You’ve decided to explore the world of tarot. Perhaps you’ve read some books or had some readings done and are intrigued. Perhaps you’ve been studying the occult or fortune telling and are just now turning your attention to The Royal Road. Or maybe, just maybe, you are simply curious. You stop by a local store carrying tarot decks or perhaps check out what’s available at one of the on line stores. You are surprised, perhaps, to find that there are a plethora of decks, both in print and out of print, on the market. This leads to the natural question: Which one do I choose?
The easiest and obvious answer is the Ryder-Waite deck. It’s easily the most common deck with many reference books available as well. Everyone involved in tarot is familiar with this deck, making conversation with other seekers easy. While it would be reasonable, especially when starting out, to select the Ryder-Waite deck, it may not be the right deck for you.
It is important to realize that your deck will be an item of personal power. It will be infused across time and use with your vibrations and energy. That will also tie you in time to the deck. You will be, in a sense, one, at least as far as tarot goes.
If possible visit a specialty store in the occult or Wicca that carries a variety of decks. Perhaps they have some already opened. If so ask to view them. Before looking through the deck hold it in your hand face down. Let your energy, your chi if you will, flow through your arm to your hand. Does the deck feel comfortable? Right? Look through the deck. Does the imagery touch something deep inside the psyche? Not just look attractive but actually speak to something in you? If so, you have found your deck.
If the store has no open decks look over the cover imagery of the sealed ones. Do any touch that psychic spark inside you? If so, hold the sealed deck and again let your chi flow to it. Does it feel right, even through the packaging? Again, you may have found your deck.
If nothing interacts with you might try visiting an online source of decks. One of these is isisbooks.com, with whom I have no relationship. They offer a wide assortment of decks and card previews with each deck. Perhaps one will resonate with you. If so, try it.
If nothing seems right to you and you wish to pursue tarot by all means use the Ryder-Waite deck. If it comes to be right for you that is good. I, myself, have used the same Ryder deck for two decades and would not use another. But you, starting out, should be prepared to change if the right deck comes along.
As you use your deck you and it will become attuned. You should only do readings with the one deck. Diffusing your power between decks will only hurt your development both as a seeker and a reader. Others, save for shuffling, should not use your deck. Should you teach tarot at some point acquire a new deck for this purpose.
Lastly many decks available are things of beauty, infused with the love of the artist. It is perfectly acceptable to buy such decks, to build a collection. But remember, these are, for you, works of art. I would recommend they be kept in a photo album, one card to a page. This way you can enjoy your art deck without diffusing your power.