The only way to choose the right tarot deck!

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Welcome to another of my guide Melinda’s Friday messages about how to live life. Melinda and I work together to help people through the tarot readings I deliver. Melinda was a reader in her life. She has a great perspective drawn from both her last lifetime, being born in 1696, and her subsequent time as a spirit.

What you love will speak to you the best!

There are 300 million decks available to choose from at last check – give or take a million. So where is a person to even start making a choice amongst them? “What deck is best for a beginner?” is a question I hear all the time online and in my store. So let me do my best to give you the definitive answer. It is a process!

Choosing a deck is personal and there really is no stock answer that is useful. While technically any deck built on the traditional 78 cards can work – how the person reading it relates to the art is one of the most important aspects of tarot. It is the art that will unlock your intuition and help you see what needs to be talked about in a reading.

Of course no deck lives in a vacuum and the context and back-story of a deck will also often be important. In helping folks find a great deck to fall in love with I take them through the following questions.I did not want to make this all sales links but if you do decide you want one of these decks you can purchase most of these decks through The Hermit’s Lamp online or in person in Toronto and support my blogging and podcasting.

  • Is the history of tarot important to you? any people feel that the older decks carry a weight or authenticity to them. If this is you check out the Tarot de Marseille, 1JJ Swiss, Sola Busca, Visconti, or Minchiate decks.
  • Are you drawn to the esoteric or occult side of things? My interest in tarot flourished out of my interest in Crowley. Magick and the Qabala came first and tarot was added in afterwards. If this is more like you check out the Thoth Tarot, Hermetic Tarot, Golden Dawn Tarot, Haindl Tarot, or Liber T.
  • Are you a bit of a hippie? Looking for something more feminist or egalitarian? I certainly value all humans as equal and the notions of King, Queen, and so on often feel out of place to me in a reading. A deck with only skinny white euro-centric people certainly does not represent my client base or life in a very diverse city. Try the Mother Peace Deck, Gaian Tarot, or Medicine Woman Tarot. For a really radical deck look at the Cosmic Tribe Tarot.
  • Sometimes it is about a certain aesthetic and that is good too.
    • Looking for something rich and full of lush details? Try the Illuminati Tarot, Golden Tarot, or Botticelli Tarot.
    • Want something that feels clean and simple? Look at the Light and Shadow Tarot
    • Are you a big fan of digital art? The Gilded Tarot and Legacy of the Divine are both gorgeous. As is the Illuminati tarot.
  • Perhaps you have a thing that really defines your spirituality? There is certainly at least a deck or two for any practice out there.
    • Pagan? Wildwood Tarot, Druidcarft Tarot, Witches Tarot (Dugan, Reed, or others )
    • More eastern? Osho Zen Tarot.
    • Orisha? Tarot of the Orishas, Afro Brazilian Tarot,
    • Something evocative or bit different? Mary-el Tarot or Voyager Tarot.

    Wait… but what about the Rider-Waite-Smith? Isn’t that the deck every beginner should read with? I can’t deny that it has become a kind of standard and many books reference it. That said it is far from my favourite.  It has never ranked high on my list of decks I love.

    If going through this process doesn’t help you find “The Deck” for you, take solace in the fact that almost no reader I know owns only one deck.

    What deck is getting you fired up these days?

    If you enjoyed this post you also might like to join my email list. You get my free eBook Simply Learn Tarot and extra content about how to find happiness and live a spiritual life that I only share with my list. You can get it here

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