Hello! I’m so happy to hear that you are interested in the magical world of tarot. Tarot has been a part of my life for many years now, and I’m excited to help you find the tools to start this mystical journey for yourself. If you’ve never had a deck before, it can be a little daunting to pick out your very first one. Similarly, If you’ve practiced a little bit but have never found a deck that really resonates with you, choosing the perfect tarot deck is equally difficult.
There are hundreds and hundreds of tarot decks out there. From the traditional Rider Waite to the endless number of themed cards–finding the *right* deck really depends on your goals, inspiration, and personal aesthetic. Before you start your hunt for the right tarot deck, ask yourself these questions:
1) What is my knowledge and experience with the symbols presented in the tarot?
If you have minimal knowledge of the tarot, it will be very important for you to find a deck that stays true to the symbolism of traditional tarot. I’m sure you have heard it before, but the Rider Waite deck is an ideal deck for the absolute beginner. If you are set on something other than Rider Waite, do some research on tarot decks and read the reviews. Ask questions. Most importantly just make sure that your deck doesnt stray too far from the true meanings of the cards, as that will just confuse your learning. My very first deck was the Paulina Tarot, and while the art was more whimsical and unique, the symbolism stayed the same! A traditional deck is best because they are more widely referenced in tarot books, and the imagery is more simplistic, straight forward, and easy to understand.
If you have some experience with the tarot, feel free to seek out different types of decks. In fact, if you have a lot of experience with tarot and still haven’t found what you are looking for in traditional decks, there is sure to be something for you if you narrow down your other interests, passions, and magickal beliefs. (But we’ll talk more about that later! )
2) Who will I primarily use these cards on? Will I be giving readings to the public or mostly for personal readings?
If you will be using the cards mostly for personal readings, feel free to go as deep, dark, and mysterious as you’d like. Or as whimsical and quirky as you’d like! It’s really up to you and what you are looking for in a reading. For my own personal readings, I love my ‘Mary El’ tarot deck. The meanings behind the cards are vaguely similar to a traditional deck, but are highly personal and subjective to the readers subconscious. I would not use these cards for a reading on someone else, but for me they are perfect.
If you are going to be using your cards to read for other people, I’d highly suggest choosing a deck that is understandable, relatable, and unoffensive!
3) What other mystical themes am I interested in?
This is the fun part. Get out a notebook and write down all of the other spiritual and metaphysical themes you are interested in. Or just the things you love in everyday life. Are you passionate about angels? Goddesses? Greek Mythology? The Moon? The trees? Sacred Geometry? Etc. A quick google search of (your theme) + tarot cards is sure to turn up something. These themed decks can be highly personal, meaningful, and a lot of fun to collect. Tarot sites like Aeclectic are great places to start your research.
Asking yourself those three questions is a great place to start on your search for the right tarot deck, but there’s something more important to understand…
The perfect tarot deck will always find you.
Have you ever heard the myth that you shouldn’t buy yourself your first tarot deck? While I think it’s certainly okay to buy it for yourself if getting one gifted isn’t an option, but the idea behind it is that the perfect deck will come to you when you are ready. It will find you. You will know it has found you when you pick it up and can see and understand the deeper meaning behind the card without even having to look at a guidebook. When the symbolism resonates with your own internal understanding of the world. When it just feels right.
Look at your notes regarding the three questions you answered above, light a candle, sit in a quiet place and visualize the deck you are longing for. What does it feel like? What does it look like? What will it reveal to you? Imagine it in your hands, imagine shuffling through it and seeing the beautiful images on each card. After you have the image in your mind, recite this chant to help the cards you visualized find their way to you:
“Powers of the air, gentle and fair, bring my perfect deck to me. Send me your wisdom and send me your sight, in the cards I manifest tonight. As I will, so mote it be!”
–How did you find your favorite tarot deck, or how did it find you? What do you love about it? Feel free to leave a comment giving your own insight or wisdom!–