Oh boy, it’s been a while. Seriously, don’t even look at the date of the last update I made here on my Tarot and Oracle collection. Since then, I have acquired a lot of new decks that I haven’t talked about yet. So I figured, why not just pick up where I left off? All right, there’s a lot to tackle here, so without further ado, let’s jump into it!
I kinda want to make it special this time, and put the focus on Indie Decks alone. First because I absolutely love them and I haven’t really been disappointed by one of them yet. But there’s another reason for that: because I designed my own Lenormand Oracle, I can relate even more than before with the amount of work and dedication that an artist has to put into the creation of a deck of cards.
They truly are works of love and passion, and I want to celebrate that! So here’s a shout out ten-ish independently published Tarot and Oracle decks that made their way into my Personal Collection.
🌿 Marshmallow Marseille – Wandering Oracle
Let’s start with a Marseille deck, and a special one, colorful and bold, with a quirkiness that immediately made me want to purchase it. You may have heard of this deck when the second edition came out. The full-on “sparkle and shine” additions for this release made quite a hustle among many Tarot collectors and magpies. I personally own the first edition of Marshmallow Marseille, with the good old lavender backings, and I’m good with it.
I mean, yes, the holographic design of the second edition is pretty, but it goes a tiny bit overboard for my taste. The only thing I could possibly have missed was the improvement made on the box (because let’s be honest here, the first edition came in an oversized flimsy tuck box, and I was unfortunate enough to have it seriously damaged during the shipping process). But since I use a custom-made tarot bag to store my cards, problem solved! I don’t need a box for it, be it a cheap or a sturdy one.
🌿 Tanis Lenormand – Celia Melesville
It’s the cutest, and I adore it. Another colorful deck, one that turns my Inner Child on right away. It is sweet, innocent, poetic, full of dreams, and I find it very evocative, especially for a Lenormand. It reminds me of the paintings of Dragan Mihailović, a Serbian Naïve Artist that I admired when I was younger. I’ve always been fascinated by his representation of the changing seasons, the colorful pumpkins, and the white winter landscapes, the glorious gold wheat crops ready for harvest… Tanis Lenormand has kind of the same vibe, and it’s a magical and wonderful way to make me come back to this every time I use it.
I believe there was a new edition released for this deck, one sold in a tin box. In any case, if you want to grab it, I can only encourage you to check out Celia’s website and see the many other Tarot and Oracle decks that she created. I myself have my eyes on the Lili Black & Lili White Tarot deck (if you know how to possibly choose between the two, please let me know).
🌿 Sasuraibito Tarot – Stasia Burrington
Seattle-based artist here! – yes, I had to mention it. It’s funny really, because I wanted this deck so badly when I was still living in France, but the shipping costs were way too expensive for me at that time. Fortunately enough, I found it on England-based Little Red Tarot shop, which has more accessible shipping costs for most of European Customers. So I bought it there, and maybe less than a couple of weeks after, we were talking about coming to the US and build a new life as expatriates.
That makes my copy of Sasuraibito Tarot kind of a globe-trotter. Designed in the US, stayed in Great Britain for a while, then in my house in France, before I finally took it back to its country (and even state) of origin… But enough rambling. This modern Tarot deck is such a little gem, I can only recommend it if you want something that goes beyond the traditional Rider-Waite imagery.
🌿 Dark Days Tarot – Wren McMurdo
This is the very first deck – Tarot and Oracle included – that I ever acquired on a Pagan Fair. I got it at the Puget Sound Pagan Pride organized in Seattle every year during Samhain Season. I already saw Dark Days Tarot on the Internet, even looked up a few reviews on Youtube, and concluded that it wasn’t really my type of deck. It never made it to my wishlist, but being able to see it in person must have changed my mind because I brought it back home with me that day.
Still, Dark Days Tarot isn’t my usual type of deck, but I don’t regret having this square-size black and white companion in my collection. And even if they’re not as frequent as other decks that I possess, I enjoy every interaction that I have with it. Just like Sasuraibito Tarot, this one offers a very modern interpretation of the 78 cards. It speaks with a queer feminist voice, revealing what lurks in your shadows by casting and channeling the moonlight to your reading space.
🌿 Clair de Lune Lenormand – Ana Tourian
The aesthetic of this deck is so lovely I can’t even describe it. The pencil-style drawings, the work done with the colors, the choice of pale blue and golden yellow on a dark background to mimic the soft light of a Full Moon at night… As a Moon Lover, I just had to have this amazing Lenormand Deck. It’s an enchantment for the eyes, and a truly magical deck to work with.
And speaking of enchantment, I have to confess a little superstition for this one, a sort of habit, or rule, I don’t know. Since I acquired Clair de Lune Lenormand, I never opened its box or bag in daylight time. It’s a nocturnal deck, and I always, without any exception, wait until the Sun disappears from view before spreading these cards on my Tarot Table. Don’t ask me why, it’s just a thing. Don’t you have such a Magical Tool that requires some sort of special care?
🌿 Ophidia Rosa – Leila+Olive
Here’s another one with a delightful aesthetic. From the garden to the cards, this vintage-looking Tarot Deck is lush with blossoms, mushrooms, and seeds, spiderwebs, crystals, and lunar moths. Obviously there are a few snakes along the way, but I personally don’t mind at all: I work with Snake Symbolism all the time, it’s part of my core.
I remember talking about the companion Oracle for this deck in a previous article, Pythia Botanica. At that time, I knew that I’d get the Tarot deck to go along, and I sure did. And now that I’m talking about Ophidia Rosa, I have my eyes on the third one the artist created, called the Maiden Oracle. It seems like an interesting mix between Major Arcana and Oracle Cards, and I would love to get my hands on it too. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to their work.
🌿 Oracle of Black Enchantment – Patrick Valenza
Once upon a time lived a quirky little girl in an asylum… You guessed it, I’m talking about Mildred Payne. Huge companion (think postcard size) of the mesmerizing Secret Pocket Oracle, the Oracle of Black Enchantment has a medieval look that I adore, and as Walnut Ink addict, I can only agree with the choice of sepia tones here. It’s even more satisfying for this kind of old-age woodblock aesthetic.
I already talked a little about these two Oracles here on the blog, because I love them both so much that I customized a big Wooden Box dedicated to Mildred Payne’s hidden treasures and trinkets that I usually pull out around Samhain Season. There’s a lot of stuff in there: these two decks of cards, a string of black onyx Meditation Beads, a couple of blood-red gemstones, some candles to light the darkness, and a secret set of assorted “runes” that I have yet to show you.
🌿 Animalis Os Fortuna – Megan Weber
If I’m not mistaken, Animalis Os Fortuna is the very first Tarot Deck that I purchased once we’ve established ourselves in the US. I had it written in my wishlist for so long that I just had to jump on the occasion pretty much as soon as we found our new home, and I have no regret whatsoever.
What you got here is a black and white, animal-based Tarot Deck, mixing life and death, playing with bones, shadows, and transparency without being too dark or heavy. The little black book that comes with the cards won’t really help you with your interpretations, but if this kind of artwork speaks directly to you and you’re a fan of huge cards, then I’d recommend it without any hesitation.
Oh, and by the way, the artist is in the process of finishing an updated second version of this deck.
🌿 Anima Mundi Tarot & Nocturna Oracle – Megan Wyreweden
Once again, a Seattle-area based Tarot Deck – or couple of decks. And again, it’s one of the main reasons why I bought them in the first place. Since my arrival here in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to get a deck of cards that I could use specifically for my workings with the Land. So I didn’t really think twice when I stumbled upon these.
Here are some pretty animal decks, there’s Mount St Helens pictured on it, awesome, I got a glimpse of an orca and a mountain lion, which are good representatives of Washington State, right? Just add it to the cart. What I didn’t pay attention to though was the number of exotic species pictured in them. Animals that aren’t part of this region at all, like kiwis, penguins, and leopards. So yeah, that’s a bit of a miss here, but it’s all on me, I should have looked better.
In the end, they’re definitely not my PNW Land Spirit special decks, and that’s okay. They carved themselves a good spot in my collection regardless, and I love to use them for other purposes. And if you want to know what I love the most about them, it is the color palette. This harmony in shades of blue and gray that always remind me of clouds and fog embracing the sides of a mountain. I can’t have enough of it.
🌿 Wooden Tarot, Earthbound Oracle & Seeker’s Lenormand – Andy Swartz
All right, let’s make it three this time because I just can’t talk about one without talking of another. Just like I couldn’t buy them separately. Just like I can’t use one without having at least one of the other two beside.
These decks are well-known in the Tarot World, and most of the time really appreciated by readers. The aesthetic is beautiful, the colors are soft, and there’s a weirdness to it. Like animals with a third eye or multiple heads, sometimes their heads are even replaced by some sort of flower. In my opinion, that’s exactly what gives the decks all their flavor and interest.
And if I ever needed to have a reason to add these Tarot and Oracle decks to my collection, well let’s mention that the original illustrations were painted on wood – hence the name.
A couple of precisions before we wrap this up: there’s no guidebook provided for any of these decks, and Wooden Tarot is a pip-style one, with Minor Arcana that may require a little bit of work to fully get them.
All right, that’s enough card talking for today. I could go on and on though, we are far from having reviewed my entire collection, but the rest of it will have to wait for a future Blog Post. In the meantime, you can always share your favorites Tarot and Oracle decks in the comments below. I’m always happy when I get to discover new treasures and gorgeous works of art.