Tarot, much like Astrology & crystals, is a super personal thing to dive into. It is def a time to look inward and think solely about yourself and your goals. For that reason- your deck (or decks if you keep finding ones you like) need to fit your vibe & aesthetic. Really everything you fuck with regarding this journey needs to be 100% you, as it is your journey.
There is a superstition that your first deck must be a gift…if that is your thing- then go for it. If not- then start the search.
Tarot vs. Oracle Deck: The traditional tarot deck is 78 cards- 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. While these 78 cards have slight variations on interpretations, the structure remains the same. Oracle decks are free. They can be from a wide range of content and are often used in conjunction with a tarot deck.
Resources: This part is almost more overwhelming than picking a deck. There are so many books & websites devoted to Tarot. Personally, I started with WTF is Tarot by Bakara Wintner. Her humor and easy descriptions (and swearing) made it less intimidating and super relatable. The Tarot by Paul Foster Case is a classic, but extremely helpful. Biddy Tarot has a great website, The Hoodwitch, and Labyrinthos has both a website and app that are full of info.
Actually Picking a Deck: This is actually easier than it sounds. Literally just start pouring over metaphysical stores websites (hello COVID) and click through the images until one speaks to you. Wayhome Tarot from Everyday Magic was my first deck and when I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I bought it. My second deck, Etheral Visions was purchased on my birthday trip to NOLA and I knew I needed it the second I saw the Empress Card that the store had out. It is totally an intuitive process and absolutely acceptable to have multiple decks. Use the same process to pick out oracle decks, if those sound like your thing!
Getting to Know your Deck: Sounds weird- but building a relationship with your deck is important. Sit and flip through the cards to get used to the imagery. There are a TON of “meeting your deck” spreads online. Do a couple and see what it has to say. The more you read from your deck, the better it gets. If you have more than one deck- they might have different purposes. I use Wayhome primarily for myself and Etheral Visions tends to be a bit more brutal, so I only pull that out when I am either reading for the collective or when I am emotionally prepared for a dragging. I almost always use the Postcards from the Liminal Space oracle deck to clarify.
Caring for your Deck: Decks need to be cleansed. You can either use sage, palo santo, or crystals for this (or all of the above, if you’re feeling frisky). A very good shuffle does the trick. Feeling extra- do a fun 78 card pickup on the ground to *really* shuffle those suckers. I often leave crystals on top of my decks while they aren’t in use and always sage them before a big reading.
Learning the Cards: After you got all your supplies, it can be daunting to look at these 78 images and expect to immediately know them all. Many of the images are intuitive and you can figure out the meaning by looking at them. Don’t stress. When you are starting out and reading for yourself, it is totally fine to flip through one of your books or websites to read what the card means then relate it to yourself, your question, or your situation. In my opinion, learning by doing is the way to go. Keeping a journal of what cards you pulled, in what place, and what was going on in your life is also KEY to learning the cards and patterns in your life. Even if it is simply pulling one card in the morning, writing it in your planner, then reflecting later that night about that card and the relationship it had to your day.
I have several tarot journal pages on my Etsy (ApricityAlchemy) that I use *everyday*
Start tarot-ing and doing the damn thing 🙂