Anti-Supremacist Statement

All discussions of tarot on this blog are specifically anti-supremacist. As a person of European descent, I reject the narrative that tarot is a purely European phenomenon or that it should be used only by “white” people. I understand that some of my ancestors, specifically those from places like Alsace and the Rhenish Palatinate, may have used these decks for game play and I am interested in what the imagery of those decks has to say about the world in which my ancestors lived. But I reject any claim that tarot is only authentic to those descended from Europeans, or that tarot decks need to feature Europeans to be legitimate.

The four-suited card deck was not invented by Europeans. It was co-created over several centuries by people across East and Central Asia, the Middle East, and northern Africa before arriving in Europe in the 1300s. The specific contribution of Europeans is the 22-card trionfi, or trumps, now often known as the Major Arcana. In discussions of historical and present-day tarots, there is no room for Euro-centric purism. As a card game and as a tool of divination, tarot is by the people and of the people; it continues to change and be enriched as it encounters new cultures. And that is as it should be.

Those of us who are of European descent have to be vigilant to make sure that our culture is not mis-appropriated by those who would distort our history and our sacred tools in order to build white supremacist and white nationalist narratives. That is why from March 2021 going forward, discussions of historical tarot decks, like Tarot de Marseille and the Visconti-Sforza deck, will link to this statement.

Deck Sale!

As I have come to find out more about myself as a tarot reader, I have come to better understand what I look for in a deck. Therefore I have decided to pare my 11-deck collection down to 5. I have already found homes for three of my decks, but would like to offer the other three here before trying to sell them on eBay. All of these are good decks and I would recommend them to anyone.

Shadowscapes Tarot

This is a highly popular deck featuring the ethereal fantasy art of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. This deck is without the (annoyingly large and useless–if you’ve ever owned a Llewellyn deck and book set you know what I’m talking about) box. Instead, it comes with a purple corduroy drawstring bag and the guidebook. The deck and book show some minor wear, but are in otherwise great condition and have many years of use ahead.

$12 + $6 shipping (unless you happen to live pretty close to Michigan, in which case it may be cheaper to do standard shipping. Otherwise, the cheapest way to get this to you will be a $6 USPS flat-rate box.)

The Medieval Cat Tarot

In a market saturated with cat decks, this deck is still worth buying. An amazingly cute take on early Italian decks with cats dressed up in Medieval clothes. The stand-out thing about this deck is that the pips combine historical-style card designs with RWS-style illustrations. I love the quiet readings that this deck gives–although it is cute, it gives deep, subtle answers. This includes the original box, little white book, and two presentation cards. There is a little wear on the edges of the cards, but on the whole they are sturdy, unbent, and in good condition.

$12 + $6 shipping (see note above)

The Golden Tarot–Visconti-Sforza Deck

This beautiful boxed set features a 78 card reproduction of the Visconti-Sforza deck, one of the oldest and most complete tarot decks. It also features a full-color, hardcover guidebook by Mary Packard, which gives a history of the deck, card descriptions, and spreads. The deck and book, plus a satiny purple reading cloth, come in a very sturdy magnetic flip-top box. The cards in this reproduction are huge–over six inches tall–and the colors and bright and bold. This deck has been opened and used so there is some minor wear, but overall the set is in great condition.

$15 + $10 shipping (extra weight)

Unfortunately, due to prohibitive shipping costs, I cannot ship outside the continental US. I will be happy to combine orders to save on shipping!

I would also love to swap decks, but since I’m slimming down my collection, I’m looking for mostly rare or more expensive decks, for which I will be happy to swap 2 or 3 of the decks listed here, or kick in a little extra money. In particular, I’m interested in the Fountain Tarot, the Wooden Tarot, the Prisma Visions Tarot, the Efflorescent Tarot (color), the Mary-el Tarot, Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot, the Spirit Speak Tarot, the Earthbound Oracle, the Portable Fortitude deck, the Connected and Free Alchemist Oracle, or the Druid Plant Oracle.

I’ll also swap one of these for a good book like Don Milo Duquette’s Understanding the Thoth Tarot, Corinne Kenner’s Tarot and Astrology, or one of Mary K. Greer’s books.

Please email me at if you are interested in giving one of these decks a new home.

What’s new?

new decks

I’m back after over a month on hiatus. I returned from my wonderful trip to Vermont on August 8th and spent the next three weeks finishing my dissertation. Tarot was indeed a powerful part of my experience in Vermont and I’m drafting a post about it, but right now I thought I would do the easy thing: a big fat update on all the stuff I’ve bought.

Before all that, though: you’ll notice that I’ve tinkered with the design of this blog a little. It took a long time for me to find a theme I was happy with. I also updated the about page and decided to unashamedly write this blog under a pseudonym: Emily Francis Clare–Emily to you, bub! The reason behind the pseudonym is that down the line I may want to start a tarot business and I have ideas for an oracle deck and a book on tarot that I’d like to publish. I’d like to keep these separate from my day job and academic publications, at least for the foreseeable future. Those are huge plans, though–many years in the works. In the meantime, it’s fun to take a new name, so why not?Continue reading “What’s new?”