So you want to buy your first tarot deck and you want the best tarot deck for beginners. One look online and you will find there are hundreds, so which one should you choose?
While tarot decks can certainly be very personal, buying tarot card decks to start your adventure should not be difficult. Let’s explore some of the popular choices for beginners and see which one might be right for you.
The Best Tarot Deck for Beginners
The Rider Tarot deck is the most popular beginner deck out there, and has been for a very long time. Originally drawn in 1909, they are a staple of readers all over the world. If you are just starting your journey in tarot, this is the deck that is featured in more books, articles, and videos than all others. This makes it possibly the easiest deck to learn with since you can get the most assistance. Virtually everyone I know who reads tarot has one of these decks stashed somewhere.
The tarot deck contains 78 cards and has been in production since 1971 by US Games.
Aleister Crowley is extremely well known for his book The Book of Thoth: (Egyptian Tarot) and his Thoth Tarot Deck reflects the book. With beautiful artwork these 78 cards will be a pleasure to work with. The system used to read these cards is different from the Rider-Waite system and includes astrological, Egyptian, numerological, and Qabalistic symbolism, so I would be careful jumping into this one right after the Rider. It is however a very enjoyable system.
On the other hand, if you are more interested in this method of reading tarot than the Rider-Waite method, this would be an excellent tarot deck to start with, particularly since it is well documented by Crowley himself.
If you are looking for something a little lighter and more ethereal, the Shadowscapes Tarot might be what you are looking for. Each of these 78 cards is a beautiful work of art in watercolor by artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. While the images may not fit with what a “typical” tarot deck should look like they are none the less spectacular cards whose imagery easily conveys the meanings of the cards.
The cards are unfortunately a bit on the small side at 4.5″ x 2.75″ and you may spend more time looking at them than actually reading them. That aside, you will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful tarot deck.
Want something odd, surreal, and a tad disturbing instead of the typical tarot? Look no further than the Deviant Moon Tarot. Slightly reminiscent of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas movie, artist Patrick Valenza balances beautiful artwork with the symbolism of a child’s bad dreams which seem equally adept at haunting adults. This is one of the more unusual tarot decks out there.
The attention to detail in these cards is interesting. Reading some reviews of the cards and one interview with the artist I found out that among other details the clocks in the images have times set that have a specific meaning to him. Some of the stories he told were fascinating as to why they were set at that specific time.
While it is unlikely that these times will have much meaning to the rest of us it proves an amazing amount of thought went into the design of each and every card, and it shows.
The Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck is a wonderful artistic reinterpretation of the Rider deck by artist Ciro Marchetti. The cards seem to exude a magical fantasy world where you can just feel the meaning of the cards. There is more than enough detail in the amazing artwork to keep you staring at the cards long after you should have stopped but enough clarity of purpose to make reading easy.
In addition the book you can get for the deck is arguably one of the best companion books of any decks out there and includes the meanings of the cards, planetary associations, and much more.
While not really a beginner deck per se, the outstanding book makes for a compelling case of using this deck/book combination as a first deck.