Ever since I first discovered the joys of Tarot, I’ve experienced phases during which the urge to buy new decks has spiked through the roof for me. On the one hand, I do read and teach professionally at this point, so decks are legitimate tools of the trade…but on the other hand, I do need to be on guard against the impulse to buy and collect and amass just for the sake of the momentary gratification of obtaining something new.
Over the last year or two, I’ve really been good about largely squelching that mad, rampant urge to buy new decks. My basic needs and even most of my basic wants are covered. For the most part, buying decks now feels mostly like I’m just scratching that fleeting itch of “Buy New Stuff!” – it doesn’t feel so much like I’m acquiring necessary implements for my actual work.
But then in the last two months or so, I’ve suddenly still managed to plunk down cash for no less than three new decks.
The first of these was the Epic Tarot. It’s a very recent release, and the detailed and surreal fantasy artwork knocked me out. I was also very impressed with a couple of the innovations specific to this deck: two of the Suits have been renamed in ways that feel smart and interesting for once, and the Court Cards have been reworked in very thought-provoking fashion.
On the heels of that purchase, I relocated to Providence, Rhode Island, former home of H. P. Lovecraft, the celebrated writer of horror-fiction. I wanted to get one of the decks out there that was based on Lovecraft’s work, and I settled on the Dark Grimoire Tarot, which is another rather deep and stimulating deck.
And finally, there’s the deck that arrived here yesterday: the Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus. For a couple of years now, I’ve been pulling a card every morning from a phone app I have that features the Rosetta Tarot, by artist and creator M. M. Meleen. The Tabula Mundi is her second deck. I’ve been drooling over this one for many months now, ever since MMM first posted pictures of some of the Major Arcana cards she’d started developing. The artwork in the deck is phenomenal: it’s detailed, vividly colored, very otherworldly, intensely innovative, bursting with imagination and energy, and highly evocative of the Thoth deck on which it’s based, without ever feeling derivative or overly reliant on it. Ms. Meleen is a passionate student of the occult, and this shows through in each and every card.
I’ll be working heavily with all three of the aforementioned decks as I move forward from here, but I feel like the Tabula Mundi will hold a very special place in my world. I’ve had it for less than 24 hours, but I already can’t recommend it enough!