Tall Poppy: Top Ten Tarot Decks of All Time

2:18:00 PM

10. The Golden Botticelli Tarot by A. Atanassov, Lo Scarabeo
A perfect deck for an appreciator of quintessential Renaissance art; it is romantic, well edited and tailored to the traditional tarot mythos.  My favorite aspect is the vibrant colors and the play of the gold foil against the soft pastels common to the style. 

9.  The Alchemical Tarot: Renewed 4th Edition by Robert M. Place
A favorite among occultists, this deck is complex, vivid, modern and beautifully illustrated.  The prominent use of alchemy symbolism, astromancy and hermetic art lend to the classic vibe of this deck. It's polished and glossy which can bother some readers, but I rather like it's durable print stock.  This deck would appeal to the esoteric minded seer. 

8. The Tarot of the Absurd by The Barefoot Fool 
I've reviewed this one before so I'll keep this brief:  it's contemporary, strange, easy to read and eye catching.  The vendor is kind and helpful and their work is a fascinating play of shapes and dynamic movement. 

7. The Etruscan Tarot by Riccardo Minetti, Silvana Alasia, Lo Scarabeo
The Etruscan culture is fascinating to learn about, and most of what we know of their aesthetic is gleaned from the impressive and vast amount of art work and artifacts left behind. Drawing from the sources of vase paintings, frescoes and mosaics as well as graffiti and etchings, this deck portrays the tarot through the mythology and social life of the Etruscans, whose style resembles a multitude of cultures who influenced them.  History fans will like this deck, I know I certainly do.

6.  The Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini, U.S. Game Systems Inc.
A retro deck from 1970 with a cult following that's lasted damn near 50 years, it is exceedingly difficult to find an original in mint condition but well worth the price if you do, it belongs in any classic collection.  It is one of the classic Waite-Smith schools of deck but its style is just individual enough to make it its own class of deck rather than a Waite-Smith clone. The characters depicted are elegant, the colors somewhat muted by age but none the less vibrant.  Vintage decks like these appeal to the younger crowd of readers these days and I'm hoping the style will make a resurgence.

5.The Dame Darcy Tarot by Dame Darcy
The Dame Darcy is absolutely one of my babies, a deck worth keeping close and passing only to a loved one.  This deck is so much fun- it ranged between cutesy and  pleasantly-cartoonish to raw and abstract.  The entire theme is oceanic, maritime and board-walk, you will love the feel of them as they shuffle.  It's an extremely feminine deck and will appeal for its diversity and individuality.

4. The Golden Thread Tarot by Tina Gong at Labyrinthos
I reviewed this deck a while back on my Reviews page and I stand by my belief that this is among the most high quality and lovely decks you could possibly purchase.  Not only is the artwork fun, interesting, graphic and well designed, the quality of the cards is top-notch and you can download an app which arts as the companion book and guide to this deck.  I can't recommend it highly enough for readers who appreciate a slight quark to a serious deck.  They move like water when shuffled and come in a quality two part box.  Golden decks are a particular favorite of mine and I make a habit of collecting every golden or gilded deck in production, I must say, this one takes the cake when it comes to the illuminated deck game.

3. The Ophidia Rosa Tarot by Leila & Olive
Once in a while, I receive a piece of artwork so stunning I spend a whole day with it in my hands, just staring at every inch of it.  This deck is the single most impressive deck in my collection; it has it all- quality, metaphor, meaning.  It appeals to my naturalistic sensibilities and aesthetic as an herbal occultist.  The vendors/artists are punctual, talented and stylish and this deck reflects their talent.   For a review, visit HERE.

2.  The Golden Tarot of Klimt by A. Atanassov, Lo Scarabeo
The Klimt is the deck I use the most.  I've read the majority of my readings with this deck, both privately and publicly.  It communicates with me on every level because Gustav Klimt communicates with me.  The gold foil is expertly applied, the art chosen for each card is well chosen in my opinion, though it can take a little bit more interpreting.  There's a dreamy sweetness to the cards as well as a stark realism that gives this deck a mass appeal.  I recommend this to any painter, any sketch-artist, anyone who glows in the presence of creative expression.  This is the deck for you.

1.  The Morgan Greer Tarot by Bill F. Greer with Lloyd Morgan, U.S. Game Systems Inc.
The ultimate learners deck; it is classic, vintage and colorfully illustrated.  The shapes are pleasing and rounded, nothing too harsh or edgy and it captures the themes in tarot necessary to learning and memorizing the common themes of cards; red roses, white lily, dogs, crayfish, crescent moons under feet and blue mantles; each is ripe with symbolism which deciphers deeper meanings of the cards and their spirits.  For any beginner, this is the most highly recommended non distracting deck, I'd say far superior in translation of imagination than the Waite Smith.

Deck to watch for...


I have a feeling...I have a deep resonance with this deck and with the artist.  They are a marvel, and totally charming and cognizant of their fan base.  It looks like death and gold and glorious meaning.  I'm especially excited to see a P.O.C person do a deck relevant to their beautiful heritage.  I'm in awe of the style already and was really happy with the vendor's updates. I'm looking forward to this deck in February and am honored to have backed it.  I'd have bought twenty if I could!  It's just... well, it's bound to be something special. I have a feeling.  Amrit Brar: you are a fantastic artist, may you always be inspired!

"Step into my parlor,"
said the reader to the guy.

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