One of my clients asked me the other day about working with the Tarot. She had taken a class once, but admitted that she felt overwhelmed with the deck she had been given to use and wondered if she should try another.
The answer is “yes.” Tarot is a very deep subject, but letting the imagery help you along is key, no matter what stage of development you’re at. There are literally thousands of different decks out there. One (or more) will really talk to you.
A friend of mine is a Tarot junkie, collecting hundreds of them over the years. She has an artistic eye and says the different images really trigger her intuition. And that’s the point. For a beginner, letting the pictures “speak” to you can help you enjoy the cards right off the bat.
I began with the Rider-Waite deck, and its still my favorite. This is sort of the gold standard of Tarot decks. It was first published back in 1909 and remains one of the most popular decks ever. This is the deck I teach on, because once you learn it, it makes learning others easier.
Another deck I like is the Robin Wood Tarot. Her imagery is very bold and really jumps out at me.
I was given the Celtic Spiral deck as a gift. Ick. This one really skeeves me out. The people in it look drunk to me. See what I mean by how the images can “speak” to you? This deck tells me to run, run far away. But other people might like it. Tarot is such a personal thing.
Once you get comfortable with a certain deck, you might want to sample the others out there. Believe me, there are decks for every possible interest: fairies, Camelot, Kabbalah, Native Americans, even cats (yes, I have that one). It’s interesting to see what new spin different images can put on a card’s meaning.
The bottom line is to let the pictures trigger your emotions and intuitive feelings. You’ll be surprised at what you can pick up, even if you’re still just learning the “official” meanings. Play with the cards. Don’t take it too seriously or try too hard. Like a wonderful picture book, just turn the pages and see what stories come out!