Whether you're a Tarot beginner or a seasoned expert, choosing a Tarot deck can be incredibly overwhelming.
There are literally hundreds of different Tarot decks to choose from, all with their own symbolism, energy, stories, mythology and artwork.
So, where do you begin? How do you sift through the vast array of choices to find your perfect Tarot deck?
Here are nine sure-fire ways to select a Tarot deck that’s perfect for you.
1. Look for a Personal & Intuitive Connection With the Cards
The absolute number 1 way to choose a Tarot deck is to find one that you personally and intuitively connect with.
Your best friend might rave about the Wild Unknown deck, but if every time you go to do a Tarot reading with those cards you break out in a sweat and go blank, then it's not the right deck for you.
If you've got a new age shop or bookstore nearby, go to the store and handle all of the Tarot decks that are on display. What energy do you pick up from the deck? Is there a personal connection between you and the Tarot cards?
And if you're looking to purchase your Tarot cards online, then do a quick Google search and look through the card images to see if you've got a connection.
Go with your intuition!
2. Explore the Imagery of Each Card
Take a good look at the Tarot cards within a specific deck. Go through them one-by-one or, if you're viewing them online, find as many images as possible via Google or even Instagram (just search for #fountaintarot, for example).
What is your first reaction to the images? Do you like the colours and patterns? Are you drawn to the images and the artwork? Are there other variations of the deck that are more appealing? For example, I much prefer the Radiant Rider Waite deck over the usual Rider Waite deck for its bright colours.
Also, can you look at the cards and start to get a sense for the meaning of each one? Look at both the Major and Minor Arcana cards. In some decks, like the Tarot de Marseilles, the Minor Arcana cards do not have the same kind of imagery and ‘story' as the Rider Waite deck, for example.
It's important to view as many of the cards in the deck as possible as I've known some Tarot decks to have a handful of gorgeous cards, but the rest of the deck has not been as visually appealing.
3. Consider Your Experience Level
If you're new to Tarot, you may prefer to start learning with the most popular Tarot deck, the Rider Waite deck. It's easy to understand, the imagery is straight-forward and practical and there is a huge amount of information available for this deck. Or you may prefer a deck with clear, minimalist imagery like the Everyday Tarot deck, for ease of connecting with the symbols.
On the flipside, if you are more experienced or you're looking for a new challenge, then you may choose a deck like the Thoth Tarot deck for its complexity and depth. Or a more abstract, mythical Tarot deck like the Shadowscapes Tarot.
Of course, don't be limited by thinking that if you're new to Tarot, you can only read with the Rider Waite deck. You need to also consider if you have a personal connection with the cards.
4. Decide If You Want to Go Traditional Or Modern
Personally, I LOVE the new Tarot decks that are emerging right now. The artwork is beautiful and the imagery is relevant for modern times. (When was the last time you saw a Knight roaming the streets?!) In fact, I love them so much that I created my own! For an insight into how a Tarot deck is created, have a listen to my podcast chat with Eleanor Grosch, who created all the beautiful artwork for the Everyday Tarot deck.
5. Check out the Little White Book
Most Tarot decks will come with a book explaining the artwork and the Tarot card meanings. However, some decks have more information than others. And some may have no information at all!
If you prefer knowing exactly what a card means and why, then make sure you check out the Little White Book that comes with the deck to see if it gives you what you need. Or, if the accompanying book isn't enough, look online to see if there is a blog or an eBook that explains the cards in more detail.
On the other hand, you might be quite content discovering and interpreting the Tarot cards via your intuition and energetic connection, in which case, having no book might just be a blessing!
6. Find a Size That Fits
Different Tarot cards come in different sizes. You've got to choose the size that's right for you.
Giant Tarot cards may be great for group Tarot readings or parties. Regular Tarot cards may be better for face-to-face client readings or personal readings. And mini Tarot cards are perfect for fitting into your handbag for a Tarot reading on the go.
This is particularly important for when you handle and shuffle the cards. If the cards are too big or too small, they may be too clumsy for you or your clients to handle. So, before selecting a deck, handle the cards and practice shuffling them.
7. Consider How You Want to Use the Tarot Cards
Think about what kinds of Tarot readings you want to do and how you want to connect with your Tarot cards.
Are you trying to find peace and calm in your life? Then the Osho Zen Tarot may be the perfect deck for you.
Have a passion for earth-based ritual and practice? Then check out the Druid Craft Tarot Deck.
The beautiful thing is that there are so many Tarot decks from so many different backgrounds, you can find a deck that's perfect for your personal needs and desires.
And if you're professional Tarot reader, consider having a number of different Tarot decks on hand, depending on what is best suited energetically for your client and situation.
8. Check for Quality
However, there may be some cheaper reproductions that are not high quality and the cardboard may tear easily or become damaged much more quickly. Best to avoid these cheaper types if you are planning on using the Tarot cards regularly.
9. Don’t be Afraid to Buy Your Own Tarot Cards
There's a rumour going around that Tarot cards should only ever be gifted to you and that you can't buy your own.
I would much prefer to purchase a Tarot deck that I know is a perfect fit, than wait around for someone to give me a deck that may be just totally ‘off'. So don’t be afraid to buy your own Tarot deck rather than waiting for someone to give one to you.
Of course, there's nothing to stop you from dropping a few hints at Christmas or birthday time about the decks that you love the most…
Ready to Find Your New Favorite Tarot Deck?
You'll find most Tarot decks (including my new Everyday Tarot deck) on Amazon.com right here. Or you can check out your local new age shop or bookstore to get a real feel for the deck that resonates with you.