Top 4 Tarot Decks and Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Use Them
Tarot cards have been used for centuries as a tool for divination and self-exploration. Today, there are hundreds of tarot decks available, each with their unique artwork, symbolism, and interpretations. In this article, we will explore the different types of tarot decks and their strengths and weaknesses.
- Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Deck
The Rider-Waite-Smith deck, also known as the RWS deck, is the most commonly used tarot deck in the English-speaking world. It was first published in 1909 by artist Pamela Colman Smith and author Arthur Edward Waite. The deck has 78 cards, with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana cards. The RWS deck is considered the classic tarot deck, and most other tarot decks are based on its structure and symbolism.
Strengths: The RWS deck is easy to read, making it a good choice for beginners. Its symbolism is clear and well-defined, and the illustrations are rich in detail, making it easy to interpret the cards’ meanings.
Weaknesses: The RWS deck can be seen as somewhat limiting in its interpretation. Some tarot readers find the deck’s symbolism to be overly simplistic, lacking depth and nuance.
- Thoth Deck
The Thoth deck was created by artist Frieda Harris and occultist Aleister Crowley in the 1940s. The deck has 78 cards, with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana cards. The Thoth deck is known for its complex and esoteric symbolism, drawing on various mystical traditions.
Strengths: The Thoth deck is a powerful tool for deep exploration and self-discovery. Its symbolism is intricate and multi-layered, providing a wealth of information for interpretation. The deck’s use of color is particularly noteworthy, with each card featuring a unique color scheme that enhances its meaning.
Weaknesses: The Thoth deck can be difficult to read, especially for beginners. Its symbolism is highly abstract and can be hard to interpret without a deep understanding of mystical traditions.
- Marseille Deck
The Marseille deck is one of the oldest tarot decks, with a history dating back to the 16th century. The deck has 78 cards, with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana cards. The Marseille deck is known for its simple and elegant design, featuring bold lines and bright colors.
Strengths: The Marseille deck is a good choice for traditionalists who prefer a more straightforward approach to tarot. Its symbolism is clear and well-defined, making it easy to interpret the cards’ meanings.
Weaknesses: The Marseille deck’s simplicity can be limiting for some readers, lacking the depth and complexity of other decks. Its use of abstract symbolism can also be challenging for beginners.
- Wild Unknown Deck
The Wild Unknown deck was created by artist Kim Krans in 2012. The deck has 78 cards, with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana cards. The Wild Unknown deck is known for its bold and colorful illustrations, featuring animals and natural elements.
Strengths: The Wild Unknown deck is a great choice for nature lovers and animal enthusiasts. Its illustrations are bold and eye-catching, making it easy to connect with the cards’ meanings.
Weaknesses: The Wild Unknown deck’s symbolism can be somewhat abstract, making it challenging to interpret for some readers. Its focus on nature and animals may not appeal to everyone.