5 Of The Best Books On Tarot To Get You Started

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Amanda Kay Oaks

Staff Writer

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Amanda Kay Oaks has a BFA in Creative Writing and Literature from The University of Evansville and is a current creative nonfiction MFA student at Chatham University. An AmeriCorps alum, online tutor, and literary journal editor, Amanda considers herself a professional wearer of many hats and isn't sure what she'll do if she ever actually has only one job at a time. When she isn't working, reading, writing, or pretending to be a practiced yogi, Amanda can most likely be found snuggled up on the couch with her cat, Artemis, and a plate of cookies. She tweets T.S. Eliot quotes a little too often and tries to keep up with her personal book blog, I Write Things. Twitter: @I_Write_Things

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. The best books on tarot give you a guide on where to start.

I was one of those people, unfortunately. 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 the best books on tarot cards for beginners to help you get started.

Tarot for Beginners by Barbara Moore, book cover1. 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.





Cover image for Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova2. 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.





Cover image for Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings 3. 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.


cover art for Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen4. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth by Benebell Wen

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.


Cover for Tarot for Writers by corrine Kenner 5. 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.


Hit the comments to share your suggestions for the best books on tarot cards for beginners!