Is It Bad Luck To Buy Your Own Tarot Deck?

Is it bad luck to buy your own Tarot deck? No. So why do so many people say that it is? Understanding the reasons behind this theory will help you feel better about it.

It comes from a time when to have anything technically ‘magic’ could be a death sentence. Imagine living in an era when human rights did not exist for most people and Tarot cards or having a familiar were considered consorting with the Devil.

Saying someone gave them to you, that you don’t know what they are and of course, that you forget who gave you the gift meant plausible deniability.

It’s like how Artemesia was called Mugwort. It sounds so banal. Within the Tarot are countless symbols and references that refer to truths and myths too dangerous to have in writing.

Tarot Cards Were Once Dangerous To Own

When you do a Tarot reading, you’re partly taking the prompts from the cards and their symbols. They speak to your subconscious mind, signaling all manner of associations. But it is also Quintessence, 5th Element.

Sometimes the Tarot cards tell a story you’re not in the mood to read. I once got three cards spreads in a row that were exactly the same – I shuffled like crazy and kept getting the Tower and two others.  Convinced the cards were possessed, I threw them on the fire to burn. Of course, they were correct.

That week, with Pluto on my Midheaven, I lost my job (the whole newspaper I was working for closed down), found out my flatmates had been embezzling the rent money as I was being evicted and got dumped by my then-boyfriend for reasons that seemed deranged. Now I’d like to send Pluto a thank you note. But still, it was very Tower.

Now I’d Like To Send Pluto A Thank You Note

So is it bad luck to buy your own Tarot deck? Not at all but it’s foolish to get one and then burn it in a snit. I now keep notes of Tarot reads – on and offline – and try to compare them to dreams and my astrological findings. A dream diary, astro notes, and Tarot read records are all you need to raise magical consciousness.

And then you don’t need elaborate rituals (unless you like them) or spells because you are the spell and the galaxy is communicating with you all the time. It is a practice. If you’re feeling out of alignment with your metaphysical self, wait till the Daily Horoscopes alert you to the Moon conjunct your natal Neptune (a monthly occurrence) or 8th house and consciously try to tune in then!

Image: Jason Jean – Masie Williams backstage at Dior

35 thoughts on “Is It Bad Luck To Buy Your Own Tarot Deck?”

  1. Thanks MM!! I know you probably won’t see this, but thank you for helping raise our “magical consciousness” ( – which is what I feel we are all born with, but gets continually eroded with capitalism, advertising, lack of connection to nature, blah blah you get my drift. (: )
    To say it is a journey is so cliched of me, but I find it has been (with Tarot. In fact with all of the Magical Thinking & Feeling). Lately I’ve been humbly requesting (because tired) for as literal answers as possible, please and thank you, and it has been amazing how nuanced and clear the tarot is when I engage with Spirit. And yes – even if I don’t like the answer, in fact, especially if I don’t. But this is just my (magical) experience. In gratitude again.. 🙂

  2. So. I’ve just bought a Visconti-Sforza tarocchi deck online and this 10-year-old post is waiting for me here. Again?! This website, I swear, haha.

    (Sidenote: are the Tarot decks you’re attracted to dependent on your ancestry? I felt a connection to these old cards over any deck I’ve seen and some of my ancestors were nobility, not unlike the Visconti/Sforza families.)

  3. The mere mention of Crowley gives me hackles – anyone who would change the axiom, ‘Do as thou wilt, ere it harm none’, to ‘Do as thou wilt’, is the epitome of childish arrogance in my reckoning.
    Years ago a mentor gave me a Rider Waite deck that was worn bare from her day job of reading Tarot. A while down the track we had what was known to be a typical falling out for her and I was flailing at work in an atmosphere that was screaming for decent honesty, the cards weren’t helping, I knew I was leaning on them too hard, they just kept on about the banal I was feeding by sticking with it all so I burnt them. One by one I fed them into the flames, angry, sad, and feeling fucked over. That night, round 4am, I was woken by an energy wildly rattling the glass doors of the shower cubicle. It was instant cognisance, I leapt out of bed, opened the sliding doors to outside and then the shower door, bowing my head in reverence and sorry as the energy whooshed by me making sure I got the tangibility of the spirit of Tarot.
    The next day I visited another of my mentors students who had experienced the same fate at the same point in training. She listened open eyed, went into her room and came out with another Rider Waite deck for me, convinced I was meant to have them.
    Tarot continues to be a staunch friend I have the utmost respect for. I love the wonder inspired by Pamela Colman Smith’s drawings on the Rider Waite deck too.
    Nowadays I read professionally at the Pura Vida Wellness Centre.
    Banals gone out the door like yesterday.

  4. At Uni a friend’s first same-sex partner, an Aqua and I became friends. He was great fun but really into Crowley, to the point where he ws intimating a reincarnation or other psychic connection. I knew little to nothing of Crowley then, despite my secret foraging in the Hermes Trismegistus tomes in the untouched sections of the grand uni library. But i had a strong response. Whenever friend talked about him i found my mind going like GLASS, shiny and smoothcurved, giving off nothing but transparency and reflections, absorbing nothing. To this day i have some deep LOCK for no reason i know against this notorious personage.

  5. Spooky MM…

    I had the Thoth deck years ago and used them a bit during some strange times and then bundled them into a mixed bag of things in my mind that was dark. I had some strange dark energy weirding and spirit lurking, eg pushing me across the room, sliding glasses into the sink whilst I’m washing dishes.. yeah yeah, I’ll get to them I’m saying and sitting on my lap every time I sat down. Intense stuff in that realm. Anyway there’s lots and more and too much to list during that period.

    I also struck up a friendship with a particular clairvoyant during this period and we spent some time in an odd friendship that I still don’t know how to define. He was weird in retrospect. It was platonic and probably more an student/teacher thing for both of us.

    I’d been clearing old things eg disposing of etc that pertained to that period and undoing energies systematically. This did take some years. I’m at his place with a few others one winter in Melbourne (open fires) and I’ve brought Thoth with the intention of burning after we do our collective energy clear.

    They went in the fire. I truly wish I could recall exactly which cards but I think there were two or possibly three that went up like mini flame throwers whilst the rest burned in a normal fashion. I’m inclined to think tower but can’t recall the others however I feel like they were Major Arcana when I think back. People that weren’t even paying attention at this point looked up and gasped. It was pretty impressive and freaky.

    I still like the deck but I’m not sure I’d get it again if my psyche linked it all back together. Pity because they are a great looking deck.

  6. spaced out pisces

    I have read a lot of Crowley, and a lot about him. Indeed he was an utter shit to many. Libra male, nuff said.

    Regardless he was a man with a mission. I understand it can be hard to detach from the horrid persona, also the fact he was a raging heroin addict, and in our time we know personally how low they can go.

    He wrote a lot and most of what he wrote has a a lot of worth. He is difficult to read, and has a unique style. I hear he is taught in English Lit class in the US because of this. I also have it on very good authority that most of what he wrote is stacked with tons of Qabbalistic conundrums and random etymology. Thats not my thing, so I cant say. But I have certainly grown and learnt through reading him.

    A good start if you have never read him is Magick without tears. Its set in the form of letters between him, and a lady pupil. She writes a letter with a question or two, he answers them. Very straightfoward and a mine of solid information.

    By the way I am not affiliated with any of his legacys or orders, just appreciate his work.

  7. The death card is nowhere near as frightening as it is in schlock movies. It is merely about something drawing to a close. I got it in a spread the other day. And, lo! I’ve sold my house and looking for a new home….

    1. Leonine Librarian

      Congrats Ms Motown. I did see something about this past weekend being a big one for you. I hope you find a lovely new abode.

  8. Pity it wasn’t a nicer card really… cos other wise I kinda like the idea of a card infused life/space…
    … The Tower really has gotta suck…

  9. I bought this “tarot deck” of sorts when I was a teenager, it’s an “Egyptian Oracle” or other. Very child like looking cards with naff basic heiroglyphics looking images on them. Despite my complete amateurism in using them, they were surprisingly accurate. That’s also coming from me thinking it was a load of horse shit when I was doing the pre-reading meditation to “find my inner self” or something. I still get the mental image of my “inner self” and let’s just say, I play too many computer games. So anyways, I haven’t touched them since because it all seemed overwhelming actually – kind of a bit too powerful reading people’s cards… I have no idea why it was like that so they’re basically sitting in my draw.

    So anyways, I completely got the term “theocide” but as it was pointed out that it means the killing of gods, would the right term be theocrocide, coming from theocracy? I’m open to suggestion. 😉

  10. Would never do Tarot for anyone else. Would show them how to look themselves.
    And can abide no one doing mine but me.
    But do keep your magical things in a beautiful box & wrapped in silk.
    Touching someone’s Tarot w/o permission is unwanted & unwise, with Mother & Daughter
    that’s different.
    Wouldn’t ya know he was a Libran, my least fave men as they have been the darkest i have
    known, so wow, may have had the same Astro profile, or similar.

    Maybe he reincarnated as Doreen Virtue for karmic purposes:)

  11. The Crowley Thoth deck was painted by psychic artist & Egyptologist Frieda Harris, who worked off Crowley’s rough sketches & visual descriptions. Crowley admits that Harris’ dedication & genius lead to the deck becoming a wholly new deck,so much more than an update of the classic Medieval Tarot that he originally intended.
    *Read Gerd Ziegler “Tarot Mirror of the Soul” for “haute” Thoth insight.

  12. I am not sure about it being bad luck to touch someone else deck…

    My mother has a thoth deck and I used to love going through it and looking at all the beautiful artwork. She rarely reads for other off the Thoth deck. If fact my mother avoids reading for others (unless really required), even though she is really very talented at it.
    I asked her why once and she explained that she spent a while in the company of a woman who used her tarot as a way of manipulating people around her… and that she didn’t want to have that sort of quality to her relationships.
    Which I think is fair enough…

      1. She is the cusp of Toro and Gem…

        … she picks and chooses which way she wants to be really;)

        (oddly, she is picking Gem more and more often these days…)

    1. I bought my own, not knowing about the ‘witches tale’ about bad luck. I love my deck, really love the pictures. Many resonate so strongly with me! But the info book is sometimes a bit minimalist and simplistic.

      Is it true that you should keep them wrapped in silk?

      I don’t adhere to the “its bad luck to let someone touch them” school of thought. For a very quick reading, get someone to cut the deck. They choose the card.

      Also, I read somewhere to keep them under your pillow so they absorb your dreams. Truth be told, they are kept under the pillow on the lover’s side, not my side of the bed.

      I adore Tarot. It was Tarot that was the final nail in the coffin of the traditional religion I was raised with (catholicism). Had to go to church yesterday. Long story…..

      I am convinced my female ancestors were wise-women and midwives (read “witches”) back in the day….. Somewhere along the line they got co-opted to the Vatican-way-of-thinking.

      I just can’t bring myself to tell my family I’m a Pagan. Mum would f-r-e-a-k!~~ She’d worry that I’ll burn in hellfire. But she does know that I want to be cremated and where I want my ashes scattered….

  13. My mother has a tarot deck somewhere, but it’s bad luck to touch someone else’s deck so I am unsure of their whereabouts. I’ve been DYING for a William Blake deck. They look absolutely lovely, but I think they’re all sold out now.

  14. The Thoth deck was my first experience of tarot in the 80’s, I learnt from a Rajneesh teacher who put a more ‘positive’ spin on the cards than Crowley, I had no idea what any of it was about. But over the years came to really love and respect them, their depth and being the only cards I have come across who look at physics and the kabbalah and numerology and astrology, and yes, uncannily accurate. I read a lot about Crowley after having them for some years and I do believe he was a somewhat misguided genius (perhaps it was the drugs?) but the thoth was definitely coming from a purer place. My partner doesnt like them, thinks they are a bit sinister, but I will always defend them. I also researched the changes he made to the classical deck and I do believe he really tapped into something.

  15. spaced out pisces

    Had many Tarots over the years 10+ Never bought one for myself. I did once ask someone to by me a deck, Golden Dawn the Cicero one though.

    Have a huge Thoth deck, was given to me by a lady because I have big hands and can deal with them. They are a true work of art, a delight to behold as well as being a fully functional Tarot.

    The Rider Waite pack is the one I have stuck with the most, and is the only one I ever consulted with. I went through various packs before I got to it, theres just something about them that works in a way the others dont. I think its because they are so plain, the psyche fills in gaps..

  16. That’s funny, I did a tarot reading last night for someone, and up came the death card, the hangman card and the tower card. I tried to put it in a gentle way, that something could change or happen, but she got terribly upset, probably because I failed miserably at the tact part.

    The cards were very compelling and screaming out, but I didn’t really know how to talk it through in a totally benign way so that she would stop freaking out. Bugger. Not such a successful reading.

    1. Molly & Lark, in those tricky situations, search for High Priestess or Star
      & cover the ‘offending -off-ending?’ones & ask for intervention of a benevolent
      nature to intervene.
      Originally, the 12 major’s were initiations into the Egyptian Mysteries.
      Egyptian – Gypsy.
      Anything to do with A.Crowley disgusts me as abuse & deception of power.
      The MotherPeace Tarot, i lived in the Pacific for 2 years & since then it’s the
      Animal Medicine Cards i consult for strategy & behaviour, the I Ching if it’s more
      ‘politic’……covers personal & public guidance for me & never let me down or have me
      But then i go goo goo at MJ’s song of ‘Ben’, a love song to a Rat that reached #1.

      Dreamt i was in a smallish space last night with a large Lion & oversized (stocky) Panther.
      They were not tame so it was kinda unsettling but convinced even thro’ the snarls they
      wouldn’t hurt me.
      Signed Ms. Doolittle.

  17. Thoth is such an honest deck and the only one I use to read for myself. I gave it the nickname the deck of doom! Piffle on buying your own deck, just piffle! I am down to three decks these days as I had to get over my addiction. From 2003-05, I bought near each new deck that came out and had a HUGE ebay sale a few years later! I really loved the Golden Tarot by Kat Black, another hot aussie kicking butt!

  18. I have limited knowledge in tarot & am learning- this is fascinating info!
    My Capricorn friend is a tarot reader who reads my cards & had recently decided it is time for me to have my own.
    He has spent months searching for the ‘right’ ones as his belief is that the tarot deck is bought for you as well. I only learnt of this last week as he was flying off to Europe & he said he ‘felt’ he would find the right tarot deck for me in Spain.
    Now I’ve read this maybe I should call him & say honey I don’t think it is the tarot deck that is guiding you to Spain…..

    1. Was something pointing south for him Barista? haha…

      I’ve been using the Dragonfae Oracle which I bought myself so I too am sans proper tarot. From what the Divine M has wrote, it looks like Thoth would be for me – I LOVE receptivity and always feel suspicious when I am being read something so outside myself.

      Darling Mystic, that was a shit week..but as you probably guess, I empathize!

  19. unpredictable pisces

    i was going to give away my tarot cards (that my dad gave me when I was 15) as i felt that i didn’t ‘connect’ with them. i’m not sure if my cards and me speak the same language? I do like runes, feel they tell me more. but in the end i couldn’t bring myself to part with the cards.

    1. unpredictable pisces

      yes and theocide would really mean the killing of gods…which i suppose is what the christians did when they went about dominating / overwriting various cultures…genocide ..persecution? where’s my OED..

  20. mmm I’m loving the Thoth deck right now, I find it compellingly beautiful, whereas when I was younger, I found the imagery too overwhelming, preferring a Qabbalist deck that was very astro & diagrammatic. I also love the Sabian symbols- they are very friendly & a little kooky.

    *Hereticide would cover it do you think?

  21. Wow, I love this story from your life! What a bad week.

    I’m going for ‘pogrom’ off the top of my head, for want of a better answer to your question as to what to call the shitty behaviour of patriachal rulers against those connected to nature although I’m sure there’d be something more specific…

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