Choosing a tarot deck
Finding tarot cards that resonate with you can go a long way in making your readings more fun and accurate. Tarot decks come in all shapes and sizes; They can have a wide variety of art styles, backgrounds, image options, and themes. There are animal tarot decks for people who like animals, lover oriented tarot decks for people with a lot of love issues, life path oriented cards for people searching for their purpose, and even regional decks for people who want to marvel at specific types of terrain!
Some tarot decks also connect to a specific region or historical period. Elements of cultural tradition and physical geography are often reflected in a deck’s art and design. Tarot is not limited to an earthly focus, however, as other tarot decks sometimes feature outer space for a more cosmic experience.
With so many tarot decks, how can you find the right one for you? Here are some factors to consider when deciding which deck (or decks) to use while developing your tarot reading skills.
1. Look for cards that attract you
Think about what the cards tell you about yourself. Eventually, as you work on your tarot reading skill, you will begin to develop your own personal system. It’s important to choose a deck with images that you can relate to – one that makes it easier for you to access your intuition.
For example, an avant-garde deck won’t appeal to people who like traditional or classic imagery, and vice versa. What symbolism makes sense to you? If you think the images in a deck seem like nonsense, it might not be a good fit. Enjoy browsing the many decks online or in metaphysical stores and find out which images appeal to you before you decide which one to buy.
2. See how the deck feels in your hands
It’s important to find a deck that you’re comfortable working with. Can you shuffle and maneuver the cards without breaking concentration? That’s a good sign. If the deck feels like a pair of shoes that don’t quite fit, you may have a harder time reading them, no matter how hard you try to “break them in”. Before you commit to a set of tarot cards, ask yourself if you will find it easy to carry and if you will actually enjoy pulling it out and using it.
3. Look at the guidebook
Flip through the deck’s guidebook if you can. Do the explanations make sense to you? Ask yourself if these explanations connect to the imagery of the cards in a way that you find intuitive. If the meanings provided by the guide are completely different than expected, this could indicate a bad match.
Additionally, it can be worth finding a deck with a guide that’s easy to read, especially if you’re inexperienced. You’ll likely refer to it often, at least initially, so look for one that won’t be difficult for you to understand and easy to learn from.
4. Look for durability
If you get the deck wet or, heaven forbid, spill your coffee (or other beverage) on it, can it be wiped and dried without fraying and falling apart? You should also ask yourself if you can lay the cards face up in the sun to clean and refresh them without the colors fading or smudging.
Good quality decks printed on sturdy stock let you do those things. They can serve you for years, keep their quality and still work well.
5. Decide on a purpose
The most important thing you should do is ask yourself why you want to delve into tarot and what you would most like to do with it.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Tarot is for everyone! However, if you remember why you are researching and developing your tarot reading skills, you will be better able to choose a tarot deck that will help you achieve your goals. Would you like to read for others? Do you just want to use the cards for self-reflection and meditation? You might want both—and that’s totally fine!
Regardless, the audience you’re reading for and how they relate to certain types of images will affect which deck suits you best. Answering these questions can help you determine what you need, especially when choosing your very first deck of tarot cards.
It may also help to consider your experience level! Extremely cryptic, odd symbolism is often better for knowledgeable readers who branch out, while simpler images and explanations are usually best for beginners.
Let your intuition guide you
There is a general belief in the tarot community that one should not use a deck of cards unless they have been given to one by someone else. However, it’s worth noting that even if you respect and admire the person who gave you this gift, don’t use a deck if it doesn’t resonate with you. It will not work. If you don’t know what to do with a deck that doesn’t go well together, you should hand it to someone else!
And despite this tradition, always go with what feels right to you. Follow your instincts. You are the ultimate authority on what you think, feel, know and experience. At the end of the day, you should choose a tarot deck that will energize you and make you want to learn more
If you stick with the tarot, you will likely end up collecting several favorite decks. All of this will help you develop your own unique reading style. You might even want to read Oracle cards. Eventually, you should find that your intuitive powers deepen as you read each card. Over time, you will develop a “bank” of reference points and interpretations that you can use in your own unique way.
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