As a tarot-card novice just beginning to explore the ancient divination practice (I’m still experimenting with daily card pulls), I know how overwhelming it is to find a deck. There are thousands of options on Amazon and Etsy, and they all seem to offer different things. So how do you find the tarot deck for you?
“A tarot deck is a personal choice — we each have our likes and dislikes,” says Mysticalcraft Arriana, Keen.com advisor and tarot card reader. “We find that individual decks can call to our inner spirit, and we fall in love with that ‘one’ mostly — [while] that doesn’t mean we only have one deck, [we may have] one favorite, for sure.”
To narrow the playing (card) field, we asked professionals to tell us which ones they love the most and why. If you find yourself drawn to one particular deck, give it a try. Even if it’s not The One, you may find it fitting into your rotation.
The Original Rider-Waite Tarot Set
“In my opinion, this is the only deck you really need,” says Roya Backlund, love and career horoscope writer for Astrology.com, tells Refinery29. "Each card is brimming with so much symbolism that you could spend hours analyzing and interpreting one card alone,” she explains. It’s a traditional tarot deck, and widely known among fans of the practice.
Dabrigh The Original Tarot Deck, $, available at Etsy
Anima Mundi Tarot Deck by Megan Wyreweden
“This deck called to me for many, many months before I finally broke down and bought it,” says Backlund. “There are no humans present in this tarot deck, only various species from the animal kingdom. ‘Anima Mundi’ translates to ‘the world’s soul,’ and you get a very pure message from these cards because you’re translating the meaning of the tarot into a language that is devoid of the human ego.” Backlund tells Refinery29 that she turns to these cards when she wants to remember what truly matters, and to connect with the spirit of the natural world.
TheCreepingMoon Anima Mundi Tarot Deck, $, available at Etsy
Miss Cleo’s Tarot Card Power Deck
Sarah Potter, a tarot reader, professional witch, and color magic practitioner based in New York City, says she uses the Miss Cleo Tarot Power Deck when she reads for clients. “I have given thousands of readings with this deck and it still stirs up fond memories of seeing this straightforward yet warm psychic delivering her messages to clients on TV during my childhood,” she says. “I strive to be very direct, yet kind, candid, and supportive with all of my clients and using Miss Cleo’s deck helps me embody that vibe every time.”
Miss Cleo Tarot Card Power Deck, $, available at Amazon
Thoth Tarot Deck by Aleister Crowley
“I love the Thoth Tarot Deck. Every card aligns with a specific planet and sign," says astrologer Lisa Stardust. "It’s a great way to learn tarot if you know astrology because the connection is deep between the two with this deck.”
Nyssa Grazda, daily astrology news writer for Astrology.com, agrees, gushing over Lady Frieda Harris's art-deco inspired imagery: “Every spread I cast with these cards seems to come alive with magical nuance and meaning. I always seem to be finding new clues within the designs that provide deeper significance to the queries posed,” Grazda says.
Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, $, available at Amazon
Mystic Mondays Tarot Deck
Along with the Thoth deck, Stardust is also a fan of the Mystic Mondays tarot deck. “I personally connect with these cards on a deep level,” she says. “I love the vibrant art and iridescent edges.”
Mystic Mondays Tarot Deck, $, available at Amazon
Tarot of the Holy Light Deck
Grazda also recommends the Tarot of the Holy Light deck for users. “This deck will especially appeal to fans of alchemical symbolism, but is eye-catching enough to grab just about anyone’s attention,” she says. Grazda says that while some of the symbols cards are unconventional, they still “inspire further self-reflection, and are worth testing out.”
Brownfield Press Tarot Deck, $, available at Noreah Brownfield
The Dragon Tarot Deck
Mysticalcraft Arriana says that this deck is the first that “called her,” due to her love of dragons and the fact that she was born in the Year of the Dragon. “It's a fun deck to me as it brings me calm energy. Dragon Tarot is my go-to deck,” she says. “I always make sure I have a spare one in case of an emergency!”
Nigel Suckling The Dragon Tarot, $, available at Amazon
The Housewives Tarot: A Domestic Divination Kit
Mysticalcraft Arriana says that this deck is her “fun and very retro” go-to. She says that over time, you begin to “feel” each card you pull and are less reliant on imagery to interpret the cards — which is when a playful, less-symbol-heavy deck like this can start to come in handy. “It reminds us to step back, breathe and relax, and have a giggle at life,” she says.
Quirk Books The Housewives Tarot: A Domestic Divination Kit, $, available at Bookshop
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