Back in the early “aughts,” when I was still playing Everquest Online relentlessly (what can I say, I’m a throwback), my wife dubbed it “Foreverquest” (that was before her own fling with World of Warcraft). That epithet reminds me of the situation I find myself in whenever I decide it’s time to chase down a new tarot book or deck. I’m beginning to think there’s “not much new under the Sun,” and most of what I find seems to be driven more by the product-and-profit cycle than by inspired insight. Recent decks might lure me as works of art, but as divination tools they are almost entirely redundant. As for the books, they need to find an unfilled niche in my library before I’ll bite. My tentative wish-list grows long and my purchases few and far between as I contemplate this dilemma. The last thing I need is more unused decks and unread volumes.
There are a few decks that still entice me. I believe I must get my hands on an RWS borderless version, even though I’m perfectly content with the Centennial Edition and the Albano-Waite for reading purposes. One of the excellent Swiss editions of the Thoth could be in my future, although I have three ’60s-to-’80s-vintage Weiser Thoths now in various stages of decay. I’m still seeking the ultimate Golden Dawn deck that isn’t Thoth-based (the only one of the “heavies” I don’t already own is the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot, which is pricey and has received mixed reviews from people whose opinion I respect). The Victorian Romantic appeals strongly to me, but the $86 price tag gives me heartburn. In the Lenormand world, I’m forever lusting after one of Lauren Forestell’s restored historical decks (I’m almost there, I promise, on either the Wust or the Schneider) and it looks like I missed my chance at the Wanderwust. The Fournier Spanish Tarot is tempting as a companion deck to my Fournier Tarot de Marseille, and one of Yves Renaud’s TdM restorations rounds out the list.
With books, the pickin’s are slimmer. Phyllis Seckler’s The Thoth Tarot, Astrology and Other Selected Writings beckons me, as does T. Susan Chang’s Tarot Correspondences: Ancient Secrets for Everyday Readers (the latter title might seem like so much inflated sales hype, but I know Susie slightly from her work with M.M. Meleen and from occasional Massachusetts Tarot Society appearances, so I’m encouraged). I already bought and read Caitlin Matthews’ Untold Tarot, which helps to fill a void in the TdM canon. I’m at the point now where I’m re-reading her Lenormand book, and I just finished re-reading The Book of Thoth for the third time. Andy Boroveshengra’s Lenormand Thirty-six Cards I’ve now read twice (and will read it again) and Yoav Ben-Dov’s The Open Reading TdM book I’ve been through twice so far. Benebell Wen’s Holistic Tarot is still just over the horizon, as are a couple of Mary K. Greer’s topic-specific books on court cards and reversals. There isn’t much else new or old that draws my interest, much less holds it for long.