10 Tarot Card Decks You Should Totally Add To Your Collection
Tarot card decks are considered as some of the most accurate divination tools since they were introduced in Europe in the early 14th century. Many historians think that the tarot cards and decks first traveled to western civilization from Egypt which consisted of four suites just like its modern counterpart.
I first became interested in tarot cards in my early twenties after I bought a deck of Rider-Waite tarot deck from a big name bookstore. Albeit, at the time I felt lost and was looking for answers wherever they were said to be.
Ever since then I've been fascinated by the intricate symbolism of tarot, the accuracy of the card meanings, and the level of mastery it can take to fluidly read spreads as intended. Further, there’s an art to not just reading the deck, but also conveying nuanced messages in a loving way.
We have a list of 10 Tarot Card Decks further down, but my favorite Tarot Card Decks by far are the Rider-Waite Tarot Card Deck, the Angel Tarot Card Deck and the Wild Unknown Tarot Card Deck, all available on Amazon.
Tarot card decks make great gifts (despite the noise, they are giftable) and whether you consider yourself a reader the mere studying of them makes for an an intriguing and ever-evolving hobby. Many people over the years have found enjoyment in just study tarot card divination and collect various modern and classic decks of tarot cards. So much so that we included them in our hobbies for women article where we offer 50 hobby ideas for women who want to spice things up.
I've also met a lot of skeptics over the years who associate tarot divination with magic and con artists without even bothering to find out with what it's all about.
For the benefit of those who have little or no knowledge about these amazing divination tools, I decided to pen some of my thoughts about the basics so you can get a clear idea about what all the humdrum surrounding it is all about and added a list of my favorite modern tarot card decks in case you get interested in tarot and the occult.
Even if you're not interested in tarot, if a friend or family member is, you can have a good idea what to get them in the upcoming holiday season
So let's start with the most basic question that comes to mind; what are tarot cards.
Tarot decks: How Tarot Cards Work
To make it as simple as possible, tarot cards are basically a deck of cards similar to the traditional playing card deck. These cards are designed differently with images being the centerpiece of each card along with numbers and words printed on their corners and sides.
The standard tarot card deck including the Rider-Waite (which is the most common and updated modern tarot deck set) has 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards. There are different types of tarot decks out there with many of them containing more or fewer cards than the 78 cards that make up a standard tarot deck.
All the cards signify the different states and stages of a human life and can provide insight into the past, present and future based on the skills of the deck interpreter.
A Short History Of Tarot
In the beginning, tarot wasn’t the versatile divination tool that it is today. Originally known as trionfi which later changed into tarot, a variation of the Italian word tarocchi, there are recorded evidence of card games being played in many parts of Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries using tarot decks which indicate that they were originally meant to be used as playing cards.
The first tarot deck for divination purposed was designed in the 18th century by a company called Ettelia and later on refined by the Rider card company in the 19th which came to be known as the Rider-Waite tarot deck. The imagery on the Rider-Waite tarot deck is based on the ancient Egyptian Book of Thoth rather than the Christian imagery that was prevalent on card decks at that time.
The presence of occult symbolism in the Rider-Waite deck was increased in the background with the images of the cards retaining a simplistic look. The Minor Arcana cards were also realigned to suit divination readings. tarot cards were first commercially introduced in the US in 1966.
Tarot Card Spreads And How They Are Used
The cards in the tarot deck divine an individual's past present or future using different 'spreads' or card formations to get an accurate reading about an individual. Some of the most common tarot spreads are detailed below to give you a better idea on how card spreads work for tarot divination.
Three Card Spread
Though most tarot enthusiasts learn this spread in the rudimentary level, this often under-appreciated spread is one of the most powerful tarot spreads even considering the advanced ones. While this spread can't provide detailed solutions and analysis like other spreads, it can be used for any kind of tarot reading to get a quick insight and solution.
As you might have guessed, there are only 3 cards used in this tarot sequence. Unlike the other spreads that I'll be discussing below, this spread is very open-ended, which means the questions the card represents can vary according to the situation or problem for which the reading is being done for.
One of the most basic and common tarot spreads in tarot divination the success spread is used when an individual is facing problems and difficulties. This spread allows the interpreter to get a better understanding of a particularly difficult situation and the possibilities of solving the situation in the most reasonable and effective manner.
5 cards are used in this spread with the first card representing the difficulty or problem at hand. The second card reveals the challenges and complications of the obstacle while the third one reveals the hidden factors in the situation that the individual is not aware of. The fifth card signifies the elements in the situation that can be used to solve the problem and the sixth card signifies the most effective approach to the problem.
The application of the guidance spread is somewhat similar to the success spread except that it's used for spiritual guidance rather than worldly guidance. This spread can give the best possible guidance if you're facing a personal crisis. The Guidance spread uses 8 cards unlike the 5 card setup of the Success Spread.
The first card signifies the nature of the spiritual issue faced by the individual. The second and third cards in the formation represents the factors that are motivating and demotivating you in context of the situation at hand. Similar to the success spread, the fourth and fifth card signifies the unknown factors of the situation and the elements that can be used to solve it. The sixth card represents the best possible solution for the problem while the seventh card signifies the best way to approach it. The eighth card signifies the best possible outcome provided you follow the readings of the first seven cards in the spread sequence.
A common and popular spread among hopeful and budding romantics, you can consider using the Love spread to gaining an insight into your future romantic endeavors. This tarot spread is mainly used for measuring compatibility among romantic partner on the spiritual, emotional and physical level. The Love spread has a six-card setup.
You and your partner are represented by the first and second cards of the spread sequence while the third card represents the strength of bonding between the two romantic partners. The fourth and fifth cards denote the strength and weaknesses of your relationship. The sixth card represents the issues in your relationship and what can be done to solve the problems in the relationship.
Career Path Spread
Career is one of the most common reasons a lot of people get tarot divination which makes this spread a general study for tarot enthusiasts. The Career Path spread makes it easier for you to understand where you're going wrong or whether you should opt for a change of profession if you find your career in a rut.
This fairly complex spread has a seven card setup. The first card indicates whether your current career path is the right one for you. The second card indicates the possibilities to enhance and boost your career. The third card is a representation of the factors in your career path that can no longer be changed. The fourth card indicates your current performance level while the fifth card signifies the changes you need to make in your career path to move ahead. The sixth card in the setup signifies whether any element from your past is affecting your current career. The seventh and final card represents the best possible outcome.
Celtic Cross Spread
One of the more complex tarot spread sequences practiced today, the Celtic Cross has been an all-time classic among tarot diviners for ages. The accuracy and success of a tarot reading depend highly on the amount of information that is divulged by the spread for a given situation. The Celtic Cross spread tip-toes on a thin line by giving enough information on the situation at hand with the right amount of details without overwhelming you. The arrangement of this spread also allows the information obtained to be interpreted and analyzed from different perspectives.
The first card is a representation of the problem at hand. The second card which lies opposite to the first card tells you what's holding you back from the current situation. The third card represents your attributes of which you are unaware of while the fourth card indicates your past. The fifth and sixth cards represent your present attributes and your future plans. The seventh card signifies your attitude and the eighth card represents what kind of your personal energy. The ninth and tenth cards represent the things that can be done to improve your current situation and the best possible outcome or solution to a situation.
Best Tarot Decks For Beginners and Collectors
Here’s a list of 10 of the best tarot deck set for novice enthusiasts and collectors to stay busy with in this fun hobby
The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
The most popular and standard tarot deck in the world. This tarot deck is the first one to fully redesign and optimize the tarot cards for divination purposes in 1909. This deck is the perfect one to begin with if you are new to the practice of tarot divination. Additionally most tarot card decks base their meanings on the Rider-Waite deck emphasizing that this deck is a great starting point.
The Rider-Waite Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck
A modern tarot deck designed by Kim Krans based on the Rider-Waite tarot deck principles, the wild unknown tarot deck comes with a 200 page guide for beginners to delve into the art of tarot more easily. The imagery on the tarot deck are nature themed, making the card illustrations compelling and unique.
The Wild Unknown Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
Angel Tarot Card Deck
Powerful imagery inspired and drawn based on human emotions, this 78 card tarot deck explores the human psyche utilizing fantasy elements. All classic Major and Minor Arcana interpretations are preserved without distorting the core theme.
The Angle Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
Santa Muerte Tarot Card Deck: Book of the Dead
A unique tarot deck based on the symbolism and imagery from the Mexican Book of the Dead, the Santa Muerte Tarot Deck: Book of the Dead is a collection of artistic masterpieces. The deck comes with additional tarot related booklets which come in 5 languages.
The Santa Muerte Tarot Card Deck is available on Amazon.
Dreams of Gaia Tarot Card Deck
A beautiful tarot card deck based on nature-themed imagery, this deck specializes in spiritual guidance divination. Powerful imagery paying tribute Gaia, the personification of Earth itself according to Greek mythology, this is a must have tarot set whether you're a seasoned tarot expert or a novice enthusiast.
The Dreams of Gaia Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
Mystic Mondays Tarot Card Deck
Designed with modern art aesthetics in mind, the Mystic Mondays Tarot in intricately designed tarot deck that makes for the perfect gift. The cards have holographic edges giving them a luxurious look.
The Mystic Mondays Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
Celtic Tarot Card Deck
If you're a seasoned tarot enthusiast then this is the perfect tarot deck to move your skills to the next level. Designed with powerful Celtic images and backgrounds, this set also comes with a 336 page colored book with detailed explanation of the cards in the deck.
The Celtic Tarot Card Deck is available on Amazon.
The Essential Tarot Card Deck Kit
If you're a history buff and tarot enthusiast, this snazzy tarot kit should scratch the itch for both hobbies. It comes with a complete handbook that details the meaning of all ancient symbols used in tarot decks.
The Essential Tarot Kit is currently available on Amazon.
The Linestrider Tarot Card Deck
Intricacy and detail are the first things that pops in mind when looking at these graceful and well-drawn tarot deck set by Siolo Thompson. The cards are a bit delicate so proper care is advised when storing them.
The Linestrider Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
Morgan Greer Tarot Card Deck
Another timeless classic based on the Rider-Waite deck principles, this tarot deck is popular due to its powerful yet simple illustrations and imagery that makes tarot divination easy and simple. The high quality of the cards and the unique use of deep saturated colors makes it much sought after by tarot enthusiasts.
The Morgan Greer Tarot Card Deck is currently available on Amazon.
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