A rant: deck reviews and flip throughs

I suppose I’m a bit late with this post, because I think a lot of it has already been said at this point. But I’ve been writing these words in my head so many times the past weeks, and I’m annoyed, so now I’m just gonna put this up here.

Okay, so maybe you’ve heard about the big hullabaloo around Llewellyn’s policy about people posting images of their decks? I ranted about it here… So, after an outcry from the public and a fairly large number of people threatening to boycott them, they changed the policy. To the better, I suppose, but I still find it kinda stupid. Not least because it doesn’t allow people to do full flip throughs of the decks on places like YouTube. I’ve done this with some of my decks, and I’ll keep doing it. I’m about to explain why…

So a few weeks ago I saw a youtube video where a person explains why they don’t do full flip throughs on their channel. It’s the law in that specific country, and I get that. They can only show a certain percentage of a deck, for review purposes, or it counts as copyright infringement. Fair enough. But they then continued to argue that you shouldn’t be able to see the entire deck, because a bookstore wouldn’t let you read a whole book before you bought it, now would it?


First of all, you have the library, where you can go and read any book you want, as often as you like. Then, you can go to the bookstore and buy the damn thing if it’s a book you really want to own.

Second, a tarot or oracle deck is not a book. It’s not (for most people, anyway) a thing you buy solely for your enjoyment. It’s a tool, and it’s meant to be used. Now, would you go on an online store and order a great big tool kit without getting a really good look first? Now, all the tools would probably be listed on the site, but if you could not see pictures, or at least detailed descriptions, how would you know it would work for you? You might figure out too late that the handles don’t fit your hands or something, and the tools would be too awkward to use. Sure, you may experience that even after extensive research, because nothing is ever guaranteed to fit everyone.

And, in my mind, it’s the same with a tarot deck. They pretty much always have the same major arcana and the same four suits. (With variations or additions, of course, but you most often get those from the item description either in the store of from some written review, pictures or not.) But the images are always different, the titles may have changed, maybe your idea of artistic nudity is different from someone else’s… Plus, there’s always someone who needs to see specific cards in a deck to see if they can work with it or not. If those few cards are wrong, then the deck is most likely a no-go. And then you have some people who need to see the whole deck to be sure, people who do all kinds of research, read reviews and watch videos and check the tags on instagram, before they decide to buy a deck. So why the hell not make it a whole lot easier for everyone and just flip through the whole thing in one go? And the people who don’t want to see all of a deck, who want to be surprised, can just get the hell out and not watch the thing. Seriously, it’s not that bloody hard. Personally, I don’t want to be surprised by a deck. There’s almost no worse feeling than seeing cards for the first time after you’ve bought a new deck, and being disappointed by the images. It fucking sucks.

(And before you tell me there’s always trading away decks I won’t use – no. I live in Norway, where international shipping costs a bloody fortune and I have no one nearby to trade with. I can’t fucking afford to send stuff away. Not that I’d want to, anyway. They’ll be added to my hoard, even if it’s with a bitter feeling of disappointment.)

There, I’m done. I’ve said my thing, and I hope my head will get some rest now. Onward to more constructive things 🙂


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