I have a bit of a deck-collecting habit.
I also have this one friend who feels the need to question this habit of mine.
Now, to be clear, my overall deck-buying impulse flares up much less often and much less intensely than it did when I was first bitten by the Tarot bug. To large extent, the itch has been scratched. Then again, if an especially attractive or innovative deck catches my attention, I may feel called to get it. And should my friend hear of this, she will give me a disapproving earful: “Why do you need so many decks? What can one tell you that the others can’t? They’re all basically the same! Children are starving in the world, and you’re spending all this money on decks!”
Not that it’s anyone’s business but mine, but I thought I’d offer up a few compelling reasons why I do like to shuttle around among multiple decks:
1) New deck concepts and new imagery deepen my understandings of the cards immensely. Studying different versions of a given card offers fresh insights, and further solidifies my own grasp on which elements of a card feel essential to me, versus which ones don’t.
2) I read professionally, and different clients have different preferences and comfort levels, so having multiple decks to choose from can bring maximum satisfaction all around.
3) Here’s a big one – each deck has its own unique “voice.” Why do some guitarists have multiple guitars? I mean, the chords for “Purple Haze” are the same no matter which axe you pick up, right…? And the answer is that yes, the chords, the notes, they’re all the same…but each instrument has its own sound, its own feel. An acoustic is not quite the same as an electric. A 6-string is not quite interchangeable with a 12-string.
And so it is with Tarot decks: each one is a distinct instrument, and we can elicit different moods from them. Play to their strengths, and they’ll play to yours.