Starting your Tarot journey is exciting since there’s so much to learn, experience, and share with others. Probably one of the most exciting aspects is the task of choosing a deck – but it can also be a little daunting if it’s your very first. The following are tips to help you select the cards that fit best with your personality and skill level.
1. Start simply
Since there are thousands of decks, there are almost the same number or interpretations. Some artists stick to the more traditional Tarot interpretations while others take severe liberties that only they themselves can understand! I prefer Rider-Waite-Smith style decks (like the cards I feature in my entries prior) because most learning resources utilize them and their meanings are relatively easy to commit to memory. Once again, Aeclectic Tarot has fantastic list of RWS decks you can peruse as well as where to buy them.
2. Keep it functional
Remember you’re going to be practicing with these cards quite often and if you end up reading with them on the regular there’s a chance others will want to handle them too (if you’re okay with it of course). Therefore, it’s important you get a deck that shuffles well and is durable. If it’s possible to touch the cards before purchasing them, I recommend doing so so you can get a feel for these qualities. Many times this isn’t feasible unless it’s a used deck, so in that case I suggest checking out reviews online – next best thing! I once purchased a deck that I found absolutely stunning in every way…but the finish on the cards was chalky and made them nearly impossible to shuffle. Not to mention the cards were huge and in my stubby little hands they were not very manageable. Most commercial sites or independent sellers will include the finish/cardstock of the cards in the item description and the dimensions of the cards range from teeny-tiny to ginormous (if you also have stubby hands or terrible vision).
3. Make sure it’s pretty
Many times it isn’t okay just to base your decision on superficial criteria, but these are Tarot cards; beauty is big. Choose a deck that speaks to you, if you don’t like the artwork, don’t get them. People get insanely picky – borders or no borders, rounded corners, particular cardstock, size, etc. – and I’m no exception. Intuition is a major component to reading the cards, and this is heightened with aesthetics that “speak” to you.