How to Choose a Tarot Deck 101

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When you’re first getting into tarot and magic, of course the first thing you’ll think about is buying the right tarot deck. I personally don’t believe the old wives tale that someone has to give you your first deck, but your deck will often choose you, in whatever way it comes to you. Different decks definitely have different personalities and ways that they “talk” to you, so it’s important to choose a deck that’s your vibe, or speaks in a way that you like and understand.

Here are some things to think about when buying your first deck:

Visuals: Do you like the visuals? This is the #1 for me. You should like the way that your deck looks aesthetically, even the traditionally “not so great” cards. You obviously won’t like every card but the way it looks should connect with you and elicit an emotional reaction.

Simplicity versus Difficulty: Some decks are definitely harder than others, especially when they stray from the traditional symbolism of the Rider-Waite, which is what many books, online resources refer to. For your first deck, you may want to choose one whose symbolism more closely aligns with this one, and then subsequent decks can be a little more “non-traditional”

With that in mind, here are some of my personal favorite decks:


Cosmic Tarot

This is my go-to deck, which I first bought at an esoteric shop in Woodstock, but recently replaced with a version from Amazon. I love it for its bright colors and 80s modern dancer themes. It’s bright, positive, and straightforward without being harsh.

You can buy the deck here.




Aquarian Tarot

I’d been eying the Aquarian deck, but didn’t think I needed it because I’m so connected to the Cosmic Tarot. But recently a friend gave me a first edition that they bought in New Mexico, so it somehow found its way to me. I love the design here. I’ve found this deck to be a bit masculine, but also very straightforward in its message.

You can buy the deck here.



Spirit Speak deck

I have three decks from Spirit Speak - the Davina Tarot, the Spirit Speak deck, and the Vessel Oracle Deck. The decks are tiny and come in hard boxes, so I love traveling with them. These are simple decks that pack a lot of punch and meaning.

You can buy the decks here.




Serpentfire is a truly beautiful deck, pulling its symbolism from themes of deserts, Egypt and past lives and the way it reads reflect that. This was the deck I came back to whenI returned to reading tarot a few years ago. I don’t necessarily recommend it as your first deck as it has a very specific point of view and message, and doesn’t always pull imagery from traditional themes, but this deck really “takes you there”, and is great if you are focused on higher level thinking and journeying.

You can buy the deck here.


Lauren Cucinotta