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Deck styles that resonate or not with you most


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Saturn Celeste

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=167534

By  Obsydian- Little Fang Tarot

Oh boy!  This post comes from our very own site owner!  Her avatar is so cute!!  X/

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This was just something I realized as I was looking at other decks that I'd like to have.

Decks with primarily human figures as the center point do not call out to me at all. The art can be so beautiful but I still feel a wall there, I wouldn't be able to use a deck like that.

 

If the theme is primarily animals, mostly dragons or cats, I feel strongly called to them!

 

What are your decks that do or don't do it for you?

 

I apologize if it's a repeat thread, I've been away quite a while.

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Guest Night Shade

I have three favorite deck styles.  First are decks that have some kind of fantasy element, such as dragon decks, mermaids, or decks that have a fantasy setting.  Second are "pretty" decks - decks with artwork that I like.  Third are dark decks, that show the shadow side of life.  Finding a deck that matches all three categories is tough, but the Royo Dark Tarot comes close. 

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This is a good question... I definitely like my decks to have quite a lot of natural images. Plants, flowers, earthy colours... Also I'm not a fan of very realistic images. I like them to look like drawings, maybe a bit naive, or old. I love the art style in the Greenwood, the Waking the Wild Spirit... the Wild Unknown too even if it doesn't have a lot of coulours, I like the Morgan-Greer too and got one in a trade (waiting rather impatiently for that one)... I also love everything Ellen Lorenzi-Prince has published.

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Wow!  Talk about a blast from the past. :)

 

Nowadays, I have no trouble with some humans in my decks.  However, my tastes in a good reading deck include animals, complex scenery (or decent symbolism), and color.  My favorites along this line include Pagan Cats, Mystical Cats, and the Animal Totem Tarot. 

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I don't have a preference for dark or light decks. I have both and like to read both. The one unifying thing for me is rich imagery.

 

Lately, too, I've been gravitating toward decks that are cheeky. I like a sense of humor.

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Gravitate more toward:

 

Classic RWS decks like Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative, Universal Waite, Morgan Greer, Aquarian

 

Vintage gothic like Bohemian Gothic

 

Not likely to be interested in:

 

Photographic decks with real people

 

Heavily-digitized

 

Most Creature/Animal decks - decks that have an animal in each card (with the exception of CATS :-))

 

Heavy fantasy decks

 

 

I realized awhile ago that what I think are great art decks don't always make a great reading deck for me personally and I only get decks I think I want to read with.

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l have had many types of tarot decks in the past which l am not sorry l bought because that gave me an introduction to what l could work with or not.

Do not like cards featuring nubile unrealistic females, who look like models floating in a fantasy world.

Do not like cards that are too sparse, l like to have something for my intuition to kick into.

l definitely resonate with Roots of Asia, l suppose its the spiritual aspect of them, and the fact that there are also animals depicted. Love all animals. It is a gentle calming Tarot.

l also deeply resonate with Legacy of the Divine, plenty there to get my intuitive self buzzing.  Have only just acquired this deck, just glad that it was still in print.  In fact this is the type of deck l have been sub-consciously searching for.  l knew eventually l would find  'the' deck that satisfied all criteria, spiritually, intuitively, and visually.

 

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I'm really picky, but not in an easy to describe way, I think? I do like a variety of decks, though. I know I don't like photographic faces photoshopped into fantasy drawings. I don't like super-busy cards without an obvious focus point or any depth of field. I do like vintage styles. I do like drawings that are polished looking and done well - the Wild Unknown is at the bottom end of the quality list for me. If I feel like I could have drawn it better myself, I know I'll be annoyed looking at it. (I'm no great artist, but I know enough and am just capable enough to be picky!) I'm OK with collage style decks, when they are done well (like Duck Soup). I like color, I like black and white, I like limited color palettes, I don't care much about animals vs. people vs. fantasy creatures, any of those are good, IMO. Though I do tend to lean toward humanoid fantasy creatures.

 

I'll take a look at just about any deck, so I'm probably on the eclectic end of things. The least favorite of the decks I own right now is the Tarot Illuminati - too busy, no depth of field, too obviously digital. My faves are Joie de Vivre, Mystical Manga, Ethereal Visions, etc.

 

There's something to like about pretty much every deck I've seen, but I don't like all of them enough to buy. I like too many, I think, despite that!

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TheLittleJackal

I was composing a reply to this in my head, thinking about the decks that I like and don't like, and it seemed easy, and then it all started to break dooooown.

 

And I realised that the decks that resonate and don't resonate, my preferences, it's all one big shrug emoji! :P

 

I like animal decks! Oooo, except these decks with people that call to me. I don't like RWS! Oooo, except this one!

 

I do have some things that I do avoid, and will probably never call to me.

 

I don't like photography (at least when it's obviously so).

I'm not a fan of naked people (Lovers and Sun cards are not my favs) so decks with a lot of that are auto-vetos.

Very noisy decks with a lot of stuff on the cards in high contrast, I've seen and can't click with.

Similarly very minimalist decks haven't spoken to me yet (Linestrider for example), though I'm not discounting them totally.

Traditional RWS. I just can't.

Bad spiders. I can cope with some cutesy stylised ones, or I'm learning to, but realistic or creepy or realistic creepy ones are a Nope.

 

Themes I've enjoyed include watercolours, attention to detail (both in the art and in the history and mythology they're depicting), and animals, although none of these things will make me beeline for a deck.

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I love classic style as a TdM (not oracule type) with ordinary pip cards.

But I have a few art decks, where different/various pictures are shown on pip cards.

 

I don't like RWS style and the decks where the really people (photos) are dominated.

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I'm mildly pleased that so many people don't like photography/photo collage decks, because I feel less alone and less like a bad tarot stan, haha. :D

 

My main attraction are to decks that are beautifully drawn regardless of style, but I have a big weakness for decks with dark fantasy themes (that aren't vampires, lol), decks that are victorian-ish or steampunk-ish, decks that draw on art-deco or modernism or other distinct period styles, and decks that have really distinctive color palettes.

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My taste in decks is eclectic.  I can't define what I like, but I know it when I see it!

I am right there with Grandma.  A couple of my favorite decks are photo based (The Alice Tarot and The Cosmic Tribe), but I do not like all photo based decks.  I admit there are certain themes I am drawn to if they are well done (Faerie and Pagan decks).  But the bottom line for me is that it feels like a solid Tarot deck to me.  I do have a preference for decks that do not include suit icons as part of the image but where the image tells the story and sparks the imagination and intuition.  I also love bright vibrant colors and jewel toned decks, and do not seem to connect with black and white decks at all to my own dismay.  Overall I am really open to a variety of art styles so long as the deck makes sense to me, and the art feels cohesive.  Some of my favorite decks were decks I originally bought just for my collection but ended up really loving to read with them because I felt they were so well done.  I have found that it is important for me to really work with a deck before passing judgement.

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I can more readily say what I don't like than what I do; my collection is pretty mixed. But in general I like pretty art, I like certain themes (and the themes are pretty much all over the place), and I enjoy symbolism. But I have a very hard time with naive art, accidentally or purposefully. In some decks the art turns me off so much that I don't give the symbolism a chance. This is not to say that the art always has to be very realistic; it doesn't. Some of my favorite decks are cartoony. 

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I think there are probably more decks that turn me off than turn me on.  Maybe that's one reason I'm not a collector.  But I admit that I am not familiar with very many decks, either.

 

Generally, I dislike decks that closely mimic RWS.  What's the point, when I can just use my RWS?  But if the deck is based on RWS and expresses an imaginative take on it, I think that's great.

 

I was reading reviews of a deck on Amazon recently and one reviewer wrote that if you want to see how imaginative a tarot deck is, look at the 3 of Swords and 8 of Wands.  They said that if those cards are just 3 swords stuck in a cartoon heart, and 8 rods flying parallel through the air, then the artist didn't use much imagination.  I already had particular cards I'd check out to see if a deck is in a style I like, but I couldn't get that reviewer's comment out of my head so now I look at those cards, too - and I think there's something to what they said.

 

Anthropomorphized animals usually bug me.  I do have the Pagan Cats deck and like most of the cards in it (definitely not all of them!), and also have the Wild Unknown, which I love, but those are enough animal decks for me.

 

I can't stand any deck with an Egyptian theme.  Also don't care for fantasy/fairies/dragons/elves, mostly pastel colors, gratuitous nudity with idealized female figures that look like porn, decks without any people in them, or decks that have an abundance of cards with figures who "break the 4th wall" -- meaning they're looking directly ahead at me.

 

I prefer cards that are full of artwork, not spare, and where they get the anatomy right if it's hand-drawn (it seems horses are challenging for a lot of artists to draw well), although the artwork doesn't have to be strictly realistic for me to dig it.  Also prefer illustrated minors.  I like scenes with people interacting with their surroundings or other people - it's like looking at a little stage play in my hand.

 

 

Edited by geoxena
typos
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Its hard to pin down.
Generally, I prefer vintage images. I don't want to be in that mode where the deck looks similar to something I might see on a billboard or in a magazine or graphic novel. I don't want to feel like I'm stuck in a waiting room or at a bus stop.

Digitally manipulated vintage images, if they're well done (like Baba, for instance), work for me. Badly done collage decks don't. But I also like the Alice, so maybe it isn't completely about vintage. (And normally I don't use photo decks, other than the Alice and the Vamp.) Maybe a big part of it is wanting to see work and handcrafting. The Alice has a lot of that. Even a crude TdM has ample evidence of crafting, somebody sat there and carved everything into wood, and I like that. I want evidence of people working with their hands.

I don't care for that glowy, bubbles-of-light style that's bled over from affirmation decks to Tarot. I don't like cutesy, and I loathe cultural appropriation. I don't use decks full of witches and fantasy creatures. A dragon in the context of myth is fine, but I don't do the whimsical ones.

 

That's about all I can think of for now. More may come to mind later.

 

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22 minutes ago, geoxena said:

I think there are probably more decks that turn me off than turn me on.  Maybe that's one reason I'm not a collector.

 

...don't care for fantasy/fairies/dragons/elves, mostly pastel colors, gratuitous nudity with idealized female figures that look like porn...

very much this, for me. i guess i'm a "collector" as i now have over 20 decks that i've collected about 20 years, but i hate to say it: most decks just do not appeal. to me! y'all have fun 🙂 even beautifully executed artwork that is really awesome and interesting to look at, to me, doesn't necessarily a tarot deck make.

5 minutes ago, katrinka said:

 Maybe a big part of it is wanting to see work and handcrafting. The Alice has a lot of that. Even a crude TdM has ample evidence of crafting, somebody sat there and carved everything into wood, and I like that. I want evidence of people working with their hands.

this kind of cuts to the heart of it. i don't think there's a particular style of art that i'm attracted to for a tarot deck; i love original art the most, but i also dig digital and collage art. BUT! it's really important to me to know (or think?) that a deck has intention and purpose. i don't like art decks that are hodge-podged together of an artists' work to represent the tarot. i don't like something that looks like a talented artist decided that the tarot was a good vector to channel their creative efforts into, working their style into a template of sorts. i want some thought put into it. and i do like decks that come with books that explain the artists' interpretations or thought process, especially if it's moving off in a new direction. 

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3 minutes ago, VioletEye said:

but i also dig digital and collage art

Well yes. Just because something is digital doesn't mean "the computer did the work." Look at Alex Ukolov, Ciro Marchetti...

 

5 minutes ago, VioletEye said:

i don't like something that looks like a talented artist decided that the tarot was a good vector to channel their creative efforts into, working their style into a template of sorts.

Exactly. There's a lot of decks out there by non-readers that miss the point entirely.

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Well this has been thought provoking. As a Torot newbie, I'm not sure I've formed strong opinions yet, or if I even have any business sharing them (not that it will stop me lol)  I am like @Grandma , I know what I like when I see it. And sometimes I like a deck as part of someone else's reading, but I could not see myself using that deck (Deviant Moon is one that comes to mind...worked so beautifully for the reading I saw, but I don't see much in it myself.) I do know that I have probably already purchased too many decks. I haven't even learned much and I've got too many decks....If I don't become a competent reader, at least I know I will be a competent collector.

 

I do prefer animals or anthropomorphic decks. I like humans on classic decks (TdM or RWS or classical art.) I cannot stand any decks with lots of femal nudity because the bodies are usually highly idealized and I wonder if really the creator was using the Tarot as  an excuse to draw boobies. The artwork is important to me. I am all for creativity, but I want the creator to still utilize  the historic symbolism as much as possible. For me that doesn't mean sticking to the Western asthetic; the beauty of Tarot is the universality. The Hierophant doesn't have to be a Papal figure, but it needs to be a spiritual leader (In my probably ignorant opinion.)

 

I'm also not a fan of collage work or anything too avant garde. 

 

Because I am so new, I do feel like I need a lot of imagery. I love the Pagan Cats deck, but there are some cards that are rather sparse...like the Emperor and Knight of Wands dammit...why is there so little there??? (Or am I just blind?)

 

@geoxena after reading your post I had to go check my Pagan Cats and I guess the creator was sort of imaginative? The sword-pierced heart and floating wands were there, but at least there was a little more too. I would be interested in knowing what other cards you check when choosing a deck.

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59 minutes ago, Sace said:

geoxena after reading your post I had to go check my Pagan Cats and I guess the creator was sort of imaginative? The sword-pierced heart and floating wands were there, but at least there was a little more too. I would be interested in knowing what other cards you check when choosing a deck.

Hiya!  I always look at the Hermit first because I identify strongly with its meaning and like to see originality and something I can relate to.  Then I go through the rest of the major arcana for anything that catches my eye.  If something is very very close to just duplicating the RWS, it's a turn-off for me.  If a card is wildly unique yet still gets most of the meaning across, or an interesting alternative meaning, it's a thumbs-up.  Then I check out the Queen of Pentacles (another one I identify with) and the Aces.  When I see disembodied hands coming out of clouds with petals floating, etc., just like RWS, they make me yawn.

 

 

Edited by geoxena
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