Classical VS Modern


I was just wondering what everyones thoughts were on how the tarot decks are evolving!! I am very new to this but when I look at, for example, the rider-waite deck and then I look at these more modern versions like the ninjinsky tarot(which contains beautiful artistry/imagery) I get a sense of artificialness(maybe wrong word choice) I could be being a tadclose-minded but I just don't get the same sense of history/importance/tradition when I see the modern decks!! I consider myself to be an artist and I'm usually all about the abstract/out of the norm but not when it comes to this..............why would that be? lol


The older decks are steeped in history & the energies of all which have contributed to their existence. Some of them have a basis in the Qabala; others have the strength of the archetypes or both to support them. Some of the newer decks share those qualities as well. Whatever the style preferred, whether the traditional/classical or modern, that a deck works for the reader is what makes it a valid tool.


Although I have the 1jj Swiss deck, I think a classic, I use my Original Rider Waite only. I seem to be more attracted to the traditional decks than the modern - also mostly Rider Waite clones like the Diamond, Morgan Greer and Palladini (all of which I hope to be getting in the near future :) ) But really its just a case of what draws you and there are some really beautiful modern decks out there. :)


i'm kind of leaning toward the classical style, too. i don't seem to ever "click' with modern decks, at least not for very long. if i acquire a new, modern-styled deck, i will "ooh and aah" over it for a little while, but then i find myself back to my traditional favorites.
my favorite reading deck is the morgan-greer, and i also enjoy the renaissance tarot by brian williams--his books on tarot's history are absolutely amazing. by the same token, he also created the "po-mo" tarot!


I too am something of a traditionalist. I prefer classical decks or modern decks based on such styles, like say the Robin Wood. But I do have one deck that is completely different which I love, love, love. It's the Tarot Tzigane by Tchalai. In fact, it's so different from other tarots that I haven't a clue as to how to use it. The kinds of decks that I really don't care for are those that the artwork is made up of photographs like the Gendron or Nijinsky. And some decks are just too damn weird for my tastes.


i have decks of both styles i love. just depends on whether or not it strikes my fancy. my fav traditional are the hanson-roberts and legend arthurian. my fav modern is the rohrig. my fav somewhere in between is the celtic wisdom by caitlin matthews and the shining tribe. my fav oracle decks are the druid animal oracle by philip and stephanie carr-gomm and the medicine cards by jamie sams and david carson.

i haven't looked at my osho zen cards in about a year b/c i couldn't reconcile my distaste of bhagwan being associated w/ the deck. however, i looked at them again last night and found i'm beginning to separate my feelings about bhagwan from the deck. the deck definitely falls under modern decks. i hope i can read it eventually b/c it's truly a beautiful deck.

i consider my halloween deck and phantasmagoric theater decks as having the best humor about them. reading them can bring a smile to my face and make me laugh. the halloween is the most traditional. the PT seems to be more modern satire in a serious tarot vein.

my least favorites...hmmm...the mythic tarot and the sacred circle. i won't trade the mythic b/c my mother gave it to me as a xmas gift. the sacred circle's book has really good information. i'm just not that fond of decks that mix art, photography and computers. the gendron does this but b/c at least there are some wonderful cards and card explanations that make up for this. to me, the way the creator confuses the deck by mixing gorgeous artistic drawing cards with cards that use some pics that seem half computer pic and half drawing or something. it gives the deck a more schizoid look. if the pic were consistently drawings the deck would have been much better.

the voyager is a modern deck made of picture collages. if it weren't for wanless's excellent book and interpretations this deck would completely turn me off.

i can make the assessment that classical decks are more comforting b/c you stay in a comfort zone where meanings are more predicatable and perhaps less challenging to our intuition. however w/ more modernistic decks you are asked to expand your tarot interpretation horizons to include symbols and mythology you haven't considered before. anyhow that's my theory at this moment in time. it could change any second! :D


I am a fan of historical decks, mainly the Marseilles. Newer decks, even the waite seem to me to be wrong. I suppose it depends on your thoughts on the kabbalah and the tarot. I don't believe there is a connection, although I used to. Once I realised that the connection may have been a bit off, I found decks like the Waite, Crowley etc sort of bizzare, and missing some vitally imagery.
A great bbok on this topic is by fred Gettings, called The book of tarot.
One final point, if you are reading for other people, and you have several decks, let them pick what deck to use. People resonate to different things.


I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to tarot imagery; however, as someone said "the only thing constant is change". I am sure 500 years into the future Tarot will have evolved again.

Just think- to a child of the future Santa Claus may appear as Capt. Jonluc Picard and not the Coke Santa we all know. {"Tommy wants a red wagon- make it so!"}


the decks that draw me for readings are based on the rider-waite imagry. the robin wood is my main deck, and i've been also using the tarot of the cloisters lately, which is a round deck, but also based on the r/w. perhaps because i learned with the r/w, i feel most comfortable with it.

i have several decks that are not in that vein - the shapeshifter tarot comes to mind. but i am totally lost with that deck. even a deck like the celtic dragon tarot, while pretty, and based in structure like the r/w, just doesn't work for me.

it's funny, sometimes i'll go to one of those sites that have computer generated readings for free, and i almost always choose the r/w images if available. it just seems to work better for me, for some reason.

i enjoy decks of other styles, but so far, i've not been able to read with them. actually, i don't even meditate well with them, though i can enjoy the art.

luv and light,


Quote:tarotbear (19 Sep, 2001 02:09):
Just think- to a child of the future Santa Claus may appear as Capt. Jonluc Picard and not the Coke Santa we all know. {"Tommy wants a red wagon- make it so!"}

i love the jean-luc picard character in STNG so it works for me if he becomes santa. santa is so fat his cholesterol level is probably about 1000. he'll prob drop dead of a massive coronary any day now. then the slim trim bald santa picard steps in...i can see him beaming christmas gifts all over the world. a star ship is so much more efficient than a sleigh. "presents loaded? engage!!!!!!!!!"