5 Tarot Decks for the Luxe Spirit Babe

Luxe Tarot Decks

LuxeTarot

When I was 10 years old I was introduced to my first addiction. Tarot decks.

As someone who has always been very visually inclined it was no surprise to me that I picked up on reading tarot, and later oracle decks, with a lot of ease. I never felt the need to really memorize card meanings because, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was actually highly clairvoyant. Seeing things in the cards would be the way I would read for the rest of my life.

This came with a downside though. My love of art and the visual aspect of tarot meant that I would always be drawn to the next new shiny thing that crossed my path. Couple that with my inability to hold myself back when I really want something and you have a recipe for someone becoming a massive tarot collector.

There have been times in my tarot career where at a single time I’ve owned more than 200 tarot and oracle decks.  Recently I shared a picture on Instagram and my personal Facebook page of my current deck storage and collection and the inevitable questions came in.

“What decks are your favorites?”
“How many decks do you have?”
“Are there any decks you want that you don’t have?”
“What decks do you recommend for a newbie?”

The big question I got the most was about what decks are my favorites and I decided that in the weeks coming up {sometime in July} I’ll do a video talking about my Top 10 decks and do mini reviews of them.

Today I wanted to share a little bit of a different kind of deck round up. I wanted to talk about the idea of luxe tarot decks and creating a luxury reading experience for yourself or others.

For me, a luxe deck needs to have two things:
A special tactile feel
A special visual feel

The tactile feel means thick cards. Cards that you aren’t afraid to shuffle. They might have a special finish to them to make them matte or glossy. They don’t wear easily and they don’t chip or split around the edges as you use them more and more.

The visual feel is something that, for me, means a deck just draws me in. That doesn’t have to mean the art is extremely intricate, as you see from one of the decks I’ll share. It simply has to be different. It should be unique and convey that sense of lushness and luxury with the colors and images used throughout.

A luxe deck begs to be used.  A luxe deck creates a real experience from start to finish when you use it.

A luxe deck is one that is truly a luxury to own sometimes. Some of these decks can cost $50 or more unless they get picked up and later mass produced by a publishing house like Llewellyn or U.S. Games. But I think that when this happens it stopes being luxe because often things about the cards change. The card size and quality is often the first thing to go what this happens.

You don’t have to own a ton of special luxe decks to be a tarot slinging luxe spirit babe. One will do the trick. But it should be one that really and truly creates something special for you and anyone that you use that deck with.

With each of the decks below I’ve compared the same cards to give you an idea of the different feel from deck to deck. You’ll see the back of the deck then for each deck you’ll see The High Priestess, Six of Cups and The Tower.

 

Top 5 Luxe Tarot Decks

 

#5 – The Tarot of the Hidden Realm by Barbara Moore and Julia Jeffery

Tarot of the Hidden Realm

Two decks on this list are from major deck publisher and this is the first of them. This deck is a truly beautiful bit of art for anyone who wants something a little different, well balanced with light and dark energy, but also very engaging and a little refined. The art by Julia Jeffery is spectacular and very lush. This is deck that really pulls you into the imagery with the various levels of light, shadow and depth used in the art.  The copper boarders for the card titles are beautiful and the type has a nice, elegant engraved feeling. The only issue with the deck and the reason it rates #5 on the list is that, in typically Llewellyn fashion in recent years, that cards are a little on the thin side.

 

#4 The Bohemian Gothic Tarot by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov

Bohemian Gothic Tarot
Every year during the month of October I offer a special Halloween themed tarot reading by email where I let the client pick from a handful of decks that have a darker or flat out Halloween theme to them. Every year without any real competition this is the deck that gets chosen the most. While the deck definitely has a darker overall feel to it, the art is very evocative, immersive and simply stunning.  The cards are thick and luxurious to hold and shuffle. The backs have a beautiful pearlized finished to them making the silver and black backing image glint just a touch in the light. Working with these cards is an absolute delight, and while they may not be ideal for every reading situation for every reader, they are excellent as a seasonal tool.

 

#3 – The BoneFire Tarot by Gabrielle Angus-West

BoneFire Tarot
This is a deck for the Spirit Babe who really wants something different, edgy and unique. The BoneFire Tarot has a basis in the traditional Rider-Waite Smith meanings but the art goes in a different direction to depict those meanings at times. The cards are smaller than your average deck which makes these great for carrying in your bag or traveling. The deck is self published and comes in a hand-sewn felt pouch for storage. The cards are sturdy but easy to shuffle and with their smaller size are great for babes with smaller hands. The cards have a great matte glossy texture and finish making them wonderful to touch. The art is reminiscent of Sailor Jerry style tattoo art. While the deck has been sold out for a few years, you can still see the images of many of the cards on the deck website. And, like with many out of print decks in the tarot world, if you want it bad enough you can usually find someone will to sell or trade a deck if you hit up the bigger tarot forums.

 

#2 – The Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi and Kwon Shina

Dreaming Way Tarot
This is the second of the decks by a large publisher on the list. This one is produced by U.S. Games and a bit better card quality than the Llewellyn deck{s}. The cards themselves aren’t thick or thin but a sort of middle ground that shuffles easily but also bends easily too. These cards do need to be reshaped after a handful of shuffles. The finish on the cards isn’t anything terribly special but the cards do have a bit of a feel to them that still manages to stand out making them feel nice in the hands. The art is very beautiful and very luxe. Looking at this always makes me feel like I’m looking at the conceptual sketches in a fashion designer’s art book. The backing even has a fashion pattern style to it. The mix of watercolor and line art has a beautiful sophistication that makes this great for the luxe babe that wants to read tarot while staying super classy.

 

And finally…

 

#1 – The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans

Wild Unknown Tarot
Without a doubt, if you want a luxe tarot deck, you have to pick up a copy of The Wild Unknown Tarot. It’s one of the most unique but immersive decks with a beautiful blend of line art and watercolor pop to draw you in. The cards are thick and withstand a good shuffling. They have a fantastic matte glossy finish that feels so good to the touch and look beautiful. The cards follow RWS meanings with a very unique and earthy approach.

The cards come in a hard keepsake box with a ribbon on the bottom for easy storage and removal. The box is even beautiful! These cards don’t shy away from some of the darker aspects of some of the cards, and instead make us confront them with art depicting worms and eyeballs in creepy dance together. The Wild Unknown turns a tarot reading into a ritual and begs to treated as more than just tool.

Wild Unknown Tarot box

If I was to pick one thing about the deck that I’m not a big fan of it’s just how thick the cards are – its a blessing and a curse. It means the cards are going to last many shuffles over time but the are also a little hard to shuffle if you’re a riffle style shuffler like me. These cards need a poker shuffle for sure.

 

What decks do have or have you used that you feel belong on a luxe tarot list?


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  • Linda Ursin
    June 27, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Those decks are beautiful. I have one more characteristic for a luxe deck; it has to fit my hands 🙂 Handling cards that are too big doesn’t feel good.

    • Jess Carlson
      June 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      I hear you! Decks that are too big are hard to use for me too. For instance I love the DruidCraft Tarot {the original 4×6 cards…that’s the deck I have} but they are so hard to shuffle. Smaller and standard decks get the most use with me for sure. I do like the bigger decks for meditation and magic though.

  • Jodi Blackmore
    June 27, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I really love the Gaian Tarot ones….maybe because I was watching them for a few years before they were finished. I bought a set of the self-published ones, which were limited in number, had to pay them off because I couldn’t really afford them. They came in this beautiful, hand made, tie-dyed bag, complete with book (for those [me] who are challenged and don’t really know what they’re doing!) and this little portrait goddess thing for a necklace (I think) which I just keep in the bag and look at occasionally. But…omg…I absolutely love them. These were (and are) my ultimate luxe deck. 🙂

    • Jess Carlson
      June 27, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      I have the limited edition Gaian Tarot as well. I got the 4×6 ones {the big ones} and I’m glad I did because then when the Llewellyn version came out I was able to use those as my regular deck. I have my card charm in the bag too. I got the High Priestess, since that’s my favorite card. It’s definitely one of my favorite luxe decks too. I didn’t include them here because you can’t get them anymore in that form. To be TOTALLY honest I didn’t know until I was wrapping up writing and formatting the post that the BoneFire deck was OOP otherwise I wouldn’t have included it. So the limited edition Gaian Tarot absolutely deserves like a special mention on the list. 🙂

  • Shelby
    June 27, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I really enjoy the Shadowscapes Tarot. I actually have two by a funny accident. I bought one for myself and my husband bought me another without knowing I had the first. The powers that be really wanted me to have it, I guess! The art is so fluid and graceful and intricate. And the cards themselves feel glossy and thick, I adore them in my hands. I used to think they were too big for my small hands, but I’ve gotten used to them and now anything else feels too small. I’d highly suggest checking it out here: http://www.shadowscapes.com/Tarot/cardsmain.php?suit=0

  • Demi Priestess
    June 30, 2015 at 2:47 am

    I LOVE the Wild Unknown tarot, it’s so beautiful and interesting, it’s my favourite deck. So glad to see it’s in here! Tarot of theHidden Realm has been on my want list for a long while, I’m glad it got such a good review 😀