Fool’s Journey: Eight Queer Tarot Decks to Ogle, Support or Buy!

Header by Rory Midhani

Header by Rory Midhani

Finding a tarot deck that completely sings to you can be hard. Finding one that sings to you and is queer at heart is even harder. To help with that, I made you this wee roundup of queer-friendly tarot decks on my radar.

Before you get too excited, a forewarning that at least one of these is out of print, and several others are still in the creation stages. The good news is, you can totally support them and help bring them into existence!


The Slow Holler Tarot

Slow Holler is a collective of artists with queer and/or Southern identities, and their latest project is a tarot deck. I’ve seen some of the initial cards and let me tell you, this is going to be one incredibly beautiful deck.

slow-holler-tarot

Slow Holler’s Kickstarter campaign met its goal a few months back and production is well underway. You can reserve your own copy here (and buy other beautiful Slow Holler Tarot goodies.)

We also featured a cool interview with project organiser E here in Fool’s Journey!


Cristy C Road’s forthcoming tarot deck

Yep, you read that right. Cristy Road — creator of Greenzine, Spit and Passion and about a hundred of your favourite queer punk posters is creating a tarot deck. Who’s she teaming up with? Oh y’know, only Michelle Tea. I KNOW!

cristy-road-tarot

Here’s a preview of cards so far. Yes, they are amazing. This deck will be a long time in the making, but if you’re even half as excited about it as I am, there are a few different ways you can support Cristy through the process:


The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn, by Egypt Urnash

One of the most radical and innovative tarot decks I’ve ever come across, the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn is bold, sexy and queer as hell. It’s full of sci-fi references, racy space-encounters, alien bodies and genderqueering awesomeness, and features a bunch of additional cards, reinventing the traditional system of tarot.
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Straddler Elisabeth wrote this awesome, detailed review of the deck which you should absolutely read. I wish all tarot reviews were this in-depth and this in love with the cards.

Pick up a copy of the deck here.


Thea’s Tarot by Ruth West, + She Is Sitting in the Night by Oliver Pickle

Ruth West created this feminist, lesbian paper cut tarot deck in 1984. Every card in the deck is female-identified, and there are lots of images of lesbian love and partnership.

theas-tarot

Recently, Montreal-based friends Rima Athar and Oliver Pickle set out to revision this deck, producing an incredible new book, She is Sitting in the Night. The book queers up the deck beautifully, interpreting a work of beautiful second-wave art through the filter and language of queer politics and relationships.

Buy the book and pick up a very limited edition of the original deck direct from indie publisher Metonomy Press, or, if you’re not in Canada or the US, you can get it from my shop!


Trung Nguyen’s tarot deck

Trung’s tarot deck features four different Lovers cards (for four different interpretations of ‘lovers’), and characters of different colours, cultures and genders. It’s warm and colourful and a true labour of love.

trung-nguyen-tarot

The people in my life deserve to find themselves considered in the fanciful parts of my imagination – in a perfect world, my loved ones are there, and that means there should be gender variance, there should be a lot of people of color, and depictions of queer affection.

You can view all of the major arcana cards on Trung’s website, or read a completely awesome interview with him on Little Red Tarot.

You can also support this project on Patreon!


The Collective Tarot

I know, I know. It’s out of print and that completely sucks. The world needs this deck! This was the original queer tarot, it changed the way so many of us use our cards to articulate our lives, and the word on the street is that the creators are thinking about doing another print run. Fingers crossed.

The Collective Tarot reinterprets many of the cards’ traditional meanings, politicising and queering archetypes such as The Emperor — now The Code, a sexy boi waiting for you at the bar — and The Hierophant, which becomes the tutor of a women’s self-examination class.

collective-tarot

This is about knowing what you need, feeling entitled to it and letting it be known. Boundaries serve you best when you feel okay about having them, and are able to get them across to others without apology.

Clio Sady, Four of Feathers


Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot by Dame Darcy

I don’t own this one, but by all accounts Dame Darcy’s self-published nautical-themed Mermaid Tarot is as queer as a pair of fish-shaped ladies.

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Buy a copy on Etsy.


The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell

If you enjoy looking at pictures of awesome-looking skinny white girls in an array of incredibly cool Victorian dapper/femme attire while you’re practicing cartomancy, this deck is probably a wise investment. I’m not usually one for ‘themed’ decks, but this one really gives amazing readings, and it comes with a good-sized guidebook written by the wonderful Barbara Moore.

steampunk-tarot

You can pick up your own copy here.


So, what have I missed? What are your favourite queer or queer-ish tarot decks? Tell us in the comments!


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Beth Maiden is a tarot reader and writer based in Machynlleth, mid-Wales. She has two cats, a hot builder girlfriend, far too many tarot decks and not enough coffee cups. She's really into bread, the colour red, camping and brand new notebooks. She'd love to cut your hair, read your cards or hang out with you on her blog, Little Red Tarot!

Beth has written 111 articles for us.

42 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post, Beth! I frequently read Little Red Tarot, so I was familiar with most of these decks, but it’s great having them all together in one post like this! I want ALL of these! When I have money, I’m definitely buying the Silicon Dawn, and Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot (those cards look gorgeous). And I’m beyond excited for Cristy C Road’s deck (again, when I have money I’m going to buy that 2 of Swords print) and Trung Nguyen’s deck looks spectacular (4 different Lovers cards, yes please!). Beautiful!

  2. Also, on The Fosters last night, one of Callie’s friends did a tarot reading for her. And the reading advanced the plot! She used the RWS Tarot and did a Celtic cross spread (very traditional). And the only cards they showed was the last two cards, and I’m paraphrasing: “Ooh, the Two of Cups, a new relationship! Let’s see how that turns out: The Tower… Oh.”

  3. holy cow i want that slow holler deck! who am i kidding, i want all of them. tho i am lucky enough to have gotten the collective tarot on their last run.
    if you haven’t seen the wild unknown deck, i recommend it. i don’t know if it’s explicitly queer but just about every queer witch i know (self included) has a copy.

    • @wixatropa So great you got a copy of the Collective Tarot!

      I have the Wild Unknown too… I don’t personally find it very queer (the mother father daughter son gets on my nerves a bit, but it’s awesome how there are no human figures.)

      It’s still my number one deck though!

  4. Damn, the Silicon Dawn and Trung Nguyen’s deck need to be in my life! Both have incredible artwork and really luscious vibrations. I feel like the Silicon Dawn would be great for the kick-your-own-ass readings and cutting through pretense when reading for yourself, but it also seems like it’s not really for beginners. I think you’d have to really trust your abilities to get the most out of this deck.

    I feel like Trung’s tarot would be incredible for spellwork and directing energy. It has a very clear, loving frequency that is very much “for the highest good of all, harming none.”

  5. Damn I’m nowhere near knowledgeable of taroh, but I think that making an entire taroh deck would be the coolest art project.
    I am in complete awe of Trung Nguyen’s art. The detail, especially in the hair, is absolutely phenomenal. Thank you for sharing all these decks!

  6. Beautiful decks! I’ve been making mental grabby hands at the Slow Holler deck ever since you featured it back in March. Now I’m making more grabby hands at Trung Nguyen’s deck, too. I love the use of color and that there are different interpretations of different cards available with the deck! Plus, from what I can see, it’s just traditional enough for beginners to use, but not so traditional that not-beginners would be put off by it.

  7. A fantastic list. I’m glad to see a few things here that I haven’t heard of before.

    I’ve been working with Dolores Fichtie’s Gorgon Tarot and would say that it is queer-able if not queer in itself. The imagery and characters lean very femme and/or androgynous.

    I’m working to focus on learning my way around the Gorgon and Fountain tarot decks, but I know for a fact that I’ll grab a copy of Trung Nguyen’s deck whenever I get the chance.

  8. I can vouch for the Steampunk Deck. It lacks diversity, but gives great readings. I would love to see an updated version with a more diverse cast of characters.

    Adding Slow Holler’s deck to my radar, and next time I have a paycheck I think I’ll get Egypt Urnash’s deck. Beautiful artwork! That’s usually what pulls me in faster than anything else.

  9. It’s so upsetting the collective tarot isn’t available but I’m still so glad to see it in this post because it just looks SO great. I’m not ready to buy a 2nd deck yet, I want to wait til I’m more comfortable with my first (The wild unknown). But I’ll definitely be bookmarking this for when I’m ready for something new!

  10. I bought the Dreaming Way Tarot deck a few months ago and have been working with it almost exclusively (I have the Aquarian Tarot and a Rider Waite). The images are so great and can definitely be read as queer (The Lovers are polyamorous!). I really love the people in this deck.

    http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/dreaming-way/

    My current wishlist of decks are Also can’t wait for the Linestrider and Trung Nguyen’s decks to be released.

    http://www.linestridertarot.com/

  11. re: the dame darcy tarot. not queer at all!
    in fact, a number of the cards are her drawing versions of pierre et gille artworks, and in one glaring instance–The Emperor card–she’s changed the artwork from a gay couple to a straight couple.

    please do support her and this deck if you want to, but don’t mislead people into thinking it’s a queer celebration. I love DD but it’s not.

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