Choosing a Tarot deck


A quick 'Google will reveal a huge range of different Tarot decks, ranging from the old 'Classic' deck, the later popular 'Rider Waite' cards, to all sorts of modern variations.

Many of our performances are for medieval banquets, so my cards (like my magic illusions) are chosen to be suitable for these events as well as ones with no set theme.

So my personal choice is the 'Medieval Scapini' deck. The cards are richly decorated and the pictures very detailed - even on the numbered, minor arcana cards (more about this later).

Scapini Tarot 3 of Swords

Scapini Tarot 3 - The Sun

Scapini Tarot 4 of Wands

There are some decks I avoid because they start with a built-in bias. This seems to me to be rather like cooking a meal with only sugar, but no herbs, spices or salt (or visa-versa), or composing music whilst denying yourself use of the minor keys. Yin without Yang.

However, you may find that such a deck particularly appeals to your target audience. There is, for example, a fully neutered 'Goddess' deck which is 'an essential tool of empowerment and transformation for women everywhere. If you follow the view that Tarot can be a tool to help inner discovery, then there may be Questors who need a deck specifically designed to meet 'women's contemporary needs.'

Some modern Tarot decks seem to be a good idea when they start, but the comparisons to the original meanings unravel a bit as they go on away from the obvious matches.

There can be other complications as well. I did once consider getting a pack of Harry Potter artwork cards to give specific readings based on that theme (the designs are truly stunning). Here are a some examples,

Harry Potter Tarot card

Harry Potter Tarot card

Harry Potter Tarot card

To see them in their full glory, go to Ellygator's gallery at Deviant Art.
It could have been fun (and very popular), but I chickened out in the end.

There was way too much chance of getting a smacked botty from the heavies at Warner Brothers if they saw any kind of advertising based along the lines of 'Harry Potter and the Tarot Readings'!

If you are not sure, I'd suggest you go with the 'Tarot Classic Deck' for now, or else at least finish reading through this site before deciding - some decks are easier to learn than others.

Once you have chosen your cards, are any special preparations needed before you start? Some readers think so, click on the link if you would like to know more about how to prepare Tarot cards.

Are you concerned how you will store the cards? This is obviously a matter of personal choice, as well as the subject of some debate.

Click on the link to find out more about storing Tarot cards.

Want to find out what you do with your cards once you have them?

Click here for Tarot card layouts.