Ten Tarot Decks for Beginners

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

my first deck: tarot of the sweet twilight

The other day I got to thinking about how hard it was for me to choose my first tarot deck. There were just too many options! And there are so many more now than eight years ago when I got started. I can only imagine how overwhelmed someone would be now with all those amazing decks to pick from. So, I decided to compile a little list of tarot decks for beginners. These are decks I've read with, loved, and feel would be great decks for anyone going the Rider-Waite-Smith route. I tried to pick a variety, in artwork and accessibility. They range from the super traditional to the beautifully artsy and from indie to something you could pick up at your local book store.
Read on for my picks!
Tarot decks for beginners L to R: Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot, Sasuraibito Tarot, Morgan Greer Tarot[/caption]

Smith Waite Centennial Tarot

A classic and my favorite incarnation of the RWS. It has a vintage-y quality to it; the back is so pretty, and it just works! If you want to keep it super traditional this is the perfect study deck. See more on Aeclectic.net.

Sasuraibito Tarot

Aka Sassy Burrito Aka my current favorite deck. I love the illustration style in this deck! While some cards may veer off a bit from the traditional meanings most of it works well with the classic model and since all the cards are fully illustrated it's perfect for tarot learning. Read my interview with the Sasuraibito here or grab your own deck in Stasia Burrington's shop.

Morgan Greer Tarot

This is one of two 70's style decks on this list, and it’s one of my favorites. The colors are bold and vibrant, and the people are amazingly stylish. Morgan Greer is pretty traditional and mostly keeps to the standard card depictions. See more Morgan Greer Tarot images here.
Tarot decks for beginners
L to R: Dreaming Way Tarot, Dark Days Tarot, Wild Unknown Tarot

Dreaming Way Tarot

This was my second deck ever and remains one of my most used. The characters all have a sort of androgynous look which I love, and I want all their outfits. Dreaming way is a very spring-like airy sort of deck. The watercolor art definitely gives it a dreamy quality. See more of the Dreaming Way Tarot here. Side note: mine looks a bit different because I trimmed the edges!

Dark Days Tarot

This amazing black and white deck came into my life last year and from the moment I laid eyes on it I knew I had to have it. It’s black and white, it’s square, and it’s all moon! While Dark Days is far from the traditional RWS it’s fully pictorial and easy to read. The images are super evocative, and you can find meaning in them with just one look. Explore the Dark Days Tarot or grab your own copy here.

Wild Unknown Tarot

Do I even have to say anything about this deck? Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. There’s nothing I can say about the Wild unknown that hasn’t already been said. It is absolutely beautiful, mostly black and white with little pops of color. I almost didn’t include this one because it’s more of a pip deck but I do think it’s still an amazing starter deck. Even though there aren’t any people or full scenes in the cards you can still take a lot from the images and symbolism throughout. The Wild Unknown is one of my most reached for decks. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.
Learn more about the Wild Unknown Tarot here.

Tarot of the Magical Forest

If you want to keep it classic but also love cute and slightly creepy animals Tarot of the Magical Forest is the deck for you! This one is a RWS clone. It follows the traditional imagery almost exactly, so it’ll be super easy to match up with all the tarot books out there. So, if these creepy critters don’t scare you this one might work for you. See more from the Tarot of the Magical Forest here.

Book of Shadows Vol 2: So Below

This is part of a series of two decks, as you can assume from the “Vol 2” I’ve never owned the “As Above” deck so I can’t speak for that one but this one was good. The So Below deck is a modern take on tarot, a modern Pagan take on tarot. You’ll find all the characters in modern clothes, living a modern Pagan life. The Hermit chills out in the tub while The Chariot drives her kids to school. It is different that’s for sure. It’s that modern element though that makes it so easy to work with though. It makes tarot concepts totally relatable. So, if you’re done with old fashioned tarot and want a Pagan deck that’s all about real life Vol 2 is perfect for you. See more of the deck here.

Aquarian Tarot

The second 70's deck on the list. The Aquarian Tarot is a 70's deck with an Art Nouveau feel. It's based on the classic RWS format but with a zoomed in twist. most cards seem to be a close-up view of the characters. I no longer own this deck for personal nit-picky sort of reasons [those faces freaked me out]. But I do think this is a lovely deck if you're looking for something with a vintage feel. See more here.

Linestrider Tarot

I don't currently own this one (yet) but I really wanted to mention it. I’ve gone through the images and I’m in love with it. While they don’t have a traditional look and might even seem slightly intimidating at first all the cards hold true to their traditional meaning. The Linestrider is clean, minimalist with a hint of color and all the significance. See images from the Linestrider here.
That makes ten! I hope my list helped some of you thinking about getting into tarot or even just your next deck! Do you have any recommended tarot decks for beginners? What deck did you start your studies with? Let me know in the comments below!
Much Love,
Liliana x

Tarot Habits: Journaling, Crystals, and Spreads

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


If you’ve been reading Tarot for any length of time you’ll have developed little habits in your reading. Everyone has a different approach to the cards and what they do when it’s time to sit down for a reading. Here are a few of mine:

Crystals


I love having a few crystals in my reading space to set the energy, for grounding, for clarity, and also because they look so pretty! Some of my favorites are Amethyst for clear divine connection, Septarian for grounding and earth connection, Rose Quartz for reading from a heart space, and a new one I’ve been loving is Chrysocolla for clear communication and encouraging self-expression.
I like to set these around my reading space along with other little things like candles, sacred items, or incense to create a sacred space for reading. If you follow me on instagram you may have seen a little key appear frequently in my posts. This is my shout out to The Hierophant my teacher and card for 2018.

The Tarot Journal


I have a couple of Tarot journals one for my daily/weekly/monthly draws and one for full spreads. My traveler’s notebook contains my daily tarot draws. I used to just put them in my daily planner, but I wasn’t happy with that, so I moved them to a separate notebook where I can use as much space as I need each day!
I also started tracking my daily cards in a little tracker. This amazing idea came from Jess Rollar of Radical She Tarot. It’s the perfect way to see patterns as far as moon phases and in relation to my card of the month from my yearly tarot reading.
My second journal is home to full readings that go into shadow work, self-exploration, spirit guide communications, and pretty much anything that’s not a day to day kind of thing. This one gets pulled out for full and new moons, holy days, and any time I feel particularly adventurous.

Weekly & Monthly Spreads

I like to check in with tarot often. Aside from daily draws I use these weekly and monthly spreads to look at current themes in my life and advice for navigating through whatever energy is present at the moment.

 

Affirmations & Tarot

An important part of my tarot practice is affirmations. This helps me remember the main message of a reading and allows me to carry it with me in everyday life. So, even if I didn’t get a change to journal an entire reading synthesizing it in the form of an affirmation helps me integrate the message more easily than if I remember it at some point and start wondering what that was about and how it might relate to my current situation. An affirmation creates a practical way to work with the guidance provided by the cards.
So, there you have it. My tarot habits. What habits do you have in your tarot practice? Let me know in the comments below, I wanna know all about them!
Much Love,
Liliana x

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