Seven tips to choose the right Tarot deck
The use of Tarot cards can be traced back to the 15thcentury, but readings became much more commonplace during the 19th century. At that point, there were very few options when you want to choose the right Tarot deck. Nowadays, however, there are hundreds of choices available. For someone new to the Tarot, or for those wanting to delve deeper into the world of readings, it can be difficult to find the perfect deck.
There are no official Tarot cards, but a ‘standard’ deck has 78 cards. These cards are divided into four suits and contain 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Tarot cards come in many different designs, and the ideas that they are based on are various. They are also designed for different uses, so it is important to choose the right deck.
When confronted with hundreds of options, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Advice on which deck to buy is often limited to ‘selecting the deck that speaks to you but isn’t quite as simple as that. The deck that is appealing at first glance may not be the deck that suits the reader’s needs. Instead, by following the below step, it is much more likely that the perfect deck will be found.
Quick Easy Ways to Choose the Right Deck
1. Skill Level
Think about skill level. For beginners and casual readers, a standard 78 card deck is a good choice. This will familiarise the user with the most common format, and this foundation can then be used to discover other types of decks. Choose a deck that feels comfortable, but that also inspires.
Designs that are bright and colorful are usually a good option for newcomers. Anything that feels boring, odd, or offensive should be avoided, as this will lead to lower usage. Beginner decks may also feature keywords or useful text that can be used as a guide for first readings.
One of the most common and best-known decks is the Rider-Waite, so this is a good option to start with. The imagery has a design so that the reader can start straight away, just using intuition. Then, as the reader learns they can become an expert in this deck and its many systems. Alternative 78-card beginner decks including Universal Tarot, World Spirit Tarot, and Robin Wood Tarot are good options.
More seasoned Tarot readers may choose a deck that is more challenging, or it may be that, as a beginner, the reader is willing to dedicate time towards learning and developing skills. Some decks add new cards, which open up new possibilities for the reader. The Pagan Tarot and World Spirit Tarot decks are good examples that may appeal to more experienced readers.
2. Usage of the Deck
Ask yourself, what am I going to use the deck for? Is it for quick and casual guidance for family and friends? Will it be a learning tool? Will readings be for adults or children, and will they be in a corporate setting? The chosen Tarot cards must be appropriate for their usage.
If they are for casual readings at home or with friends, you can choose cards to suit personal tastes; no matter how extreme or unusual. Alternatively, the reader may wish to select a comfortable deck that can be enjoyed over and over again. As a learning tool, it is difficult to beat the Comparative Tarot deck. There are four images per card, which essentially comprise four different decks that you can learn at once.
Corporate or business use requires more neutral cards, and the standard deck is preferable. Classical Tarot and Quest Tarot are both good options for a varied adult audience. The Bright Idea deck was created with corporate readings in mind, making it one of the best decks for business reading.
For reading that involves children or families, ensure that cards don’t depict nudity or shocking and frightening imagery. Angel Oracle cards are a good choice for casual or family usage, as the imagery is centered around angels and each card features guidance on its meaning; making them inspirational and simple to use. The Oz Tarot deck is also great for children.
Decks that you purchase purely for learning should ideally mirror the Rider-Waite structure. This provides the broadest knowledge base.
3. Theme of the Deck
Most decks have a theme, and as the interest in Tarot continues to grow, it is certain that more and more themes will become available. Whether the reader has an interest in nature, witches, Buddha, eroticism, or all things Pagan, there will be a deck for them.
Some modern decks are for light-hearted fun, such as the Harry Potter and Halloween decks. There is even a Ferret Tarot deck for animal lovers. These can be nice cards to have for fun readings, but it is advisable to have a serious deck as well, for more thoughtful readings.
4. Style of the Deck
All cards will have a particular style, and this is especially true of modern decks. Most cards feature hand-drawn or hand-painted artwork. Some may be etched line art, such as the Ship of Fools Tarot, and others are packed with bright, bold colors, such as Tarot of the Saints.
Readers that enjoy a classical style will enjoy decks such as the Ancient Enlightened cards. Those that appreciate more traditional artwork may wish to choose the Durer or Victoria Regina decks. More contemporary cards include Robin Wood and Word Spirit Tarot decks.
Some Tarot readers collect multiple decks because they enjoy various styles. To choose the right Tarot deck with an extra artistic appeal, consider the likes of Edgy Secret Tarot and Visconti Tarot. By choosing a style that will have lasting appeal and that will continue to inspire: read after reading.
5. The Deck and Spirituality
What are you spiritually drawn to? This will affect the deck that is best for the reader, and whatever the reader is drawn to, there will be a suitable deck. Are ancient Gods and Goddesses alive in your mind? If so, the Mythical Tarot deck may be the perfect deck. Is being in tune with nature the most important thing to you? The Druid Craft Tarot deck will center readings around the natural world, which is ideal for those with interests in this area.
6. Companion Books
Do you want a companion book? For many years, people have pondered the meaning of Tarot cards and their uses. Companion books are the perfect tool for studying the cards and expanding knowledge. As well as explaining the meaning of every card, companion books often discuss traditions, symbolism, and other spiritual traditions.
Decks that are accompanied by a companion book include Sacred Circle, Waking the Wild Spirit, and Egyptian Tarot Kit. Tarot Companion by Tracy Porter is a good option for a standalone comparison book.
7. Gift and the Tarot Deck
Finally, a Tarot deck should be a gift, and a reader shouldn’t buy a deck for themselves. Some say that cards won’t work unless this is the case, others discard this as superstition. Each reader must decide for themselves whether to wait for a deck to be gifted, but be warned; you may be waiting some time and it may not be the deck that you want.
Every Tarot reader wants something different from their cards, and it is therefore down to the individual to choose the right Tarot deck for them. By focusing on the design, features, and purpose of the deck, you will likely find the perfect Tarot deck to develop your skills and continue reading for years to come.