For this round of Tarot Thursday Three I sent in three questions to Julia of Spiral Sea Tarot. I’ve been thinking about deck collections lately and I’m excited to see how other people answer these questions!
What feelings and thoughts does the concept of a ”tarot deck collection” evoke in you?
Mostly happiness! I’m a person that is rarely bored, I can basically entertain myself just sitting down in a sofa and daydream lol, BUT I do tend get bored with things and hobbies. I feel like I need a variety to stay interested – so for me it has nearly always felt natural to own more than one deck. In the beginning I mainly used the Goddess Tarot, RWS and Robin Wood. All three are kind of similar, but still add to the variety that I enjoy so much.
But I must say I sometimes get a slight feeling of guilt when I think about my deck collection. I have around 50 tarot decks and 30 oracles. And I can sometimes be like “Do I really need that many?” and I will feel guilty about not being able to use them all on a regular basis. Okay, we’ll get to that below…
Is there such a thing as owning too many decks, or not enough decks?
I can see two sides of this coin, especially when it comes to owning too many decks. I mentioned this above, is it a problem to not be able to use all of them on a regular basis? Honestly, no. If you have the space for them at home then it’s not a space issue. The decks don’t care if you use them or not so that’s not an issue. If it doesn’t financially cause a problem then it’s not a money issue either.
I think the problem can be a psychological spoiled need and craving for new decks. I think many people look for that “soulmate deck” and therefore acquire deck after deck always ending up disappointed. That’s not healthy if you ask me. Other people have a need for a new, shiny, fun things to keep their interest up, and after a few honey moon weeks they need something new to not get bored. Also not the best idea if you ask me, and especially for a beginner it can hinder learning tarot.
But really “too many decks” or “not enough decks” is an individual choice. For me, if everything I own somehow disappeared, I would go out and buy myself a RWS Centennial deck and it would probably take me a long time before I started to re-purchase decks in my current collection. I don’t NEED my 50 decks, I just find it fun to have that variety. Just like I don’t need a copy of my 10 favorite books, but I still have them in case I’d want to read one of them in 10 years or so.
The biggest problem is if someone cannot pay rent or buy food because all their money is spent on decks! Now that’s truly problematic.
But something that needs to stop is how some people imply that if you’re “truly spiritual” you have X amount of decks (whether this is 1000 decks or 1 deck). That’s just bullshit and dogmatic beliefs that does no good in the community.
Do you think the prevalence of deck images and sharing online creates a desire for more decks? Are you affected? How do you handle it?
I see two trends when it comes to this, and it also ties into question number 2. On one hand you have the people who will be loudly offended if someone brings up the subject of consumerism + big tarot collection. They will do the grumpy child/Donald Trump/Eric Cartman thing, stomping their feet, shouting “It’s MY money, I do what I want! No one can have opinions about what I do, it’s MY life and MY choice!!” and so on.
On the other hand I see people really bringing up the subject of how hard it feels to be tempted and enabled to buy more decks in some groups and forums. They long for less consumerism in the groups.
I guess I’m somewhere in between… Consumerism when it comes to anything is a big problem in this capitalistic world where we value things more than lives, and where some people think that spirituality means manifesting a fucking car or pool.
I do want to live in a modest way, I make a choice to not go by plane very often, use my bike, buy locally produced food, recycle trash, and don’t shop too much. I can honestly tell you that I, a 29 year old woman, own FOUR pairs of shoes. But I do have a big love for tarot decks and books, so the money I choose to spend does often go to those two things. I do try to stop myself from mindless deck shopping though. For a while I’d buy any deck that was pretty and I had seen two cards from, and I found that wasn’t healthy for me. It did not feel right.
I used to look through plenty of reviews of decks before buying them, but now I find that pointless. Someone else’s love for a deck won’t say anything about how well I will connect with it. So I put the videos on mute and just study the images myself before I decide if it’s worth my money/energy. I try to ask myself “What do I think and feel?” and I think everyone active in the tarot community should work on doing that more often instead of buying into what the tarot celebs on YouTube say.
I like seeing people share and gush over decks, but I find the purely consumerist comments to be off-putting. In some groups I’ve seen people who own tons of decks say things like “Oh no I have nothing new coming in the mail! What do I do?! Any suggestions on what deck to get? Hurry!”, and “Shit my wishlist only has 10 decks on it! I’m worried it will be empty soon!”. I find that very problematic and unhealthy. That’s not tarot love, that’s a shopping addiction.