Tarot decks exist in a variety of styles, often drawing from mythologies like King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, manga, and even modern concepts like the Instagram tarot. Each deck places (roughly) 78 beautiful pieces of artwork in your hands, so it’s no wonder many people are drawn to tarot. And yet, many are also intimidated by the tarot cards and don’t know where to begin learning to read them.
I was one of those people. For years, I had a copy of The Tarot of the Cat People that I kept on the shelf, untouched. Then I decided it was time to learn. Once I started working with the cards, they got less intimidating, and I realized how useful tarot can be as a reflective tool and a way to connect with other people.
So if, like me, you’ve been considering learning how to read tarot cards, there’s no better time to start than right now! Here’s a list of books to help you get started.
Tarot for Beginners by Barbara Moore
This is a great comprehensive overview to get you started with reading tarot. It includes card meanings, spreads, and basic information about how to give readings for yourself and others.
Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova
I just love looking at this book cover. The casual, kitchen table approach Cynova takes in this guide to reading tarot is a great fit for anyone who’s new and uncertain about the cards.
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Meanings by Brigit Esselmont
Brigit’s tarot site, Biddy Tarot, is the guide I return to time and time again for robust, comprehensive meanings for each tarot card. This book puts them all in one place and is a great place to turn for individual card meanings you need help interpreting.
Even if you’re not into the idea that tarot can predict the future, reflecting on card imagery, meanings, and associations is a great way to get in tune with your inner self. In this hefty book, Wen gives an overview of the tarot’s history and links to other esoteric practices. She also provides guidance on how you can use tarot for personal growth.
Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner
For the writers among us, this book functions as both a creative tool for using tarot to get unstuck in your writing and a pretty decent guide to reading the cards. This one’s on my shelf at home and is the proud property of many writers I know.
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