One of the most common questions I get when people sit down at my table for a reading is, “How did you learn to read tarot?” The answer is BOOKS! Books and practice, my friends. I tell every client they too should grab a deck and some books and learn to read tarot. It’s such a great tool for self exploration, but where do you even start? I think this list will help. Here are some of my favorite tarot books and decks that are great gift ideas for someone you love this Yule.
1. Tarot for Beginners: A Holistic Guide to Using Tarot for Personal Growth & Self Development by Meg Hayertz
This is the first tarot book I ever purchased. I got it from the library first, and was tired of renewing it. I needed it permanently! Meg Hayertz gives a brief tarot history and discusses the significance of Pamela Coleman Smith, the artist behind the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The best part is that Meg Hayertz also discusses the symbolism in the cards too. The upright and reversed meanings of each card is given, there are simple spreads to try, and it’s in color!
This weighty tome is pretty comprehensive. I really enjoy reading it because it gives both the general upright and reversed meanings of every card, and includes what cards can mean in a love, career, or even health and well-being reading. Brigit includes journal questions to consider for each card which can really help when you’re starting out. I still turn to this book first when I get stuck while reading for myself.
This book is just fun to read. Bakara Wintner makes tarot accessible. She shares the energy of each card and tells personal stories that help the card meanings sink in. She uses phrases like, “the shitty cards”, and I swear a lot too. It’s refreshing in new age writing. Her book includes some spreads to try, and even has chapters on giving readings, dealing with skeptics, and enhancing your magic. Loved it!
Admittedly, I only own this as an audio book but it was well done! I have a toddler, so time to read is scarce. Time might be scarce for you too, so the audio book is a good place to start. It has the upright and reversed meanings of cards and dispels some tarot myths. It’s straightforward, there’s swearing, and was full of great information. Melissa Cynova is a Missouri native too! Haaay!
OMG I cannot sing the praises of this deck enough! It is styled like the Rider-Waite-Smith deck but is modern and inclusive. This deck is gorgeous AND the cards come with either gold gilded edges, or black holographic edges. I picked gold. BONUS! It also comes with it’s own book of card descriptions and meanings. LOVE IT! So pretty.
A fair amount of controversy surrounds this deck because of the title, but I think it only comes from people who didn’t bother to read anything about the deck’s creation. Alice Smeets, and the Atis Rezistans of Haiti, recreated each of the Rider-Waite-Smith images through photography. They used only found materials or things they could create within their community. The result is pretty incredible. I think it’s gorgeous and the accompanying booklet discusses the light and dark sides of every card. Note: The cards are HUGE to show off the photography, so shuffle carefully!
I don’t receive any money from any website for these recommendations. They are just my honest opinions. I hope this list gives you a solid place to start your own tarot journey. Get a deck, get some books, and get started! Happy Yule!