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Having a Divination Interest on a Budget


DanielJUK
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With the cost of living increasing and people having to stretch their budgets more and more, I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread where we can post tips and tricks for getting decks and readings and everything tarot and divination related as cheap as possible. Ideas that won't break the budget.

 

We already have a list of free resources for learning tarot and online tarot courses - The big list of free resources for learning tarot

We also have De-enabling thread where you can post decks you want to buy and we will talk you out of it 🙂 - This is the DE-ENABLE thread concerning buying and reading of tarot

 

 

Please post your best tips and tricks. Please keep it legal and trustworthy here, genuine products only please

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I will go first with some ideas for getting decks as cheap as possible.....

 

- Check out those discount / sale book shops you often walk past and don't go in. Often they will have decks in one section and some book chains will have had loads of surplus stock they want to sell off in those stores. You can often get decks for a really good price and sometimes you can find rarities on the shelves and those piles / containers you have to sort through. Always worth checking if there are any decks on sale in any kind of book shop you pass.

 

- Check out Ebay / Etsy and Amazon. This is a bit of a minefield because it's hard to know if it's genuine decks and it's worth looking at the ratings of sellers, also some decks are sold for really inflated prices. However I have got some old decks that I have always wanted to own for really good prices second hand on ebay.

 

- Check out markets, especially those Antiquarian type markets. They often have them in Central Europe. I remember Le Fanu used to wade through every single one he visited and often picked up tarot rare gems and also some at great prices

 

- Sometimes people sell off their decks to create more space in our Trading Section, you can sometimes pick up bargains but you need to be a subscriber to access

 

Really I think the best cheap decks are from places selling off old stock and people selling their collections on online websites and here.

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- Make a divination set for free (like runes, ogham, 'witches runes'), out of wood or sea glass or sea shells etc. If you do not have a wood burner, use a permanent marker.  

- You could also create one of those 'junk oracles' with stuff you find around the house. 

- Use a regular deck of playing cards, most people have one at home and if you don´t have one, I bet someone you know will have a pack that they don't use. 

- Look to see if you have any cards that may not have been intended for divination but that could work for such a purpose, like dixit cards or memory cards. I have removed the duplicates from a memory card deck and used it for divination with great results. 

- If you have some sturdy cardboard or thick watercolor paper, you can craft your own deck. I have made several like that and really enjoyed it. 

- Start looking for omens in nature. Set an intention/ask a question and then start to observe nature around you. This is one of my favorite ways to divine or ask for guidance and it has been incredibly reliable. 

 

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Posted (edited)

As well as discount bookshops, used bookshops often have decks that they don't really know what to do with, and sell them ridiculously cheaply. I found a whole load once, and told the guy (It's a store I go to often and I like him) that two of them would fetch a mint on ebay. "I can't be BOTHERED, I sell books", he said (and he did have books from the same person's collection !) So I bought them all and sold them for what I had paid (£5 a pop) on AT.....

 

Also - if there's a cheap illustrated BOOK of a deck, you can cut out the pictures and glue them on card. (Scan them if there are any back to back.)

 

If you have two identical decks of playing cards, you can use a sharpie and re-purpose cards from the second deck to fill the gaps, tarot wise (majors, pages).

Edited by gregory
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11 hours ago, Raggydoll said:

- Make a divination set for free (like runes, ogham, 'witches runes'), out of wood or sea glass or sea shells etc

- You could also create one of those 'junk oracles' with stuff you find around the house.

- Look to see if you have any cards that may not have been intended for divination but that could work for such a purpose ...

 

 

Really lovely ideas here, Raggydoll. I came to say the Junk Oracle one. You can also pick up unwanted game cards of various types - often with really beautiful artwork - for pennies. Ask your local gaming nerds if they'd pass on any duplicates they have.

  

5 hours ago, Vesta said:

Go "shopping" in your store of previously bought but unused decks.

 

 

Another excellent idea. I've been doing just that - dug out a neglected deck and rediscovering it.

 

Also a variation of Gregory's book suggestion - cartomancy. I think traditionally the Bible, but you could use any book. Consider a variation on this doing an 'altered book' / blackout poetry where you select out words on the page and colour the rest of the page (see Tom Phillips).

 

To echo Raggydoll's suggestion of looking for signs in nature - don't forget old traditional ways such as

 

Bird omens
Sky/clouds, stars
Dreams
Reading palms
Tealeaves

sticks, stones and leaves

animal tracks
 

There's a term called 'commodity fetishism' which manifests across all kinds of communities and hobbies - sports, cars, pets, fashion and makeup, and even journalling, tarot, reading etc - and it's exemplified most in pop culture - where we relate to each other through products rather than directly. These objects become the focus and medium of communication, a means to signal things about our selves and our status. (c.f.  the stuff "haul" video). When something like this is embedded in your culture, it takes conscious effort to resist it.

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legendaryelement

Definite encouragement to repurpose cards from other games!! I assigned Neopets tcg to the tarot deck and species to playing card. Bella Sara cards make a neat oracle deck. Uno, Rook, Rummikub tiles, Bicycle Domino cards.

 

I have fun compiling sets of the paint color sample cards too - Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Back on AT, someone trimmed the ones that had die cuts to be “windows” that would frame a second color.

 

polyhedral “gamer’s” dice sets are a lot of fun!

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Rediscover your divination collection. Look at what you have. Read your owned Tarot books over again. Start to read the books what are for years, on your to be read list.

 

Use the internet. You can add the divination information in a Word file and make a pdf of it. In this way you have created your own ebook, which you can use on your tablet.

 

Make a picture of your divination collection. If you walk though a bookstore and you want to buy something, look at your picture and you know you have enough and you do not need it. 

 

Go to the library to lend books. But this tip is maybe not so usefull, because my local library has 0 books about Tarot, and 1 about astrology. But if you like romance and thrillers, then is the library a good option.

 

Be more active on the internet forums, you can learn so much from others.

 

Start to make your own Tarot deck with companion book. Use as source your divination collection. 

 

@Raggydoll what do you mean with junk oracles. Can you give an example? Your ideas are really interesting.

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1 hour ago, Ix Chel said:

 

@Raggydoll what do you mean with junk oracles. Can you give an example? Your ideas are really interesting.

It is basically a collection of 'random' small objects - like keyrings, buttons - anything, really. And you assign each object a certain meaning. 

 

Here is an example: 

 

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If you're not that kind of a creative person (I'm not) and you have a collection of any size, use those decks.  Stop buying.  When I worked all the time, I'd shop online to see if there was anything interesting and if there was, I'd purchase it for later use.  Now is the time to use those things.  For example, and not tarot related, I've long had an interest in Shakespeare's plays because we use so many of the expressions he coined in our everyday language so I stocked up on books about his plays and his characters, including audiobooks to listen to while I was working.  Now is the time to delve into those books collecting dust on my last surviving bookcase.  I have a couple of shelves of books I need to read. 

 

Use those tarot workbooks.  They can reignite interest in decks you think you've grown bored with.

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10 minutes ago, RunningWild said:

If you're not that kind of a creative person (I'm not) and you have a collection of any size, use those decks.  Stop buying.  When I worked all the time, I'd shop online to see if there was anything interesting and if there was, I'd purchase it for later use.  Now is the time to use those things.  For example, and not tarot related, I've long had an interest in Shakespeare's plays because we use so many of the expressions he coined in our everyday language so I stocked up on books about his plays and his characters, including audiobooks to listen to while I was working.  Now is the time to delve into those books collecting dust on my last surviving bookcase.  I have a couple of shelves of books I need to read. 

 

Use those tarot workbooks.  They can reignite interest in decks you think you've grown bored with.

I completely agree with this. Our ‘deck of the week’ area could help people rotate their decks and put them to use.

 

Its also worth contemplating taking a ‘depth year’ or a ‘depth month’ with a deck or a system (omg autocorrect just tried to substitute ‘system’ with ‘harem’ 😅🤣). A depth year is a very budget friendly thing to do! 

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A depth year is also a very good tip.

 

Also listen to podcasts which you always have on your to do list (like Theresa Reed or Susan T Chang with Mel Meleen) or watch YouTube (like Tarotoracle). There are a lot of free sources. Find your inner Scrooge McDuck.

 

Also stay away from websites like Amazon or Llewellyn, so that you will not be tempted to buy something. 

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I can't speak into other divination interests, but for Tarot, you really only need one deck.  Some of us get into the habit of buying more, especially when different themes and art speak to us in different ways, but any Tarot deck will do for any reading.  The deck itself doesn't even have to be all that expensive.  Others have mentioned seeking the secondhand market, but even when it comes to MSRP, you don't necessarily have to spend a ton.  I've seen the standard RWS deck go for as little as $18CAD, and if you don't mind having a smaller deck, the Everyday Tarot deck is one I use quite often, and it only cost me about $13 or $14 before taxes.  Stay the heck away from Kickstarter, and even avoid sites like Etsy if you're on a budget.  You can get some fantastic decks from those places, and in the case of Kickstarter, you might have FoMO, but there are plenty of fantastic decks much more readily available to you and won't cost a ton.  

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