A few years back, I put together a popular post digging into tarot and oracle card decks. The decks were inclusive, as well as beautiful, and any of them would make for a great first, second, or fiftieth deck for yourself or for someone else. In the time since that roundup, though, we’ve seen an explosion in new, fun, creative, and diverse tarot and oracle card decks worth talking about. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re in it because you are a big believer in the power of the cards or because you find the cards to be great journaling prompts or opportunities to think about your life and what you may want to do with it.
What is the difference between tarot cards and oracle cards? There’s a nice look at the history of two types of decks in the above link, but the short and sweet summary is this: tarot have 78 cards total, consisting of two parts: the 22-card major arcana, alongside the 56-card minor arcana. Tarot cards have a structure and pattern to their language, though interpretation is at the hands of the user, based on what they’re seeing in the individual cards as well as the spread of cards. Different decks utilize different imagery, but decks use the same 78 card structure. Oracle cards, on the other hand, can contain any number of cards, any number of designs, and often comes with a booklet to offer insight into the cards and what they might mean. Many see oracle cards as more accessible to the common person than tarot, since there isn’t a standard template to them. Rather, you can simply be drawn to the messages or images of a deck and use it wherever feels appropriate in your life.
As interest in cards continues to grow and more decks are created that offer options to users, there is no time like the present to not only get to know a bit about the history of these two types of cards but to also try them out. The range of these cards is extensive, going from serious to seriously fun. You can often find them in bookstores, as well as metaphysical stores, and good decks will have either websites you can look at for more detailed looks at the cards (and if not on a private website, those extended previews should be on the publisher’s website).
Let’s take a look at some unique, fun, and new tarot and oracle card decks for 2023.
Color Your Own Tarot by Lisa Butterworth
How about kicking things off with a fun DIY style Tarot deck? Though you’re going to get the imagery traditionally associated with the classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck, you’re given the chance to color and explore the cards in your own unique way.
Modern Goddess Tarot: Call Upon the Divine Feminine by Cecilia Lattari, Illustrated by Petra Braun
Building from the classic Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, this reimagining of the cards features historical goddesses from across time and culture. The art is painted in bold colors, offering a lot to think about as you pull yourself the Hindu goddess Kali or Pele, a Hawaiian diety.
Britney Spears Oracle Cards by Kara Nesvig
If you are a fan of Britney, then no doubt you’ll want to snag a deck of oracle cards featuring her likeness. This deck has 40 full-color cards and an accompanying guide to the deck, and it offers insights that can help you fight your battles (see “Ringleader”) and more.
Spoopy Tarot by Amí Naeily
If you’re wondering what the heck “Spoopy” means, know it’s got a nice history on Tumblr and feel free to go on a dive therein.
And whether you’re wondering or not about the word, this tarot deck offers a fun and cute take on all things scary. Cute ghosts! Cuddly bats! Witches who think they are scary but really are cinnamon rolls! This deck is great any time of year, especially for those who love horror.
Cats Rule The Earth Tarot by Catherine Davidson, Illustrated by Thiago Corrêa
Love cats? Believe they hold the secrets of the universe? Then you’ll have this cat tarot deck in your cart in no time. Meow!
The Realest Oracle by Kendra Austin, Illustrated by Bria Benjamin (July 18)
This 53-card oracle deck is all about how to find and release the magic within you. The diverse deck is packed with people of color, disabled people, and queer people, offering images and insights that mirror the world around us. In addition to being inclusive, the cards feature people in everyday scenarios that will be extremely relatable.
Sefirot: The Spheres of Heaven Deck by Georg Hobmeier and James Patton, Illustrated by Eliot Baum and Viv Tanner (August 1)
If you’re looking for something different, this is your deck. While it draws some inspiration from Rider-Waite-Smith, it is its own thing entirely. The 80-card deck draws from there, as well as Marseille, Judaic Kabbalah, and esoteric lore. The cards offer a look into symbolism and archetypes, marrying a fantastic world called Dioscoria with art nouveau and comic style art.
Season of the Witch: Mabon Oracle by Lorriane Anderson and Juliet Diaz (Author), Illustrated by Tijana Lukovic (July 1)
This deck is intended for use during the fall, though a deck full of gorgeous witches has use all year long. But for those who live and move by the seasons, pop this on your “need for Mabon” wish list. There are 44 gilded cards and a lushly illustrated guide to the deck.
Mushroom Spirit Oracle by Nicola McIntosh
The 36 unique gilded cards in this deck, alongside the 112 page guide to the deck, will be any cottagecore/dark academia lover’s dream. Pair these cards with the witchy deck above.
Midnight Magic Deck by Sara Richard (March 28)
You want a mushroom tarot deck instead of oracle cards? Then you’re in luck. This set is much darker than the oracle deck above and follows in the tradition of the Rider-Waite-Smith. Richard, who created the deck and its art, is an Eisner Award winner who is a mushroom fanatic, so these are going to be GOOD.
Mystical Forest Tarot by Cecilia Lattari, Illustrated by Wes Gama (June 27)
Look. At. The. Color.
Gama, who did the illustrations for the deck inspired by the Rider-Waite-Smith, is a street artist, and that style paired with wild animals and magic is *chef’s kiss*.
The Pasta Tarot by by Jeff Petriello and Rob Truglia, Illustrated by Lindsay Mound
No comment is necessary. This deck is about pasta. It’s meant for divination, of course, but I suspect it can double as a way to decide on dinner.
May the cards be ever in your favor!