What does it take to put together a tarot deck collection that covers every important era in Tarot’s 600-year history? After making a list and distilling it to the essentials, I found you could cover all the bases quite nicely with fourteen decks. If you stick to just the main highway of tarot evolution and avoid going down interesting by-ways, you can create a basic collection with just seven decks.
Here are my guidelines for a well-rounded collection comprised of decks that are affordable and readily available. The collection falls into five broad categories: Fifteenth century, Tarot de Marseilles, Occult, Rider-Waite-Smith, and contemporary decks. The basic collection has the oldest examples of each category. I’ve given suggestions for filling out the basic collection with additional essential decks; then I provide a shopping list at the end of the article. Read more