deck and book combinations


sparked by kiama's post about the mythic tarot, how many of you generally buy decks without the companion books, or books without the decks? i bought a few decks without the book, and later went out to buy the book - the tarot of the old path is one example. and as i said in kiama's post, i bought the goddess tarot book, to gain a little insight into the deck, to see if i wanted it. i never got the deck. these days, i don't buy a deck without the book - assuming there is one. i might make an exception if there's a lot of information about a deck on the internet for example - and the thoth deck is an example of that. i got the deck with no book - though now that i think of it, i don't know if there is one.

anyway, i find that the book offers so much more than the lwb - in fact, i hardly use those. the "real" book typically goes deep into the symbolism and underlying concepts of the deck, as well as providing some insight into the author. and i find i connect much more closely with the deck knowing these things. the robin wood deck, my favorite, is another example. after buying the deck, and liking it, i found myself thirsting for more knowledge about it. so i bought the book, and that really cemented the deck as my favorite. i'll add that i've met robin in person, and we spoke at length, after seeing her seminar on her deck as well. so these may have influenced my love for her deck too.

anyway, so the question is, preferences to purchasing decks with and without books.

luv and light,


nexyjo --

Just to get it out of the way, so you all can go on with the discussion . . .

I think Robin Wood's book to go with her deck is the best combination I've seen.

I think Alexandra Genetti's book, "The Wheel of Change Tarot" is the best deck-book combination. You can't buy one without the other.

I think the worst is . . . Well, I won't tell you. (But, for readers with long memories, I got rid of Deck X, and the books that went with it. And I don't feel bad about it. The person I gave it to was a collector. They'll take anything tarot.)



I prefer book & deck sets. While I confess to not reading any of the books through, they do give insight into the author's vision & thought process.
I have a few decks that were bought without books because they were sold that way: Ryder-Waite, Chinese Tarot, Robin Wood, Deva Tarot, Motherpeace. There is no book other than the LWB for The Chinese Tarot. I found Arthur Waite's book for his deck some time after; ditto for the Robin Wood. The Deva Tarot has a very good LWB that gives more material than the usual. The Motherpeace deck was a gift.


I've been lucky with books, I use the Rider Waite and most of the books I use have been written with the Rider Waite in mind. But I would love to get a book that explained the symbolism of the R/W deck in much more detail.


now that's interesting. "the original rider waite tarot pack" i have came with a book "the key to the tarot", revised and updated edition, by a.e. waite, with a forward by liz greene. this edition is vintage 1973. it's the exact size as the cards, by the way, with print to match, so at 159 pages, get your reading glasses out.

additionally, my "universal waite tarot deck & book set" came with a book too - obviously. this one is entitled "the pictorial key to the tarot" by arthur edward waite (they spelled out his name on this one). it's a standard sized paperback and weighs in at 340 pages, 78 of which are a line art renditions of each card. the isbn on this one is 0-913866-08-3, where the first is 0-7126-5853-3. no pictures in the smaller one.

of course, many decks are available separately, or with the book. as i mentioned, i almost always prefer getting the book, assuming one is available, and i can afford it.

luv and light,



I usually just buy the deck and if I wish more info on the deck than the lwb or net has I will go and buy the book seperatly (this is sometimes cheeper than buying the sets, Go figure). Also I prefer to keep my decks in the original boxes and hate the fact that most of the sets just have a well for putting the deck in.



I Always buy the Set ,if available,or the book that goes with if sold seperately.But some don't have books ,like the chinese tarot, as meewah said,so I will buy it anyhow , and actually on that one ,the LWB has a chinese story for every card. If the set comes in a big box with a well , I get rid of that Fast and sew a bag for the deck. I do have the Robin Wood deck,but don't have Her book , instead I have the Anthony Louis book,which perhaps is part of the problum?! Actually ,I purchased the book First , then when I saw it was illustrated with the Robin Wood deck , I Had to have the deck!


Hi nexyjo,

I have the little white book that came with my Original Rider Waite deck but after reading through it, I found some, alot, of the meanings very negative and I didn't connect with them at all - although I connected with the deck the first time I used it.
I've just looked at it again, my deck is the 1999 re-print and the little book is called 'The Rider Waite Tarot Cards' and is only 30 pages long, it doesn't go into any of the symbolism at all.