Which deck are you currently using?
Shadowscapes by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

What attracted you to it?
Initially, the color. I love purple. Amethyst is my favorite crystal, so the color was definitely a connection for me. Secondly, I loved the whimsy with undertones of shadow/darkness. As a Scorpio, I felt like it embodied the balance of light and dark within myself.

What is your advice for someone looking for their first tarot deck?
Don’t rush. Go to metaphysical shops and check out different decks. Hold them. Really study them. Do you feel your intuition kick in when you look at the imagery? Like a lover, there should be intrigue. A spark. If you feel that, you’ve found your deck.

Which deck are you currently using?
I have upwards of 20 decks and I tend to choose which one to work with based on which one I feel is most appropriate to perform a specific reading or which one is resonating with me the most in that moment. The one I work with the most in my personal spiritual practice is The Gill Tarot by Elizabeth Josephine Gill. It was my first deck and is still my most favorite. When I do readings for my clients I let them choose between The Gill Tarot and The Dreamkeepers Tarot.

What attracted you to it?
Tarot was more of a calling for me than a mere attraction. When I was a child, I had a dream that I was standing in my kitchen with my back against the wall. Suddenly, someone reached through the wall and tickled my back. The physical sensation startled me so I turned around and saw that the wall was transparent. Standing on the other side of the wall was a woman with long strawberry blonde wavy hair, a blue dress, and long elegant fingers. We locked eyes and then I woke up.

The next day I went Christmas shopping with my family and while in a store I noticed that on the cover of a box of cards in a glass wall case was the woman from my dream – The Queen of Swords from The Gill Tarot. I instantly knew that I had to have it so I asked my parents to buy it for me. I received it for Christmas that year and the rest is history.

What is your advice for someone looking for their first deck?
The most important thing is to choose a deck whose art resonates with you. This is the best way to develop a relationship with a deck because if you connect to the art then you will be able to decipher the symbolism that the artist used by employing your own intuition to determine the interpretations. If the deck that you’re drawn to deviates from what is considered the traditional symbolism or isn’t typically suitable for beginners, that’s ok! You’ll be more likely to work with a deck and pick up on the meanings if you like the images and feel a subconscious connection with them.

Don’t read the book immediately. Go through each card one by one and try to determine what the card means based on the symbolism depicted. What’s the mood of the card? What colors are present? How does it make you feel? Are there any mythological symbols that stand out, or is there something that reminds you of your own memories and life experience? Give yourself enough time to go through this meditative process several times. When you feel like you have a good grip on your own intuitive interpretations of each card, then open the book and begin reading what the artist intended.

Pull a card for yourself at the start of each day to get more comfortable with your deck. Think about your card as you go through your day. What parts of your day relate back to the card? What symbols on the card are relevant to your day? Once you’re intimately acquainted with each card then you can begin working with spreads.

I teach private Tarot lessons virtually via video chat if you’re interested in learning how to read Tarot in a one-on-one setting.

What deck are you currently using?
The Wizards Tarot Deck

What attracted you to it? 
It’s a beautifully illustrated deck that provides me with accurate messages. I love that although it is a more modern deck, she did maintain some of the rich symbolism seen in more traditional decks.

What is your advice for someone looking for their first tarot deck?
I teach my students how to read decks, not only intuitively, but also through symbolism. If you want to be a good reader, those people that tell you to throw away the book and just use your intuition are doing you a disservice. There are symbols and meanings in the colors, elements, numbers, and more. For this reason, and also because new decks exclude this fact, I recommend that someone that wants to tap into some serious wisdom start with the Rider Waite/ Rider Waite Smith deck. It may not be the prettiest but it’s a good start. You won’t regret it.

What deck are you currently using?
I have 2 that I regularly switch back and forth with.

My go to for doing quick, in person 1-3 card readings for other people is the traditional Rider Waite deck. It’s the deck that I learned on, and it’s just comfortable to me. 

The other one is the Joie De Vivre Tarot deck by Paulina Cassidy, which is the deck you mostly see all over my instagram feed. I love doing photo spreads with this one because it’s just so pretty to look at, with its woodland creature type of vibe. I also like using this deck more for in depth typed up tarot reports for clients. For my tarot reports, I really like to take my time and do more elaborate 5-10 card spreads with this deck. I will also choose crystals and flowers I feel called to use for the querent, and then I will take a photo of their session and send this to them along with their written report in a PDF format. It’s a whole process, but I feel like it’s a lot of information put into keepsake format, so my clients can revert back to it at any time. 

What attracted you to it? 
The traditional Rider Waite deck was a recommendation from my tarot teacher & mentor – I took an online course with a woman named Krysten Burkhardt-Hansyn a few years ago and this was the deck she taught with. I still love referring back to this deck frequently because of its simplicity. The Joie de Vivre attracted me because I really fell in love with Paulina’s whimsical illustrations! They’re so light and airy, and have a certain playfulness about them that I just felt drawn to. She also makes a few other decks in the same art style, which I will most likely eventually collect down the line. But for now, the Joie de Vivre is my go to!

What is your advice for someone looking for their first tarot deck?There are a lot of myths surrounding the tarot, and one of the main ones is that you have to wait until someone gifts you one. It’s complete BS! You have to CONNECT with your deck if you want to receive messages from it. You have to TRUST that it’s going to give you those nuggets of information that are ultimately going to help you assess a situation. The last thing you want to do is get a random deck from someone and then not resonate with it. I’ve gotten gorgeously illustrated decks as gifts from family & friends before, and they are a great collection piece. But to this day, I still revert back to the same 2 decks that I personally felt attracted to since the very beginning.

Also, if abstract imagery confuses the hell out of you, then try to start simple! Start with the traditional Rider Waite. It’s a great beginner deck. The illustrations, though they provide tons of imagery and symbolism to pull from, are no fluff. They’re simplistic and easy to interpret, in my opinion, but everyone’s different. Do what feels comfortable to you and what resonates with you! Allow yourself to be guided by your own intuition!

And one more thing, whatever you do – stay away from the Tarot de Marseilles. I made this beginner mistake when I was in my early 20s. I didn’t know much about the art of the tarot, and got the first deck I came across at a hole in the wall bookshop. I took it home and realized the cards were all in French, and all the PIP cards were just symbols! It was incredibly frustrating to read because there were no illustrated photos to inspire intuitive thoughts for me. So definitely do your research, and look at different photos of different decks before deciding to buy it. Up and coming readers these days are so lucky to have a Youtube deck review at the click of a button ready to answer all their questions. I didn’t have that, starting out… and it would have been so helpful! 

Which deck are you currently using?
Rider-Waite Original Deck

What attracted you to it?
I always try other decks with cool designs, good energies, etc. but I always feel they wear off a bit after a few uses. The Rider-Waite always calls back to me, to me it seems rooted in something much deeper and connected.

What is your advice for someone looking for their first tarot deck?
Start with the original! The Rider-Waite deck is such a good deck to learn from because the illustrations can really help you understand the deck and each individual card’s meaning.

**I’d like to make a side note to recommend Theresa Reed’s Tarot Coloring Book. This is how I learned tarot: drawing a daily card followed by a daily coloring and reflection of the card. I almost wish I could make my final coloring pages by actual deck since the colors and designs that I drew resonate with me more than the cards of any deck I’ve come across.