my own SKT.

      That said, throughout the years, that “narrow set of five” (or three, or four, or seven, etc.) changes, and there are various blog posts where I talk about them. =)

      If I’m doing a reading for someone who knows a bit about tarot, then I’ll ask them what *their* go-to deck is, and use that to do their reading. That way they can follow along.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for this! I also see a lot of discussion about people selling decks for high prices because they’re oop. I don’t see a problem with them selling a deck for whatever price someone is willing to pay. But others think this is reprehensible, selfish and hoarding. What are your feelings on that? Thanks again, Benebell! Michelle


    1. I don’t think a blanket judgment can be made on that issue, one way or the other. If someone even wants to judge it (and I’m not entirely sure why we’d want to judge here…), then it would need to be on a case by case basis. Everybody’s coming at that with deeply personal and individual circumstances.


  11. Pingback: Reflection On:Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts – Jones Davy’s Locker

  12. Benebell, thank you for a wonderful and thought-provoking article. It helped clarify things that have been swirling in my head. My collection of tarot decks has expanded quite rapidly over the last few years and I have felt guilty because I only really use a couple of them, but I find the art and history of the decks fascinating. I enjoy collecting and going through them, and reading the creators’ perspectives.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such a relevant topic to me as I just got a shipping notice that the Stranger Things tarot will arrive for me on Tuesday. I don’t normally do IP based decks. I waffled about buying it, for some of the reasons you mention above–did I just want it for ‘clout’ as the kids say–to be hip and trendy and show off my New Shiny Object? But you clarified something for me: I don’t expect it to be a workhorse deck. I don’t expect it to be my ol’ reliable (for me, it’s the Hanson Roberts that I bought back in the 1980s) . What I do want is to have fun studying the deck–look at the correspondences they made, etc (this can be super hit or miss–sometimes theme decks really have some great insight and sometimes they’re just done by someone who clearly has no interest or understanding even about the basic meaning of the cards) and thinking about tarot through the characters and the characters (as I rewatch) through the tarot.

    I’m not an artistic person–I can’t draw to save my life–but I do love art and so I guess I buy decks sometimes a) to support the artist (esp indie decks) and b) to have 78 neat pieces of art I can carry in a bag. Some decks are just gorgeous. They might not read well for me (other than strict correspondence) but they are still in my collection because sometimes looking at the art itself is just, well…I don’t think I should justify why one should want to look at beautiful things.

    I remember when I was younger I was looking for the One True Deck–the deck that would make me into a great reader. So I’d look for decks made by really wise people, kind of hoping their magic would ‘rub off on’ me. Along the way, I bought widely, decks that would probably be considered culturally appropriative, and some of them probably were. But some of them really were a gateway to learning. Maybe it’s more a comment on the educational system but I first learned some Chinese mythology and some African gods and goddesses…through Tarot. I don’t mean in a worship sense, but just the expanding of my own cultural horizons. Each of those decks was an education in a tiny little box and LWB. I also have several ‘difficult’ decks–like the Revelations tarot (the one with different images if the card is reversed) that challenge my thinking and what I think I ‘know’ about the cards.

    I guess this is just a long blargle to say this really clarified a lot of my own muddled thinking on this topic so thank you!


    1. A realization I came to for myself about that One True Deck (it’s also oft referred to as the “soul deck” in our community) is that basically any deck at all can become my soul deck. It’s not the deck. It’s me. It’s what I choose, be that an intentional, conscious way or an intuitive, subconscious way, what my go-to deck will be, what I choose to let unlock my so-called hidden potential of powers.

      And indeed that Stranger Things deck *is* looking mighty cool!! (I LOVE that show!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This is dope. I really admire your collection and the fact you got so many by doing reviews. I am looking for a deck and book about animals, like the Beaver. Badger, Spider, Snake,Rat, Sheep, etc. I bought it in 1982 and when I began to travel to learn, I lost those two and I wonder if you had that deck in your possession? 4408504101. I am a Clairovoant and Medium.
    Please respond.

    Mama Connie.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Moira

    Finally, someone who gets it!! I have been collecting for about 15 years, but only read with one deck. I learn so much by studying other decks. The artist’s perspective, which has allowed my own perspective to grow! I have hundreds of decks – many indie, as I love to support the artists directly. I can’t bear to think about culling my collection, as they bring me joy. I have a tarot room, with bookcases filled with decks line the walls. I have current favorites, ones that make me laugh, and others that intrigue me. There are many that I may find beautiful, but not to read with. There are some that are ugly and boring, but those too have their place. Some people collect glass, others collect beer bottles; I collect tarot cards.


  16. I love how you’ve separated collecting from your actual practice, that makes so much sense to me. This was a brilliant piece, I’m glad it finally made its way out of your drafts folder!


  17. Shelly Nakagawa

    Hi Benebell, I’m so happy to see you have such huge collection of tarot decks I wish I could do the same as you. I love collecting tarot cards oracles divination tools but I had to check and balance my financial ability. That’s a dream for me to have a collection too. I love the arts, the drawings made by artists and also how they interpret each cards. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and collections.


  18. Thank you Benebell Wen, for your thoughtful blog on having multiple decks. I am an old Hag of 80. I have been discerning decks for many many years and I too have acquired most of them to broaden my concepts, knowledge, understanding, intuitions and psychic development. I consider my foray into Tarot, Lenormand, and a few modern Oracles an education of many parts, threads, cultures, perspectives etc., beginning with a deck and ending in a broad and encompassing research project and ultimately an educational deep dive. My collection of over 300 decks which have been acquired over the best part of a lifetime are catalogued and stored in a ‘library’, ready to be passed on as part of my legacy. So too my valuable library of books on Tarot (‘Holistic Tarot’ being one of them. Gratitude!) and all the other subjects to which Tarot has led me. I am a homesteader so my purchases were always well researched, as limited money had much to cover in our cottage. I do consider my collections of books, decks and art supplies necessary to my extensive pathworking and my grounding over a long and therefore adventurous and sometimes precarious lifetime. Certainly I consider them a long way from mindless consumerism. Thank you for your, unknown to you, but none the less for that, contribution to my Crone years. I have kept company with some of the best! 🐈💕

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I really appreciate deck collection blogs/videos, deck reviews, etc personality because they help me decide if I am interested in a deck or not. I have 15 decks in my collection currently (1 I don’t use, but had for every and is OOP, the rest I work with, 2 tarot, the others oracle). I think everyone’s collection is their own choice, but for me my mom is a hoarder, and I have hoarding tendencies that I don’t think right now I would want more than 50.


  20. Pingback: Tarot Tube and Classism – benebell wen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s