Choosing a Tarot deck is never easy, whether you’re a complete beginner or an expert. There are literally hundreds of different Tarot decks to choose from, and they are all so different in their symbolism, energy, size, artwork and much more.
So, where do you begin? This is a little guide that hopefully will help you select the right Tarot deck for you.
Find the one that communicates with you
Number 1 advice is as simple as this: go with your intuition and the energy that you feel from the cards! Some poeple prefer decks with modern lines, colorful and detailed drawings, some other rather have vintage inspired cards. Sometimes Tarot decks also come with themes, such as ancient greek mythology, vampires, animals, and so on. These might give you a good indication on where to look for.
If you’ve got a selling shop nearby, it is always good to go to the store and handle personally the Tarot decks to pick up the energy and the feeling from them. There is definetely a deck out there for you, so just follow your instincts and go for it (even if you are obsessed by one you saw only online!).
Check the number of cards
Not all spiritual card decks are Tarot. Infact, there are Lenormand decks, Angels and other Oracle cards, and they are very different from Tarots, although they are used in similar ways. A tarot card will generally have 78 cards, while Oracle cards vary, and don’t follow a particular structure and have more variation. It is important to know which type you’re using, as each have their own particular purpose.
Consider your experience
If you’re a complete beginner, you may want to start learning with the most easy and popular Tarot decks, like the Marseille or the Rider Waite decks. They’re easier to understand, straight-forward in their symbolism and more practical.
On the other side, if you are more experienced or you want to challenge yourself, then you may choose a deck like the Thoth Tarot for its complexity and depth.
Traditional or modern?
Are you fascinated by the old, traditional Tarot decks like the Tarot de Marseille or the Original Rider Waite Tarot deck? Or are you prefer the modern Tarot decks like the Wild Unknown or Tarot del Fuego?
You may think that every deck is based on the same 78 tarot cards, but this isn’t always true. There are several traditions, which change sometimes the order of the cards, the source meaning, and even the name. The Rider Waite Smith tradition is the one that we most commonly see here in the English speaking world. The Marseille is older and has its tradition roots in France. The Thoth tradition has many esoteric and metaphysical ideas into the cards, including Astrology and Kabbalah.
If you’re new, I suggest you start with the system that you most feel comfortable with and you know better, but remember that when you’re ready you can always expand your horizon!
Find the right size for you
Tarot cards come in different sizes, and some of them may not be right for you. Giant Tarot cards may be great for group readings or parties. Standard Tarot cards (7cm x 12cm) may be better for face-to-face client or personal readings. Mini Tarot cards are perfect for fitting into your handbag for a reading on the go (you never know when you might need one!).
This is very important, because if the cards are too big or too small, they may be too clumsy for you or your clients to handle. So, before selecting a deck, it is always good to handle the cards and practice a bit of shuffling.
Consider how you want to use your cards
Some people will buy a new deck because they are professional readers and they want to expand their reading skills and give their clients more choice, some others just want to do self readings, but they still would like to choose.
Each deck has its own voice and particular topic that they are better at reading. Sometimes, if you’re feeling particularly vulnerable, you may want a deck that is more compassionate and kind. Other times, you may want cards that tell you the truth very frankly. No matter the reason why you are buying a new Tarot deck, you don’t have to bond with just one. The beauty is this: there are so many possibilities!
Don’t Be Afraid To Buy Your Own Tarot Cards
For years there’s been a superstitious rumour going on that Tarot cards should only be gifted to you and that you can’t buy your own deck. Probably this comes from the past rituals and traditions of many generations of readers, but remember: traditions don’t have to limit you. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from giving few hints when Christmas or your birthday are close, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to ask another person for the tarot deck you want, do so!
What matters most is the connection you have with your deck. Therefore, you might want to purchase a Tarot deck that is a perfect fit, instead of someone to give you a deck that is completely ‘off’.
I hope you will find the deck that perfectly fits you and that its connection will inspire all your readings!