These literature-inspired tarot decks, from the classics to the modern, are perfect for the bibliophile tarot enthusiast.
BY MACEY LAVOIE
For centuries, the tarot has been a classic tool in interpreting the future and in guided meditation. The deck of cards normally contains 78 descriptive cards containing The Major and Minor Arcana. Because a Tarot deck is supposed to speak to the owner, there are hundreds of decks and styles to choose from. I personally derive some of my greatest inspiration from literature, and was delighted to find so many decks that reflect that. From a Shakespearean Lovers card to a deck depicting Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole, you are bound to find a deck that speaks to the reader in you.
Jane Austen Tarot
Since the 19th century, the books of Jane Austen have always been well read classics. Her fascinating characters and beautiful english countryside settings are artistically illustrated on this deck. It depicts scenes and characters from some of her best work, including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibilities. Something unique about this deck is it includes a small booklet complete with advice from Jane Austen on how to handle each card in the deck should it happen to point to your future.
J.R.R Tolkien Tarot
J.R.R Tolkien’s writing has inspired thousands with a fantasy world filled with sword fights, elves, hobbits and of course the one ring that rules them all. His characters and plot are linked heavily with the archetype and the ever exciting concept of the quest. Almost every character can be linked to an archetype and assigned the role of good or evil. So it comes to no surprise when these archetypes come to life on various tarot decks. This deck is perfect for Lord of the Rings fans. Hobbit enthusiasts or someone who just enjoys the world of Middle Earth.
Alice In Wonderland Tarot
Many wonder exactly what inspired Lewis Carroll to write the unique and eccentric story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. With mad tea parties, croquet played with flamingos and, of course, a temperamental queen of hearts, it isn’t a stretch to imagine these scenes and characters as tarot cards. In the deck completed by Christopher and Morgana Abbey there are some liberties taken with the original structure of the deck. The four suites are replaced from (swords, cups, pentagrams and staves) are replaced with flamingos, pepper mills, hats, and oysters. It is an eccentric deck for the curious Alice in all of us.
Sherlock Holmes Tarot
As a lover of mysteries, I was excited to see a Sherlock Holmes tarot deck. In this deck, the Major Arcana represent characters from the many stories while the Minor Arcana represent pivotal scenes. The Magician card is the famed Sherlock Holmes and the deck incorporates unique representation for the four suites, evidence, analysis, observation and deduction. Each card is colorful while incorporating the mood of the Victorian era. With this deck, every reading will be uncovering a mystery.
This tarot deck is relatively new, and it’s inspiration comes from The Mortal Instruments, a YA series that began publishing in 2007. Since then, the series has gained readers and new book trilogies in the Shadowhunter world, such as The infernal Devices. This Tarot deck, illustrated by Cassandra Jean, contains characters from all four Shadowhunter series. The deck has taken similar liberties to other decks on the list as it has opted out the original suite names instead choosing Blades, Steles, Cups, and Rings. They have also changed the names of some of the Major Arcana as well; for example, choosing instead to title The Empress card simply The Warrior. Whether you are a fan of the series or simply of tarot overall these are beautiful cards to see.
The Raven Cycle Tarot
Officially named the Raven Prophecy Tarot, this deck was created by the author of the series it is derived from. Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle, brings her series to life through these haunting and imaginative cards. A majority of the cards reveal colorful and vibrant images on a black background. The Raven Cycle series revolves around the use of Tarot cards, making this deck particularly special to fans. Its purpose? To inspire and spark creativity in all who use them.
Who better to tell your future then the legendary William Shakespeare? There are many Tarot decks that draw inspiration from his many plays. In the deck created by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, each card depicts a character or scene and a Shakespearian quote that is relevant to the card. Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers, represent The Lovers card and Hamlet is depicted as The Hanged Man.
Each deck reflects the world it was inspired from and the characters you love hold the future in their hands. What are some of your favorite decks?
Macey Lavoie is a new Bostonian trying to find her way around and working on her MFA at Emerson College. She has a fondness for sushi, walks on the beach, reading and mermaids. When she is not busy having crazy adventures with her friends she can be found either jotting down writing ideas in her small notebook or curled up with a book and her two cats. Her dream is to one-day change the world with a book and to own a large library.