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Collecting decks by non-readers - is it OK ?

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gregory's Avatar
gregory  gregory is offline
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Question Collecting decks by non-readers - is it OK ?

After I posted my collection on the appropriate thread (having posted discussion there, which I shouldn’t have and which has since quite rightly been removed) the following popped up.

Originally Posted by mikeymikeymike
You all have huge collections... do you even use your tarot card or just collect them... maybe i'm being narrow minded but i cant see why you would have so many if you read tarot really. Those decks might be meant for somebody else and you've just got them there in a collection, unless you do actually use them all which i cant see happening when theres about 20/30 or more... Didn't mean to be rude but i had to voice my opinion on that 1...
There was a response by Gerbear asking mikeymikeymike to respond elsewhere so that he could answer fully, but as far as I know this didn’t happen unless by PM – and I couldn’t then find a thread to discuss whether others think collecting decks for its own sake, if you don’t actually read with them, is a bad thing for any reason. So I thought I would start my very first thread ! (I hope I do it right !)

I collect tarot decks - and have done so for going on 40 years; they absolutely fascinate me - but I don't (yet) read with them. Is that a problem for anyone - most of mine were entirely freely available at the time that I bought them. It's no worse than collecting anything else, surely ? even if I were plain acquisitive which I'm not - there are one or two decks NOTHING would induce me to buy.

I do have my own reasons for not reading yet. One day when I have time, I plan to study enough to read, and when I do, I shall have a great choice of decks to work with. In the meantime, there is a great deal to be gained by studying the differences and similarities - and even on gorging on the variety of artwork. Some are quite stunning - you all know this !

Does anyone else see it the same way ? Or am I a lone mean miser, depriving others of the decks they crave for reading with ?
Top   #1
Jewel-ry's Avatar
Jewel-ry  Jewel-ry is offline
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Gregory, great thread!

Of course its OK to collect them! Many people on here only read for themselves and there are, I am sure, others who never read them. Who says you can't collect them unless you read them? Rubbish!

Tarot is a complete education in itself, it teaches art, history, philosophy, psychology, religion and other spiritual tendencies. It extols the myths surrounding gods and goddesses and other cultures. About plants, animals, the earth and its rhythms. It enables us to think profoundly about moral issues and our place in the world. It encourages us to have enquiring minds and to research the things we find interesting.

People collect, crystals, paintings, antiques, postcards, dinky cars - all sorts. Its absolutely not on for someone to tell you that you can't collect something unless you use it.

I for one very rarely read for others. I read mostly for myself and there are times when I don't read, I just gaze at my treasured possessions and compare and contrast their differences and similarities.

If collecting makes you happy (and sometimes there is little in the world to make us happy) then you go for it! There are plenty of us who are right behind you doing the same thing!

edited to say, I have just realised that this thread is probably in the wrong place. I am sure a mod will be along to move it soon.
Top   #2
Zephyros's Avatar
Zephyros  Zephyros is offline
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There is nothing wrong with collecting Tarot decks even if you don't read with them. A Tarot deck, even though we might attribute certain qualities to it, and give it, as readers, a certain amount of respect, is still only a tool. A way to enhance whatever qualities we posess as a matter of course. It is most certainly not a holy relic, a thing of power, or any other object like that. It is of course, easier to divine or meditate with Tarot cards than it is with toothpicks or Oreos, as i have heard that there are people who do so here, but anything is possible with the right tools. A Tarot deck is, until used, a bunch of pieces of paper with pretty pictures on them.
Top   #3
Gerbear's Avatar
Gerbear  Gerbear is offline
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No, gregory, I never got a response. I was going to point out that there is no shortage of tarot decks that are readily available. If someone wants one, they can have it. I don't feel that I'm depriving anyone of any decks, unless it's another collector that I've outbid. I don't think any person, new to tarot will pay the going prices for any of the "collector' decks around today. Most of my decks are OOP, and have been hunted down, through ebay, private sales, or just plain research on the net. Sometimes I've just asked the artist of an OOP deck if they have any left, and sometimes they do, which is how I got my copy of Kardz:the Funny Animal Tarot.

As Jewel-ry mentioned, tarot can be an education in and of itself. I've collected for almost 40 years myself, and although I used to read, back in the seventies, I only read and study for my purposes now. I, too, enjoy the various styles of art, and learn much from simple comparisons.

So, Gregory, I'm with you on this issue. I collect, and I feel no remorse! These many decks, (not as many as gregory! LOL) have also been an incentive to make my own. I've contributed cards to the community decks here at Aeclectic, and at Comparative Tarot. I'm almost finished with the majors for mine. So hold your heads up high, all you avid collectors!!!
Top   #4
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SoulFlower  SoulFlower is offline
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I have double feelings with this.

1. In general, you can collect. You can collect whatever you like, and collecting tarot decks is something fascinating to collect as well. I mean, one deck is 78 pieces of art you got there.

2. But you have a point with that someone else might have it. I can understand if you would have liked a deck that you felt you might connect with, from a limited edition for example, and you find out a non-reader got it, that it might be frustrating.

It's kind of like someone who buys a beautiful painting but hangs in it's own house to admire it himself with his family. While if it would be in a museum, loads of people got see it and enjoy it. But than that man wouldn't be able to enjoy it all the time.

Actually, I don't think you have to read to collect decks now I think about it again. I mean, you don't have to send letters to collect stamps as well, do you?
Top   #5
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Annabelle  Annabelle is offline
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What a great thread . . . and there have been so many good responses already. I heartily agree with gregory and Gerbear, and proudly count myself in among the many avid collectors here at Aeclectic. I only have @ 100 decks so far, but I can imagine a point in the future when I will have many more than that. Right now my partner and I have a 2 bedroom apartment and have devoted one bedroom to our book collection; I look forward to a time when we'll have a 3 bedroom home with one room devoted to books and another devoted just to housing my tarot collection!!

While I do read tarot and use a great many of my decks, there are some that I bought simply because they are beautiful and I like the art. I do not think I'm depriving anyone of anything in buying as many decks as I do. I have the money to buy them and the time to enjoy them . . . plus, I have a job I don't like, I don't have any kids, I don't travel much, etc. -- spending my evenings looking fondly through my tarot decks is often the best part of my day!!

I am a tarot collector. And I make no apologies for that.
Top   #6
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BlueLotus  BlueLotus is offline
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I have no problem at all with collecting decks without really having to read with them. It is another hobby if one enjoys it for different reasons.

Does anyone question young ladies/men about their interest in buying new outfits/clothes even if they wear them only on occasion, or does anyone question anyone else about their shoe, accessories, stamp or car collections ?(You can go on with the list forever ). Everyone has their own unique interests which sets them apart .

I used to feel a bit guilty for collecting as many decks as I have, and not really devoting more time for delving into, learning and studying them further and I have about 130 of them, until I saw gregory having almost 1000 of them. I relaxed a bit, and was ok with my collection, even adding more to it every now and then.

Tarot deck collection, and just recently also tarot books are my passion now since I have quite some free time on my hands.

However, unlike gregory I do read for myself on a regular basis with my cards, but I rarely do readings for anyone else.
Top   #7
lark's Avatar
lark  lark is offline
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Hi everyone.
I'll be moving this thread to Tarot Decks.
It's a great thread and I want everyone to be able to participate in it so I don't want to put it in Chat.
I'll leave a redirect so everyone can find it.

Moderator Tarot Games and Fun

edit: it might also be appropriate for Talking Tarot.
Sulis, Meewah I leave it for you to decide.
Top   #8
Lee's Avatar
Lee  Lee is offline
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The notion that one should feel guilty about owning tarot decks which one does not "use" is one that I find very strange. You paid the money, which you (presumably) earned. You have a right to read with the deck, study the deck, look at the deck, put the deck on your bookshelf to gather dust, or even to cut the deck up in little pieces and make confetti out of it.

By paying for a new deck, you're compensating the artist, author, and publisher for their effort and expense in bringing the deck into the world. As far as I'm concerned, your moral obligations are thus complete. And then of course private individuals are free to sell or trade a deck to other private individuals.

When you buy a new deck, regardless of what you do with it, far from "depriving" someone of a deck, you're voting with your wallet or pocketbook. Each time someone buys a deck, that's one more vote to the publisher in favor of reprinting the deck. So, as I see it, buying a new deck is actually helping to create a greater supply of that deck, not a lesser one.

-- Lee
Top   #9
gregory's Avatar
gregory  gregory is offline
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Originally Posted by lark
Hi everyone.
I'll be moving this thread to Tarot Decks.
It's a great thread and I want everyone to be able to participate in it so I don't want to put it in Chat.
I'll leave a redirect so everyone can find it.

Moderator Tarot Games and Fun

edit: it might also be appropriate for Talking Tarot.
Sulis, Meewah I leave it for you to decide.
Well, like I said - "I hope I do this right". I need to look better where to put things - I thought I put it in the place where the collections themselves were… and where I posted my major oops in the first place. Clearly not !

Thanks for all your replies so far – I feel slightly less guilty. Actually I didn’t feel guilty at all till I started posting myself, and realised how very reading oriented most posts are – well, they would be, wouldn't they ? and began to think maybe I shouldn’t be here ! And then that post came up – I did PM mikey, but like Gerbear, never heard another thing. Maybe he decided I was OK after all !

Soulflower – I know what you mean about sharing through museums, but mostly when I go through museums no-one seems to stop much to really take in anything – I know I seem to go really slowly in comparison with most visitors, and generally end up having seen one room for my ten bucks, and thinking damn, missed such a lot ! So really I think my decks get looked at more by me than they would in total in public – after all, no museum can display every card (take it from one who has been to that museum of cards in Paris !) And almost all my decks were easy to get when I got them – though today I could get a mint for some on e-bay – but that’s not down to me. At least I haven’t broken my Rock and Roll to sell the cards individually….. LOL

BlueLotus – I am so glad to have lowered your guilt levels. My day is suddenly worthwhile……
Top   #10



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