Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Are Some Tarot Decks More Genuine Than Others?
This question came up after Kevin, who reads my blog, commented on my review of the Sherlock Holmes Tarot Deck: "Love the artwork on these. But to me, all these alternative oracles and card decks, however fun they are, don't ring true.
"If the tarot is simply the user projecting their own thoughts and meanings onto the cards then I suppose one deck is no different to any other. However, if there is any true arcane power in the original symbols then it is lost here."
My reply at the time was that I'd question whether older decks are necessarily more powerful or magical than some more modern ones. I gave one example: "The Crowley/Thoth deck is full of arcane symbolism, but is rather different to the Visconti-Sforza tarot deck, which is I think the oldest known deck. There are some decks that look pretty and are sold to card collectors more than serious readers I suspect, but I wouldn't write off all modern decks with new symbolism just because they are modern."
Kevin replied: "My personal belief is that there are certain symbols and rituals which do inherently carry power and that the "anything goes" approach leads to placebo effects, self-delusions and ultimately disappointment with the practices when no results are achieved."
There are, of course, a huge variety of Tarot decks available these days. Probably the most commonly used is the Rider Waite.As I mentioned earlier, the Crowley Thoth Tarotis another classic, while among the oldest is the The Visconti-Sforza Tarot.
One of my favourites is the The Greenwood Tarot.Sadly I don't own a copy and it is very rare, but I do have the similar Wildwood deck. Some recent decks I've reviewed and which have widely different pictures include the new Guardian Angel set, the Animal Wisdom Tarot, the Victorian Steampunk Tarot and of course the Sherlock Holmes Tarot.
But what do you think? Are there certain symbols that inherently carry more power when it comes to Tarot decks? Are older decks more effective than modern ones? Are they more genuine?
What is your own favourite deck and which do you find the best Tarot set to use for effective readings?
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