Hi Friends! I've been going through my deck collection a lot lately and it got me thinking about buying that First Tarot deck. Below I've compiled a list of my top 5 Tarot Decks for Beginners, specifically out of the decks in my collection; meaning yes there are others I have seen, admire and know of to be great beginners decks. But if your anything like me the typical recommendations like RWS likely aren't your first go to (spoiler alert; I'm still going to recommend it haha) but hopefully this list gives you some other options that might spark that excitement in you and get the ball rolling. 1. The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck
Its okay insert your eye roll here. But this Tarot mama is here to tell you the truth even the hard ones and this is coming from someone who doesn't like to start at step one.. like ever. But honestly majority of the books, videos, classes you engage in will likely be referencing The Rider Waite Smith deck (sidenote: Pamela Colman Smith is the original artist for this deck and although you will see it referenced as a Rider- Waite deck more often than not here on this platform we will make her name known). Originally published in 1909 this deck holds a lot of the traditional symbolism and is what most mainstream and some indie decks base their format off of ( these are called RWS clones/ the RWS system). So why start here? The RWS deck will set you up to not only easily follow pretty much any instruction system to work with but it also is a great resource to help you start noticing and understanding the hidden symbolism that you will likely see in other decks. So no it doesn't have pretty gilded edges, or glossy modern imagery But its a deck that not only will set you up to thrive but I can almost guarantee you'll continue to reference it moving forward. The artwork has also recently made its way in to public domain meaning that many publishers artists etc will be coming out with their "version" of this deck, so once your familiar sky's the limit! Also bonus: it wont cost you an arm and a leg .
(Get yours HERE)
2. Morgan-Greer Tarot
The Morgan Greer tarot originated in the 1970's and follows the RWS system. If I had to describe this deck in 10 words or less id say "its the RWS deck...zoomed in". Its art work is full of saturated color , and if a person is involved in the scene it is likely they are depicted from the waist up concentrating on them and only them . The art work is traditional but minimal in the sense that it leaves just enough room for personal interpretation as you build your intuition. Its not so "busy" compared to RWS tarot. There is a simple Little White Book (LWB) that doesn't include much but because it follows the RWS system you could easily use this deck along side any of those. Finally this deck is also in a super acceptable price range for just getting started.
(Get yours HERE)
3. The Modern Witch Tarot
The Modern Witch Tarot is easily one of my favorite beginner friendly decks. Created by Lisa Sterle , it too follows the Rider Waite Smith system but with a contemporary, feminine, modern vibe! This deck is larger than the pervious two simply because the card stock is better, its a thicker deck but still easy to shuffle. It comes in a fancier box than the traditional tuck box, it has some "meat" to it overall just making it feel more... official in a sense. The cards themselves still depict a lot of the traditionally symbolism but with female figures and in a more modern context. This deck also includes a tiny guidebook that is for sure more in depth than a LWB but also leaves room to build. I Personally think this is a great deck if your looking for something that feels current, fun but still easy to read. Plus the creator and publisher have since come out with coloring books puzzles and other crazy cool products based off the deck and its artwork. This deck is a bit more than the previous two but honestly not by much and it is often on sale, I've even found it at Marshalls once or twice!
( Get yours HERE)
4. White Numen: A Sacred Animal Tarot
White Numen: A Sacred Animal Tarot , you guessed it, follows the RWS system ( hint: all the decks on this list do). I would categorize this as a good deck for the beginner that wants something "different", unlike the previous decks the symbolism isn't modern or traditional, it is its own world. I found the human figures to have very expressive faces that really play into the card meaning. Its Non traditionally but if you looked at the cards next to one another you could definitely spot the RWS influence. I would still claim that this is a deck you could use along side any RWS instruction book, you just might have to trust your intuition a little more than with the previous decks. Because this deck is published by the same printer ( liminal11) it has a lot of similarities in card stock, price, and availability. I does feature an what i believe to be awesome magnetic close box haha. I'd easily hand this deck to any beginner that feels like they have a general understanding of the card meanings but is getting bored looking at the same "old" art work. Once again it is more expensive than RWS itself but still easily affordable.
(Get yours HERE)
5. MOOD Tarot
The final deck on this list isn't for everyone, and that's understandable but I trust stand by how I feel this deck expanded my knowledge of the cards and their symbolism. Again we follow the RWS system but with a twist this time. The MOOD tarot is pretty much identical to RWS but it is in what I like to call Meme form. The cards include profanity, funny jokes, and even the card titles are changed ( example the cups suit is referred to as cry babies). I found that although the cards are packed with humor that within that humor was the real meanings of the cards. Once I realized this it made it easier to remember certain cards and their symbolism as well as to intuitively read because I had a little "boost" to get to the meaning in my head. For example the 9 of swords depicted above traditionally means, anxiety, fear, indecisions, and stress, on the card itself it says here "did I leave the oven on" as the figure weeps into their hands. This to me exemplifies that fear and anxiety meaning! Plus as a bonus the cards in this deck are plastic meaning it could easily be a deck you bring and use EVERYWHERE. I understand not everyone will enjoy or find the what some may categorize as "crude humor" enjoyable but I stand by my decision that this deck allows a beginner to take that next step in trusting their knowledge of the cards. The price is much steeper than any of the previous decks but it is NOT mass produced so you are buying directly from the creator, thus supporting a small business.
( Get yours HERE)
There you have it , 5 decks in MY collection that I think a beginner would enjoy and thrive with. Before we go ill address the elephant in the room... I know I know they are all RWS decks, but if I'm being honest that's my favorite so majority of my decks are RWS based. There are other systems like Thoth, Esoteric, and Tarot of Marseilles. I just personally feel that as a beginner choosing one system to start with is beneficial and than exploring all the different deck options within that system allows you to grow as a reader by not only reinforcing the card meanings but allowing your intuition to expand as the comfort level grows and fear stops holding you back.
What is or was your first Tarot Deck?
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