Can You Buy Your Own Tarot Deck?
Common misconception says that if you buy your own Tarot deck, you’ll have bad luck with your readings. We asked two Tarot readers to help clear things up. Because, if you’re feeling drawn to Tarot, you shouldn’t have to deal with any barriers before diving into this intuitive and healing practice.
Do Tarot Cards Need to Be Gifted?
No, Tarot cards do not need to be gifted, and, actually, most professional Tarot readers aren’t on board with this common myth. “I’ve never actually met a Tarot reader who believed that, so I’m not sure where it started,” Tarot reader and coach Jerico Mandybur says. “But by all means, if you see a deck that speaks to you and sparks your intuition, buy it! It’s way better than being gifted one you don’t resonate with.”
Tarot reader, author of The One-Card Tarot Journal, and astrologer Maria Marmanides also believes that Tarot decks do not need to be gifted. “When I hear misconceptions like that, it’s rooted in a ‘gatekeeping’ mindset and a fundamental misunderstanding of what Tarot is,” Marmanides says. “Anyone can, and in my opinion, should use Tarot cards as a tool to help them connect more deeply with their personal intuition and access their spiritual guides. You don’t need to wait for a fellow Tarot practitioner to one day bestow it upon you. It’s your innate right as a human being to do both of those things.”
PSA: You Can Buy Tarot Cards for Yourself
So don’t be shy or fearful of curses or bad luck, if you’re drawn to the Tarot, dive in head and hands first! “There is no group initiation process to Tarot, nor do you have to be born into it,” Marmandies assures.
Once you’ve found a deck that speaks to you and made your purchase, it’s important you put in the energetic work and start to bond with your deck. “There are so many ways [to connect with your Tarot deck], but a fave is to go through your deck, holding them at one at a time, gazing into them, and journaling what comes up for you emotionally and your interpretation,” Mandybur says. “Then you can look up the meanings in your book. But this way you build intimacy and trust with your cards.”
If you’re a beginner, Mandybur recommends starting a daily pull practice to continue to build a relationship with your cards. This will give you a chance “to really sink into its energy,” they add.
Buying Your First Tarot Deck
Using your intuition is key when buying your first Tarot deck. Don’t get caught up overthinking the process. Use your senses as a guide to select a deck that you feel called to or pulled toward with symbolism that resonates for you. “Go with the one that draws your eye. It’s usually for a reason,” Mandybur says. “Even if the cards don’t seem to be your aesthetic, if you keep glancing at it, you’ve got to trust that it’s for you.”
The process of selecting your first Tarot deck should be fun, Marmanides adds. “Think of it like shopping for anything and to borrow a cultural phrase: Does it spark joy when you hold it in your hands? The artwork should speak to you and help you build a personal connection to understanding that card’s fundamental meaning,” she says. “That could be through the symbolism, the guidebook descriptions, or even if the deck is designed around a pop culture theme, especially if you’re just starting out.” Another great tip: Try associating different cards with characters from your favorite TV shows or movies, Marmanides offers, which “can help you make more intuitive interpretations and get contextual grounding.” Both Mandybur and Marmanides suggest purchasing a standard Rider-Waite-Smith deck for beginners who aren’t sure where to start. Beginners may find the symbolism easier to decipher, as they work with this standard deck, but move toward whichever deck lights you up.
So, you have your deck and you’re ready to get started. Marmanides suggests a simple 3-card pull to develop a stronger connection with your new intuitive tool. “Every deck is unique, so no matter what stage you’re at with your Tarot expertise, it is important to make a bond with that deck,” she says. “The easiest way to start is to fully examine each card after you open the deck and see what you notice. Are there recurring themes, colors, symbols, or even feelings you get when you look at certain cards?”
Try this 3-card Tarot spread Marmanides uses to introduce herself to her new decks:
Card 1: What is this deck here to teach me?
Card 2: What is your personality?
Card 3: What will our relationship be like?
Where can I buy Tarot cards?
You can buy Tarot decks nearly anywhere! You can buy them at your local spiritual shop, but a quick Google search for Tarot decks will reveal countless options. You can buy standard Tarot decks, oracle decks, or decks with specific symbolism like animals. Use your intuition as your guide when purchasing a deck that aligns with your spirit and speaks to you.
Are Tarot cards cursed or bad?
Tarot cards are not cursed or bad. They are spiritual tools that offer us a physical representation or symbolism of our intuitive hits and messages from our guides. They offer us a way to gain more insight into specific situations in our lives. The deck connects with your energy and intuition, which then reveals related symbolism to elaborate on the question at hand.
Can you make your own Tarot cards?
Making your own Tarot deck is a wonderful way to develop a deeper understanding of the cards and their significance. “I encourage it! There’s no better way to build connection and foster a deep understanding of each card’s meaning than by making them yourself,” Mandybur says, adding that collage-style decks are one of their favorites. “Just Google the structure of the classic Tarot deck (78 cards, four suits, etc.) and get crafty. They don’t have to look pretty–they just have to work for you.”
Marmanides adds that there are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your own deck.
“Unlike Oracle decks that can include any number of cards, don’t have to use any specific artwork or symbolism, and are more creator-based, Tarot is structured on a very specific 78-card system,” she says. “You can make your own artwork, but if it is a true Tarot deck, it should more closely follow the system of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards based on the 4 elements of fire, air, earth, and water.”
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Feature image courtesy of Deborah Rossetto