If you're going to get into Tarot you're going to be needing a deck, thus prompting the question of which to buy. With so many different decks and so many different people trying to push their own to make a buck a green witch is often lost in the forest. That being the case, as someone who has been reading tarot for around 10 years I would like to compile a few things to look for when making your decision. My hopes is that by showing you what look for in a tarot deck, you can avoid buying a deck that does not serve you.
Now, naturally i have to preface this by stating that if you have a deck that resonates with you or that you enjoy using by all means, I'm not hear to shit all over your favorite tarot. This guide is a simple easy to understand map to picking a tarot for a beginner. SO if you're new and cant decide on a deck to use there are a few things to consider. What kinds off images are on the cards, if the deck comes with a guide book, and what the cards are made of.
When looking at the images on the cards you have to remember that each card has a corresponding meaning zodiac, ruling planet etc. While looking at the cards if you can, make sure that they have images that help you to remember their meanings. Because of its popularity the Rider Waite deck is normally used as the stencil for most decks today save for a few. This means that many of the images will try to relay the same messages as those of its relative the Rider. On the one had this makes finding an accurate learning deck simple. For example,
Figure 1 Depicts The Labrinthos Golden Thread Tower. According to the guide book it represents upheaval, broken pride, disaster, and crumbling foundations.
Depicted in Figure two is its wait counterpart and we can see that the images are, for the most part very similar save for a few minor details. The Waite general description of the card points to an equally similar meaning This card represents darkness and the destruction in the physical rather than the spiritual. Knowing this having a card image that represents this clearly will help the New Diviner in their learning and memorization of meanings.
When speaking of the card meanings I made a brief mention of the guide book in the Golden Thread Tarot. Contrary to popular belief not every set of tarot cards comes with said guide books. On top of that, not all of the ones that do give accurate information. There are resources that help to subvert this issue both online and in your local library or bookseller. Some of those links can be found here. Furthermore, and I will continue to post this always have your own notebook / book of shadows / Book of tarot as each deck of cards may speak to you in a particular way. (more on this in out Interviewing your tarot thread)
Lastly, make sure that the cards you pick are made of a material that balances the price with how long you intend to keep them. Most cards are made from basic playing card stock. The stock is easy to use and often times finished with a gloss or matte. These will last you so long as you aren't playing them like Pokémon cards on the playground. I like using cards that are plastic based because they have a far longer life with the daily use that I make of them. There are those decks out there that are made from all sorts of material and finding one that suits your aesthetic will always work best