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Tarot Decks With (Very Obvious) Personalities


arlotar

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I've experienced this multiple times throughout my practice and I'm very curious if there's anyone else who has noticed this. Do you have any deck/decks that you feel have very noticeable "personalities"/unique energies about them? For example, the cards respond very well to certain questions/subjects but give chaotic or unintelligible answers to other specific topics, or a certain decks providing readings that are noticeably more negative/positive than what you are used to, that sort of thing. (I hope I explained this properly...)

For me, I have 2 specific decks which have consistently exhibited this phenomena: Tarot of St. Petersburg (which gives very bleak, very pessimistic outlooks on most things - like a sort of bitterness inherent to the cards) and Angel Tarot (which, unsurprisingly, gives very kind, very uplifting readings for, again, most things). I'd like to mention that I mainly use tarot as a tool for introspection when it comes to doing readings for myself. When I do readings for others the deck's "personalities" mostly take a step back.

 

Thank you for reading! Again, I hope that I explained things properly. English is not my first language. 

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you posted perfectly @arlotar :thumbsup:

Definitely, totally agree with you. Each deck has a slightly different personality or style and when I do a reading I might pick a different one for a different spread or type of reading. Also found it true that it's not so noticeable when reading for others with them. Perhaps we focus more on them when we read for ourselves, not sure why. I do pick decks which I know will suit a reading best because of their style or personality. Sometimes I need a blunt reading with a deck like that and sometimes a cheering up reading with deck artwork which is more optimistic and makes me feel happy 🙂

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Thank you! 😄 And thank you for the reply! In a way I'm really happy to have found someone else who has experienced this as well. I've been wondering myself if the art of the deck is integral to its personality... And it occurred to me, could a tarot deck keep a fragment of its creator's psyche? Regarding my Tarot of St. Petersburg, the illustrations of these tarot cards was the last commission he fulfilled before he died - which I thought was interesting when connecting the dots with the apparent negativity of the deck. It's a longer, more complex story but I'm too woozy to type that much. Sorry... 😞

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Different decks will give a slightly different inflection, IME, but not so much as not to answer specific types of questions. Some are a little darker than others, some are humorous, etc. So if I was doing a face to face reading about a child's chronic health issues, I wouldn't whip out the Bohemian Gothic since I don't want to freak Mom out. But the BG would answer the questions as well as any other.

I do have the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, but I haven't used it for some time. My reason for this isn't the same as yours. Rather, the first artist's work is so much better than that of the second artist. So a lot of the cards are disappointing-looking, in contrast to the ones by the original artist. The second artist gets props for seeing it through, of course. It sticks very closely to RWS and I don't find it pessimistic. YMMV, etc.

Edited by katrinka
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1 hour ago, katrinka said:

Different decks will give a slightly different inflection, IME, but not so much as not to answer specific types of questions. Some are a little darker than others, some are humorous, etc. So if I was doing a face to face reading about a child's chronic health issues, I wouldn't whip out the Bohemian Gothic since I don't want to freak Mom out. But the BG would answer the questions as well as any other.

I do have the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, but I haven't used it for some time. My reason for this isn't the same as yours. Rather, the first artist's work is so much better than that of the second artist. So a lot of the cards are disappointing-looking, in contrast to the ones by the original artist. The second artist gets props for seeing it through, of course. It sticks very closely to RWS and I don't find it pessimistic. YMMV, etc.

Would you mind if we chat more about the St. Petersburg tarot? First time meeting someone else who has it and I'm curious if your "learning the deck" phase was like mine. At the time it was the most frustrating, mind-boggling experiences in my life... I love that deck...

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10 hours ago, katrinka said:

I don't mind at all. 🙂
Do you use RWS? It's basically RWS redone in a Palekh style. 

https://www.lpcline-russian-art.com/palekh-lacquer-boxes.html

 

Any time you get stuck, you can reference RWS materials. 😉
https://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/pkt/

By Yuri Shakov, yes.

Thank you for the pictorial key, I've been looking for a version of it with hyperlinks so it's easier for me to reference.

The RTOSP has its own booklet so figuring out the meanings of the cards was not difficult at all. It just gave noticeably bleaker readings where other decks would present positive or neutral perspectives. I noticed especially in matters relating to art and making a living through art, the deck is downright fatalistic in its responses. Messages along the lines of: yeah, you might get money but you'll be sucked dry by the commissioners and their endless requests and pretensions. The deck seems to be particularly anti-authoritarian if such thing is even possible.

 

To illustrate what I mean here, I took 3 different decks and asked them the same question: What is going on for me psyche-wise?

RTOSP gave Queen of Swords up, 5 of Coins up, Knight of Coins up;

RWS gave 10 of Pentacles up, Queen of Pentacles rev, Ace of Wands up;

And for an extra experiment I also used Occult Tarot by Travis McHenry which gave 2 of Wands [Ipos] (tells past and future, can make one intelligent & bold), 4 of Swords [Cimeies] (teaches grammar, logic, rhetoric, can make one appear like a soldier) and High Priestess [Dantalion] (teaches art & science, knows secret thoughts of all and how to change them, causes love, shows vision of the world).

 

It feels like OT is a very knowledge-oriented deck, RWS gave a good balanced view and RTOSP insisted on the negative aspects.

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