Beyond Rider-Waite: Are Tarot Cards Right for You?


Back at the dawn of human civilization, my dad bought 10-year-old me a pack of tarot cards. Why he thought a 10-year-old child would want tarot cards, I do not know. (Perhaps he had precognition?) Anyway, I remember opening the deck, looking at the cards, turning my nose up at the artwork, reading the tiny enclosed pamphlet, and never touching the deck again.

Almost 20 years later, I purchased a pack of Medicine Woman cards and began to give myself readings. Then I purchased a deck of animal-based Medicine Cards and started working with them. It wasn’t until I purchased the Enchanted Tarot deck that things began to click, and I really discovered my love and talent for reading cards.

As you begin to read, you may discover that the deck you’ve chosen is not exactly the best fit for you.  As you gain experience, you might outgrow your deck or find that it no longer resonates with you. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

Finding the Right Fit

It may seem odd, but the connection between a reader and their cards is very much a symbiotic relationship. And like any relationship, some work better than others. Some pairs click, some pairs don’t, and some grow apart at the end of an otherwise good relationship.

As you grow more comfortable as a reader, you’ll find that some decks work better for certain situations than for others. You may have one deck for relationship questions, one that’s more attuned to long-term questions, etc. With practice, you learn to trust your instincts on which deck is the right one to use.

To Date or To Marry

A lot of people tend to collect multiple decks, either because they never find just the right one or because they just like the artwork. But if you don’t have the resources to purchase every deck that might work for you, there are a few ways to “date” the deck before committing to the purchase.

  • Ask a friend. My friend Chris had her Enchanted Tarot deck for about a year before I bought mine. The more I watched her use the cards, the more I realized I loved them. Eventually, I simply bought my own deck and have used them for over 25 years.
  • Go out the sample decks. Many pagan or New Age bookstores sell tarot decks and oracle cards. Often, they will open up a sample deck so that customers can see the individual cards and read the enclosed booklets. Some people who are sensitive to energies might find this disconcerting, but a simple turn of the pendulum or cleansing prayer is usually enough to clear the cards.
  • Check out online readings. This is my least favorite way or sampling new decks, but if you don’t live in an area where decks are readily available, going to a site like allow you to view dozens of decks by card and read the interpretations. It’s not the same as holding the cards in your hands, but at least you won’t accidentally purchase a deck with artwork you hate.

Tarot or Oracle Cards

As you get deeper into intuitive reading, you may discover that traditional Tarot simply doesn’t work for you. You may be called to read, but the structure of the Tarot does not resonate.

There are many alternative forms of cards, like oracles from Colette Baron-Reid, animal based decks, international decks, or even pop-culture decks.

The bottom line is that your deck should fit you, not some cookie-cutter ideal of what Tarot should be. And just as no one person fits every need in your life, you needn’t expect a single deck to be all people. As the whipper-snappers say, “You do you.”

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to talk to Kat or me about getting a reading with Two Ladies Tarot, please check out our contact information.  As always, if you liked this post, please sign up for our weekly newsletter or follow us Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Please don’t forget to like and share this post. Comments are greatly appreciated.

Peace and Love,


Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash



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