30 Days of Tarot — Day 3: Do you have more than one deck that you use, and, if so, do you have a favorite? If not, why do you like the deck you have chosen?
I currently have six unique tarot decks and my favorite depends on what the question is at the time. But to answer everyone’s favorite “stuck on a desert island” question, it would be the Universal Waite.
I can’t say the Universal Waite (which is a clone of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck) is my One True
Love Favorite because it’s not. I am fond of all my minions decks equally, though some more than others depending on the occasion.
But Smith’s images have become universal and the default for tarot imagery. For me, the images have become detached from the cultural baggage that spawned them. The Christian iconography that remains in the cards are more reminders of the meanings they carry than any proclamation or condemnation.
For most people I read in face-to-face meetings, the Rider-Waite-Smith (and clones like the Universal Waite) are a safe deck. Everyone has seen these images. No strange spookiness abounds. Hollywood has rendered these cards nothing more than props, and for once, I’m thankful for it.
Interestingly, though the Universal Waite was my first tarot deck, I did not completely understand it until I had a few others in hand. It was only after wrestling with the Thoth and the Legacy of the Divine was I able to go back and re-read Waite’s
smothering words with anything akin to understanding.
As such, the UW has become my “fractured ground” deck. When I read from the other decks, I restrict my interpretations to the systems designed for those decks. When I read from the UW (or from the other Rider-Waite-Smith recolored clones), I draw on all my sources and intuition. It has become the closest to a scrying deck as I can get. And that’s why it is my Desert Island deck.