What was your Gateway Deck? I purchased a 1990 version of the Universal Waite Tarot in the early ‘90s (1992 or 1993). I’ll admit that the little white book, the companion book, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, confused me to no end. I would return the deck and the cards every so often but it never got much clearer. I think most readers in the ‘90s had this deck. It’s got the dark blue back with the stars on it.
What about that deck made you want to stick with tarot? The deck that made me stick with it was the Robin Wood Tarot. Someone was leading a workshop and this was her deck of choice. Something about the cards and the companion book just spoke to me. The colors and symbols were broken down in the book and then rebuilt to show you the “key” to reading the cards. The cards were so much more vibrant than the Universal Waite.
Do you still read with/have that deck? I read with that deck pretty exclusively for 10 years. It is still one of the decks I “think” in. Someone says, oh I drew the 8 of Wands, the image in my mind is the 8 wands shooting across the sky with their different gemstones. I have the deck still but it’s currently on loan to someone trying to find the “right” deck.
What is your favorite/most learned from/most drawn to deck? I really learned the most from the Robin Wood deck because it was the one I used as my entry point. Currently, my favorite deck is Ally Fell’s Steampunk Tarot. It was a deck that I didn’t want to even like when I first looked at it. I absolutely love it. I should probably buy an extra copy just in case it goes out of print.
What is the deck that you just can’t use? There have been several decks that haven’t spoken to me. There isn’t a common element between them. Things that are too thematic cats/dragon/elves don’t tend to work for me. Another one is mixed media using photographs. I don’t know why these two things bother me but I tend not to be able to read with them.
How do you feel about the RWS/Marseille/Thoth decks? Rider Waite Smith decks are my jam. I think in RWS decks. Marseille and Thoth decks are ones I want to be able to read with. I know readers who are amazing with these decks. Thoth decks, particularly, the Crowley Harris Thoth, have so much too them that I get overwhelmed by the things I don’t understand. My understanding of astrology is average for RWS readers. I’m still determined to learn the Marseille deck.
Where do you whip out your decks? Usually, at gatherings with other readers or some place that someone has asked me to do a reading. I don’t usually have one in my purse but I always travel out of town with one.
Would you consider yourself a Deck Dealer? A Deck Pusher? A Deck Enabler? I’m an enabler. I’m happy for people to look through my decks or bring decks to the attention of people who I know might appreciate the art, the theme, etc.
What deck is at the top of your wishlist? The Venetian Tarot was on the top of my wish list for months. I managed to get a copy just a couple of months ago. Right now I just want The Last Unicorn deck to be complete.
If a Deck granting Magic Being appeared at your door, what is the deck you’d ask them for? I don’t know. My Kickstarter bill is proof that I am weak when it comes to decks.
How did your Gateway Deck influence your tarot preferences and reading style? Since my Gateway Deck was one that I struggled with for so long, I just put down decks that don’t speak to me. I also don’t worry about reading the companion book before digging in. I will reference it if something really stumps me or I really want to know the artists thoughts/choices. At this point, I’m terrible about reading the instructions. Also, I don’t read reversals. There are 78 cards, there’s lots of ways to get the point across.