Stuck at home this weekend? Why not try your hand at Tarot cards? You have many options to consider when choosing a tarot card deck. No matter your experience level, choosing a tarot deck may feel overwhelming, but don’t fear we are here to help.
When you picture a tarot reading, you likely envision a woman draped in cloth and sequins peering into a crystal ball. It may even bring back fond memories about that time you sought guidance from someone set up at a table on Venice Beach.
Despite the myth that tarot cards are means by which one might read the future, it may be more accurate to view them as a tool to connect with one’s higher self. Whether you are interested in fortunes, or more about tapping into the power within, a night with these cards can be super insightful.
Take Into Account Your Experience Level
Are you a veteran, novice, or somewhere in between? If you are new to reading tarot, you must first learn about tarot decks. To start, they are usually 78 cards, but that may vary a bit by deck as there is not a standard number. Tarot decks include major and minor arcana, which means mysteries, or secrets.
First off, the minor arcana has four suits, much like regular playing cards. The difference being that instead of hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds, the suits consist of cups, swords, wands, and pentacles (sometimes called circles.)
All of these different suits represent a varying approach to life. Each suit contains cards numbered one to ten and the court cards: queen, king, page, and knight. The cards in the minor arcana are a representation of the ups and downs of everyday life.
Major arcana cards do not conform to suits. These cards have more to do with more extensive, major life occurrences. They convey significant ideas and over aching concepts affecting your life.
Pick a System
There are actually three different overarching systems for Tarot cards. What is helpful about this is that they correspond to 3 skill levels, so that alone may help you decide on your next tarot deck.
First off, The Rider Waite Smith Tarot system is the one most commonly seen in English-speaking countries. Many of the tarot decks you will find are based on this style in that they have illustrations that convey the meaning of the card. Some people will go so far as to say that if you are going to buy your first tarot deck, this is where you must start.
Second, we have The Marseille Tarot, a system that comes from France and is older than Rider Waite Smith. In this style, the suit cards use simple pip cards, meaning they do hot have illustrations and may be more challenging to read.
Finally, The Thoth Tarot is considered the most advanced. The concepts drawn on for inspiration of this deck include science and philosophy and various metaphysical and esoteric systems.
Pick a Tarot Deck That Resonates With You
Perhaps most importantly, you will want to trust your intuition and choose a deck that speaks to you personally. What sort of images and symbols are you most attracted to? Which kind of deck feels good?
Take some time to think about what you are looking for. Spend some time looking at different decks and artwork. Is there a specific theme that speaks to you?
You will want to trust your intuition, perhaps stop by your local metaphysical store and handle a few of the decks to see how they make you feel. Is there a particular one you are attracted to? If so, that may be enough of an indication that the deck is right for you.
Preview the Artwork
If you can check out the artwork to make sure you are pleased with the imagery and symbols used on the cards. They may not have open decks at the store, and you may have to do this online via a simple search.
The chances are that most tarot decks commercially available will have an online presence you can peruse. Many even have their own apps now, so that you may get acquainted with the cards before making the plunge to purchase them. Check out all of the major and minor arcana to ensure you are a fan of the artwork.
If you are still deciding on a style, this is an excellent time to check out some modern and traditional decks. Traditional tarot decks may have more of a medieval feel. Alternatively, modern decks likely feature bright colors and diverse themes, such as fairies, nature, dragons, animals, fantasy, etc.
Consider How You Plan to Use The Tarot Deck
Do you plan on doing readings for others, or is this deck for personal use? If you are buying this just for you, your connection to the cards will be the most critical factor. Many card readers have decks they use for only themselves and then others they use publicly.
If you are purchasing a deck to use professionally, you may want to look for brighter colors and flashier images. You may want to focus on images that are easier to read so that the clients may better understand the cards. You will want to make sure you buy a high-quality deck to maintain professionalism. Many professional readers have multiple decks to allow clients to pick which one they feel most drawn to.
Our Recommended Tarot Decks
Check out this beautiful and contemporary tarot deck. Created by illustrator Lisa Sterle, this is a more diverse and modern take on the traditional Rider Waite tarot deck.
Many tarot decks are lacking in diverse representation, and this deck remedies this issue beautifully. Enjoy this stylish and fun celebration of all things female with this stunning and vibrant tarot deck.
This set is by Kim Krans, author, artist, and creator of the New York Times bestseller The Wild Unknown Tarot. This is a set that includes the tarot deck as well as the guidebook.
These gorgeous cards are hand-drawn in a beautiful minimalist style. The Wild Unknown Guidebook is fully illustrated, and hand-lettered teaching readers everything from tarot spreads through meanings of all 78 cards. This is the first time the book and cards are available as a set, and they are well worth it.
This tarot deck from Mystic Mondays, created by artist and visual designer Grace Duong, is a beautiful example of a modern deck. It comes with 78 cards and a hardcover book that explains the symbolism of each card.
If you are looking for a stylish and minimalist take on the major and minor arcana, this is the perfect deck for you. Not only does this deck feature bright and vibrant artwork, but it also has holographic edges and a foil exterior to add some additional flair to your spread.
The Ethereal Visions Tarot Deck created by Matt Hughes is beautifully inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, both in its style and superior craftsmanship. Every image is intricately hand-drawn and colored, and the cards feature gold foil stamping.
There are 80 cards, two additional to supplement the major arcana in this deck, and a 48-page book. This gorgeous set looks even better once you see it in person, a perfect gift for any art lover or tarot enthusiast.
Check out this gorgeous set Tarot of the Divine by illustrator Yoshi Yoshitani. Images of folklore, deities, and fairy tales from all over the world come to life in the artwork on this lovely tarot deck.
Learn lessons passed down through the ages from over forty countries in this interesting multicultural expression of tarot. It comes with a lovely 44-page guidebook so you can see the connection between these fables and traditional tarot.