a Tarot Deck
Like any other tool,
you must put consideration into finding the deck that is right for
you. Or as often time the case, the deck will chose you. Each deck
has its own personality and energy to it. You need to find the one
that talks to you.
Let me settle one thing
right now. There is no one standard deck. A lot of people like to
say that the Rider-Waite deck is the "industry standard,"
but most Tarot readers I know abhor the deck, myself included. Yes,
it is a decent beginner's deck because the pictures directly correspond
to the definitions, which is why it is used in most Tarot 101 classes
(and is the deck used as a sample on Bewitching Ways). But as you
get more experienced in reading, you may find yourself wanting a
more challenging deck that is more subjective with more open symbolism
and art work. Most people serious about reading outgrow the Rider-Waite
deck rather quickly. (Now, if this deck works for you, please don't
let me dissuade you from using it. This is just my opinion.)
When looking for a deck,
go to a store that has samples so that you can actually hold the
cards. It is very important to get a feel for them before buying
them. It's not recommended that you buy a deck blindly.
You'll want to take a
good look at the cards. What is your visceral reaction to them?
Some decks are more illustrated or colorful then others. Some have
elaborate Major cards and rather plain minor cards. Some cards follow
themes such as Lord of Rings, Vampire, Halloween, Shakespeare, etc.
What type of decks are you drawn to? What types catch your eye?
Which is the first deck you pick up and why? Can you look at the
picture and decipher a meaning from each card?
How many cards are in
the deck? Not everything labeled "Tarot" is actually a
Tarot deck. Some only contain the Major or Minor Arcana and some
are oracle decks which have totally different cards and meanings.
True Tarot decks contain 78 cards. Always be sure to look at all
the cards. Some decks have amazing Major Arcana cards and then have
incredibly boring and/or repetitive Minor Arcana (1 cup for Ace
of cup; 2 cups for 2 of cups, etc.) If you are a beginner, this
repeating pattern for the pip cards might prove to be difficult
because it doesn't give you a lot of symbology to go on in your
A word about novelty
decks: They can be fun but if you are looking at your cards for
spiritual insight and guidance or just collecting for fun, but you
might not want to use the Halloween deck or the nursery rhyme deck
for true readings.
Next you want to feel
the cards. How do they feel in your hand? Are you getting any energy
from them? Do they feel natural? Try to shuffle them. I often decided
not to get a deck after realizing their size or shape made them
difficult to work with. If you are not comfortable with the cards,
you won't be comfortable while doing a reading.
I am a firm believer
that you will know which deck is for you. I often end up picking
one completely different then the deck I intended it buy because
another deck called out to me or just felt more right. And finding
the right one takes time. It took me years before I found the right
And, you may find yourself
changing decks. As you grow more comfortable with the Tarot and
you progress in life and with your spiritual path, you may feel
the need to work with a different deck. This is natural.
Some people have many
decks. I have decks I use strictly for personal use and others that
I use for public readings and others that I use for meditative/spiritual
work. I let my mood judge which deck I will use on a given day.
Most readers agree that
it is important to have a separate deck with which to do readings
for others. Each time someone else handles your cards, they leave
energy with them. You want to keep the deck you use for your personal
readings or spiritual exercises for your use only. If you really
like the deck you use, then buy two of them and put them in different
boxes or bags so you know which is for your use and which is for
And not every person can read from every deck. Tarot decks are truly
personal things and they won't work the same for each person.
To get an idea of the
limitless amount of decks there are, visit Wicce's
web site. She gives great reviews and has sample pictures of countless
Tarot has samples from about 500 decks to view as well. These
sites might help you figure out what your taste in Tarot decks is.
There truly is a deck for everyone.
a Rune or Tarot reading, dream interpretation or astrological report