Hello Kitty Tarot redux (or if you dream it, it will come)

You know the one. You wait for it to come around. Thinking, once I’ve found my IT deck, I’ll finally be able to read cards.

The IT Deck is sort of a myth, I’ve discovered. I didn’t actually take to the cards until I spent a great deal of time focusing on ONE Tarot deck for a while — that was the Morgan Greer. The Aquarian is a very close second, and I recently was able to procure my optimum version of that one — the Morgan Press edition with the orange Ouroboros backs (I see a new horrible tattoo in my future…).

Tarot people look out for each other. That’s one of the biggest advantages to networking in this field. My beautifully aged Morgan Greer was a gift from someone who knew of my tastes. My dream Aquarian came from a dealer who had caught wind that I was stalking around for this particular edition, found one and gave me a deal. People begin to learn your tastes; even your BAD ones. Actually, I’ve been sort of infamous for my bad taste in most things most of my life anyway (music, men, tattoos, tarots…). So it’s no surprise I get sent a great deal of adorable kawaii stuff.

I’ve posted on this subject before. Somewhere in the late 90s or early 00s (I couldn’t track down an exact date, though I found a review by Wicce on archive.org that was dated May ’00), an artist named Joe Rosales drew and printed up a 78 card Sanrio-themed Tarot. I can’t imagine what the reception for the cards was like (I was busy graduating high school and only vaguely aware of the internet in 1999). Eventually, from what I gather, Sanrio shut down sales of the cards. The bootleg was bootlegged and you can still see clones floating around etsy.com and ebay from time to time.

I was gifted one of these clones, a colored, highly laminated version from etsy.com probably four years ago. It was so awful (organza bag. Pointy corners) that I deemed it unusable. Highly indestructible though, I gave it to my then one-year-old daughter, who eventually gummed it into oblivion.

Freyja’s first Tarot reading

Shortly thereafter, another Tarot-friend in Japan sent me a copy of the official Sanrio-produced Hello Kitty Tarot. Though overjoyed I was, I do admit to a bit of disappointment about the size, stock and imagery selected for the cards. To say nothing of the fact that it was Majors-only. And try as I might, to this day I still can’t get anything good out of a Majors-only reading. These decks were obviously not designed by Tarot readers for Tarot readings though. They were created by marketers and hired illustrators to move HK merch. If you’re a collector of Hello Kitty Krap though, you may be interested in adding this to your collection (I also have the Little Twin Stars Majors set that Sanrio did — it is equally disappointing and equally precious).


Which brings us to last week, when an art student in *personal information redacted* of all cute-forsaken places, emails me. Turns out she found a bootleg copy of Joe’s deck, redrew and recolored the cards and had some copies made at her university print shop and would I be interested in one? It’s in a shimmery purple bag, she mentioned.


Hello, you had me at shimmery purple bag.

Compared to the official Sanrio cards — well, there really is no comparison.


Because aside from the Majors, this deck has 56 minor cards, beautifully rendered and totally usable.



Bootleg of a bootleg aside, the deck is lovely and I finally have in my hands a working, 78 card Hello Kitty deck. The artist behind this version of the cards says she used her Thoth tarot as inspiration for coloring — which is apparent in a few cards (the High Priestess especially) and may be the best thing to come from the Thoth EVER (I’m expecting hate mail now from you Thothy-types now!). The cards seem bigger than the other bootleg HK deck I had and the paper is a lovely, UV coated stock that shuffles like a dream.

IT Deck? Hard to say. While it’s the perfect size for my purse, I’m having a hard time imagining myself sitting across from a sobbing querent, spilling the contents of her tormented soul and begging for divine guidance, and then busting out some Hello Kitty on her.

How happy am I to have it though?


Author: Melissa

Melissa Jozefina is a poet, stargazer, and fortune teller.

  • This tarot deck is a dream come true! I have seen the Etsy laminates before and thought it at least facilitated an out of print deck to others. This takes it further, though!

    The Thoth is an undisputed King in the world of the tarot. Using it as reference for this deck charged this deck with a lot of energy — and dare I say it — power.

    Thanks for the review! : ) Enjoy reading.

    • Thank you! I totally agree that the Thoth inspiration gave the cards a kind of bite! Thank you for the comment!

  • Wow…I actually LIKE it, the colors, the design…and it’s READABLE. I may never diss the Hello Kitty again. Paradigm shift, oooooh my head!

    • There is a lot of Hello Kitty out there worth dissing, this little nugget though, not so much! 😉

  • wow. of all your great blog posts, i’m slightly embarrassed that this is one that i’m actually responding to! 😛 such is the draw of sanrio! gaaaah!

    f’n a, i love this freaking deck. the colors, the readability. you are a one darn lucky duck to have scored this. do let me know if you ever stumble upon another one of these!

    i’ve had the same experience as you of having to focus on one deck. not that i’m experienced at all at reading, but from the little i do, i notice that i would always go back and focus on the one i learned on–hanson-roberts. funny though, at a certain point, the deck just stopped “working.” does that make sense? i have a few others, but it’s funny when decks like tarot of the magical forest and vanessa give me some good reads. 🙂

    i have yet to get an aquarian though it is on my list. the first tarot book i ever purchased way back when was based on the aquarian deck.

    loved this post…and okay…that gosh darn sanrio bootleg, bootlegged deck. btw…is it okay for me to pin, or should i just keep it on the downlow?

  • “Hello, you had me at shim­mery pur­ple bag.” Um, that.

    Also, the next time I am a sobbing querent, I will totally schedule a reading with you and expect, nay, INSIST that you bust out Sanrio on me.


  • I, too, am a huge Sanrio fan. This deck is a dream! I would love to own one. You have impeccable taste. And Thoth is a deck designed by a wack job. Love your site!!


  • I NEED the hello kitty deck SO BADLY. I am all hello kitty all the way and have been since I was 2 years old!

  • “I’m hav­ing a hard time imag­in­ing myself sit­ting across from a sob­bing quer­ent, spilling the con­tents of her tor­mented soul and beg­ging for divine guid­ance, and then bust­ing out some Hello Kitty on her.”

    DO IT!

    Also, did you know there is an officially licensed Hello Kitty “personal massager”? Available only in Japan. The things you learn in college.

    • Were you the one posting about how to get a hello kitty tarot card deck?..I realize it’s been a few years since posting, but im a die hard Hello Kitty fan, admirer, collector, etc, and im dying to find out how and where I can get one off these decks!!??? Can you please PLEASE HELP direct me as to where I can find someone selling these hopefully for a reasonable price too??? Thank you so much; I appreciate the help, info& direction!!-Lori-:)

      • Hi Lori,

        I think you’ll have to look on eBay. This deck was a fan project that was a very limited run. I’m sure it’s long out of print!

        Good luck!

  • This deck could NOT be any cuter! I could see how HAPPY it would make one (you) feel when reading it. Even if all the negative cards in the deck showed up I would still find myself in a giggle.


  • Hi Melissa,

    Great post! I’d like to be included if you’re still taking preorders–hope I’m not too late. A Thoth-influenced Hello Kitty is not to be missed.

    • Ack, sorry. Me and my lack of attention to detail :::sigh::: It looks like Brittany is the person I should contact for the Hello Kitty deck? Will do posthaste.

  • Very cute! Not normally a fan of gimmicky cards (beyond enjoying the aesthetic and finding them happily giggle-worthy) but the redone set look fantastic and surprisingly usable!

    You might be interested in checking out the Chibi Tarot, which a friend of mine is building, though I think he only has plans for the major arcana. I’ve found following his process and inspirations interesting;

    Really enjoying your site, btw, I especially love the Melissa Lenormand, would love to hear if it gets another print!

    • Wow, that Chibi Tarot is super cute, I just placed my pre order. Sadly, I never heard back from the Brittany who was making the Hello Kitty Redux deck. I emailed her several times and never got any response. I guess the project never came to fruition :(.

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