BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Reading Tarot is so dependent on the type of deck you use that you really do have to research what exactly you want, both aesthetically and traditionally. While the Rider-Waite is a great deck to start with, it's not the only deck available. If anything, there are so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming.
What's especially fascinating is the fact that the Tarot is so old, which means the Rider-Waite isn't even necessarily the "right" deck, even if it is considered an "official" deck. Here are four decks I personally love and use:
I love this deck, because it's a beautiful mix of psychedelic and art deco style art, while also adhering largely to the Rider-Waite deck (which is especially useful for color interpretation). This is my personal favorite.
This deck is more ethereal, and borrows from medieval art, having an old world feel.
Alejandro Jodorowsky reinvents and restores Phillipe Camoin's work, who was the last heir to the centuries-old legacy of Marseillan cardmakers. In many ways, this deck is one of the most original and traditional Tarot decks.
While this deck is more untraditional, and not necessarily for beginners, it's so beautiful and uses Botticelli's ethereal art to transform the Tarot. The images work well with intrepreting the card's meanings.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (ELJ Publications, 2016), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016) and the editor of “A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault” (CCM, 2017). Joanna received a MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, a managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM, as well as an instructor at Brooklyn Poets. Some of Joanna's writing has appeared in Prelude, Apogee, Spork, The Feminist Wire, BUST, and elsewhere.