Things to consider when buying a new deck


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It is the little things in life that bring me joy. One of those things is a new deck! I love buying a new deck and exploring that deck’s interpretation and perspective on tarot. Like a new car, a new deck also has a “new deck smell” which I (and other readers do) must sniff my new deck. The smell of freshly sealed ink on paper is just heavenly, please comment if you agree.

2015 was a busy deck buying year for me and before the year ends I will have one more for the collection, the rare “J.K Waite Tarot”. But when and why do I buy a new deck? I mainly like to collect decks. I also like to have different decks mainly to see how each artist portrays the cards so I may discover new nuances to the cards.

In order for a deck to be worthy of my consideration is must meet some of the following requirements:

  • Artist – Some decks I need to have simply if it is from an artist I adore. Ciro Marchetti is one example. The only reason why I own a Lenormand and Kipper deck is because Ciro created one. Robert M. Place is another artist I must have his decks. The Alchemical and Sevenfold Mystery are esoterically elaborate. He is also working on a new deck with Rachel Pollack called The Raziel Tarot. Erik Dunne creator of the Tarot Illuminati is coming out with a new deck, Tarot Apokolypsis. Working with Kim Huggins, the two produce rich, exotic work you must have.
  • Rarity – Some decks are limited editions, vintage, and or out of print which make them collectables and valuable. My recent J.K Waite was a $200 purchase. Sometimes though you can snag a great deal as I did back in 2009 with my Rider De Lux Edition for $50! I also put money into a “Blushing Fool” early edition Waite deck from 1970’s. Some artists like Ciro Marchetti produce limited edition decks which are of high quality and come with extra goodies that you cannot purchase through mass market versions. He produced a special edition of the Legacy of the Divine Tarot for in which each deck would be unique. Each major arcana card had slightly different variations in color details, resulting in a different deck for each person. Original Waite-Smith decks from 1909-1930’s go for hundreds, if not over a thousand dollars because of their rarity.
  • Visual appeal – Some decks just look freaking great you want to buy it. This was the case with the Thelema Tarot. It is visually appealing I had to have it.
  • Posterity – I may also buy a deck that I think will become a rare deck of the future, so I keep it for posterity. I bought extra copies of the Gilded Tarot Royale by Ciro for said reason.
  • Supporting the dream – Thanks to social fund raising like Kick starter, independent artists can create their own decks. Some decks stand out from others in terms of quality of the product and vision of the deck. This was the case with the Fountain Tarot. The deck was of such beauty you wanted to support the creator’s dream of producing the deck, and have a copy for yourself.
  • Personal – Some decks have a personal attraction for me. For example, being Greek I own decks which connect to my Greek culture. This includes the Mythic Tarot, The Byzantine Tarot, the Golden Tarot of the Tsars and a Greek language Waite-Smith deck. These decks speak to my culture, history, mythology, religion and so on.

It came! And I love it love it!!! This will be my new deck for regular readings for sure. Pops! #tarot #tarotreadersofinstagram #tarotcards

A photo posted by Long Island Tarot Reader (@angelo_nasios) on

What do I do with a new deck? I do not do any rituals; I do not cleanse or bless my decks. Not really my style. Since I often do video reviews on YouTube for decks I often will not shuffle the deck until I records the deck on film. Until then I go through the images and look at each card evaluating the images. I make mental notes of what I think of the images, the cardstock, the boxing and so forth. I will then make the video and after shuffle the deck. I will shuffle the deck thoroughly for a while until the cards and mixed up well.  I will then do a reading to test the cards and see if I connect with them and if they can perform well for me.
That is what I do with my new decks!


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The recipient of Tarosophist of the Year 2011, Angelo Nasios is a rising voice in the tarot community. Angelo is known for his popular YouTube channel in which he produces educational tarot videos. Tarot: Unlocking the Arcana, Angelo’s first book will be released by Schiffer Publishing.

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  • Lonnie Scott

    Agreed on all points! Especially the artists! Ciro and Erik both rock beyond words. I like that you point out supporting dreams. My collection is growing thanks to Kickstarter and the amazing work coming out through independent creators. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  • Rootweaver

    Great post. I agree about visually appealing decks, the artwork should establish a linguistic connection with the reader.

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  • Joy Vernon

    Yes, I buy decks for a lot of the same reasons as you–and yes, almost anything by Ciro Marchetti and Robert Place! :-)

  • Fiona Benjamin

    I need to get my hands on a Robert Place deck.. ah.. next deck! The one you just got is definitely gorgeous though!

  • Loreen Muzik

    Ahhh supporting the dream! That’s how I’ve found some of the most delicious decks that I’ve truly connected with. Great insight.

    And as artists go – I had no interest in Kipper – until I HAD to HAVE the next Ciro deck! And I’m so glad he has presented that gift to us. That’s a deck I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know!

  • Tasha Erker

    Yep, I’ve definitely sniffed a new deck ☺️ I would easily buy anything produced by Ciro… When I bought his limited Gilded Tarot Royale I opened it, looked at every single card, fell madly in love with it, then guiltily put it straight back into the box… It’s my most treasured, unused deck! Great post, thank you!

  • Mellissae Lucia

    I about passed out when you mentioned sniffing decks. Hilarious. I also love the shout outs to some of your favorite creators and why you collect certain decks.

    • angelonasios

      Lol I know I am not the only one who likes that new deck smell

  • Tabitha Dial

    Yes! Why we buy decks is such a compelling topic.

    Surely there are many of us who buy for all these reasons, including personal connection to our heritage. I love that you’ve included that in this list. Cheers!

  • Hazellie Wong

    Most of the decks I’ve bought are in the personal and visual appeal category, but I’ve also bought decks for the sole purpose of studying and ended up loving them later. I haven’t really started a real deck collection yet, but I love your list and I’ll probably incorporate some of your considerations into my own list as well. Thanks so much for sharing! =)