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How to Choose A Tarot Deck

Updated on January 14, 2013

The important thing to think about when choosing a Tarot deck is whether or not it appeals to you. There are hundreds of different sets of Tarot cards on the market, but you need to be able to connect to the deck you are using, as Tarot is essentially a spiritual way of working.

There are people who work with only one deck - ever, and there are those who have different sets of cards and work with them depending on the person asking for the reading, their own mood, or the type of questions needing answers.

How to Choose A Tarot Deck

Tarot decks also come in different sizes, which is great if you have small hands, as traditional decks with their 78 cards are rather bulky. There are now mini decks on the market that are easier to handle, make storage simpler and that are more portable, fitting into a pocket or bag. Click here for more information on how to store your tarot Deck. There are also square Tarot decks, round ones, oval ones and all manner of shapes in between.

The Rider Waite Tarot Deck

 One of the most popular traditional Tarot decks, is the Rider Waite.  They were illustrated by pamela Colman Smith, under instruction from A E Waite, and the illustrations are quite childlike, but colourful and with a wealth of symbolism included on which to meditate.  Most decks also contain a little 'how to' booklet in the package, that is actually quite informative.

It is a traditional 78 card deck, and the cards are larger than a standard playing card, so they are a little difficult to handle at times.

The cards were originally published in 1909 and were influenced by the occultist Eliphas Levi.  The Rider Waite Deck has become inseparable from the notion of the Tarot and has lent its imagery and language to the study of the cards.  Numerous other decks have spawned from this original.  It remains a highly attractive useful deck to this day and is easily obtainable.

The Aquarian Tarot

 The Aquarian Tarot is another extremely popular Tarot deck, which was first published in 1970.  The deck was illustrated by David Palladini, who combined traditional Rider Waite symbolism with modern images in an Art nouveau and Art Deco style.

In addition to these two popular decks, there are also :

Wiccan Tarot cards, depicting witchcraft symbolism.  These probably have more resonance for anyone wishing to use the Tarot for magic spells.

Angel Tarot, a good Tarot deck for those put off by the original Tarot symbolism.

Manga Tarot.  Yes, believe it or not, there is even a Tarot dedicated to this popular style of animation.

Druidic Tarot, depicting Druidic symbolism.

Avalon Tarot.  There are various decks depicting the legends of King Arthur. 

One popular prediction deck in the UK, is Titania's Fortune Cards, and Titania's Oraqle, written by the practising Wiccan, Titania Hardie. Titania has been brought up with the Wiccan tradition all her life, and much of her work is based on natural magic and divination.

The best way to choose a Tarot deck is to browse a store, either a good online one that lets you see the images on the cards, or a high street store, where you can look at the images, pick up the cards and see how they feel in your hand, then choose images that chime with your personality.

 Most Tarot decks will also have a book written about them, that explains the symbolism of the cards and that gives you 'how to layouts,' so that once you choose a Tarot deck, you can then get to work with it straight away.

Collecting different decks may even become a hobby.


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    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 5 years ago from Dartmoor

      Hi phoenix2327,

      I guess that's the one that just 'speaks to you'.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've looked at different sorts of Tarot decks but I always come back to Rider-Waite. It just appeals to me; can't explain why.

      Good information here.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks HealthyHanna, I think some people are a bit squeamish about choosing their first deck.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 8 years ago from Utah

      I have never used them, so it is good to read this hub first. I have not been into fortune telling, but I do like predictors.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank you JannyC. glad you enjoyed it.

    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 8 years ago

      Enjoyed this.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      I have my own deck, but I will never charge to have to them or I will never guess and add my own input. I purchased a deck many years ago, and I have two of the same cards in my deck. LOL thanks for a great hub...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      My pet subject. Thank you, Georgina, for another great hub.