Many outside observers associate tarot with powers only fortune tellers or psychics possess. However, the best tarot decks are designed for beginners to consult the cards when in need of insights into various choices and circumstances. Tarot is believed to be a conduit that helps provide clarity around certain situations, or light the path when we are at an important crossroads in our lives. Whatever your reasons are for exploring the art of tarot, opening your first deck will begin a journey of profound insight and deeper understanding of the self. Read on to discover the six top-rated tarot cards for beginners, plus a couple you may want to avoid.
Reviews of the 6 Best Tarot Decks for Beginners, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
- The Ultimate Guide to Tarot: A Beginner’s Guide to the Cards, Spreads, and Revealing the Mystery of the Tarot by Liz Dean
- The Ultimate Guide to Tarot: A Beginner’s Guide to the Cards, Spreads, and Revealing the Mystery of the Tarot by Liz Dean Review: Described as a ‘must-have’ companion for beginner readers, this book is the perfect partner to your first tarot deck. Through reading you will discover the complex history of tarot, learn about the myths and uncover the mysteries behind this spiritual art. This Ultimate Guide to Tarot by Liz Dean not only honors the heritage of tarot, but also takes you through many different practical techniques and interpretations. The author, Liz Dean, is a tarot expert, and gifts you with a complete overview of all the traditional cards, including their symbology, astrology, and numerology. The three essential components of a successful tarot reading are explained thoroughly: knowing the meaning of the cards, knowing the layouts, and trusting in the messages given to you. Study of this book will compliment the best tarot decks for beginners by teaching you how to get the most out of your cards.
- The Good Tarot by Colette Baron-Reid Review: This tarot deck holds its roots in traditional tarot, yet differs slightly from the original deck. These cards are more simple and modern, focusing on positivity, transformation and personal growth, aimed at increasing the appeal to new and experienced tarot readers alike. Complete with 78 cards designed to reflect the human experience, and an informative guidebook, The Good Tarot by Collette Baron-Reid is undoubtedly one of the best decks to learn with. Unlike original tarot, these cards are all positive and made to be read in the present. This means the reader is free from negative forecasts and warnings. That being said, all the traditional spreads can still be applied to the deck as the formations are very similar, and you can still achieve accurate and profound insights. These cards acts as a guiding light in the darkness of uncertainty, and will provide you with the ability to deeply understand your circumstances and give clarity around your decisions.
- The Oracle Tarot Cards by Lucy Cavendish Review: These beautifully illustrated oracle tarot cards were created by author and self-proclaimed witch, Lucy Cavendish. Cavendish is well attuned with the magical work of ancient cultures, as well as being a scholar of anthropology and psychology. Her knowledge seeps through into her work, creating mystical and magical cards with delightful imagery. This 64 card deck by Cavendish comes in an extra large size with detailed artwork, making them the best-illustrated tarot cards on the market. Through the assistance of the included guidebook, you will learn how to improve your health, create positive affirmations and improve your relationships. Cavendish can help you uncover your personal truths in all areas of your life, using positivity, light and genuine insight.
- Easy Tarot by Josephine Ellershaw Review: Created especially for beginners, this kit is the best starter tarot deck on the market. Using a traditional tarot deck of 78 cards, combined with the Easy Tarot Handbook, you will be able to learn the tips, tricks, and techniques of even the most experienced tarot readers. The artwork on these Easy Tarot Cards is appealing and the language used in the book is inviting and informative. The author, Josephine Ellershaw, selflessly shares her lifetime of tarot knowledge in a generous and easy-to-understand manner. The artist, Ciro Marchetti, has had an extensive career working in art and design, which has taken him all over the world, to places including; Europe, South America, and the United States. He now creates visionary art and gives lectures on digital imagery and illustration at universities in Florida.
- The Aquarian Tarot Deck Cards by Palladini David Review: The Aquarian tarot updates the traditional medieval imagery into the more Aquarian age. This Aquarian Tarot Deck by Palladini David, is renowned as the deck that originally re-imagined the medieval symbolism and translated it for the age of Aquarius. A popular favorite amongst many tarot readers, this deck comes with 78 cards and an 8 page booklet instructing layouts and interpretations. The artwork is incomparable, and has been shaping the tarot scene for over 20 years. This deck is somewhat of a collectible, and as a beginner, you may also need to purchase a guidebook to help as you grow accustomed to it. However, this vintage deck is the best Aquarian tarot deck on the market, and an essential to every tarot readers collection, regardless of their experience.
- Universal Waite Tarot Deck and Book Set Review: Universal Waite Tarot has artwork based on the original line drawings of the Rider-Waite-Smith by Pamela Colman Smith. However, Mary Hanson-Roberts (the creator of Hanson-Roberts Tarot) was commissioned to reimagine the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The result was a more subtly and attractively colorful tarot set, renamed the Universal Waite Tarot Deck. The first deck of this kind appeared in the early 1990’s, and since then it has become a popular favorite. This particular deck comes with a guidebook, to ensure that even beginners can get full use of the cards and the insights they inspire. The Universal Waite tarot deck is widely known for its depth of traditional spiritual symbolism contained in both the imagery and meanings. This deck contains all the original messages of the Rider-Waite tarot, with added vibrancy throughout the artwork.
The 2 Worst to Avoid
- Royo Dark Tarot by Lo Scarabeo Review: Using the artwork of popular fantasy artist, Luis Royo, this deck claims to be based on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. However, these cards seem to have no resemblance to original tarot at all. There are almost no links between the cards themselves or to the tradition they claim to be affiliated with. The artwork on the Royo Dark Tarot Cards is sexually provocative and are extremely lacking in symbolism. Unfortunately, this deck is one of many that have nothing to do with the art of tarot and are simply pictures with loose meanings attached. If you enjoy the artwork of Royo, these cards are for you. However, if you want to start reading tarot, this is one of the worst tarot decks for beginners on the market.
- The Pocket Rider Waite Tarot Deck by A. E. Waite Review: This deck is a replica of the very first tarot deck published in 1910. The familiar style has become one of the most popular in the world, reaching households across the globe. Every serious tarot card reader and collector will have a version of this deck amongst their most valuable possessions. However, this particular set does not include a guide book, and the cards arrive poorly made and often in different sizes. As a beginner these cards could actually put you off the art of tarot. The shabby production makes the artwork look cartoonish and lacking in detail and clarity. The original illustrations are vibrant and beautiful; many tarot readers believe they deserve to be portrayed in a way that not only preserves this, but amplifies it. Avoid The Pocket Rider Waite Tarot Deck to avoid certain disappointment, and instead opt for one of the higher quality decks above.
2018 Buyers Guide to the Best Tarot Decks for Beginners
When buying your first deck of tarot cards, there are a few important things to consider. How often you use the cards will play a big part in your choice, as there are decks suitable for daily readings, and others that work with elaborate spreads, providing deeper insights. How far you wish to take your tarot practice is also important. Are you interested in learning the how to read the symbology behind each card and how to do readings for others? Lastly, the style of cards is important, and you should pick a deck that has the right blend of artwork and meaning for your personal tastes.
3 Main Points to Consider
- How often will you use the cards? Some enjoy tarot as a quick daily read, to bring inspiration or insight into their day. Others enjoy more complex spreads, eager to learn about their past, present and future, or to help them make difficult choices and overcome challenging situations. How you intend to use the cards should define the kind of deck you choose. Tradition tarot allows for more in-depth readings, whereas more modern decks have been adapted for an easier experience. What’s more, modern decks tend to focus on the positive. Unlike angel cards, or oracle cards traditional tarot has some dark cards that are often interpreted as warnings or inevitable tragedy. Newer decks often convert these into lighter symbology, free from negative connotations.
- Are you interested in learning the art of tarot? Tarot itself is a complex and intricate art form. It can be used in a variety of ways. If you are interested in truly learning the ins and outs of tarot, it is advisable to buy a traditional deck and a highly informative guide book. Each card holds its own myth, story and essence, that can only be fully understood through periods of study. If you wish to give readings to others, you should delve deeper into the mystery of tarot, taking time to understand and acknowledge each individual and a number of different spreads.
- What is your artistic preference? The imagery in tarot is just as important as the meanings behind each card. In order to get the best results from your tarot deck, it is important to choose one with artwork that you resonate with. There are some decks designed by specific artists that give them an entirely different feel to tradition tarot. Universal Waite tarot is a more vibrant and colourful version of medieval tarot, whereas Aquarian tarot has updated traditional tarot to be more easily read in the modern era. Whatever your preferences may be, choose a deck that compliments them as this will make for a more engaging and personal reading.
How to read tarot cards for beginners?
To start, consult a guidebook to choose spread, or if you want, you can design your own spread, set an intention. Why are you consulting the cards? What do you wish to discover or learn? Each card will represent something different. For example, if you have questions about a current relationship, one card could represent how you feel about the relationship, another could be what you need to work on together, and the last might be how you need to change to feel fulfilled in your relationship. Write down the position and meaning or each card before you can be absolutely clear about what they represent.
Tarot 101: What is Tarot? How to Read Tarot? FAQs (Video):
Final Thoughts of Buying One of the Best Tarot Decks for Beginners
When finding the best tarot deck for you, there is no right or wrong answer. Intuition is important when choosing a deck. Go with the one you feel most connected to, and when using them, make sure to shuffle them mindfully and carefully, drawing each one with purpose. The deck you choose to start your journey with tarot will bring you many profound insights, and will no doubt become your trusted partner when faced with a difficult choice or situation.