5. Tarot of the Magical Forest by Hsu Chi Chun and Leo Tang, publisher Lo Scarabeo
4. Oak, Ash and Thorn Tarot by Stephanie Burrows and Adam Oehlers, Three Trees Tarot
3. Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson and Eugen Smith, publisher Llewellyn
2. The Victorian Romantic Tarot by Karen Mahoney and Alex Ukolov, Baba Barock
1. Sasuraibito Tarot by Stasia Burrington
5. The Brady Tarot by Emi Brady
4. The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans, Harper One
3. Tarot Mucha by Giulia F. Massaglia and Barbara Nosenzo, Lo Scarabeo
2. The Victorian Romantic Tarot by Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahoney, Baba Barock
1. Way of the Panda Tarot by Kimberly Tsan
5. The Sasuraibito Tarot by Stasia Burrington
4. Oak, Ash and Thorn by Stephanie Burrows and Adam Oehlers, Three Trees Tarot
3. The Botan Tarot by A.Miyako.M
2. Animal Totem Tarot, Leeza Robertson, Illustrated by Eugene Smith, Llewellyn Publishing
1. The Victorian Romantic Tarot by Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahoney, Baba Barock
The Fool card is arguably the most important card in any Tarot deck. It's often the first card you see when you open the box. It represents the very beginning of the journey through the Major Arcana.
The traditional RWS card shows our hero on the cusp of a new adventure, so enchanted by the opportunity that he fails to see the cliff edge he's about to step off. So many of the Fool cards in my deck library are clones of the RWS with their own design aesthetic applied. When I picked my favourites, I was surprised to see that it was the cards that show beginnings in a different way that made it into my Top 5. So, like a beauty pageant from the 1970's, here they are, in reverse order, my favourite Fools.
3. Lili White and Lili Black
Is it cheating to have two cards in third place? Well, as I'm making up the rules, no it isn't! There's no Fool in these Fool cards but the glorious old trees clinging to the precipice with the deceptive clouds hiding the sheer drop do enough to give the impression that something's going to happen, any moment now. Different yet equally as stunning, I couldn't choose between these cards by Celia Melesville.
Do you ever wonder what a tarot deck full of your favourite cards would look like?
This project has proven to be a mammoth task, pulling cards from 80+ decks and comparing all the Fools, Magicians and High Priestesses. So much choice meant that I struggled to narrow it down to one single image for each card, so I've put together a list of my Top 5*.
It's been an interesting journey and I've surprised myself with some of my choices. I'll round it all up with a summary at the end but for now, these are the nominees for my Tarot Oscars!
*When I say 5, what I actually mean is as close to 5 as I can get. I can't guarantee that some Top 5's will have 6 or even more cards. Who's counting?