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.
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

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