Friday, October 14, 2011

Why So Many Kinds of Decks?

The most obvious reason whey there are so many kinds of decks is that there are many tastes in art and there are many artists who enjoy the challenge of creating a set of 78 images that convey a range of emotions, ideas and situations.

Whether you prefer art from the Renaissance period, or something more modern, there are decks to satisfy your taste. Some artists have totally changed the traditional suits and the familiar images. Some decks are created according to a theme. For example, you can find decks built around the Greek myths, Norse Myths, Arthurian Legend, Egyptian myths, Native American stories, dreams, vampires, romance, UFOs, fairies, angels, animals, birds, fairy tales, astrology, manga, impressionistic art, abstract art and cave paintings to name just a few.

A brief definition may be in order here. There are tarot decks and oracle decks. A tarot deck, by definition, has 78 cards, featuring the 22 major arcana, 56 minor arcana, the court cards, the cards in 4 suits numbered from 1-10. An oracle deck does not conform to any of these formats. An oracle deck can have any number of cards, from a dozen to 30, 40, 50, 60 or more. They may not have any suits or numbers or be divided into major or minor arcana. There are some that are simply a variety of images and you are free to make of them what you will. Some are just geared to positive thinking and affirmations and offer you thoughts or ideas to meditate on each day to reinforce good habits and changes in our lives. Of course, you can do these with a regular tarot deck as well.

Plus, you can regard any of these decks the same way you would a coffee table art book, and decks have the advantages of being less expensive and more portable than art books. Picture yourself coming home from work and just wanting to relax for a little while. So you sit down and start looking through a deck of cards. You are intrigued by the images and they stir creative thinking and introspection. And there are some decks available for as little as 10, 15 or 20 dollars. Most come with some kind of book or booklet that offer explanations or ideas to meditate on with these images. Quite a bargain for a useful tool. In this way, they become a tool for self teaching rather than fortune telling.

How do you pick from among all this amazing variety? I would suggest one very simple way. Simply choose according to the art you like. What is best for you? What is best for you is whichever one you think you will like working with.

These are some of the reasons I enjoy working with a number and variety of decks, and why I offer people who come to me a choice of decks that they want to use for their reading. For many years, people who were interested in cards only had a few designs available to choose from, but today we have many beautiful options.

No comments: