Learn to Read Tarot With These Beautiful Decks

How to decipher your deck’s rich imagery.

Person reading tarot cards
Surprise your friends with a custom reading they’re sure to appreciate.Miriyan

Tarot decks date back to the 1400s—but they weren’t used for their current predictive purposes until the 18th century. Today, you can find tarot motifs emblazoned on everything from purses to jewelry, and almost every cool millennial you know either owns a deck or has gotten their cards read. Below are our favorite decks for you to start performing your own readings.

MagicSeer Classic Design Tarot Cards Deck with Guidebook
Comes with a helpful manual for deciphering each pictograph.MagicSeer

One of the most popular tarot decks is the Rider-Waite deck. Pamela Colman Smith, a famed British writer, occultist and artist, first illustrated the 78 cards in 1910 under the instruction of the poet and occultist A.E. Waite.

MIRIYAN Classic Tarot Cards Deck with Original Pamela Colman Smith Artwork | This Premium Rider Waite Tarot Deck is a Long Lasting 78 Card Tarot Set for Beginners and Experienced Readers
The paper has a linen finish, which makes this stack easy to shuffle.Miriyan

In tarot, cards are separated into two categories: Major and Minor Arcana. Major Arcana cards represent life-altering experiences. This includes the High Priestess card, which represents an awakening of the subconscious, the Lovers card and yes, the Death card. However, the Death card doesn’t actually represent physical death—it’s a stand-in for cycles that must pass.

Da Brigh Original Tarot Cards Deck
An accompanying booklet reminds you of the meaning of each image.Da Brigh

Minor Arcana cards make up the majority of each deck, and are separated into four suits. The Wands cards are all about action and where to direct your energy; The Cups represent emotions and relationships; The Swords represent life obstacles and The Pentacles represent financial health and long-term goals.