You know that there are many different tarot decks available, that are all just as interesting as one another. Some of them are great for beginners, and others for experienced readers. The same question is bound to arise in any case: “which tarot deck should I choose?” You will find a few clues below regarding that question that will help you make the right decision and have a great start in the amazing world of tarot reading. You do not need any extrasensory ability to learn how to manipulate and use a tarot deck, but you will need some kind of initiation (which you can perform on your own) and to find the right deck for you, one that matches your personality. It is mainly a question of feeling.
HOW TO CHOOSE A TAROT DECK
If you already have a favorite Tarot deck, one that you intuitively feel is a good match for you, one you feel comfortable with or have already gotten positive results from, then keep going with it. Further your own knowledge of this specific deck until using it becomes second nature for you.
If you have never used a tarot deck yet (or just to play some games among friends) or only have experience with someone performing a reading for you, don’t rush blindly to the one deck you are familiar with. Indeed, using Tarot cards in a gaming context or having some experience with a Tarot reading expert is quite different from using a tarot deck yourself to better know your personality and make predictions for yourself and for other people.
Get out of this mental comfort zone and test your own affinity with other kinds of decks that might be a better fit, or conversely confirm that the tarot deck you have encountered before is also the right one for you.
Take it easy when you choose your tarot deck!
There are so many different tarot decks that it might indeed seem daunting to choose the RIGHT one. Take a deep breath before you begin and dive in as naturally as you can. The first step would obviously be to compare them, and you thankfully don’t need to buy them all for that! You can start with getting familiar with six of the most popular ones (see previous article): the Rider-Waite-Smith, the Marseille, the Wild Unknown, the Angels, the Medieval Scapini, and the Thoth Tarot decks. Some of them even have (or will have) more detailed articles here, providing a closer overview of the deck and basic meaning for various cards (arcana).
When reading these articles you might find yourself drawn to one of these decks. If you do, listen to your intuition. Buy this deck, initiate yourself to its secrets, then try using it, first for yourself and then for others once you feel you start to master it. If reading the various articles here does not help you to make your decision, you can further your knowledge and sample size by buying books dedicates to the various Tarot decks.
And even less expensive option would be to look for information on the various Internet websites fully dedicated to the Tarot and the various decks available, or you might be drawn to one that has been used for one of your free Tarot card readings online.
Tips for beginners to choose a tarot deck
If you cannot make up your mind in spite of the advice above, or if your confusion is even greater than before, torn between several different decks, here is some beginner advice that should help you pick the right deck for you. If you are starting your tarot reading training and want to quickly learn how to use a tarot deck, make it simple! Pick the one that seems easier to use. Everyone started somewhere. So pick one that you can easily handle (pun intended). Pick a tarot deck with illustrated cards that can be easy to interpret, with a clear user guide providing explanations that you can understand quickly and can easily memorize.
Pick a deck you find aesthetically pleasing, one you are visually drawn to, with illustrations that you like. The one where your gut feeling is to say, “Wow!” instinctively. Listen to your intuition: when you find a deck that is right for you, you will know. This does not mean that it will be your final tarot deck, but as long as you haven’t tried a few of them, you will never know. “Tried” meaning handling the deck, soaking its visual cues, and remembering the card meanings. As long as a deck fulfills these conditions, you should not hesitate. You can always change your deck in the future if you need or want to.
Know yourself through tarot card decks!
Regardless, using your tarot deck on a regular basis will teach you how to know yourself, because you should keep in mind that a tarot deck is not merely a divination support tool used to read the future. In truth, a tarot deck is also a tool to better know yourself and have a chance to build the kind of future that you want for yourself.
Using this first tarot deck will help you further your own self-knowledge, it will help you grow as a person, and maybe one day you will move on to another deck. So do not expect to find the “perfect” deck right away, the one that is a perfect match for you, because using your first tarot deck and training with it will either confirm your initial choice, or eventually lead you to another deck.
If you are genuinely interested in a tarot reading path, the you should not wait for the perfect time to make your decision. This would be a way to put off your decision until later for several reasons: indecision, too many options, fear of getting it wrong… In truth, the best time for you to make a decision about your first deck is… as soon as possible!
So if you have followed our main two pieces of advice (learning as much as you can about the various decks commonly available, and making your decision as soon as you can) you will achieve your goal of getting started on the tarot reading path. If you are still stuck in a state of indecision, just give yourself a push and make a move. There are no really “bad” decks, the only decision that would be wrong would be to not make a decision at all!
Use your heart to choose a tarot deck
If you still hesitate you are relying too much on your intellect and reason. You are still torn between pros and cons for a handful of decks, or more… and you cannot make up your mind between them. To solve this conundrum, ignore your mind and turn to your heart. Your intuition will lead you to your final decision. This will be easiest if you only have two decks left in the balance, but if you are hesitating between more of them, then make a list of four tarot decks at most.
Once you have shortlisted a few decks, proceed as follows:
1-Read the list of the two to four decks that are left. Check every characteristic (name, card illustrations, clarity of the user guide…)
2-Then display them before you, either in their package if you are in a store, or using a picture on a screen. Listen to your gut feeling. If you have them before you, you can give them a slight touch. You can touch the computer screen in the same way (or your phone, or tablet).
3- Ask yourself, “Which deck will be best for me?” with conviction.
4- Close your eyes and clear your mind, and let your mind be flooded with related ideas, especially those about the pros and cons of every deck, for five to ten minutes while you focus on your breathing and on the question above. If your mind starts drifting away from that question, gently steer it back on topic, but be gentle. Breathe deeply and focus on your question for about five minutes.
5- Once you have waited long enough, speak the name of one of the decks instinctively, or reach out toward one of the decks (physically or on screen).
This is the best way to make your decision. Once you have reached it, stop worrying about whether you were right or wrong, your heart answered that question for yourself! Practice will be the only way to unveil whether or not it was your final choice! Start immediately with your initiation using the deck that received your instinctive support.
How to use your mind to choose a tarot deck
If you are the kind of person who thinks a lot and tends to follow their reason over their intuition, if you don’t know how to use the latter, or don’t have enough trust in it, you can try to find a way out through reason.
You can nonetheless use the advice found above regarding your opinion about the decks. Which one do you find more appealing, aesthetically? Which one seems most practical to use? Which one has the clearer user guide? If that is still not enough to make up your mind, just ask yourself “Why do I want to use the Tarot?”
– “To better know myself (and/or help others better know themselves)?”
– “To know more about my future (and/or that of other people) (we said repeatedly that Tarot decks were not a tool meant purely for divination but the choice is still yours!)?”
– “To better know myself in order to achieve the changes I need to build my own future (and/or help others in the same way)?”
Last question: “Which tarot deck seems most suited to what I am looking for?” Once you have your answer, pick the best match! Then you should start practicing as soon as possible without allowing any time to second-guess yourself, for the very reasons detailed above. The best time to begin… is now or as soon as possible!
Your choice is never final
There will still be time to switch to another deck later on. Practice will be the ultimate test. Regardless, no matter which tarot deck you eventually gravitate to, it will be the right one for that moment, because your decision will be made according to your current state of mind!
You are the only one who can answer the final question and decide which tarot deck will be the best for you to start your journey. Above all, do not ask anyone else for their opinion because you are the only one who can make the right decision for it. Selecting your first tarot deck is already a first step on the path to self-discovery, by standing by your own decisions without asking for anyone else’s opinion. This will be the first asset you will reap from your decision and process on your path with the tarot, before you even perform your first reading!
To conclude about your search and decision regarding a Tarot Card Deck
The advice above will let you use your brain (and your reason) or your heart (and your intuition) to make your decision, or even to combine both in your process. No matter what, you will always make the right decision for yourself at that time.
This process in several steps will allow you to start without wasting any time through your selection of a tarot deck. You need to have a feeling or the conviction that the deck you have selected is the one for you, without any outside influence as you make your decision.
– Should you listen to other people to make your decision? NO
Trust yourself and only listen to your intuition and/or your reason
– Should you select your deck based on a single criterion? NO
If you only rely on the aesthetics of a deck, the user friendliness of its instructions, or their practical use, a single condition is usually not enough. You need a combination of all three!