I’ve got quite a collection of tarot decks, and it occurred to me the other day that I was teetering toward ten, and it might be fun to do a TTT post about it. This is, admittedly, only eight decks, and one of them I don’t own yet, but I’ve spent so much time with these, all for different reasons, and I thought it might be fun to talk about the what & why!

Forever and a day ago, I wrote about what tarot is, but I would actually have to scroll back for ages to find it, and it’s not showing up when I search my published posts, sooooo here’s the thing I tell people I’m reading tarot for: it canNOT tell the future! The answers that you’ll find in tarot are ones that you already have, but that you’re having trouble confronting, so the cards are a vehicle toward those answers. Is it eerie when they speak to exactly what you’re feeling at that moment? Heck yes! But they’re also not actually magical. They’re just paper cards, and your future is 100% still in your hands.

I’m also going to talk a little bit about whether the decks featured below are a good idea for beginner’s, so if you’re interested in learning more, read on!

I was going to say that these are in no particular order, but I definitely put my two favorite first, so they probably are. The Divine Feminine deck by Cocorinna is my most recent acquisition, and I got it as a reward for finishing edits on the second sister witches, which was an exhausting experience, and I really needed a little pick-me-up after. I’ve been eyeing this deck for so long, though, and it’s just wow. The gold accents alone make this deck truly incredible to witness, but the imagery on them, too? I also really appreciate that Cocorinna includes the artwork of the entire deck on their website so that you can get a good look before purchasing. One of the first things I do in a new deck is look at how they’ve depicted Death and to find my querent card, and those two things are usually a pretty good indicator if I’m going to get the deck or not. I am still stunned by this deck every time I look at it, though, and I’m so glad that I get to practice with it.

Good for beginners? This one definitely has some very specific imagery that’s easy to read, and I think it’d make a nice deck for people just starting out. It’s not too vague or weird to interpret, and the booklet that comes with it has excellent explanations of the cards.

Lol @ me above saying I got a deck to reward something for sister witches because same? I got The Lovely Omens by Keeley Elle after I finished writing the third sister witches, and though I always knew I was going to buy this deck, I wanted to commemorate the series that felt most attuned to this deck’s imagery by celebrating with finally getting my hands on it. Keeley also includes the artwork for all the cards on their website, which is just so handy! Especially because then you get to see how truly glorious this deck is because oh my goddess. This is the most fun deck I’ve ever had, and I adore reading with it. It’s perfect for the chaotic energy and ridiculous nature of sister witches, so if you want a deck that’ll make you laugh a little, this one is so worth it. And yes, it is one of my favorites ever.

Good for beginners? Yes, 100%. The imagery is so clear on this deck–I mean, The Fool is literally weeping over her phone, how much clearer can you get than that?

Well, this wouldn’t be a bookish blog if we didn’t talk about the only(?) bookish tarot deck out there. Before the two decks above came into my life, The Raven’s Prophecy by Maggie Stiefvater was definitely my favorite, and it still sits very high in my heart. The three of these are all used for wildly different things, so while The Lovely Omens is firmly a deck for sister witches and Divine Feminine is mostly used for myself, The Raven’s Prophecy has long been the deck I associated with Mason. Which, hey! Perfect transition to talk about what I normally use decks for. I like to read for my characters, and it even sometimes helps me figure out the plot, or really to just understand where my characters are at before I dive into their story. It’s a fun way to work on outlining and character development, and I usually use a specific deck for a specific novel, so this one has always reminded me of my fire elemental faery. It’s a gorgeous deck, and I’d love to get the artwork of my querent card tattooed on me someday.

Good for beginners? Not really, which is sad because I think a lot of bookish people will be drawn to it, but the imagery in this deck is fairly hard to discern. It leaves a lot up to the imagination, and while it’s direct once you’ve figured it out, it’s vague when you’re just starting out. I’d recommend getting the feel of another deck and understanding tarot better before trying to read with this one. (I also call this my asshole deck since it’s got a no fucks given vibe about how it delivers answers, haha.)

In a completely different direction, The Scorpio Sea by Maggie Stiefvater is super easy to read, it’s got a light and bright feel to it where The Raven’s Prophecy is very dark and fitting of its series, and it makes me smile all the time. Plus, Maggie ran through the entire deck on her Instagram, so if you’re curious about a deep dive of what each card looks like and represents, there’s a whole wealth of conversation about this deck! I haven’t really assigned this deck to a book yet, though I have used it for my vampire one, which should be weird, but it works very well because it’s so hopeful and sweet.

Good for beginners? Very much so! There’s nothing distracting in the background of the cards, the images are very straightforward, and the hopeful vibe of it makes it very uplifting to read.

In contradiction with the deck below, Linestrider by Siolo Thompson is probably the hardest to read on this post, but it may, possibly, be the most beautiful, too. The water color artwork on these cards is simply breathtaking, and while the imagery is kind of vague and very different from a lot of decks, I always get distracted just looking at them while I’m reading. The plain background is a little deceptive since it feels like these should be easy to read with so little going on, but the images themselves are complex and finely detailed, and it’s the little things that matter in this deck. Still, it’s stunning to look at, and once you’re settled, this would be a really fun deck to play with.

Good for beginners? Not in the slightest. It’s like the exact opposite of the Rider-Waite deck, which practically holds your hand as it guides you toward the meaning of the card. This one is sometimes trying to blindfold you, and it takes a practiced hand to figure it out.

The Wild Unknown by Kim Krans is probably one of the most well-known decks, and for good reason. The imagery on it is absolutely gorgeous, and the only reason that it’s not higher on this list is because it’s also very straightforward. I think, of all the decks on here, this one is the easiest to read, and it’s very marketable. My tastes have changed over time and led me away from this deck, but it’s still a handy one to have when you’re just starting out, and the imagery is captivating in a way that keeps pulling people in.

Good for beginners? Absolutely, it’s a favorite among many people because it’s so easy to read!

White Sage by Theresa Hutch is probably the cutest deck on this list, both because of how small it is and because of the soft, adorable imagery. This is a pocket deck, so it comes in a little tin, and the cards are about the size of the palm of an average hand. There’s a really sweet chakra theme that ties all the cards together, so you’ll always be able to tell what the message is based, in part, by the colors that are featured on the cards. The rest of the imagery is mostly animals and seashells and just the cutest ever, and it’s honestly pretty simple, which could mean it’s great for beginners or really hard to read, it’s difficult to tell. I think it makes for a nice first deck because there’s not a lot going on, but it is vague in a way that doesn’t point you directly to the meaning because there’s not a lot going on.

Good for beginners? In my opinion, yes! It’s simple, cute, and easy to read. The booklet might need a magnifying glass, but since all of it is so lowkey and small, that means it ends up only being around $25, which is a steal for tarot decks.

And here we have the deck that I still don’t have–Lost Hollow by PixelOccult. Since decks are expensive and I have a lot, I like to use them as a reward for writing-related things, so I’m dangling this one over my head as motivation to get writing, damn it! This one is definitely more along the lines of my normal aesthetic toward tarot artwork these days, and I cannot wait to finally get my hands on this dangerous-looking deck of black and red. Ugh, it just looks so Gothic and so wonderful!

Good for beginners? Hard to say! Since I haven’t practiced with this one myself, I’m not sure. I also haven’t looked extensively at the artwork yet past a few cards, so proceed with your own caution!

Posted by:Mary Drover

she/her | yoga teacher | Tibetan Buddhism | part-time witch | full-time author | astronaut in a previous life

3 replies on “TTT: Tarot Decks

  1. Omg Mary I love this! I collect Tarot decks too, and The Raven’s Prophecy is one of my favorite. Since I’ve been rereading The Raven Boys I’ve been using it a lot as of late lol 😀 I agree though it is not for beginners. The illustrations are gorgeous but the meanings are hidden and not right in front of your face. I just got a new deck too, called the Rebel Deck. It is LITERAL and calls me out on my shit allllllll the time, very direct and very good for beginners! I love it because ever card is just, legit, sass and if I don’t thrive on sass I thrive on NOTHING 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, that sounds like an amazing deck! That’s always been how Raven’s Prophecy for me is. Whenever I teach tarot 101 classes, I use it as the demo, but never let people handle it because it’s so rude. Sometimes that’s what you need, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never had a tarot deck and have only really encountered them when I travel and other people have one that we try out. Lately I have been thinking it’s a neat tool and there’s such a diversity of artwork to appreciate. I may have to pick up a deck for myself sometime. I’m going to take a closer look at The Wild Unknown and White Sage. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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