There are tons of decks out there these days. The level of creativity is off the charts. We even have oracle decks, angel decks and manifestation decks. The choice is endless. But how do you pick which deck is perfect for you? Here is my guide and a few truths to finding your first deck.
1. You don’t pick your deck; your deck chooses you.
Right from the start, we’re using our intuition to be lead to the deck that wants to be chosen by you. If you’ve wanted to buy a deck for a while, you will get the urge to press the buy button when you find the right deck for you. It will be a “no-brainer” decision. You may even not be thinking about it until you check your email and you’ve bought it! There are tons out there, but one will be calling your name. It will keep popping up on Instagram, or you’ll get an email from the creator of the deck, and you’ll know. Don’t question it. Follow the synchronicities, and she will find you.
2. You CAN buy your own deck; it is part of the process.
There’s a silly myth that you shouldn’t buy your own deck, and I say “balls to that”. I’m not a one for rules, and if your deck is calling you, then answer the call. Waiting around for one to be gifted to you wastes time and energy. It is always lovely to receive, and if you do receive a gifted deck, then hell yeah, thanks, Universe, but don’t let it stop you from following your intuition to find your own.
3. Your deck should “speak to you” instead of only looking pretty.
Choose connection over cool. Each deck is unique, and the creator shines through in the designs. My first deck when I was 14 was the classic Rider-Waite Deck. You know the one, it’s everywhere and rightly so. It was one of the original decks of modern times. It is beautiful but can be a little complicated to read for a beginner. The whole point of a tarot deck is to speak to you. There are intricate messages in the designs of the cards that spark your intuition. If you pick a deck that is too complicated, it will overwhelm you. If you choose a deck that is too basic, then you may find it hard to learn the meanings and symbols. Symbolism is meant to spark your intuition, not the number and suit. If not, you’re just learning parrot fashion that the Ace of Wands represents a spark of inspiration. There is so much depth in the designs of decks, so use it to your advantage. The Rider-Waite Deck is excellent for beginners because it gives you the whole story of the card’s meaning.
The Wild Unknown is a gorgeous deck (and my second deck and the one in the photo). I got to know the cards through study and recognition. There’s not as much symbolism in the deck, so it’s a little harder to read them, but the meanings are there.
Then there’s the Everyday Tarot Deck by Biddy Tarot. This deck is so well designed, and the symbolism is so easy to understand. It’s the perfect beginner deck because it makes it simple to understand and use. Some modern decks come with an explanation book so that you can dig into the meaning of the cards.
And while I’m all for the new designs, I still believe that using the traditional meanings for the cards is important. Tarot is built on a system that mirrors the human psyche and reflects the human journey. Any deck that takes you away from this universal journey is going to challenge you as a reader. Expert level only!
4. Your deck should be easy to handle.
Speaking of easy to use… tarot decks are larger than standard playing card decks. If you have small hands like mine, it can get tricky to shuffle and handle the cards. Size doesn’t matter! The Everyday Tarot is a mini-deck, smaller than a standard play card size, and I can handle them easily. If you can, you should give the cards a shuffle to feel if the size is right for you. If you can’t handle the cards, grab a standard size playing card deck (there are two sizes there too!) and give them a shuffle. Check the size of the deck you’re buying against the size of the deck you’ve shuffled. If it feels comfortable, then you’re all good. Also, the weight of the paper stock matters too. Heavyweight card will last longer. If you regularly use them, check they’re heavyweight because thinner stock gets bashed up more easily with tears and scratches.
5. Your deck should be a full tarot deck, not just an oracle deck.
With all the new decks coming out, there’s one rule that shouldn’t be broken. If you want a full tarot deck, check that there are 78 cards in the deck. Oracle, manifestation and angel decks have less and different meanings. Your deck should have 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Simple.
With Power & Grace, Carolynne ∞
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