“We hear a lot about all the stuff that we should buy or we see a lot of stuff that we want to buy, but we don’t get as quite as much content about stuff that people are passing up on.” – Lisa (Supportive Tarot)
Today (or, yesterday, as of when this is being posted) I stumbled upon a really cool video & concept by Lisa (aka Supportive Tarot) who moved the “anti-haul” concept over to the tarot community. I highly recommend watching the video, especially her explanation as to why this is something she’s doing, in order to get a full clue of what it is I’m doing for this post! But, like she said, this not so much about criticizing or, Heaven forbid, insulting artwork, love, and creativity of tarot deck artists and creators out there, but more so about sharing a big part of building a deck inventory that doesn’t really get discussed. In fact, there are several decks that Lisa mentions that I would love to own myself and find myself on the opposite end of the preference spectrum for. But her thoughts and preferences are still interesting and valuable to me, and encourage us all to be mindful of curating our individual tarot journey.
With that little explanation out of the way, let’s hop into it. Below are some deck turn-offs for me and decks I’ve opted to not purchase. Let me also state that the decks I’m about to list below are all decks I’ve considered purchasing, and they at some point jumped out at me for one reason or another — I just ultimately didn’t take the jump. To that point, I have a huge amount of respect for the creators of the decks I’m about to list and absolutely consider these decks to be quality stuff, and I highly recommend taking this post, if anything, as a wishlist recommendation post.
1. Minimalist decks
I’m a visual learner, and a visual person, so the way I largely connect to my decks are through expansive imagery and loaded symbolism. That can be overwhelming for a lot of people, which I think is where more minimalist-style decks jump in.
That said, I think I would ultimately struggle a bit with reading this sort of artwork. Although I absolutely don’t recommend throwing the set & traditional meanings of cards away, I do think that a lot of the time, I end up with intuitive messages and thoughts derived solely from card imagery, even if that’s simply a color or a small detail depicted, that aren’t totally related to the traditional card meaning. I personally enjoy that, and I like having a lot to look at and work with when I’m reading.
2. themed decks
By “themed” decks I mean decks that… have a theme? As in, having one central, overarching drawing or source, if you catch my drift. The examples I’m giving are the Harry Potter tarot, as it centers around Harry Potter imagery, and The Cat Tarot, centering around… well, cats.
For awhile, I seriously considered getting the Steven Universe Tarot (because who wouldn’t, right? It’s a fantastic show). But I inevitably ran into the same problem I tend to have with a lot of these types of themed decks, which is that it doesn’t really mesh well with me that a tarot deck, something I view as so universal, is centered around one thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually think that themed decks limit your ability to see the universality of tarot. I think it limits my ability to see the universality of tarot though, and I do get caught up on the thing that the deck is showing me, like, I’m pretty sure I’d end up talking to my clients about episodes of Steven Universe. (Unless there is a demand for this. Please let me know. I will set up a Steven Universe discussion option for my bookings).
3. Victorian-style decks
To be 100% honest, I’m not what exactly it is about Victorian styled artwork decks that don’t resonate with me, but I’ve had this preference even as I was only getting readings, (AKA, prior to even using cards myself). I think that the artwork is absolutely stunning, and I wholly admire it outside of being a tarot deck, but there’s something about the tarot-Victorian integration that throws me off. It might be the overwhelming sense of realism I get when I see it, and how tarot is often depicting conceptual things rather than realistic things to me, but I don’t want to hedge my bets on one thing or another.
4. colorless or minimal color decks
I think I have some exceptions to this, like the White Witch Tarot (which is only Major Arcana), and the Prisma Visions Tarot, which are arguably not as colorful as the rest of my collection. Even then, I point out to clients that they “read differently” to me, and they really do. I think color, or lack thereof, has a big impact on the mood of the deck, and thus under which circumstances I feel okay using it. In that sense, I’m pretty sure my capacity for less-than-colorful decks is fulfilled, and I don’t need any more decks that occupy that sort of “mood.”
This idea was a super fun one that I absolutely had to try once I came across it, and I’m glad I did. I think another important thing to point out is that these preferences are subject to change, whether a few months from now, a few weeks from now, or many years down the line in my tarot journey, which is all A-ok to me.
Our preferences in decks vary widely as a tarot community and for those who simply get readings as well, which is important in the grand scheme of things since diversity is, y’know, beautiful and important and literally essential to progress and everything. I hope you enjoyed reading some of mine, and please feel free to share with me what you have on your “anti-haul” list too.