• Erin

How to Choose a Tarot Deck

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

When it comes to choosing a tarot deck, there are a ton of myths. Let’s explore and debunk some of them!

Before we get too deep into today’s topic, I am excited to share a couple of upcoming events and opportunities to become more involved in the Tarotology community. This coming Friday, August 21st at 7pm EDT, we will kick off our Fall 2020 free online series on Jung, Astrology and Tarotology. To register, please click here.

Then on Sunday, August 23rd, I will be a guest on The Dawdling Writer’s YouTube channel. We will be holding space to engage in creative writing as well as answering your questions about tarot cards and using tarot for writing. Please check out The Dawdling Writer’s blog here and join us on YouTube from 2-5pm EDT for the live stream.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled conversation, already in progress!

So, one of the first myths I ever heard when it comes to tarot decks, even before I had my own deck, is that you should never buy your first deck. Variations include that you can only be gifted your first deck all the way to you must steal your first deck.

Wait, what? First, I absolutely do not condone stealing. Second, why would I want to introduce such negative energy into my deck?

As for the gifting of tarot decks, this myth has its origins in the Romani tradition. The notion is that purchasing your first deck is somehow inauspicious and if you are talented enough, your skills will be recognized by another family or community member and you would be given a deck.

I do agree that if someone gives you a tarot deck out of the blue; this could be a sign that you may have talents in that area and should explore the tarot. However, it is absolutely fine to purchase your own deck. In fact, you should purchase a deck (or multiple – more on that later) that resonates with you! Ideally you want to look for images, patterns, color schemes or designs that excite, intrigue, appeal or are easy for you to relate to; these are indicates that the cards will more easily activate your intuition.

Another myth is that you should never use someone else’s tarot deck.

Similarly, I agree that you shouldn’t touch someone’s cards without their permission first. Readers have their own levels of comfort and beliefs related to the energies that they want their cards attuned to, and therefore it is polite to always ask prior to touching another reader’s deck.

However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a deck that someone gives to you – provided that you are comfortable with the deck, as well. If you don’t mesh with the vibe of a particular deck or find that you the imagery does nothing for you, then absolutely get your own deck whose imagery and energy does help you more easily connect to the unconscious. And if you do have a deck that doesn't work for you, it may just be meant for someone else. So don't feel guilty "repurposing" or passing it on.

I buy most of my decks. For me, it's about the connection with the images, the timing or need for a particular deck, or just the story behind the acquisition. For instance, I happened upon the deck that I now use for my personal readings by chance while traveling in Prague. I always carry a deck with me, so I was kicking myself when I found myself on a whirlwind trip to the Czech Republic (with less than 24 hours notice) without a deck! Lo and behold, I walk into the Hrad during my first spare moment of zen and there it is staring at me from the gift shop window: a tarot deck.

Various tarot, oracle and Lenormand decks.

In short, don't worry about the myths. If you find a tarot deck (or Oracle or Lenormand deck!) that speaks to you, then go for it! Embrace the synchronicity, not the means of acquiring a deck. Sometimes we choose the deck, sometimes the deck chooses us. Often, it's both simultaneously.

In later posts, I’ll explore topics such as how to connect with a new deck or why serious students of tarot should have multiple decks. Until then, please subscribe to the website to receive updates and exclusives on new content.

In peace & love,


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