With self-care and rituals taking up space on social media, Tarot cards are seemingly everywhere we scroll. These colorfully illustrated cards might be considered part of New Age practices, but there’s nothing new about them — as their origin can be traced back to the 1400s. Today, Tarot has become a staple for many looking for a way to make sense of the world, their path, and to inspire self-care, creativity, and reflection. And, now more than ever, people are consulting the cards.
If you’re new to Tarot and looking for ways to incorporate this practice into your self-care regimen, you’ll first want to start with a deck. Up ahead, find out more on how to get started with Tarot, plus our favorite Tarot decks for beginners.
What Is Tarot?
If you’re new to Tarot, you might be wondering what it is and what it is used for — aside from being a pretty deck of illustrated cards. “Tarot is a beautiful tool to help you tap into your intuition and honor your inner storyteller,” says Lyndsey Marie Brown, a Sacred Self Coach and intuitive Tarot reader. “The Tarot deck is made up of 78 cards, each with their own imagery, mood, symbolism, and personality,” she adds, noting how the cards are meant to be read together since they can “tell a larger story about the spiritual cycles of life.”
Brown likens Tarot cards to paintings in a museum. “You can’t help but be moved by [them],” she says. Much like pieces of art, the 78 cards in a Tarot deck are meant to inspire “creativity and play” but, above all else, they are a great tool to help us “turn our gaze within” and “can promote self-reflection, self-compassion, and deeper self-awareness.”
Tarot for Beginners
The beauty of the Tarot is that you don’t need any formal training to get started. Sure, if you want to become a professional Tarot reader, some training and research will help get you there, but if you wish to use them as a tool for personal self-reflection, all it takes is a deck that speaks to you. From there, you can start to get more familiar with the world of Tarot.
“If you want to explore the world of Tarot, start by purchasing a deck that you really connect with,” says Brown. “Pick one by paying attention to the imagery, the colors, the messaging, and the overall energy of the cards,” she adds, noting that you’ll have a gut feeling about the one you really like. “Once you own a deck that you love, start practicing,” says Brown. “I teach my beginner students to pull one card every day and journal what they notice about it,” she adds. “Before long, you’ll become familiar with the entire deck!”
Tarot Journal Prompts
As Brown mentioned, one great way to get started with Tarot is to journal about the cards you pull. “You can do this by shuffling the deck as you focus on how you’re feeling in your body,” says Brown. “Whenever you feel ready, choose a card. Study this card and really notice everything about it,” she adds.
Once you have your card and are studying it, Brown says to write down answers to the following questions in your journal:
- What does it look like?
- What imagery is present?
- Does it make you feel any particular way?
- What does it remind you of if anything?
Tarot Decks for Beginners
The best Tarot card deck is the one that speaks to you. Here are our top picks for beginner-friendly Tarot decks.
This Tarot deck is great for beginners as it is not only a staple in many readers’ eyes but is also considered a guide for other Tarot decks. The Rider Tarot Deck — also referred to as The Rider Waite Deck — was originally created with original illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909 and is great for anyone looking to explore Tarot in its most straight-forward form.
If you’re feeling called to Tarot to help with self-development, The Good Karma Tarot is a great deck to start with as it was created with personal guidance and beginners in mind. In addition to 78 beautifully illustrated cards, the deck also comes with a 128-page book with explanations of each card and information on how to spread them out.
This Tarot deck is a favorite amongst new and seasoned Tarot readers alike. The Modern Witch Tarot is inspired by 21st-century witchcraft and features diverse illustrations for a Tarot experience that empowers readers to go within and discover the next steps to take on their path.
Tarot but make it mini! This miniature Tarot deck is a great way to incorporate Tarot into your daily routine with its pint-sized cards. Created for actionable self-help, this deck is a great way to get familiar with the cards, their meanings, and how to use them.
Tarot Books for Beginners
In addition to choosing a deck, selecting a book about Tarot can also be a great way to learn the ways of the deck and inspire a regular practice. Here are some Tarot books that review the meaning of the cards, their imagery, and more.
By: Michelle Tea
Think of this book as a Tarot dictionary. It features sections dedicated to each Tarot card, plus rituals to practice with the cards to further invite the practice of Tarot into your daily life. We love this book because it can also be used as a reference book when pulling cards and learning about their meanings.
By: Jessica Dore
If you want to learn more about Tarot for self-care, this is a great book to start with. Rooted in mindfulness, acceptance, compassion, and growth, this book uses the foundation of Tarot with a therapeutic twist to teach readers how to invite self-care into their practice.
By: Jessa Crispin
Tarot is largely used for divination and as a modality of self-care, but it can also offer great guidance and insight for creativity. If you’re inspired to try Tarot for creativity, this guidebook teaches readers how to use the decks and traditions of Tarot to spark inspiration and ignite creativity.
By: Lisa Sterle
If you want to welcome the practice of Tarot into your life with journaling, a Tarot journal is a great way to establish a routine. Inspired by The Modern Witch Tarot Deck, this Modern Witch Tarot Journal provides guidance on reading and understanding the cards, organizing your own research, and creating your own spreads.
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