2004 Holiday Tarot Gift Giving Ideas -- From Diane "Tarot-holic" Wilkes to You

It's not even Thanksgiving quite yet, but I am sure the more organized folks already have most of their holiday shopping done. I am about to get out my list now...who is it who has been naughty? Me, I suppose, for getting presents sporadically throughout the year without writing down a darned thing...yet.

But that's on a personal level. Professionally, I have been planning this article since January of 2004. It's my holiday gift to readers of Tarot Passages--some suggestions for all manner of tarot enthusiasts' pocketbooks and fancies...

*****Tarot Decks*****

In the world of mainstream decks, the Golden Tarot stands out for me as the one to get, if you have not done so already. It's a work of art and eminently useable...and when those two things go hand-in-hand, you have a win-win on your hands--and your reader's table.  Llewellyn's Gilded Tarot is another treasure--when I take it with me for public readings, people gravitate to this deck like I gravitate to chocolate on a dessert tray. That's some serious gravitational pull. An added bonus--men, in particular, seem to really love working with this deck.

Self-published decks, though, are especially festive. The good news is that there are some very reasonably priced ones out there. If you, like most tarotists I know, are also a cat fancier, the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot is lovely. Try the International Icon for down and dirty readings, plus it's a deck you can take anywhere (no nudity). Another deck that is relatively affordable is the Sakki-Sakki Tarot, which offers fabulous textures and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face with its colorful, whimsical nature.

The Toscano Tarot is priced a bit more steeply, but you have the option of making your own set from the artist's color copies. I am passionate about this vital and exciting deck. If you've been really good--and your mutual funds have done the same--consider the Odyssey Tarot as a fabulous treat for the tarot lover in your life (and yes, that includes you). Jean says she has a few copies left and does not plan to make any more for the general public once they are gone...so don't miss this opportunity for a bona fide tarot investment (and deck!).

*****Tarot Books*****

Maybe I'm weird (okay, no maybe about it), but books are particularly prized holiday gifts in my household. Two of the best that came out this year are Understanding the Tarot Court by Mary K. Greer and Tom Little and Putting the Tarot to Work by Mark McElroy. The first is particularly beneficial for those who find the court cards confounding (or simply want to develop a richer relationship with them). Mark's book is perfect for those who wish to integrate the tarot into their working life, and includes the world's best techniques for creating presentations using the tarot. If you can, though, get both books...

If you're in the mood to shell out the big bucks, the deck/book combo of Tarot ReVisioned is most worthwhile. The reason I put this in the book section is that, though the deck is a bargain, the book's cost is quite steep. Yet if you are interested in the esoteric nature of the tarot, I don't see how you can go wrong with this unique but knowledgable approach.

I know there are people who are saying, "But...I'm broke. What can I get on the cheap?" The following section is just for you:

*****Stocking Stuffers (Gifts Under $20)*****

Elaine Moertl singlehandedly offers two of the best deals for the tarot lover in your life. One is the Chat du Marseille, a Majors-only version of the Conver Marseille with cats in lieu of humans. Believe it or not, it costs only $8 including shipping AND a cloth bag. The Ferret Tarot, Moertl's other offering, was the 2003 Holiday Guide's "bargain of the year"--a 78 card deck with bag for $14.95 + shipping.

For those of us who don't wait for January, when most calendars go on sale for half-price, these are some useful tarot-themed gifts. The Llewellyn's Tarot Reader Annual is a bargain at $8.95--you get a compendium of articles AND a calendar.

You can get two sets of postcards from Baba of Prague for ten dollars--including shipping! These can be postcards from the Tarot of Prague or the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot. Get a set of each, if you so desire.

*****Tarot Bags*****

Tarot bags are also potential stocking stuffers that meet the price criterion. Crystal Sage (of Tapestry Magazine fame) makes bags that I treasure because they close really tightly. Decks do not fall out of her drawstring bags. It doesn't hurt that she has a huge assortment of lovely fabrics and lines her bags in silk. I have too many of these to count. While you're visiting her site, check out her handcrafted jewelry.

My favorite bags, though, are the flip top wonders made by Sally Anne Stephen. Last year she was inundated with offers and unable to fill them all, but this year she is preparing a limited number. Unfortunately, I will be privy to these new bags, so I can't guarantee how many will be left...but I know they'll be worth the wait!


It's always good to be on time for tarot readings...and if you use a tarot-themed calendar, so much the better. Check out the Goddess Tarot Datebook or the Seasons of the Witch spellwork-friendly datebook. If you are looking for a hanging calendar, the best one to get has to be the Tarot Art Calendar by Arnell Ando and Leslie Cochran. Ando also has a number of tarot-themed items you can purchase via Caf Press.

Lastly...the perfect touch...wrap your gifts in tarot wrapping paper. TarotWorks sells special holiday-themed tarot wrapping paper, in addition to their standard items.

Here's wishing you the happiest and safest of holiday seasons, whichever holiday you celebrate.

Article and page 2004 Diane Wilkes