Too Many Tarot Decks

When I first discovered the Tarot it seemed like a mysterious tool just waiting to have its secrets unlocked by me, a slightly nerdy young teenage girl with a passion for video games. Truly, I knew that the secrets of the Ancient Egyptians were locked in those cards just waiting for me. Never mind, of course, that my first deck was the Aquarian Tarot, a psychedelic mix of art deco style and the 1970s, with nary a Pharaoh in sight.

Back then, somewhere around 18 years ago(!), Tarot decks and books were still relatively rare. I struggled along with Eden Gray’s Complete Guide to the Tarot, Emily Peach’s Tarot Workbook (now Understanding and Using the Tarot, and still a hellish fest of memorization), and the Aquarian Tarot’s Christian slanted companion book Psychic Tarot by Craig Junjulas for many years. It was also a long time before I expanded by Tarot collection. My next two decks were soon sold to the local used book store, since they didn’t meet my expectations of what Tarot should be. My collection didn’t permanently expand until I added the Witches Tarot by Ellen Cannon Reed after about 3 years. My collection slowly increased, with the addition of another deck or two over the next decade. It never occurred to me that I would want or need more than a few decks.

Now, years later, my Tarot collection has grown to about 25 decks, and about 6 oracle decks. Somewhere along the way, Tarot lost its magic. The magic didn’t disappear when I gave up on the myth of Ancient Egyptian secret knowledge, but rather, it slowly faded when Tarot became more commonplace to me. It no longer was something that contained secrets for me to learn, but rather something to collect. I have too many decks, too many different messages coming from endless sources. Some collectors argue that being able to see how an image was interpreted by a myriad of artists helps one to discover the deeper meaning of the card. In my case, the images have begun to blur together, creating a smear of colour that means nothing.

I want to recover my love for the mystery of the Tarot, even it means parting with some beloved decks. I know I am a hoarder, so it will be a difficult exercise. I am already finding excuses for keeping this deck or that. Ultimately, my goal is to keep one example of each tradition (Rider-Waite-Smith, Thoth, and Marseilles), my beloved Aquarian and Witches Tarot, the Robin Wood Tarot (another beloved friend), the Steele Wizard Tarot, a small deck for my purse, and perhaps the Daughters of the Moon Tarot (because it is very interesting). I haven’t yet decided what to do about my oracle deck collection. I’ve hardly worked with any of them, partly, again, because I feel overwhelmed. Maybe the Tarot can provide me with a suggestion.