What is the Difference between Tarot Decks?

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As tarot originated from a card game, it may come as no surprise that there are many different kinds of Tarot decks. There are countless decks that have developed and continue to be used throughout the years. Here you will find some of the most common and most popular decks that are used today. There is no one right deck to use; choosing your deck stems simply from your personal preference. Some Tarot practitioners favor one deck, and some own multiple decks. The three most widely used Tarot decks are the Rider-Wait-Smith deck, the Thoth deck, and the Tarot of Marseilles, but there are so much more. These are only a few of the abundance of decks available to you.

Rider-Wait-Smith Tarot Deck

The Rider-Wait-Smith was originally published in 1910 by A.E. Waite and was designed by Pamela Coleman Smith. This is the deck that people usually imagine when they are only entering the Tarot world. The design is reminiscent of more traditional tarot decks that you can see throughout the evolution of tarot over the years. This deck consists of the classic 78 card deck that consists of both major and minor arcana cards. The Rider-Wait deck has also been published in several editions and inspired many variations and reproductions. Additionally, being one of the most common decks for beginners, it is considered one of the most used decks in tarot.

 Thoth Tarot Deck

The Thoth Tarot Deck came onto the scene in 1969. This kind of tarot deck is a divinatory deck, meaning that the deck aims to assist in the predictions of future events or to reveal unknown knowledge through mystical means. This particular tarot deck was designed by Lady Frieda Harris, an English artist, alongside the instructions of Aleister Crowley, an occultist, magician, and writer. These cards were specifically redesigned to incorporate past mysticism as well as science. 

The Tarot of Marseilles Deck

The Tarot of Marseilles cards falls the most in line with the traditional Italian playing cards from which tarot derives. These cards were very dominant in France during both the 17th and 18th centuries. This deck is often spelled as “Tarot of Marseille,” but according to the International Playing-Card Society, the name “Tarot de Marseille” is suggested; nevertheless, both English names are still recognized. It is speculated that it was developed in Milan before making its way to a majority of France and then Northern Italy and Switzerland.

Modern Tarot Decks 

More modern Tarot decks that can be found are The Wild Unknown Deck, The Enchanted Tarot Deck, and The New Mythic Tarot. The Wild Unknown Deck is a reasonably new perspective on ancient tarot. This deck takes inspiration from traditional animal wisdom and spirit to reveal the framework of both present and future outcomes. The Enchanted Tarot Deck is based on the immediate and specific question you are thinking of in the same instance of a reading. On the contrary, New Mythic Tarot emphasizes Greek Mythology. Card spreads conducted with this deck are motivated by the use of mythological illustrations as a standard in which to help decipher reoccurrences of present-day life.

No matter what tarot deck you choose, there is no wrong choice when picking a deck. You have the space to let your spiritual connection guide you to what deck you feel is the most comfortable fit. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the many variations and kinds and pick a deck that you feel the most drawn to in order to get started. It is important to ask yourself what your purpose is when doing tarot, what you care most about, and whether you prefer a more classic or modern approach. These questions can help you in your decisions.

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