A Glut of Garbage?

I’ve written in the past that there seems to be a veritable tsunami of mediocre tarot and oracle decks entering the market, most likely due to the ease of self-publishing and the impression that “anyone can be an artist” (aka “It’s so simple a caveman could do it”). Now I notice on the Tarot Marketplace that a good many of these nondescript decks are being cast off by those who bought them, quite a few of which I’ve never even heard of (and I’ve been looking at new decks regularly). I guess most of them never made it to Amazon and were sold on Etsy and other direct-to-buyer outlets that I don’t entirely trust.

It seems to me that many of these were bought as “impulse purchases,” a case of too much idle cash and not enough research. Their disposal is called “decluttering” but it strikes me more as an admission of failure. I gave up on most indie decks some time ago since it can be difficult to assess their quality and I’ve been burned a couple of times. But I know people who have hundreds of decks (and a couple who have thousands); they are especially vulnerable to the “next big thing” hype created by social media and can’t resist jumping at the chance.

Personally, I have around 70 tarot decks and a handful of Lenormand and oracle decks right now. All of the Lenormand decks get used with some regularity, but the oracle decks are never touched. Of the tarot decks, half-a-dozen of them see frequent use, another half-dozen are brought out occasionally, and the rest languish on the shelf. I have a few for which I love the artwork but don’t find them very conversational for readings. I won’t say that I don’t crave new decks, since I still want a Flornoy Noblet TdM and am taking a hard look at Pat Zalewski’s upcoming Golden Dawn deck, but the urge has faded for most new decks. As I see it, for professional purposes I can get by with the Thoth, the RWS in various versions, and a “niche” deck or two that I use for special topics. Anything beyond that is just self-indulgence.

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