In online fora and in conversations with prospective students, I’m often asked, “James, what’s a good beginner’s tarot deck?” My answer is that I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as a beginner’s deck or an advanced person’s deck. There’s a world of images out there and all tarot packs are fair game. I never impose any particular set of cards on my students. Some things to bear in mind about selecting a tarot deck include:
* Aesthetics. Is it visually appealing? Would you enjoy being in a room if its walls had these tarot images on it?
* Symbolism. Do the cards contain symbols that intrigue you, that you understand or want to know more about?
* Philosophy. In what worldview is the deck rooted? What is the deck creator’s way of experiencing and understanding existence? Is it a philosophy that you espouse or would at least like to try on for a while?
* Size. Would the cards feel comfortable in your hands? Too small? Too large? Just right?
* Cost. Is it a deck you can afford? If not, is it worth saving up for?
* Reputation. Does the deck garner respect from at least a few people in the tarot community? Why so? Do their reasons for endorsing the deck resonate with you?
* The Unknown Factor. Do you dream about a certain deck? Are you magnetically drawn to it for some other-than-rational reason? Do you really want it without even fully understanding why?
Keep these in mind, put your answers together, and you’ll find a set(s) of cards that’s just right for you!
Image: The World from The Tarot Lovers’ Tarot by Karyn Easton.