Tarot & Oracle Decks

Tarot Cards

Tarot is a set of 78 cards, divided in two sets: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.
The major Arcana contains 22 cards and primarily depicts major archetypes like death, temperance and the fool.

The minor Arcana is based on the traditional playing card deck of 52 cards. In it are the four suits; pentacles (or disks), cups (equal to hearts), swords (spades) and wands.

Each suit has ten numbered cards, ace to ten, plus the four court cards. These are page, knight, king and queen. Some but not all tarot decks have picture images on each of the numbered cards.

Tarot cards from the Gilded Tarot deckTarot cards from the Gilded Tarot deckWhat does the name Tarot mean?
Originally the tarot cards, originating in Italy, were called Trionfi, and later on Tarocchi. In the 16th century the French shortened the name to Tarot. The name Tarot does not seem to have any meaning, although some people have tried to find one.

Where does Tarot come from?
The very first cards we know of date from the late Middle Ages and appeared in Italy. They first developed into a set of cards depicting virtues, like Strength and Temperance. They then developed into more elaborate sets of different number of cards and different order of the cards.

They were primarily used by the aristocracy as the method of production for cards at that time was not exactly cheap. When the Tarot entered France it took the shape of a uniform deck, that is, it had 78 cards and the order of the cards in the major Arcana remained the same. Today we are still using the same order.

Some people have claimed that the Tarot cards came from exotic origins like ancient Egypt, but there is absolutely no proof for this, and it is highly unlikely.

The Tarot is collection of 78 images representing ancient and universal archetypes, as well as situations that might arise in the course of the lifetime of an individual. This collection is arranged in the form of a pack of cards and is used to gain insights into psychology and metaphysics, as well as foretelling the future. The true origins of the Tarot are controversial, having long been lost in antiquity. There are a number of theories, but most scholars agree that its present form originated in the Middle Ages.

How does the Tarot work?
Have you ever wondered how the Tarot can give such incredibly accurate advice? The answer can partly be explained by "synchronicity." Carl Jung coined the term to describe dramatic and deeply meaningful apparent coincidences. For instance, when you choose five cards in a Love Tarot reading, the results are anything but random. Your intuition knows which cards will give you the insight you need. So, if you've got a burning life question, try giving your rational mind a break. This time, let your intuition speak the truth to you with a Tarot reading. The results may blow your mind.  

NOTE: You can not simply grab one off a bookstore shelf and hope to have immediate success. You need to take some time with your selection. You have to "become one" with the deck.


Oracle Cards

These are used to provide an insight and positive outlook for those seeking answers to their most inner questions. Have you ever wished that you could ask spirit, an angel, or even your own pet a question and receive a clear response? This is possible through the use of oracle cards.
There are a number of different types of oracle cards available, and they are generally chosen by the individual according to their attraction to a specific set.


My Tarot & Oracle Decks


Oracle of Shadows and Light

Oracle of Shadows & Light by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket GriffithOracle of Shadows & Light by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket GriffithThis is my favourite deck

This deck appeals to both my mystic side as well as my love of Goth. Each card has a feeling about it, and this deck has become my main deck when using Oracle cards. I feel as one with this set, as if they were created just for me.

With their high gloss finish they are lovely to handle and use. Jasmine Becket-Griffith is amazing artist and has the most wonderful breathtaking imagination that appears in each of her images , please check out her website above.

*There has been a new version of this Oracle Deck released. There are changes to a lot of cards as well as some updates to the guide book. Some of the new cards I think are better than the originals, some I prefer the original version. These changes can be seen on my Oracle of  Shadows and Light page


Oracle of the Shapeshifters by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket GriffithOracle of the Shapeshifters by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket GriffithOracle of the Shapeshifters

This new deck again by Jasmine Becket-Griffith & Lucy Cavendish has the amazing artwork and mystic as the previous deck. Based around the shamanism theme of animal spirits, each

card will impart their special unique wisdom to help you on your journey.

The artwork and the content of the guide book make this one of the better Oracle decks out there. The book is in-depth and the cards are beautifully finished.

I love the artwork of Jasmine, her gothic style really appeals to me. This deck is really unusual with its artwork and subject. This deck, like the previous is totally recommended for the look, feel and awesome  imagery.

*Recently there has been a new version of this deck released with a lot of imagery changes as well as major updates in the book. Again some of the card changes I really love, some I much prefer the original artwork. See the new American version alongside the original Australian version  on my Shapeshifters page.


Les Vampires Oracle deck, again by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket GriffithLes Vampires Oracle deck, again by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket Griffith

Les Vampires

Another amazing and inspiring deck by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Beckett-Griffith based on Vampiric children of the night.

A collection of Vampire guides are waiting to impart their knowledge and wisdom to those lost in the night.

Their guiding words will help those looking for the light after a trouble or turbulent time. These theme throughout is dark and gothic, even melancholy, the large dark eyes peering into the souls of those seeking their wisdom.

The deck is the same size as the previous by these two authors and again, does not fail to deliver or delight. The guide book once again is comprehensive making this a delightful deck for those who prefer to work with the darker side of things.

Again, see more on my Les Vampires page


Isis OracleExamples of the Isis Oracle Deck by Alana FairchildExamples of the Isis Oracle Deck by Alana Fairchild

This deck is by Alana Fairchild and it is stunning!

Consisting of the customary 44 cards and a very good guide book, this deck does not disappoint.

A wonderfully mystical set of beautifully themed Egyptian Oracle cards by artist Jimmy Manton make this deck stand out.

A golden theme throughout with fantastic imagery, this deck encompasses everything about Isis and Egypt. The messages, incantations and rituals in the book are magically written with both divine love and deep spiritual meanings.
The cards and book are all packaged in a nice neat sturdy box.

See my Isis Oracle page for more information


Enchanted Oracle DeckEnchanted Oracle Deck

The Enchanted Oracle

This is another dark gothic style set of Oracle cards based on the fantasy fairy world with some mermaid types scattered through. These beautiful mystical cards are by Jessica Galbreth another amazing fantasy artist. 

The Destiny’s Portal is the guide book for the Enchanted Oracle Deck combining the two into a lovely boxed set.  The companion guide is written by Barbara Moore who is also the author of The Gilded Tarot Companion, another of my favourite decks.

Matte finish, and quite large they are cards I use when in a certain mood because the imagery again is  quite dark and unique. I really love the uniqueness of this deck.

More information available on my Enchanted Oracle page


Gilded Tarot or easy Tarot Set by Ciro MarchettiGilded Tarot or easy Tarot Set by Ciro MarchettiThe Easy Tarot / Gilded Tarot Boxed Set

Well where do I start?

A deck from Ciro Marchetti and it is a stunningly beautiful one. This was the first deck I was able to feel comfortable with and is still my main tarot deck.  

Again with amazing imagery but in an easy to understand way this deck is a pleasure to work with, and like the Shadows of Light & Dark Oracle set I feel as one with this deck.  

I have used this deck for several years now and the deck is still in pristine condition. This is the deck I would recommend to anyone who wants to be introduced to Tarot. This, to me, is the best deck Ciro Marchetti has designed and a fantastic deck for both starting out and when experienced.

See my Easy Tarot / Gilded Tarot page


Legacy of the Divine Tarot boxed set by Ciro MarchettiLegacy of the Divine Tarot boxed set by Ciro Marchetti

Legacy of the Divine Tarot
These cards are also designed by Ciro Marchetti who you will see features a lot in my collections, his use of magic, imagination and imagery is second to none.

I love his work.  

This tarot deck is amazing, the colours and designs are heavenly, each card is filled  with so much artistic splendour they are a pleasure to use.

They have a satin finish and feel comfortable in the hand, neither too big or small, these cards are also very comfortable to work with.

The cards are easy to read and often even when starting out you can divine a lot of information from the images depicted.

See my Legacy of the Divine Tarot page for more about this boxed set.


Alchemy 1977 England Tarot
Examples of cards in the Alchemy 1977 England Tarot DeckExamples of cards in the Alchemy 1977 England Tarot Deck
The dark, gothic macabre Alchemy 1977 England Tarot is a must for anyone who has a love of the dark side (like me!). The Major Arcana have the beautiful imagery that Alchemy Gothic is famous for. What I particularly love about this deck are the Dragons.

The cards themselves though are an absolute delight to look at, especially as I love Alchemy Gothic artwork as a whole.

NOTE: I have found that these cards are very slippery! In fact I think they are the most difficult of all my decks to handle as I often end up dropping them so it makes them very difficult to work with.

See my Alchemy 1977 England Tarot page for more on this deck

Imperial Dragon Oracle

Imperial Dragon Oracle DeckImperial Dragon Oracle DeckBased on reinterpretations of the Major Arcana this oversized deck of 22 cards is actually more like a tarot deck. Each card connects you to the energy of that Dragon and in doing so helps you understand the power of change and wisdom to be found within it.

Designed by Peter Pracownik, the same person who brought us the Dragon Tarot and the Lord of The Rings deck.

These are a must for Dragon lovers, though its odd I did not like the Dragon Tarot, I just could not feel with them. This set of Oracle cards though I do feel at home with, I fond them simple to use and lovely to work with.

See my Imperial Dragon Oracle page


Power of the Runes Card DeckPower of the Runes Card DeckThe Power Of The Runes
I have just recently found this Oracle set and I am impressed. Even though the cards are large they are matte finish and easy to handle.

These cards are based on the Futhark Rune set of the Norselands which go back at least 2,000 years. Each card has a rune symbol and image taken from Viking life and mythology.

Beautifully designed the imagery is stunning and mystical. So far they feel right and I am very happy with this Oracle set especially as I love the Viking mythology and the Futhark Runes. Beautiful and extremely colourful, this may not appeal to everyone but this to me is what makes this deck stand out.

See my The Power Of The Runes page


Top That Cachet Tarot Cards
Top That Cachet Tarot DeckTop That Cachet Tarot DeckAvailable in Extra Large / Mini
The deck is based on the Cachet Tarot and I found it in two different size packs.   
The large cards are oversized which can be difficult for some to work with, but for simple readings they are great.

The mini set is great for carrying with you but the card names are VERY hard to read!

The large cards are 11cm x 16cm. The mini cards measure 5cm x 7cm.
 The mini set comes in a neat little box with a hardbound mini book. The large set comes in a box with a 48 companion book.

The Major Arcana have vibrant pictures that depict clearly, and with very primary bright colours, the subject of each card. Some have found the colour very overbearing but I am very fond of colour so these readily appeal to me.

The Minor Arcana is very simple, basic showing of each of the suits, very much like a deck of cards. Some think the imagery is too simple but sometimes the simplistic view of cards is helpful.
There is no image of what the cards look like on the box anywhere, so, unless the package has been opened they can not be pre-viewed.

See my Top That Tarot page


Tarot Of Dreams for IphoneTarot Of Dreams for IphoneTarot Of Dreams App
for iPhone

I saw the set and instantly fell in love with it, and what would you expect when again its another deck by Ciro Marchetti. Unfortunately as it was a rare limited edition I found was impossible to get hold of it. Then a standard set was brought out but as yet I have been unable to find a stockist in the UK.  

After much more searching I found the iPhone app, and each of the beautiful images are reproduced within this brilliant app. There is an option within the app to view each card and the images are bright, vibrant and alive.  

I found this app better to carry with me than my tarot deck when I always had my iPhone with me. I really recommend this app for iPhone users. I just wish it was available on Android.


Common Tarot Spreads
The One Card Draw
This spread is simply done by selecting a random card from the tarot deck and interpreting the answer to the query by reading the message within the single card. This is good practice. Select a card each morning, and interpret it as your message for the day.
3 card Tarot spread3 card Tarot spreadThe Basic 3 Question Spread
This is the most basic and straightforward spread of all times. For this spread, draw three cards from a well shuffled deck and lay them out in a straight line. This spread has many different applications. The simplest reading is done as 'Past, Present and Future'. When learning Tarot this is one of the easiest spreads to start with.

Celtic Cross Tarot spreadCeltic Cross Tarot spreadThe Celtic Cross
This is the most popular spread.

The Circle/Cross section is made up of two crosses - a central one (two cards) nested within a larger cross (six cards). The smaller cross represents the heart of the matter - what is most central to you at the time of the reading. .

This is what covers you. It represents the general atmosphere and the client's main concern.

This is what crosses you for the good or ill. A card is placed sideways over #1. This represents opposing forces. If it is a good card, it will help the present situation.

This is what is beneath you. This card represents what brought the situation about, the foundation.

This is what's behind you. This represents what has just happened, or the influences that are passing away.

This is what crowns you. The current situation and influences.

This is what is before you. This card represents what will happen in the very near future if the questioner continues on their current path.

What the questioner fears. Negative feelings about the question asked.

The thoughts of those around you. Depicts the opinions and influences of friends and family about the matter in question.

The questioner's hopes. Reveals the client's own hopes and ideals on the matter involved.

OUTCOME: This card tells what the overall final outcome will be if the questioner continues on their current path. Please consider the influence of all previous cards, particularly the 6th (what is before you) card, which is a more short term representation of the final outcome.

The Dragon Spread  
The Dragon Spread, a variation on the Celtic Cross Tarot SpreadThe Dragon Spread, a variation on the Celtic Cross Tarot SpreadThis is a slight variation of the Celtic Cross spread. The actual spread begins much like a standard Celtic Cross, but adds more cards for more clarification.

1. THE HEART OF THE QUESTION: This cards placement is the one that represents the core of the question or problem posed to you, consciously or unconsciously.

2. WHAT CROSSES THE QUESTION: This cards placement represents obstacles that may manifest themselves to oppose your objective. Here is where the Dragon as an antagonist raises its mighty head. Take heed! This card is to show you the problem in obtaining your objective. Recognize it! Understand it! That is the only way you can overcome what the card is showing you.

3. THE FOUNDATION: Why this objective (the question) is even present in your life. This card can be almost harder to accept then #2. Most people want to know why things are happening (or not happening) to them in their life, but they fail to realize that they are more often then not the cause of such obstacles. The card in this placement should clarify this.

4. OUTSIDE INFLUENCES: Where placement #3 usually represents the questioner's own influences (or obstacles) on the question, here we have any possible influences that may pertain to the question.

5. THE DRAGONTAIL CARD: Here, unknown, unseen events surrounding the question are made known (possibly for the first time). Usually a very surprising card for the person.

6. YOUR HOPES: Now we move onto the Wings of the Dragon. One wing (the Wing of Light) starts with the person's deep felt hopes regarding the question. Pretty straight forward.

7. YOUR FEARS: And here on the other wing (the Wing of Shadows) we begin with the person's fears towards the question or situation. Both placement 6 and 7 should be regarded as the questioner's feelings on the matter, whether they are realistic or not (and usually are not in both cases).

8. THE WING OF LIGHT: This position reveals the best possible solution the question could ever hope to receive. If you don't see it here, it isn't going to happen.

9. THE WING OF DARKNESS: This card will reveal the worst possible solution the situation can offer. Both position 8 and 9 represent the spectrum of the outcome that will be revealed in the remaining cards. Sometimes this can be a comforting card. Most people's greatest fear is the worst thing that could happen. Well, here it is. Usually this card is never as bad as most people think.

10. THE PAST: This card will show the questioner's past that has bearing on the question and may be influencing it.

11. THE PRESENT: This shows how the person feels about the question and how it relates to their life now.

12. & 13. THE FUTURE: Here we have two cards to represent the most likely outcome of the posed question. These cards (considered to be the Dragon's Eyes, or perhaps the Dragon's Horns) are to be read together, giving a more detailed, in-depth view towards the question. More times then not, the final outcome usually falls somewhat in-between what the two wing cards have shown.


For anyone looking to find a Tarot or Oracle deck, the best and only place to go is Aeclectic Tarot, the online Tarot & Oracle library.

With just about every deck listed with examples of the cards, authors, descriptions etc, it is the place to research anything on any deck. It also has details of new, unreleased, rare decks, plus newsletters, free downloads, pdfs etc. One brilliant amazing site.

Link to Aeclectic TarotLink to Aeclectic Tarot

Those who don't believe in Magic will never find it...

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