I'm not a very exciting person. Most people outside novels don't have exciting lives. Which is kind of the reason people read and/or write novels.
I don't live life of adventure and romance, surrounded by handsome men. I go to work at my day job, and then I go home to write and spoil my cats. I'm owned by three of them and that's enough of any kind of relationship for now, after two happy marriages.
I do have an obsession with books that has gotten a little out of hand, but my home has been turned into a repository for three people's collections. Eventually I'll straighten out the mess and recover my living room. Probably at the same time I make a dent into the wine collection which has gotten out of hand too. The yarn and cats I own up to, but the books and wine collecting I had help with. All of my Tarot decks are stored in my bedroom in a box and out of the reach of curious cats. I keep my cards wrapped in silk or in special bags, to keep them safe from the environment and outside influences.
What I also have a lot of, besides the above mention out of control books, wines, and fiber collections, are Tarot decks. Tarot decks contains seventy-eight cards, divided between twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana, which are symbolic representations of philosophical ideals, such as Judgement or Temperance or people, such as the High Priestess or the Emperor. The fifty-six cards of Minor Arcana are divided into fours suits: Cups, Swords, Coins or Pentacles, and Staves or Wands. These suits are echoed in a modern playing card deck today. The imagery and meanings of all the cards in a Tarot deck had been codified in the late nineteenth century, with the creation of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Over the decades, there have been many more decks created, some of which follow the same iconography of the RW> deck and many more which don't. You can find decks with all sorts of themes from Arthurian Legends to Lovecraftain horrors. I do own both of those decks.
I don't have the connection with them that I should. Tarot decks to me are less of a mystical conduit to the spiritual realm and more of a guide to solving my problems. I depend too much on looking up the meanings of the cards to do a smooth reading.
I know the basics~ Major Arcana represent outside influences. The courts cards of King, Queen, Knight and Page represent people and their influence on a reading. The basics meanings of the four standard decks, Cups for Love, Wands for energy, Pentacles for wealth (surprise!) and Swords for conflict (double surprise about that!) for those meanings. That a card which is upside down has the opposite meaning, but doesn't always have a negative connotation. But I don't know off the top of my head, all seventy-eight meanings for the cards.
And now this has started to sound like a term paper. I'm sorry for that, but I've tripped over too many explanations because I didn't know the other person wasn't familiar with the topic. I do feel like the movie "Ninja Assassin" where two of the characters spend a lot of time explaining what a ninja is to the audience. As if, the audience didn't know what kind of movie they were watching. The half naked ripped guys almost made up for that stupidity.
But on to the rest of the post.
I collect Tarot decks because many of them are also beautiful works of art. Out of the twenty or so that I have, here are my favorite ones. I'm including pictures of some of the cards, because they are so pretty.
This was my first deck and the one which I use the most often. The cards are a little worn and the colors faded, but it fits me like an old pair of jeans. This deck uses the same imagery as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, but the artwork is definitely Art Nouveau style, with rich colors and strong lines. As far as I know the deck is still available for purchase.
Arthurian Legend Tarot:
All the cards in this deck are gorgeous. All of them are also linked to a person or thing out of the Arthurian legends. Merlin is the Magician of the Major Arcana, while the Sword in the Stone is represented in the seven of swords, a card of ambition and new beginnings. All the artwork on the front of the cards are misty watercolors, with a heavy Celtic influence. The artwork on the back of the card is a labyrinth.
I bought this one because I am a fan of all things Lovecraft. The cards, like those in the Arthurian Tarot, all correspond to a Lovecraftian figure. It's not a deck I'm ever going to use, I bought it for the name. But a lot of thought went into the creation of this deck and it shows.
Tarot of Pagan Cats:
This deck uses the Rider-Waite imager, but replaces the people with cats. The cards have no write on them, and the symbols for the suits and their numbers are very small and you need to really look at the card to find them. The Major Arcana are just numbered. This isn't a deck for a beginner, but the deck is all cats so it's nice if you like cats. The back of the cards has two Sphinx Cats looking at you, poking their has out of a window or a full moon.
The Venetian Tarot:
I've just picked up this one. This deck is one of the three decks I own, which were all created by the same man, Eugene Vinitski. I've just discovered his work and it's striking more than pretty. He's combined Tarot layouts and the Kabbalah. You can find his work on Etsy and sometimes as a Kickstarter, which is how I found him. The other two decks of his I've gotten are the Tarot of Magical Correspondences and the Kabbalistic Tarot. I haven't really even opened the boxes for these decks, but I look forward to exploring them.
I also have some oracle decks, which are also divination decks, but are not set up Tarot desks are. The most interesting one I have was the Egyptian oracle deck, called the Way of the Cartouche. The deck is smaller, about twenty-five cards, all representing an Egyptian deity or mystical item. It's not a deck I feel comfortable using, because of the awkward card size, too big for my hands.
I do have a lot more decks, but those are my favorites.