In This Chapter
- What books should beginners, intermediate students, and experts pursue?
- What are some readable, attractive “next decks” to add to my collection?
- Where should I go to join the online tarot community?
- Which tarot software package is best?
What’s the biggest challenge associated with reading with any book for beginners? By the time you finish reading the book, you’re not an absolute beginner any more!
Having mastered the material in this guide, you’re ready to further enhance your knowledge and skills. If you start by working with the following resources, you’ll build a firm foundation for further study and growth.
The Beginner’s Bookshelf
- Bunning, Joan. Learning the Tarot (Weiser)
This beginner-level textbook offers lessons on card meanings, spread creation, and much more.
- Greer, Mary. Tarot for Your Self (New Page Books)
This classic text emphasizes personal, astrological, and numerological approaches to the cards.
- MacGregor, Trish and Phyllis Vega. Power Tarot (Fireside)
This quick read showcases spreads for every occasion.
- McElroy, Mark. A Guide to Tarot Card Meanings (TarotTools.com Books)
This straightforward guide provides detailed meanings for every card, from astrological correspondences to applications for relationships, work, spirituality, and personal growth.
- Michelsen, Teresa. The Complete Tarot Reader (Llewellyn)
Clearly explains a variety of reading techniques, from intuitive reading to complex elemental dignities.
- Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom (Thorsons)
Thoughtful essays illuminate the symbols and illustrations of the Rider–Waite–Smith tarot.
- Riley, Jana. Tarot Dictionary and Compendium (Weiser)
Card by card, this book summarizes meanings suggested by a dozen different tarot experts.
- Thomson, Sandra A. Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary
Puzzled by a symbol on a card? Look it up here for quick, accurate insights.
- DuQuette, Lon Milo. Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot
This witty, knowledgeable commentary on the Thoth deck delivers an authoritative introduction to the cards.
- Greer, Mary and Tom Little. Understanding the Tarot Court (Llewellyn)
Provides insights designed to enhance your reading of the court cards.
- Place, Robert. Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination (Tarcher/Penguin)
Bob Place provides a readable, reliable, and engaging history of the tarot and the Rider–Waite–Smith images.
- Crowley, Aleister. The Book of Thoth
Complex, scholarly prose reveals the detailed the symbolism behind Crowley’s Thoth deck.
- Decker, Ronald, Thierry DePaulis, and Michael Dummett. A Wicked Pack of Cards (St. Martin’s Press)
This seminal work covers the documented history of the tarot deck.
- Decker, Ronald and Michael Dummett. A History of the Occult Tarot (Duckworth)
Detailed history explores how tarot came to be used as a fortunetelling tool.
- Kaplan, Stuart. The Encyclopedia of Tarot, Volumes I–IV (U.S. Games)
This series provides an exhaustive survey (and photos!) of tarot decks past and present.
- O’Neill, Robert. Tarot Symbolism (association.tarotstudies.org)
This dated but important work was, for years, the definitive text on the origins of the tarot’s symbolic images. The Association for Tarot Studies now offers reprints of the original, out-of-print book.
- Wang, Robert. An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot (Weiser)
Wang’s book reprints important documents preserving the insights of the British occult society, The Golden Dawn.
The following decks make great additions to any collection.
- The Alchemical Tarot (Robert Place)
The first edition of this exquisite work of art is out of print and hard to find, but the artist’s own reprint is available. If you see either one, snap it up.
- The Book of Thoth (U.S. Games)
Crowley’s masterwork, featuring art by Lady Frieda Harris, challenges beginners but rewards careful study.
- The Bright Idea Deck (Llewellyn)
This approachable deck features bright colors, easy keywords, and contemporary illustrations.
- Medieval Enchantments: The Nigel Jackson Tarot (Llewellyn)
This friendly deck incorporates vivid colors and engaging medieval settings for each illustration.
- The Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martin’s Press)
Bright colors, clever titles, and a dash of 80’s nostalgia give this deck a unique voice.
- The Universal Marseilles (Lo Scarabeo)
Released in 2006, this new version of the Marseilles deck adds delicate colors and fine shading to each illustration.
- The Universal Waite (U.S. Games)
Colored pencils were used to tint this subtly re-colored version of the classic Rider–Waite–Smith deck.
- The Illuminated Tarot (Carol Herzer)
These hand-tinted, psychedelic Rider–Waite–Smith images must be ordered directly from soul-guidance.com.
- Aeclectic Tarot (www.aeclectic.net)
Massive site offers book and deck reviews, forums, and great sense of community.
- Alida (www.AlidaStore.com)
Overseas dealer offers mass-market, unusual, and rare decks, delivered quickly—even to the U.S.
- American Tarot Association (www.ata-tarot.com)
Inexpensive yearly membership has its privileges; check website for details.
- eBay (www.eBay.com)
Decks and readings galore; take claims that decks are rare or hard-to-find with a grain of salt.
Get free three-card web-based readings, or detailed readings with automated interpretation for a price.
- Tarot Garden (www.TarotGarden.com)
This online tarot boutique offers rare and hard-to-find items often unavailable anywhere else.
Find free ideas and applications for tarot enthusiasts at every level, with an emphasis on practicality and results.
- Beautiful Tarot HD
The very best tarot deck simulator for iOS devices (including iPads and iPhones).
- LeTarot (www.letarot.net)
Play the original game of tarot against real and virtual competitors.
- Orphalese Tarot (www.orphalese.net)
Shuffle, deal, and share virtual decks on Windows-based machines.
A Closing Word
Your journey with the tarot is just beginning! If you use these resources to further your study and dedicate yourself to reading the cards with integrity, the tarot will be a wise and insightful companion for years to come.