MAGIC MUST-HAVE: International Icon Tarot Deck

Like many of you, I love tarot cards. I didn’t know anything about tarot until I was hired to design a deck of the Major Arcana for a tarot reader here in Hollywood. Upon completing that project, I knew the Major Arcana inside-out and upside-down. Wanting to put that knowledge to good use, I scoured the internet for the perfect deck for me and discovered International Icon Tarot.

Designed by artist Robin Ator, International Icon Tarot is a modern interpretation of the world-renowned Rider Waite tarot deck designed by Pamela Colman Smith in the early 1900s. Ator’s website put’s it best in their deck description:

The International Icon Tarot conveys traditional meanings without relying on occult symbols or mystical illustrations, by incorporating the distinctive graphic style associated with international signage. As a result, this deck can be used by a wider audience in a broader variety of settings. Its simplicity will appeal to beginners, and captivate both collectors and experienced tarot users. Without sacrificing symbolic depth, these engaging images provide for a greater degree of ethnic, cultural and gender inclusiveness.

The colors are so vibrant, that even a unhappy reading still looks beautiful! And because of it’s use of color and simplistic design, it’s also very easy to picture yourself or people around you in the cards, so it is the perfect deck for beginners. It’s also a great deck to read for other people with who might not know anything about tarot, because the straight-forward design makes such a big impact.

One word of warning – these cards are VERY thin, and some owners of this deck do not like that. Personally, it doesn’t bother me, because I find thinner cards much easier to shuffle. But if you are looking for a super sturdy card stock – this could be a deal breakers for you. But like I said, this is my favorite deck of all time, so I am a little biased.

It also has a bonus “Happy Squirrel” card, which I choose not to use. Don’t worry, we will explore the “Happy Squirrel” card in a future post… Below, you can preview the first 21 of the 79 cards. As of this date, Robin Ator’s International Icon Tarot is still in print and available for purchase on

How awesome are those?! Like I said, I’ve yet to find a deck I like better, but I’m willing to have that challenged!

What is your favorite deck and why? I’d love to check it out!

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