The Minor Arcana: traditional or non-traditional?

  • I'm currently starting a book on Tarot Magick, written by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. They are excellent authors, as I'm sure many of you know.

    Since I'm not that knowledgeable about the Tarot, I'd like to ask a question to all of you who are more experienced. Is it better to use a deck that shows human beings in the Minor Arcana cards, or one that only shows the suit's symbols -- cups, swords, wands, and pentacles?

    In this particular book, Denning & Phillips say that one needs to have a traditional deck -- one without images in the Minor Arcana, with the exception of the court characters -- for the Tarot Magick they discuss in the book. They probably say the same thing about using such a deck for divination, too, but I haven't gotten that far into the book.

    What do you guys think? I personally think that a card deck with a "humanized" Minor Arcana would make divination that much more interesting, not to mention richer. As for Tarot Magick, perhaps the authors of this book are right. What do you think about this?

    Please give your opinion, and state why you hold it. All opinions welcome! I want to learn from those who know more than I do.

    Thanks & divine blessings to one and all!

  • I wouldnt say either or is better. I personally prefer Rider Waite cards but it's all a preference on the isnt better over the other!

  • Thanks, Cupidity! I think you've made a very good point - perhaps one shouldn't limit oneself either way.

    As for card decks, my favorite one is the Aquarian, but I also like the Connolly, Robin Wood, and Hanson-Roberts. All of these have a "humanized" Minor Arcana. I really don't like decks that have Minor Arcana cards with just the suit's symbols on them. So I guess I am limiting myself, after all! Lol.

  • I'd say either is good. I'm a big fan of humanized versions because it has such strong symbolism and i can draw out more information on the cards as opposed to those symbolic cards. I'd recommend cards with the Rdier Waite Smith version decks for beginners and entering the more advanced symbolic cards later, I myself plan to take on Aleister Crowley's Toth tarot in the near future

  • Hi Marlangeles

    I starting reading when I was 13 and began with a traditional deck. I would choose a card a day and meditate on the symbols and meaning of the card. I also started with the Rider Waite Smith version, which I believe is good for beginners. Over the years I found a deck that I was drawn to.

    I still pick a card a day and meditate on the object that jumps out at me. If you enjoy richness to the cards you may also want to view The Voyager Deck by James Wanless. Whatever you decide, make sure that there is a connection between you and the deck you use. Please don't think that you are limiting yourself, the symbols are rich and depending on the overall spread and your connection with the symbols can only help you become a good messenger.

  • Kushi:

    I really do prefer the humanized versions. I just can't get into looking at cards that just have all these swords, cupts, etc. o them. They leave me cold!

    As far as decks go, my absolute favorite is the Aquarian., although I also love the Connolly, Robin Wood, and Hanson-Roberts. I used to own the Crowley Thoth a long time ago, but got rid of it because of some negative things I read about Crowley some years ago. He was even kicked out of Italy because he and his followers were doing some very depraved things at the Abbey of Thelema. On the other hand, perhaps I should go back and take a look at the deck again. I could always use someone else's interpretations of the cards.

    The next post mentions the Voyager deck. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this deck! I have some of the cards on Amazon. AWESOME!! I'm going to get it as soon as I can!!

  • Hey, groovn! BTW, the song is running through my head: "Groovin'.....on a Sunday afternoon...." Is that where you got your forum name from? Cool!

    As I was telling Kush, I have seen cards from the Voyager deck, and it totally blows my mind!! It makes me want to get on the good ol' USS ENTERPRISE, and travel the galaxies with Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the gang! Lol.

    This is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL deck. I'm already a book addict. Now it looks like I'm going to become a Tarot addict, because I want to start collecting all these beautiful, beautiful decks! The Voyager is next on my list!

  • So Aquarian I assume is your favorite deck? mine is Druidcraft

  • Yes, Kushi, I prefer the Aquarian to all others, although I must say there are some exquisitely beautiful decks out there! I have seen the images from the Druidcraft deck, and they are definitely interesting. I will investigate some more.

    I just bought the Gilded Tarot tonight, along with a companion book, titled "Easy Tarot". This deck is incredibly beautiful! I would use the word "stunning" for this one!

    A given Tarot deck has to appeal to me visually, or I won't even consider acquiring it. I dislike the Rider Waite, for example. I don't care if it's the so-called 'standard' for Tarot decks. The artwork on this deck doesn't appeal to me AT ALL -- I consider it to be very mediocre and uninspiring. These are cards that I wouldn't be interested in using to meditate on, or reading with.

    In contrast, the Aquarian deck drew me in at once, the very first time I came across it, years ago. Its Art Deco style is extremely appealing. I could stare at, and meditate on, a card for hours, I think! It's just a very, very beautiful deck! I would love to have a large copy of any of the images, but especially those of the Major Arcana, as posters to frame and put up. That's how strongly this deck affects me!

    I think you would agree that a reading would not be the very best if the card reader were uncomfortable using a particular deck. That would get in the way of establishing rapport with the cards, and thus, deriving messages from them.

    There are decks out there that are just horrible! They put me off right away! I have done some browsing at, and have seen decks that are either very crudely drawn, or absolutely grotesque. Then there are decks that...ahem, ...just make me blush. I wouldn't consider them, either!

    In short, my all-time favorite is the Aquarian, followed closely by the Connolly and the Robin Wood, and now, of course, by the Gilded Tarot.

    Then there's the Voyager Tarot... but that's a non-traditional deck. It's incredible, though, so I want to get it strictly for aesthetic contemplation.

  • I actually have a Rider Waite but the thing is it was supposed to be for a friend, I got it for him since he wanted to learn tarot then he just lost interest before i even gave it to him. He has some issues you see and whenever he doesnt get what he thinks he should (which are impossible things) He rejects them and claims that i dont want him to learn.

  • I read it pretty well though, Probably because my reading ability comes not just from the cards but from my own energy as well. If you look at my decks they have nothing in common.


    Vampire tarot of the eternal night

    Rider Waite


    I just felt comfortable with most of these decks and i was able to read with them regarding different matters

  • Hey, there, Kushi! How's your Memorial Day going?

    Well, this is ironic....I love The Twilight Saga, so I should be into vampire Tarot decks. I'm not, though. The ones I've seen on aeclectic totally turn me off. Maybe if there were an Edward/Bella deck, I'd go for it! Lol.

    Right now, these are my decks:

    1. Aquarian

    2. Connolly

    3. Robin Wood

    4. Gilded Tarot

    5. Hanson-Roberts

    6. The Grail Tarot

    7. Voyager Tarot

    Actually, I don't have the Connolly, or the last three yet. I'm in the process of getting them from Amazon. But these are the decks that really call out to me. Also, although I've put them in order, they're really all equally attractive to me. Right now, I'm doing readings with the Aquarian, but I will be using the others, too, alternately.

    I don't think I will ever do readings with the Voyager Tarot, though. It's just for "eye candy"!

    And by the way, I intend to read strictly for myself. I'm still a beginner, but I don't think I would ever feel comfortable reading for others. I'm very much concerned with spiritual growth, too, and not with knowing my future.

  • Hey, I just added two more decks that I absolutely love! I went to Amazon a couple of minutes ago, and did some browsing. Well, now I gotta have the Modern Medieval and the Quantum decks!! They are just stunningly beautiful!!!! I have included them in my Tarot/Angel Oracle wish list at Amazon.

    And the beat goes on..... : )

  • Take a look at these images from the Quantum Tarot. You'll have to agree that they're incredibly beautiful!!

  • Well, one of them didn't go through, because it was just too big. I'll try another.

  • Hurray, it went through. Now for the book cover, since it's a card deck with book.

  • Nope! Too big! So here's another card image.

  • I know this deck is not a traditional one. Neither is the Voyager. I guess this is another "eye candy" deck! But there are people out there who will be using it for divination.

    So what do you think?

  • I love it, it's very deep to be honest and i've actually done a reading with it before. It combines tarot with astrology

    I've used Archeon tarot as well as Gilded,

    I feel like buying Shadowscapes tarot when i get the chance. have you tried making a portrait with your Grail tarot? or one thing you may want to look into would be the transparent tarot.

    We dont really have a memorial day in this country so i dont really know what its about

  • Oh, so you're familiar with the Quantum Tarot! Yes, it does seem to be very profound! I can't wait to get it! But i have to hold myself back a little....I've been buying Tarot stuff like crazy these past few days!

    I don't have the Grail Tarot yet, either. It's on the way -- I've already ordered it from Amazon. The Hanson-Roberts is also on the way. I told you I was going a little crazy!

    As for Memorial Day, it's an American holiday to honor those soldiers who served -- whether currently living or dead -- in American wars. I apologize; I assumed you were living in the U.S. I should have known there would be people from different parts of the world here!

    So what country are you from? I'm a Cuban-American.

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