Monday, April 17, 2000  

Most of us like to collect dolls, comic books or even lava lamps. But how many of us are savvy enough to collect items that help us foresee the future? Apparently, quite a few. Tarot card collecting has become a recent trend lately amongst New Agers, art lovers and folks who seem curious about these mysterious decks.

Tarot cards help you determine what might be in your destiny depending on what pattern you lay the cards down, and which cards are chosen at random. Most decks come with booklets that explain in greater detail which formations you can lay out the cards, but the typical pattern is called the Celtic Cross layout. The card position resembles an astrological house, which provides context to past and future influences. Study what each card means before you do a reading. And read a good beginners book such as The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite or Tarot Symbolism by Robert O'Neill.

Barbara Bianco, who edits the Endless Journey tarot card site, believes each deck in a collection reflects the spiritual progress of the collector. Certain designs appeal to different people, so as you grow, your deck preference might change.

"Some people prefer the traditional medieval deck, while others like the new Native American designs," Bianco says. "An Egyptian deck will hit the spot for one and a gemstone deck is right for another. It's as if the story needs to be told from a certain perspective."

If what you're looking for are modern cards with unusual imagery, you will still have plenty of decks to choose from. There are tarot decks with every theme from classic Alice in Wonderland illustrations to whimsical Hello Kitty art.

James Rioux, Web master for the American Tarot Association site, says he's seen quite a few bizarre decks, especially one that only a sports lover could appreciate.

"The Tarot of Baseball is a rather humorous deck," Rioux explains. "It replaces the traditional tarot suits and arcana with baseball themes so the card called The Star becomes The Star Player, the suit of Wands becomes the suit of Bats, and so on."

Tarot card decks are easy to find for sale at eBay and other online auction sites. Simply type in the word tarot or the specific name of the type of tarot deck you want, such as Rider-Waite, and you should see a myriad of results. There are many types of decks available, from James Bond to Johnny Depp decks.

Many times metaphysical stores often sell brand-new decks online. So if you're outbid on a deck the first time, you'll probably see the same style of deck for sale by the same seller the next day.

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