That’s an excellent question, and there’s no better time to learn about reading tarot than when you’re socially distancing in a pandemic. It can be overwhelming dipping your toe into the tarot pool. What’s the best starter deck? Do I need to be given a deck for it to work? What books should I buy? How did Allison Sasso, my favorite tarot reader in Kansas City, get started? Read on, my young apprentice.
What’s the best starter deck?
The best deck to start with if you’re a tarot noob is the Rider Waite Smith deck from 1909. This is the tarot deck you see in TV and movies, and it’s the deck that is usually depicted in beginner tarot books. While it isn’t the first tarot deck that ever existed, it is the most prolific. Once you learn the traditional card meanings and symbolism, you’ll be able to branch out to gorgeous indie decks with confidence.
Do I need to be given a tarot deck for it to work?
No. That’s a tarot myth that somehow still persists. You can go buy a deck right now because you are a badass. If we all sat around waiting for some mystical invitation, we’d never learn anything. If you’re called to learn about reading tarot, just go for it! Get a deck, get some books, watch some videos and tutorials, and practice daily. You can do it!
What books should I buy?
Most decks come with an instruction manual called the “little white book” and that’s an okay place to start, but here’s a list of some of my favorite tarot books for beginners:
- Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea
- WTF is Tarot and How do I do it? by Bakara Wintner
- Tarot for Beginners by Meg Hayertz
- Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova
- The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings by Brigit Esselmont
- Tarot No Questions Asked: Mastering the Art of Intuitive Reading by Theresa Reed
Once you start with these suggestions, you can branch out into books by Mary K. Greer, or Benebell Wen and then you can get really deep with psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung.
How did Allison Sasso get started? (She’s my favorite)
Aww, shucks. I got started by getting a deck and a few books, and I read my butt off. Seriously, it fell asleep a few times. I would also draw a daily card to focus on, and sometimes I’d just use my deck like flash cards. As I got better, I bugged my friends and family to let me practice on them too. A common suggestion is to keep a tarot journal. Go online. There are tarot podcasts, YouTube videos, and tons of resources out there just waiting for you.
Learning tarot is a topic I want to expand upon in future posts. I’m starting to have family members ask me to teach them, and being a teacher in a past life, I’m into that. One thing I must say is that you never stop learning- I learn something new every day. Let me know if you have any burning tarot questions in the comments.