Order a Reading

Monday, 25 May 2015

Divination 3 x 3 x 3

My friend Chloe at Inner Whispers has done a You Tube in which she shares her three favourite divinatory tools and invites us to do the same: tarot, oracle, Lenormand/other. After much deliberation, I have selected my 3 x 3 x 3. Here they are in random order:

Top Three Tarot Decks 

1986 Blue Box Thoth Tarot
My journey with the wonderful Thoth Tarot has been chronicled on this blog. If you look on the right side bar and click on 'One Deck Wonder: Thoth' you can read all about it.

I have three copies of this deck. My first copy was the small purple box Thoth, purchased for a workshop at a TABI Tarot Convention. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear the presenter (she wasn't on mike) and the people around me all had a negative reaction to the deck, which reinforced my perception of it as cold and unreadable.

When I at last decided to confront my fear and distaste for the deck, I made a commitment to using it exclusively for a time. I did all my blogging with it, my personal readings with it, and my client readings with it. I tried to ready Crowley's guidebook, The Book of Thoth, but found it impenetrable. I bought Tarot: Mirror of the Soul by Gerd Ziegler, but even with my limited knowledge, I knew his was an idiosyncratic and unhelpful take on the deck. Finally, I found Lon Milo DuQuette's book Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot and I was on my way.

If this were the only tarot deck in the world, it could easily keep you busy for a lifetime.

Yellow Box The Rider Tarot Deck 
Edward Arthur Waite and Pamela Colman Smith created what is now the classic tarot deck, and it is available in all sorts of colorations. There are clones (exact same images but with lines and coloring revised) and their are 'RWS-based' decks (too many to count! - Druidcraft, Anna K Tarot, Hudes, Aquarian, just so many). But when I have a tough question or am reading for a client and want to be able to answer clearly and confidently, the old standard yellow box Rider is just the ticket. Could not do without it.

Morgan Greer Tarot (US Games 1979)
This deck is special to me because it was the third deck I ever bought. It is a RWS-based deck, notable in its day for being borderless. It is the deck I turn to even before my yellow box Rider (or other RWS clones). It's not particularly beautiful, but I like it. The backs have no relation to the fronts in style or coloring and not reversible, but I like it. It's full of mustachioed men like something from 'The Joy of Sex', but I like it. It's a workhorse of a deck, shuffles like a dream, I've had it from the start and I like it.

(Honorable Mention: Druidcraft
I have Druidcraft and I used it a lot for years, but I hardly ever pick it now. I won't get rid of it though. However, I hardly ever use it so I can't really say it's a favourite.)

Top Three Oracles
I have to be honest and say most of my oracles were bought either to use as altar decorations or just totally on a whim. I do occasionally use a few of them for divination and here they are:

Morgan's Tarot (Morgan Robbins)
Read my introduction to this fabulous oracle here: 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box. And it gives wonderful readings such as this: Have you ever been Biff Tannened?

I love this deck. Here are a few of my favourite cards:

Teen Oracle (Cinnamon Crow Dixon)
I learned about this oracle from Steven Bright of Tiferet Tarot. It is a very straightforward deck when you just want an answer. Black and white images with red text give it a 'you can't ignore me when I'm being this literal' feeling, and cards are simple as: Stop, Speak, and Relax.

Oracle of the Shapeshifters (Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket-Griffith)
I may be the only person in the world who actively dislikes the artwork of Jasmine Becket-Griffith. I do not like these cards. I don't like any of her work. I do not like these bug-eyed, button-nosed, big-headed girls who like aliens suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. BUT...Lucy Cavendish must be some sort of world-class witch because I have never used a more uncannily accurate oracle. For me, the book is indispensable. The cards are useless without it, and in fact, I often don't bother with the cards but just use the book, opening it at a random page instead of drawing from the deck.

Lenormand and other 
I do not use any 'other' types of divination, having given up dealings with runes, crystals, herbalism, and such like. I'm pure cartomancy these days. Here are my three favourite Lennies and 'other':

Esmeralda Lenormand
I didn't even know about this deck; it was a gift from a friend, and has become my favourite Lenormand. I use it for all my client readings and it is my go-to for my own personal Lennie readings as well. I love the rich colours and textures, and the little prompts and icons. All the information you need is right there on the card, and when laid out in a grand tableau, they look like a glorious patchwork quilt.

Titania's Fortune Cards
This was my first Lenormand, before I had even heard the word 'Lenormand'. If you buy it, ignore the companion book. It bears no relation to any traditional Lenormand system and will only confuse you. (I actually threw mine away.) They have a crazy, 'flashing colour' thing going on with them, making them look like lurid photo negatives. You get a sort of tatwa thing going when you use them. Here's a draw I did with them: Lenormand Daily Draw.

The Psycards are a set of 40 cards inspired by Carl Jung's work, and based on the principle of 'archetypes'. I used to have the book but I traded that set, then a few years later decided I wanted the cards back and bought the deck only. It's okay, the book is not really needed.

Here's a reading I did with Psycards: Emperor Energy -- Not Welcome Lately.

Well, that was exhausting. :)

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favourite decks. What are your faves? I'd love to hear! If you do a You Tube or write a blog, please link to it in comments below. :D


  1. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed this - especially the unusual Oracles you picked. I'm not usually into black and white decks but Morgan's Tarot looks really interesting. I have Titania's fortune cards too - agree about the book! Psycards... had them, sold them on. Not sure why. I often end up regretting getting rid of cards. I might do what you did there :P :D

    1. Morgan's Tarot is hilarious. I've noticed that I haven't picked any 'lush' or romantic decks. When it comes to reading, beauty is not the key for me. Only one out of these nine decks would I consider attractive, and that's Esmeralda. I can see that Thoth is beautiful, but I remain mostly unaffected by it. I am indifferent to the art in most of the others and actively dislike the art Titania's Fortune and Oracle of Shapeshifters -- but they are the best for readings. Funny, that!

  2. I'm still not a huge fan of the Thoth, but have always enjoyed your readings with it - very insightful. Thanks for joining the 3x3x3 tag, I love taking a peak into people's experiences with the cards in this way. Your take on the Shapeshifters makes me laugh, even though I do love the artwork :D

    1. I was just saying to Lisa that the decks I chose are not my favourite for art work. I'd have to make several lists:

      My three favourite to look at
      My three favourite to read with
      My three that I wish I could read with but I can't but I keep them anyway because they are wonderful

    2. Sounds like a fun list, too :)

  3. Love it! I'd like to follow suit, but I might be accused of plagiarism - my favourite Tarot is also the yellow box RWS, fave oracle Morgan's Tarot ("Tomato, potato, eggplant") and, although I don't have it - yet - I'm seriously coveting the Esmeralda Lenormand. And I agree with Inner Whispers, your description of Shapeshifters was very funny and I quite agree. But, of course, now I'm nevertheless tempted to buy one. And a Teen Oracle - who'd have thought?

    1. Oh go on, I'd like to hear why you picked them.

      (I LOVE 'tomato, potato, eggplant')

  4. What a great group of cards. I have had my eye on the Morgan's Tarot for awhile now. Morgan Greer is a wonderful deck, as well. Ah, so many decks and so little time. Hugs!

    1. Glad you like them, a few choices are unconventional!

  5. Hi Carla I've just finished my own list of favorites. I like your pick and it is funny but we have not one deck in common. The Morgan Greer deck was close but it had to make way for the Original Rider Waite.:)

    1. You know what, I deliberated so long between yellow box and Original RW!! I love them both. For some reason, I never warmed to the PCS Commemorative. It's the waxy texture. But like you, I LOVE the feeling of the cards in the Original RW. Actually, I really like pretty much every RWS clone I've ever seen.

    2. It's funny because the PCS Commemorative is my favorite RWS deck, in part because of the waxiness! I like the muted tones, and I think the Original has the same softer coloring which is definitely more attractive to me.

    3. Funny isn't it. I find there are some decks I end up using because I don't like the card stock -- Enchanted Lenormand, Tarot of the Sidhe, PCS Commemorative. I like the art but don't like touching them. :)

    4. (That should say 'end up NOT using'. )

  6. Nice list! I took Chloe's challenge as well, and agree that it was pretty exhausting, though a good exercise in prudence, I suppose! It's funny you mention not particularly liking Jasmine Beckett Griffith's art - you are not alone. I don't use her oracles, though I bought my oldest daughter the Oracle of Shadows and Light and really enjoys it. Here's my "divination challenge" link: http://www.firstearthtarotandroot.com/2015/05/3x3x3-divination-tag-my-favorite-tools.html

    1. Give your daughter's oracle a try, it may surprise you.

    2. Will do! I'm a sucker for good writing ;)