Tarot has no one size fits all, which makes it personal. Tarot decks are ideal for beginners looking to get insights into different circumstances and choices. Whether you are at the crossroads in your life or you need clarity in a situation, the tarot is an excellent choice.
The best tarot decks for beginners provide an understanding of oneself and give you deep insight. When choosing tarot decks, determine if you are interested in learning the art of Tarot, your artistic preference, and how often you use the cards.
Read on to learn more about the best tarot cards for beginners. We also cover some of the tarot cards you may want to avoid and a buyer’s guide.
If you are looking to discover unique truths about your relationships, love life, or career, you should check out The Oracle Tarot Cards by Lucy Cavendish. Previous users love the vibrancy of the cards due to the different colors. One striking feature is the images that are arty and bold.
Although the Oracle Tarot would easily be considered a traditional tarot deck, it has some cards left out. The deck has 62, unlike others that have 78.
Court cards are missing from this deck, which are the king and queen cards. The best part is that leaving out the court cards makes readings detailed as you only have cards that have deep meaning.
Find the meaning of the cards on the side or bottom, something that comes in handy for any tarot beginner. Another fantastic aspect is that the symbols in every picture match the card meanings creatively.
You won’t deal with scary cards in the Oracle Tarot Cards deck. A few traditional cards have their name changed. For example, the Devil card is referred to as Bondage, which makes it simpler to translate.
On the downside, the Oracle Tarot is not as high quality as some of the other decks. Previous users found out that the glossiness made them challenging to hold for a while. A few also experienced the cards curling up on the edges. The lack of gilt edging on the cards makes them feel unfinished.
What’s more, the tarot deck set has a small book with short interpretations of each card. While some explanations are fine, others don’t provide an insight into the card’s meaning.
- Comes with detailed artwork
- Ideal for uncovering the personal truths of life
- Has a detailed guidebook
- Lack some cards
- Some users found the quality wanting
The Good Tarot by Colette is a 78-card deck with fantastic artwork. It features fairy tale ethos, magical creatures, and a happily ever after vibe.
A sample spread is the Three Card Spread. This type of reading is best used when dealing with circumstances that are evolving as it helps you determine the flow of energy.
That means the first card represents your present and the energy affecting the situation. The second represents what’s coming in to change the situation, while the third represents the energy that will come into the situation if you follow the path you are on now.
There is the lion plus woman in Key 8, lion plus woman embrace in key 6, the lion imagery in the Empress, among others.
Previous users found reading the Good Tarot a way to interpret different energies around a situation as opposed to occult symbolism. You’ll love the imaginative and bold artwork. The 78 cards have the suits divided into Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Reading the deck is easier with the image, number, color, and element.
Colette goes ahead to include a detailed and well-written guidebook. She began doing professional readings over three decades ago, and the book now incorporates a modern twist and classical form to give meanings focused on personal growth and transformation.
Moreover, the card’s messages have positive affirmation in the present tense, instead of warnings, forecasts, or instructions. Both traditional and modern tarot enthusiasts will love this deck as they can apply their spreads.
The deck is perfect for anyone looking for confirmation about the direction they are heading, those who need help when they feel lost, anyone looking for understanding about their circumstances, or individuals concerned about the choices they’ve made. Unfortunately, some traditional tarot deck readers found this deck lacking.
- Features a detailed guidebook
- Easy to interpret and understand
- Includes messages in the present tense
- Some traditional tarot card readers found this deck lacking in significance
The Aquarian Tarot Deck Cards by David Palladini redefines the traditional imagery into an aquarian age. The deck translates the medieval symbolism into the Aquarius age. Unlike other tarot decks, the Aquarian Tarot deck provides a deeper meaning of traditional tarot’s symbolism and meaning.
It combines elements of the Renaissance, medieval, Egyptian, and modern art in one original and bold style. You’ll love the vivid yet clear artwork with pictorial scenes for the Majors and Minor Arcana.
The creator adds color symbolism to add depth to the readings. One impressive aspect is the sky backgrounds that add a meditative quality.
Moreover, the deck has a guide booklet with card meanings and interpretations, something that makes it ideal for beginners as well as advanced tarot readers.
- Features excellent print quality
- Has a guide booklet with card meaning and interpretation
- Unique style presentation
- The deck is not reversible
The Universal Waite Tarot Deck and Book Set features fantastic details and fresh clarity, thanks to the rich artworks and inclusion of original meaning. Beginners will find the Universal Waite Tarot Deck convenient to read and interpret due to the enhanced imagery. You can use it for meditation as well as divination.
The set comes with 78 cards, a spreadsheet, and a pictorial key to the Tarot by Arthur White. In the book, you’ll find the doctrine behind the veil, the veil and its symbols, the outer method of the oracles, the art of Tarot divination, and the greater Arcana and their divinatory meaning.
White refers to this book as fragments of a secret tradition under the veil of divination. It also features a detailed description of every card in the rider.
There are both regular and reversed meanings in the book. Although the deck is a bit dated, it’s classic and popular among witches, Wiccans, and people who don’t like Christianity mixed with their tarot.
The illustrations on the deck are influenced by elements and nature. Beginner tarot readers will find the combination of pagan images with traditional meaning convenient when interpreting different readings.
- Ideal for beginners as it combines imagery with their meaning
- The tarot cards are simple to read, detailed, and well-illustrated
- The companion book needs to be purchased separately
- The illustrations are a bit dated
The Robin Wood Tarot Deck is one of the most popular decks in the world. Some of its outstanding aspects are the luminous energies, beautiful art, and vibrant imagery. One update is the 22 Major Arcana cards that are full of life. The deck is full of energy as it takes images out of rooms into the abodes of the gods.
A good example is the High Priestess that is an ageless woman wearing a lunar headband. She has trees behind her and a darkened sky lit by the moon.
The deck’s shining strength is in the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana. Unlike other decks, the Robin Wood Tarot Deck has its cards dimensional, which gives you the feeling that you are a part of them.
Although the deck keeps the spirit of light and dark, the imagery is not scary like that of some decks. The tarot deck is ideal for beginners as it’s not only simple to read and learn with, but it has derailed imagery with meanings. Find the Little White Book of card meanings that will help you with the interpretations.
However, if you plan on delving deeper into the author’s concepts and meanings, you’ll have to purchase the companion book separately.
- The imagery and scenes are rich and lively in interpretive potential
- Suitable for both beginners and seasoned tarot readers
- Features symbolic and colorful imagery
- The companion book needs to be purchased separately
The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook by Kim Krans is not your usual tarot deck. It’s more of a resonant guide for anyone looking to get a deeper understanding of the countless images, art prints, and tattoos that are on the deck.
The pack comes with 78 cards. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana cards, and each card explores the mysteries of the natural world and the animal kingdom.
The deck has a laminated texture, and they are comfortable to handle and shuffle. You’ll find that the bold images, despite having a minimalistic style, provide deep contemplation.
Inside is the Wild Unknown guidebook that is hand-lettered and allows readers to get the meaning of the cards while cutting and shuffling the tarot. The best part is that the Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook are available as a keepsake box set/That packaging helps the set retain its glamor, mystery, and the allure of a cult sensation.
- Combines pagan imagery with traditional RW meanings
- Has beautiful artwork and imagery
- Sturdy and smooth card finishing
- Comes as a set including the guidebook and a keepsake box
- The backings lack color and character
- Not recommended for novice readers
Gaia is also known as Mother Nature in Greek. She is said to have given birth to the sea, sky, mountains, and all creation. The Gaian Tarot originates from this concept. It contains 78 cards. Unlike other decks, this mythical and contemporary tarot set comes with a spiritual guide that focuses on the healing of the self and of the earth.
The set comes in a durable, reusable box that also includes the cards and the book. One unique aspect of this set is that it features photo-realistic colored pencil images that are lovely and potent.
The Gaian Tarot provides a unique approach to divination as it renames most cards from their singular names. For example, in the Major Arcana, the Chariot becomes the Canoe and Judgment becomes the Awakening. The author also includes an accompanying book that provides the meaning of the cards.
What’s more, the book allows you to connect with the card through affirmations, exercises, and prompts. Her website also provides deeper explanations and definitions of the cards, which makes the set ideal for beginners.
- Suitable for beginners looking for explanation and meaning of the different cards
- Recommended for those practicing earth-centered spirituality
- Incorporates affirmations and exercises
- The cards have been renamed, which can be confusing
The Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck boasts of an updated look with enhanced highlights and traditional symbolism for readings that are insightful. The card backs have a new blue sky filled with starry looks.
The 78-card deck has lovely artwork with positive energy. It’s perfect for beginners as it’s not only easy to read, but the deck is less flimsy and slightly bigger than the original, which makes it simple to shuffle.
There is also an instruction booklet that provides a detailed history of the development of the Rider Waite Tarot. The booklet also provides in-depth divinatory meanings than other decks.
- Perfect for beginners looking for familiarity
- Cards are simple to handle and shuffle
- Features beautiful artwork
- Some users find the artwork basic and color garish
If you’re looking for a more refined tarot deck that combines the symbolism of the traditional deck with youthful characters, you should check out the Modern Witch Tarot Deck. The tarot deck by Lisa Sterle features unique vibrancy and diversity that you won’t find on any other deck.
The beautifully created art reinforces fashion and modern witches. Moreover, the clothing on the characters has Coleman Smith’s aesthetics and Lisa’s art combined. At first, you may find the cards lossy and stiff for the shuffle, but they are of good quality.
While the author has tried to introduce a modern aspect to the traditional tarot deck, this set has some cards that lack in symbolism. A good example is the Wheel of Fortune that replaces arcane and mythical beasts with attractive young women. That makes the cards feel less mystical and magical.
- A vibrant and arty tarot deck
- Ideal for beginners as it’s relatable
- Some cards lack in symbolism
Are you looking to buy your first set of tarot cards? Here are some tips to help you choose the best tarot decks.
What Is a Tarot Card Deck?
A tarot card helps someone get an insight into the past, present, or future in answer to topics or questions that you have. The bearer of the deck interprets the card to get meaning through reading for themselves or others.
A tarot deck has 78 cards, but each card has its symbolism and design. There are two categories of cards-the Minor Arcana and Major Arcana. The 22 Major Arcana cards or trump cards represent life lessons, and the 56 Minor Arcana cards or suit cards represent everyday situations or troubles.
The cards depict objects or people that need interpretation. It’s common to confuse tarot cards with oracle decks, but they are different. The main difference is that oracle decks have less structure and are open-ended.
History of Tarot Cards
Tarot cards have their origin in Italy and France since the 14th century. However, the cards were not meant for spiritual games, but they were acting as playing games. It wasn’t until the 17th century when tarot cards were being used for divination or spiritual purposes.
The first deck for divination was made in 1791 by Jean-Baptiste Alliette. In 1909, the Rider-Waite tarot deck was created.
It’s a popular deck that is referenced in modern society, whether it’s used as a beginner’s guide to tarot reading or in a popular movie. You can expect cards like the fool or the ten of cups.
Tarot cards gained popularity in the 1970s and are a preferred tool for everyone in the world. There are different decks in the modern world, with most changing from traditional rules.
The size, art style, and tone differ. Moreover, most people enjoy the versatility and diversity of tarot experiences.
The way you use tarot cards depends on various factors. For example, some people prefer to use them for spiritual purposes, while others would rather use them as playing cards. Nonetheless, most tarot cards are used for introspection or divination.
A tarot card reading starts with cards being drawn and put in a certain layout. The reader asks the guest to pick out their preferred cards.
Common spreads include the Three Card Spread and the Celtic Cross. Nevertheless, most decks have a guide book with guidelines on how to use them.
The next step involves reading or interpreting the cards depending on their placement, symbolism, and orientation. While a few see tarot card reading as a form of self-exploration, others use it as an intuitive or psychic ability. If you are not sure about how to interpret the card placement or symbols, you can use the guide book that came with the cards.
Sometimes readers prefer to use sunlight or sage to cleanse their cards between readings. Nevertheless, this is optional, and you can choose to skip this step.
Below are some tips on finding tarot decks.
Know Your Experience Level
Tarot is a complex art and can be done in several ways. As a beginner, it’s essential to start with a simple to understand deck that is easy to interpret.
Most beginners start with the classic Rider-Waite deck. It’s common in how-to books and designs are famous. They have enough information in regards to interpretation.
However, for advanced users, a classic style like the Thoth and Marseille traditions. Nonetheless, it’s critical to determine the effort required in interpretation whether you opt for a modern or traditional deck.
Determine if the images require effort to decipher or to convey a concept. Beginners are better suited with accessible and straightforward imagery.
If you plan on reading tarot to others, you need to take time to understand the mystery of tarot. Remember that each card has its story, myths, and essence.
Determine How Often You Plan on Using the Cards
While a few enjoy reading tarot as a quick read, others are looking for more introspection about their past, present, and future. You need to decide on how to use the cards as this will determine the type of cards you select.
Modern decks have an easier reading and focus on positivity, while traditional decks give an in-depth reading, and a few may be interpreted negatively to mean an inevitable tragedy or give a warning.
Think of Getting Several Decks
It’s best to have a couple of decks as opposed to having one deck style. You can opt to have both modern decks for introspection and traditional decks for life’s questions.
Having multiple decks also influences your mood. For example, there are times when you want to use a pop tart parrot deck, while other times, you want to be serious and need to get a serious tarot deck.
Doing this comes in handy when you are reading tarot for business or doing it as a hobby. You can do various readings depending on the situation. However, one thing to note is that specific people would rather avoid mixing energy by using different decks. They prefer a personal deck.
Check the Card’s Size and Quality
Another essential aspect that you should never forget to check is the size and quality of the tarot cards. You need cards with quality material that lasts long. Cards with thick material won’t fade or rip.
Look for cards with a textured finish and a good heft. Remember, you don’t want cards that slip easily out of your hand or bend over time.
Find tarot cards with at least 300 grams per square meter thickness. It’s best to go up in terms of gsm as opposed to lower. Choose a deck that is comfortable yet functional.
When it comes to the size, tarot cards are slightly bigger than playing cards as they measure 2.75 x 4.75 inches (6.99 x 12.07 cm). That size fits well in most hands, and you won’t have to deal with the cards slipping out of your hand. There are mini decks that are comfortable to fit in your pocket.
Also, there are big-sized cards that you can read from some feet away. These types of cards are ideal for group readings. Nonetheless, you should note that handling these cards requires practice as you don’t want to fumble when making an interpretation.
Find Out if the Tarot Decks Also Have Other Features
While buying tarot decks on their own can be helpful, it’s sometimes best to have decks with extra accessories. There are cards that come with deck cases.
You can use these cases to store your tarot cards in a cabinet or bookshelf. When carrying your cards, ensure that the case has a magnetic closure to ensure the contents inside don’t spill out in the bag.
Furthermore, some tarot decks come with a guide book. The guide book comes in handy when you need to learn the method of use and explain the different designs. Look for decks that come with a detailed explanation as this will help you understand the symbolism and art, which makes you connected and ready for interpretation.
Don’t Forget About the Graphics and Printing
You should get cards with quality printing. That’s because improperly printed images can be confusing or distracting to interpret.
In some cases, the decks may have a similar design, but they are from different manufacturers. A helpful way to determine the best option is to check customer reviews and the photos provided to find one that meets your needs.
Get Guidance From the Tarot Community
There are different tarot communities and forums that have beneficial tips and information. You’ll find a place where people share their card layouts and best decks.
You can get recommendations from other users if you are reading tarot for fun. Moreover, beginners will love these communities as there’s plenty of information that is easily accessible.
Advanced tarot readers can also gather information on how to better their practice if they read tarot for spiritual or divination purposes. There are tips on how to store cards properly to maintain their energy. You can also find lots of information on guide books or opt for YouTube videos if you prefer to learn through visual layout and interpretation.
Choose a Deck That Is Simple to Understand
Find a tarot deck that is easy to understand with good imagery, various colors, and fantastic symbolism. You can opt for bigger cards with large symbolism and imagery to make it easier to see. Choose cards with vibrant colors as they are simple to read.
The best tarot decks for beginners need to be easy to understand, durable, and feature the right graphics and artwork. Our list above has some of the top-rated decks for anyone who would want to start reading tarot. Remember to consult experienced tarot readers on online forums to find out more about how to interpret the different cards as well as how to choose tarot decks as a beginner.