31 Days of Tarot 2019 – Day 23: The personalities of tarot decks

Yes, two decks of 78 identically-named cards with similar designs can have two different personalities, and it isn’t just the art styles involved.

Day 23: What is your most sassy Tarot deck, what is your most gentle Tarot deck? Why did you pick these decks?

Almost any of my decks, be it tarot, Lenormand, or Kipper, is capable of snark. I’ve never noticed them show that quality when I read for other people, nor do they do it when I’m too upset to handle it. But more than once, for a daily reading, I’ll get what can best be described as a sardonic reading.

But I digress. The question was about individual decks. I wouldn’t call any of my decks sassy. The Pagan Otherworlds Tarot, however, is forthright almost to a fault. I am learning to be careful if I use it to read for myself around other people because it will happily spell out any hidden issues. Excellent for self-understanding, but dreadful if any of it was embarrassing. Why did I buy this deck? Because I love the art. And how was I supposed to know it had no respect for the social niceties just by looking at it online?

I was going to say that I don’t own any gentle decks, but that’s not true. I own a couple of Radleigh Valentine* decks (Angel and Fairy), which are so gentle, I basically never use them. Indeed, the box for the Angel Tarot Cards says “[Former Co-Author] and Radleigh Valentine have created the first deck of tarot cards that is 100 percent gentle, safe, and trustworthy!” Why did I buy these decks? Curiosity. Decks by these authors take up a lot of shelf space at my local bookstore, and I wanted to see what they’d be like to read with. And one day, I found them in great condition at a used book store and splurged.

However, there’s gentle and then there’s gentle. And sometimes, especially when reading for someone who’s not that familiar with the tarot—or if I’m reading for myself on a topic that makes me anxious—I need a deck that will be honest but not harsh. For that, I use the Happy Tarot. It doesn’t omit the scary cards or imagery, but it manages to make them not scary. Or to put it another way, it just looks sweet and innocent. Why did I buy this deck? It insisted on coming home with me. I most certainly did not set out to buy the Candyland of tarot decks. I picked it up once to look through it. And again. And again. And realized I had to have it, and I still can’t explain exactly why.

Death and the Tower from the Pagan Otherworlds, Angel, and Happy Tarots.
Left to right: Pagan Otherworlds Tarot, Angel Tarot Cards, Happy Tarot

*Dutifully not naming Valentine’s co-author, who no longer wishes to be associated with the decks.

Prompts: Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot YouTube Community Challenge and 31 Days of Tarot 2019 * Prompt Walkthrough

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