There’s an old tradition that a tarot deck must be given to you by someone else. That’s all very nice and romantic, but if I had to wait around for that to happen I never would’ve gotten any. I’m sure there are many of us who don’t even have anyone else in our lives who’s interested in tarot (or who even perhaps approves of it). So how do you get started?
For me, I picked up a set at a bookstore when I was a teenager. This was *cough cough* quite some time ago, and there were very few options for obtaining a tarot deck, so I took what I could get. I played around with it once or twice before it ended up in a box, untouched for the next twenty years.
It just didn’t resonate with me. I looked at all this information, and I was completely overwhelmed. As much as I was interested in exploring the spiritual world (after all, I was a teenage girl), I thought this wasn’t for me.
The number of tarot and oracle decks currently on my shelf say otherwise.
So, how can you find a deck that’s right for you?
- Follow Your Intuition: Lucky you, since this is something you’ll need to work on when you start your tarot practice, anyway! When you’re looking through various available decks, either in a store on online, pay attention to which one calls to you. It may have a good energy when you pick up the box, or you may find your eyes lingering on one more than the others. Pay attention to that. It means something. I often get a tingling in my palms when a deck really does something for me. This is the case with the Shadowscapes deck for me.
- Check Out Reviews: Okay, this isn’t any different than when you’re buying anything else! In today’s age of buying everything online, we usually have the chance to look up a deck we’re interested in. We can see what other people have to say about it, such as the quality of the images or the cardstock, or if they had trouble with understanding the guidebook. You can also get a sneak peek of some of the cards, which is helpful for my next suggestion.
- Look for Artwork that Resonates with You: Should the artwork be important? Does it have anything to do with the message you’re getting from spirit? I think so! That very first deck I bought as a teenager had horrible artwork that meant nothing to me. Some of the decks that I own now hardly require a glance at the guidebook, and it’s due to the way the artwork speaks to me. I feel it shows me the message easily, and that makes the deck a joy to work with. For me, The Sacred Traveler oracle deck is like this.
- Tarot or Oracle?: Tarot cards can be a little bit intimidating, what with the meanings of all the different suits and numbers and the major arcana. Just like any other endeavor, tarot is worthy of spending your time and studying. You won’t get proficient until you put some time into it. However, if you’re really worried that you won’t get it, try an oracle deck. Many of these are a little more direct, and some of them even have their meanings printed out right on the card. The Dragon Oracle deck is pretty good for this.
- Give Yourself Some Time: If you buy a deck and it doesn’t resonate with you right away, give it a little bit of time. Don’t be like me twenty years ago and just put it in a drawer because it seems intimidating. Sometimes, the more we get to know a deck, the better it will work for us. It can just take a little bit of time and study to make that happen.
While I can’t sit here and tell you exactly what deck is right for you, I wish you luck on your journey to either finding your first deck or expanding your collection. Let me know how it goes!
Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective. Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous. Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world. You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.
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