If you’re looking for a cool new tarot deck, or perhaps trying to choose your first, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the options! With that in mind, I wanted to pull together some of the most beautiful tarot decks to help you find yours.
Personally, I think the best tarot decks for beginners are the ones that have 78 cards (22 Major Arcana and 52 Minor Aracana). There are other decks that have fewer cards, but if you’re a beginner witch or just starting out with divination, I recommend starting with a full deck. I’m a fan of first learning the basics, then breaking the rules.
As you’re looking for one you connect with, you’ll notice many pretty tarot decks are based on the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck from 1909, partially because it’s so well known, and the designs are easy to interpret, but it’s not the only way to go as you’ll see!
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The 12 Most Beautiful Tarot Decks I’ve Found
In the 1970s, surrealistic painter Salvardor Dalí created his own beautiful deck of tarot cards. And went so far as to paint himself as the Magician. The set was first printed in 1984 and, as one might expect, sold out rather quickly. Taschen republished the book and cards in 2019, along with the book that reveals the meanings of each card as well as the source for each image. They’re available here.
This striking deck’s black matte cards are stamped with gold foil, which reflect in lovely ways as you’re working with it. The illustrations on the modern Golden Thread Tarot Deck are based on the Rider-Waite ones, and fans of this dark deck say it’s easy to shuffle, durable, and it’s produced by Labyrinthos who have a pretty cool Tarot app.
Continuing with the Labyrinthos theme is the Arcana Iris Sacra Tarot Deck (which they say means “Mysteries of the Sacred Rainbow” in Latin). The card names in the deck correspond to those in the Book of Thoth deck.
Tina Gong illustrated this beautiful tarot deck inspired by vintage illustrations, astrology, and perhaps a bit of Roman mythology. She added four colors to provide an extra layer of meaning.
Zach Wong illustrated the Revelations Tarot Deck so that every card looks like a stained glass masterpiece. The powerful elements of nature are prevalent throughout, and any sea witch will adore his interpretation of the Queen of Cups. On top of all this, Wong has taken care to illustrate the cards so that the reversals are thoughtfully drawn as well.
The Delta Enduring Tarot isn’t just another variation on the Rider-Waite. The illustrations for this Kickstarter-funded deck pay homage to life on Mississippi Delta. Cups and Egan, the illustrator, has also added a few extra cards, such as Termite Swamp and Mardis Gras. In the deck, cups are represented by oysters, pentacles by cast iron skillets, wands by live oaks, and swords by moths. If you want a copy, try contacting them through the site.
The Book of Thoth Deck was created by Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Frieda Harris between 1938 and 1943, though it wasn’t printed until 1969. If you want to go deep on a deck that’s not Rider-Waite, this is the other major branch. Eight of the Major Arcana have different names and each card in the Minor Arcana has a secondary name. For instance, the 10 of swords is also known as “ruin”. It’s the first one I learned on, and therefore, holds a special place in my heart. Also, it’s just really pretty.
The Wildwood Tarot deck, illustrated by Will Worthington, drawn on pre-Celtic mythology and features pagan gods such as the Green Man, as well as the Archer, Shaman, Stag, and other archetypes. Many have different names than those in either the Rider-Waite or Thoth deck. It’s not necessarily best for beginners, but you should be fine if you use the book. In this tarot deck, bows replace wands, stones replace pentacles, arrows replace swords, and vessels replace cups. It pairs nicely with the Druid Animal Oracle deck.
The Wild Unknown tarot is another animal-focused deck. Unlike other color-saturated decks, Kim Krans designed this stark deck in a minimalist style, using pops of color for emphasis. Though some aspect of nature is the focus of each card, it’s not an inviting deck. However, it does have a mystical feel to it which might speak to you.
Each card in the Starchild Akashic deck features psychedelic images in pretty iridescent tones and shades of blue, purple, green, and pink. It’s one of the most eye-catching borderless decks out there. Even if you don’t read with it, it’s a nice one to have out to enjoy gazing at. It’s not necessarily a beginner divination deck as the imagery and names of the cards don’t match the common ones.
The Oddity deck is a little different than all the other decks I’ve included on this list as it’s the only one that’s Major Arcana only. The classic tattoo-inspired deck by Richard Howdy is emblazoned with illustrations reminiscent of flash tattoos and carnivals of yesteryear.
There is something simply haunting about Jeremy Hush’s tarot deck. Most of the Arthur Rackham-like illustrations have a sinister undertone or display creatures in a state of decay. If you read with these, you’ll no doubt find your mind wandering in these enchanted forests. Perhaps not the best one for divining late at night.
How could I leave off a deck that’s named after the spring holiday Ostara? This natured-themed beautiful tarot deck features illustrations from four different artists: Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard, and Julia Iredale. Each artist brings their own unique style to the cards. Some feel like graceful watercolors and others are simply adorable.