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Personally I think I'm both. I don't think there will come a day when I can say that I've learned all there is to know about Tarot. For me, the fact that there is so much to learn is one of the things that keeps me interested in this system.

Joseph Molina

I remember the collectors shoe tarot, tabacco tarot, other decks that should be just collectors like the pomo tarot. I love the Masonic Tarot, the Hermetic Tarot, and the Voyager Tarot. But all those are not good beginner decks. The Tarot of the Old Path, Mary Hanson Roberts, the Aquarian Tarot are always good alternatives to the Rider. But I have worked with pep's that want to use decks like the Marsillies Tarot, the Golden Dawn Tarot, or the BOTA deck. I like the Rider because there is so much good information out on it. Also, I truly believe the simplicity of the images plays a major factor in the stimulation of the intuition and getting the flow state going. When it comes to the other decks, the literature is far and few between, but if take the time to master the Rider it will be with you no matter what deck you read. I tend to see those cards, the Rider, in my third eye every time I do a reading, no matter what deck I use. I am truly in love with them.:-) J


I'm still learning and have been for the last 30 years. Tarot is an on going journey when you open yourself up to its possibilities. Like the Fool says "look beyond the obvious."

The very first deck I had way back in the 70's was the Swiss 1JJ. But the deck I teach with, and would always recommend for a beginner, is the Rider Waite - after all it does appear to be the mother of most of the modern day clones.

USGS Staff

Arwen, what deck do you use?

Joseph, I agree with you about the simplicity but think that the Rider-Waite has a lot of depth once you start looking at all the symbols. Maybe that is why it is such a good deck? You can always learn a bit more.

Helen, the Swiss 1JJ is a good deck for beginners. I missed that one for sure.


My first deck was the Aquarian Tarot (can't believe its been close to 30 years now - yikes). It was not a choice between decks since it was the only one available at the store where I was at the time. It was an excellent starter deck, I feel in love with it immediately & I still keep it in a special place of honor among the all the other decks I own. I seldom read with it now, the images (while lovely) seem somewhat 'static' or lacking in motion and so create a less 'dynamic' reading.

Over the years I have come to rely on the Universal Waite deck & I turn to it most all of the time. I am always discovering something new in the images. Like Joseph I tend to see the Rider images in my 3rd eye even when using a different deck.

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