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5 Tips for Buying Your First Tarot Deck

So you want to buy your first tarot deck, but you’re feeling overwhelmed about all the different decks out there. There’s the option of using the Rider-Waite deck but you’re not sure you like the cards. You may have also heard the myth that it’s bad luck to buy your first deck yourself and you should wait until someone buys one for you (spoiler alert: it’s not bad luck). 

Buying your first deck can be a daunting choice, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be complicated if you have some guiding pointers to help you along the way!

Here are my 5 tips for buying your first tarot deck:

1. Go for a Tarot Deck that is Detailed

It might be tempting to go for the artsy and minimal Kickstarter or Etsy decks, but these ones are not the best for beginners! So much of reading tarot comes from interpreting the images on the cards in accordance with what question and circumstances you’re bringing to the deck. So if there’s not much to go on in the cards, it’s going to be hard to get a clear reading.

tarot reading for beginners or buying my first tarot deck

Plus, as the end goal of reading is to go with your intuition rather than rely on guidebook interpretations, learning the meanings through the symbols is integral for beginners.

2. Make sure you’re drawn to the imagery

Following on from the previous point, if the cards are detailed but you don't really gel with the images, you won’t get a clear reading. So take your time to look at what the images of the deck look like and if you feel connected to the images on the cards.

I do this with decks that intrigue me by looking them up on Google images to see if I’m excited by the cards themselves. Sometimes decks have an interesting box or cover art, but when I actually look up the cards, I don’t feel like I could get a clear reading if I used the cards in a spread. 

3. Don’t just go for the Rider Waite deck if you don’t feel connected to them

I feel like this might be a bit controversial, but I'm not a big fan of the Rider Waite deck!

I find the imagery to be too static and the cards don’t have enough depth to them for me. I understand their importance in creating the different decks we have today and I appreciate their meanings, but I don’t like the cards themselves.

how to buy your first tarot deck or tarot deck for beginners

I do, however, encourage you to look for decks that are based on the Rider Waite system, as the structure is full of symbolism and is easy to follow. Plus, most books on tarot use the Rider Waite as a basis for their interpretations, so having a similar deck will be helpful for your practice.

Remember, reading tarot ends up becoming a personal relationship between you and the cards, so if you don’t feel connected to your deck then the lessons won’t be clear.

4. Browse Cards in Local Shops

If you have a local spiritual shop, a local bookshop or even a Waterstones, it’s a good idea to go and see what decks they have in store. When looking up decks online, there’s infinite choice, and this is when the overwhelm can set in, so having fewer options is easier to begin with.

Plus, if you go in store, you can have a feel for the decks to see if you’re drawn to a particular one. I did this with my deck where I felt around to see which one my intuition was particularly connected to. I picked up each deck and felt in my belly whether there was an expansive feeling or constrictive feeling. I settled on the Robin Wood deck, and it’s still my favourite deck today!

5. Don't be Afraid to Shop Around

Buying a tarot deck is a very personal choice, so sometimes you won’t find a deck you like when you go to a shop. As most of your interpretations will come from what the imagery is trying to teach you, it’s important not to settle on a deck because it’s the only one that’s vaguely interesting. 

tarot reading for beginners

Perhaps you have a tarot friend already, and you can ask to look at their deck to see what you like or don’t like about the cards. Picking your first deck is also great practice to go with what your gut instinct says and start practising those intuitive skills you’ll develop with your tarot practice.

And remember to have fun! These cards should spark a sense of joy and curiosity inside you, so don’t ignore that feeling if it comes along.

If you have any further questions or want any recommendations, you can always send me an email or DM me on Instagram.

Happy tarot deck shopping!

Until next time,

Jess x

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