|The Tarot Shelf years ago when 1 shelf would do...|
I don't have a lot of of discrimination in buying new decks. Hell, I don't have much discrimination in buying old decks, either. I will absolutely try anything. I don't keep every deck that comes my way, but I give all of them a chance. To stay in my collection, it has to meet at least one of the following criteria: be a deck I am going to use professionally, be beautiful, add something unique to tarot, or have sentimental value (i.e.; have been a gift). I have most decks that are in print, and a good many that are no longer. I love self published decks, small print and independent works. I am by no means the most rabid collector I know, but I made due with just the one deck for most of my life, so I had lots of time to make up for.
Has having all these decks made me a better tarot reader? The answer is somewhat mixed, but leaning heavily towards no. I definitely have gained different perspective from all my (much loved) decks, but few of them were actually necessary for my growth or learning as a reader. They have enhanced my experience, but not defined it. I imagine this is kind of like how I learned to read with a battered old copy Harry The Dirty Dog and my kids had both Harry and interactive computer games, Leap Pad, and Hooked on Phonics. Different and varied paths to the same destination.
|Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set- The Fool|
|Anna K Tarot- 8 of Swords|
So, collect decks as time, space, and money allow, but follow your own bliss in that area. You only need one. After that you are just making piles. I know fabulous readers that only use one deck, and not having a collection that even equals 1% of mine does not hinder any person as a reader. If anything, the opposite is true. Bringing decks into your home does not make a tarot reader. Having books on your shelf doesn't, either. Throwing down cards and coming to grips with them, even it feels like you are Jacob wrestling the angel (and sometimes, you probably are), that is what makes a tarot reader.