Choosing the Right Tarot or Oracle Deck

As mystifying and captivating as it may sound, Tarot, Oracle, and Lenormand cards have been around us for ages. Despite having a common purpose, each deck has its unique way of guiding, predicting, and ushering spiritual and introspective answers from the subconscious. With a plethora of options readily available in the market, choosing a deck can be bewildering – especially for those who are new to the divination world. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore different types of decks, factors to consider while selecting a deck, where to buy them, and how to take good care of them. Read on to find out which card deck is best suited for your needs.

Types of Decks

Types Of Decks
As you delve into the world of divination, it’s important to know the different types of decks available to you. Each deck has its own unique characteristics and purpose, and choosing the right one can greatly enhance your readings. Two popular types of decks are tarot decks and oracle decks, both of which have distinct differences in their symbolism and structure. Additionally, there are also Lenormand decks, a lesser-known option with a focus on more practical matters. Understanding the differences between these decks will help you make an informed decision on which deck to use for your specific needs.

Tarot Decks

Tarot Decks are the most popular type of divinatory deck, consisting of 78 cards with various images and symbols. The cards are divided into two groups – Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana cards depict important life events and archetypes, while the Minor Arcana cards represent more mundane and everyday experiences. The Minor cards are further divided into four suits – Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles – each reflecting a different aspect of life.


  • Offers deep and detailed insight into situations and questions
  • Allows for more specific and nuanced readings
  • Can be used for both divination and personal reflection
  • Rich symbolism and history


  • May be overwhelming for beginners due to the large number of cards
  • Requires more study and memorization
  • Less flexibility in interpretation than oracle decks

Tarot decks are a good choice for those who want a more complex and detailed reading. They are especially useful for those who have some experience with divination or who are looking for a tool for personal growth and reflection. However, for those who are just starting out or who prefer a more intuitive approach, an oracle deck may be a better option. To learn more about the differences between oracle and tarot decks, check out this article.

When choosing a Tarot deck, it is important to consider the style of artwork, as well as the theme and energy of the deck. Some popular Tarot decks include the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Thoth Tarot, and the Wild Unknown Tarot. It is also important to properly care for your Tarot deck, by regularly cleansing and charging the cards, storing them properly, and knowing when it is time to release the deck. For more tips on caring for your Tarot deck, check out this article.

Oracle Decks

Oracle decks are similar to tarot decks in that they are used for divination and personal growth. However, unlike tarot decks, they do not follow a specific structure or set of rules. This allows for a wide range of interpretations and flexibility in usage. Oracle decks typically have fewer cards than tarot decks, typically ranging from 20 to 60 cards, but can have as few as 5 or as many as 100 or more. Each card has its own unique meaning and message, often accompanied by a beautiful image or artwork.

Oracle decks can cover a wide range of themes, from angels and fairies, to animals and nature, to mythology and spirituality. This makes them a versatile tool for anyone looking to connect with their intuition and gain insight into their lives. Oracle decks can be particularly useful for those who may be overwhelmed by the complexity of tarot decks or who are looking for a more specific theme in their readings.

When choosing an oracle deck, it’s important to consider several factors such as your experience with divination, your intended use for the deck, the artwork, and the energy of the deck. Additionally, it’s important to note that Oracle decks may not provide the same level of detail and specificity as tarot decks, but can still offer valuable guidance and insight.

If you’re trying to choose between tarot and oracle decks, you may want to consider the pros and cons of each. It’s also worth noting that there are many different styles of oracle and tarot cards available, so it’s important to choose a deck that resonates with you and speaks to your unique needs and intuition.

Lenormand Decks

Lenormand Decks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are based on the 36-card deck used for divination by Marie Anne Lenormand, a French fortune teller who lived in the 18th and 19th century. The Lenormand deck is distinct from tarot decks, as it tends to focus more on literal meanings and practical advice.

Here is a table highlighting some of the key features of Lenormand decks:

Characteristic Description
Number of Cards Lenormand decks usually consist of 36 cards, each with a specific image and meaning.
Card Size The size of Lenormand cards tends to be smaller than tarot cards, making them easier to shuffle and handle.
Artwork The artwork on Lenormand decks is typically simpler and more straightforward than tarot decks, with clear images that reflect everyday objects and situations.
Interpretation Unlike tarot decks, Lenormand decks rely less on symbolism and more on literal meanings. As such, they are often used for practical advice and insights into everyday situations.
Types of Readings Lenormand decks can be used for a variety of readings, including simple yes/no questions, general advice, and more in-depth readings.
Learning Curve Lenormand decks can be easier to learn than tarot decks, as they rely less on intuition and more on memorization of card meanings.

When choosing a Lenormand deck, it’s important to consider factors such as the size and style of the cards, as well as the type of artwork and energy that resonates with you. Some popular Lenormand decks include the Petit Lenormand, which is based on the original deck used by Marie Anne Lenormand, as well as more contemporary versions with unique artwork and interpretations.

Choosing a Deck

Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of decks available, you may be wondering how to choose the right one for your needs. The process of selecting a deck can be daunting, as there are many factors to consider. However, by taking the time to assess your experience, intended use, preferences, and the energy of the deck, you can find the perfect deck that will best serve your needs. In this section, we will take a closer look at some of the key factors to consider when choosing a deck, helping you make an informed decision that you will be happy with.

Consider Your Experience

When choosing a card deck, it’s important to consider your experience with tarot or oracle readings. Experience level can play a crucial role in determining which deck is best for you.

If you are a beginner, it’s recommended to start with a deck that has traditional imagery and symbolism, such as the Rider-Waite tarot deck. This deck is widely considered to be the standard deck for beginners, as it has a clear and easily recognizable structure. Additionally, many resources such as books and websites are available using the Rider-Waite tarot deck as a reference.

For intermediate or advanced readers, the options for decks are more open. You may be drawn to a deck that has a different structure or imagery from your previous decks to challenge your abilities and expand your knowledge. Tarot decks like the Thoth or the Marseille tarot may be more appealing to experienced readers, as their symbolism and images are more complex and require deeper interpretation.

If you have no experience with tarot or oracle readings, or you feel drawn to a specific deck but are uncertain whether it’s right for you, it’s recommended to do some research before making a purchase. You can do this research by reading reviews, watching walkthroughs, and examining sample images of the deck to get a feel for its overall energy and vibe.

Consider the following factors when deciding on the deck’s experience level suitability:

Beginner Decks Intermediate to Advanced Decks
Clear and recognizable imagery More complex symbolism and imagery
Straightforward structure Deeper interpretation
Easy to use as reference Challenges skills and knowledge

Remember, your experience level is an important factor in choosing a card deck, but it’s not the only thing to consider when making a decision. By using the above factors and doing thorough research, you will be able to confidently choose a deck that suits your needs and preferences.

Consider Your Intended Use

When choosing a deck, it’s important to consider your intended use, as different decks may be more suitable for certain purposes or situations. Here are some things to take into account:

Intended Use Deck Type Features
General Readings Tarot A tarot deck usually has 78 cards, each with its own imagery and symbolism. This makes it ideal for in-depth readings that can provide insights into various aspects of a person’s life or situation.
Specific Questions Oracle An oracle deck typically has fewer cards than a tarot deck and is designed to provide straightforward answers to specific questions. The cards may feature words, phrases, or simple images that can be interpreted intuitively.
Relationships Lenormand A Lenormand deck features small playing cards, each with a specific symbol or image. It’s great for readings about love, friendship, family, and other types of relationships.
Manifestation Law of Attraction A Law of Attraction deck is designed to help you attract positive things into your life. It may feature affirmations, visualizations, or specific actions to take.
Meditation Mandalas A mandala deck features intricate circular designs that can be used for meditation, relaxation, and spiritual growth. Each card may have a different color or pattern to help you focus your attention.
Learning Study A study deck is designed to help you learn about a particular subject or topic. Each card may have a keyword, definition, or concept to help you memorize and understand the information.

By considering your intended use, you can choose a deck that will best serve your needs and provide you with the most relevant and accurate guidance.

Consider the Deck’s Artwork

When considering which card deck is right for your needs, one important factor to take into account is the artwork on the cards. The artwork can greatly impact your experience with the deck, and can even affect the accuracy of your readings. Here are some aspects of a deck’s artwork to consider:

  • Style: The style of the artwork can greatly impact the overall feel of the deck. Some decks have more realistic artwork, while others have more abstract or whimsical designs. Consider which style appeals to you and aligns with your individual aesthetic and energy.
  • Color: The use of color in a deck’s artwork can also influence your experience. Some decks have more muted, earthy tones, while others are more vibrant and colorful. Consider which color palette resonates with you and aligns with the desired energy of your readings.
  • Symbolism: Pay attention to the symbols and images depicted on the cards. Each deck has its own symbolism, and it is important to find a deck whose symbolism aligns with your beliefs and desired level of depth in readings.
  • Diversity and Inclusivity: Many modern decks are intentionally designed to be more diverse and inclusive, representing a wider range of cultural backgrounds and identities. Choose a deck that represents and respects diverse perspectives.

The artwork on a deck can greatly impact your experience and connection with the cards. Consider all aspects of the artwork, from the style and color to the symbolism and inclusivity, when choosing the right deck for your needs.

Consider the Deck’s Theme

When choosing a card deck, it’s important to consider the theme of the deck. The theme will determine the type of symbols, imagery, and messages that the deck will convey. Here are some things to consider when evaluating a deck’s theme:

  • Personal Preferences: Consider your personal interests and passions. If you’re drawn to a particular subject or culture, then a deck that incorporates those themes may be a good fit for you. For example, if you’re interested in spirituality, then a deck with a spiritual theme may resonate with you more.
  • Intended Use: Think about how you plan to use the deck. If you’re using the deck for personal growth and self-reflection, then you may want to choose a deck with a therapeutic or introspective theme. If you’re using the deck for divination, then a deck with a more traditional or mystical theme may be more appropriate.
  • Artistic Style: Consider the artistic style of the deck. Is it abstract or realistic? Does it have a modern or vintage feel? The deck’s theme should complement its artistic style to create a cohesive and harmonious deck.
  • Symbolism: Look at the symbols and imagery used in the deck. Are they easily recognizable or more abstract? Do they have a specific cultural significance? The deck’s theme should be reflected in its symbolism.
  • Mood and Energy: Consider the overall mood and energy of the deck’s theme. Is it light-hearted and playful or serious and introspective? The mood and energy of the deck will affect how you connect with it and use it.

By considering the theme of a deck, you can ensure that you choose a deck that resonates with your personal preferences and serves your intended purpose. The theme can enhance your experience with the deck and deepen your connection to the cards.

Consider the Deck’s Energy

When trying to choose a card deck, it’s essential to consider the energy of the deck. The energy of a deck refers to the kind of vibe that it gives off. Different decks have different energies, and it’s necessary to choose one with an energy that suits your intentions and your own energy. Here are a few things to consider:

  • The Creator’s Intention: Take the time to research the creator of the deck and what their intentions were when they created it. This can be helpful in determining if the energy of the deck aligns with your own intentions and needs.
  • Your Intuition: When looking at different decks, pay attention to your gut feeling. Your intuition will guide you towards the deck whose energy resonates with you the most.
  • The Deck’s Purpose: Consider what you will be using the deck for. If you’re looking for a deck for divination purposes, you’ll want to choose one with an energy that aligns with that kind of work. Similarly, if you’re looking for a deck for self-care, you’ll want to choose one with a calming and nurturing energy.
  • The Deck’s Artwork: The artwork on the cards can play a big role in the energy of the deck. If the illustrations are vivid and bold, the energy of the deck may be more assertive and confident. If the artwork is dreamy and ethereal, the energy of the deck may be more intuitive and introspective.
  • The Deck’s Symbolism: Consider the symbolism used in the deck. Different symbols can evoke different energies, so it’s important to choose a deck with symbols that align with the energy you’re looking for.

The energy of a card deck is a crucial factor to consider before making a decision. It can make a significant difference in your experience with the deck and how well it aligns with your intentions and needs. By considering the creator’s intention, your intuition, the deck’s purpose, artwork, and symbolism, you can make an informed decision about which deck has the right energy for you.

Consider the Deck’s Size

When it comes to choosing a deck, one factor that is often overlooked is the size of the cards. The size of the cards can greatly impact your experience while using them. Some people prefer large cards that are easy to handle and shuffle, while others prefer smaller cards that can be easily tucked away in a purse or bag.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to the size of your deck:

Size Advantages Disadvantages
Large – Easier to handle and shuffle – May be too bulky for some people to carry
Standard – A good balance between large and small – May not stand out among other decks
Small – Easy to carry and store – May be difficult to shuffle for some people

It’s important to find a size that works well for you and your intended use of the cards. If you plan on using your cards in public, for example, you may want to choose a smaller deck that can be easily tucked away and shuffled without drawing attention to yourself. On the other hand, if you plan on using your cards primarily at home, a larger deck may be a good choice for ease of handling and shuffling.

Overall, the size of your deck is a personal preference and should be chosen based on your needs and comfort level. Take the time to handle different sizes of decks and see which feels the most comfortable and practical for you.

Where to Buy Decks

Where To Buy Decks
After determining which deck is right for your needs, the next step is to find a place to purchase it. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to buy your deck. Fortunately, there are several different options to consider, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether you prefer to shop online or support independent artists, it’s important to choose a reputable seller and take proper precautions when making your purchase. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most common places to buy decks and what you should keep in mind when deciding where to make your purchase.

Online Retailers

When it comes to buying card decks, one great option is to shop through online retailers. There are many advantages to this method, the primary one being convenience. Shopping online means you can browse a wide selection of decks from the comfort of your own home, without having to travel to a physical store. Additionally, many online retailers offer a larger selection of decks compared to physical stores. Here is a table outlining some popular online retailers for card decks:

Retailer Description
Amazon A massive e-commerce site that offers a wide variety of decks, from popular tarot decks to indie oracle decks.
Etsy An online marketplace for independent artists and small businesses. You can find unique, handmade decks that might not be available elsewhere.
Tarot Garden A specialty site that focuses specifically on tarot decks. They offer a large selection of decks from all over the world, including rare and out-of-print decks.
Aeclectic Tarot An online forum that includes a marketplace for buying and selling tarot decks, as well as reviews and discussions about different decks.

Of course, there are many other online retailers to choose from, so be sure to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase. It’s also important to make sure that the retailer is reputable and has a secure payment system to protect your personal information.

Independent Artists

If you’re looking for a more unique and personal touch to your card deck, consider purchasing from independent artists. These talented creators pour their heart and soul into each deck they produce, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

One advantage of purchasing from independent artists is the variety of artistic styles available. From bold and vibrant to minimalist and subdued, you can find a deck that truly resonates with your personal aesthetic. Additionally, many independent artists offer customizable options, allowing you to tailor the deck to your specific needs or preferences.

When purchasing from independent artists, it’s important to do your research and make sure the artist is reputable and trustworthy. Check their reviews and past work to ensure the quality of their craftsmanship.

Keep in mind that purchasing from independent artists may come with a higher price tag, but the investment can be well worth it for a truly unique and special deck.

Here are some potential drawbacks to purchasing from independent artists:

Pros Cons
Unique and personal touch Potentially higher price point
Customizable options Less variety in styles and themes
Supporting independent artists Potentially less established reputation

Purchasing from independent artists can be a rewarding experience for those seeking a special and personalized deck. Just be sure to do your research and make an informed decision.

Metaphysical Stores

One popular option for buying card decks is through metaphysical stores. These shops cater to individuals interested in spiritual and supernatural practices. These stores usually have a selection of card decks that are not often found in mainstream retail stores, making them an ideal choice for those looking for unique and specialized decks. Some metaphysical stores even have knowledgeable staff who can help guide you in your choice of deck.


  • Specialized and unique selection of decks that may not be available in mainstream stores
  • Knowledgeable staff who can help guide you in making a choice
  • Opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals interested in spiritual and supernatural practices


  • May not be accessible to everyone as they are often located in specific areas
  • Decks may be more expensive in comparison to other retailers

Metaphysical stores provide a great option for those looking for specialized and unique decks. With their knowledgeable staff and community of like-minded individuals, it can be a great experience to shop at these stores. However, accessibility and cost may be a barrier for some.

Secondhand Retailers

When it comes to buying card decks, don’t overlook the option of purchasing from secondhand retailers. Secondhand retailers are a great choice if you are on a budget or if you’re looking for a rare or out-of-print deck. Some secondhand retailers even offer vintage decks that are no longer in production, making them highly sought after by collectors.

Here are some secondhand retailers you can check out:

  • Thrift Stores: Check out thrift stores near you for gently used decks. You never know what you might find!
  • Estate Sales: Estate sales are a goldmine for unique and hard-to-find decks. Be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds!
  • Auctions: Auction sites like eBay often have rare decks up for bid. Just be sure to do your research on the seller before placing a bid.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Check out your local Facebook Marketplace for listings of gently used decks for sale by individuals in your community.
  • Instagram: Follow deck collectors on Instagram and keep an eye out for decks they may be selling or trading.

It’s important to note that when purchasing from secondhand retailers, you should always thoroughly inspect the deck for any damage or missing cards. Additionally, take the time to cleanse and charge the deck before using it for your personal practice.

Secondhand retailers offer a unique opportunity to find a special deck at a fraction of the cost, and can be a great way to expand your collection or try out a new type of deck without breaking the bank.

Caring for Your Deck

As you delve deeper into the world of reading tarot and oracle cards, you’ll quickly realize the profound connection that is formed between you and your deck. Your cards become more than just inanimate objects; they become a trusted tool that can provide invaluable insights and guidance. With such a special connection, it’s essential to take good care of your deck to maintain its usefulness and longevity. In this section, we’ll explore essential tips for caring for your deck, including cleansing and charging, proper storage, and knowing when it’s time to release your deck. So, let’s dive in and learn how to ensure your cards are always ready to serve as your spiritual guide.

Cleansing and Charging

After purchasing a new deck or using a deck for some time, it is important to cleanse and charge it to ensure that it is working at its fullest potential. Cleansing involves removing any negative or stagnant energy that may have attached itself to the deck, while charging involves infusing the deck with positive energy and intention.

There are several methods for cleansing and charging your deck, each with their own unique benefits. Some popular methods include:

Method Description
Salt Bath Place your deck in a bowl of salt or bury it in a heap of salt for 24 hours. Salt is a natural purifier and can help to remove any negative energy from your deck.
Sunlight or Moonlight Bath Place your deck in direct sunlight or moonlight for several hours. This can help to recharge your deck with positive energy and intention.
Smoke Bath Pass your deck through incense smoke, such as sage or palo santo. The smoke can help to remove any negative energy and infuse your deck with positive energy.
Sound Bath Use a singing bowl, bell, or other sound instrument to create vibrations around your deck. The vibrations can help to cleanse the deck of any negative energy and create a positive, energetic environment.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to set your intention for your deck as you perform the cleansing and charging. You can speak your intention aloud or silently, visualizing your deck as cleansed and charged with positive energy.

It is important to note that you should not allow others to handle your deck during this cleansing and charging process, as their energy may interfere with the effectiveness of the process. Keep your deck in a safe place until it is fully cleansed and charged, ready for use in your future readings.

Storing Your Deck

Properly storing your tarot, oracle, or Lenormand deck is crucial to maintain their energy and prevent any physical damage. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep it in a safe place: The first thing to consider is where you will keep your deck. Make sure it is a safe and secure place to avoid any harm or damage.
  • Use a storage box: Using a storage box is a great way to protect your cards from dust, moisture, and potential scratches. Make sure the box is the correct size for the cards to prevent bending or warping.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and moisture: Exposure to direct sunlight and moisture can be harmful to the cards and the box they are stored in. Keep them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight.
  • Store them with care: When placing your deck in the box, do it carefully to avoid bending or damaging the cards’ corners. Arrange the cards in order and with their faces down.
  • Separate the deck: If you have a particularly large deck or combination deck, consider separating the cards into smaller groups. This will make it easier to find what you need without damaging the rest of the deck.
  • Label the box: If you have multiple decks, it can be helpful to label the box with the deck’s name or any other relevant information to make them easier to identify and keep organized.

By taking good care of your tarot, oracle, or Lenormand deck, it will be ready and available for whenever you need it.

Releasing Your Deck

When it comes to releasing a tarot or oracle deck, it’s important to understand that there may come a time when you no longer resonate with the energy of a particular deck or you have simply outgrown it. In such cases, it’s important to release the deck properly in order to clear the energy and maintain positive connections with future decks.

Here are some steps to help you release your deck:

  • Express gratitude: Before you release the deck, take a moment to express gratitude for the time you have spent with it, the insights it has provided, and the lessons you have learned.
  • Release the energy: Some people prefer to release the energy of a deck by burning it, burying it in the earth, or placing it in a moving body of water. Choose a method that feels right to you and is respectful to the environment.
  • Cleanse yourself: After releasing the deck, it’s important to cleanse your own energy as well. This can be done with a simple meditation or ritual, such as smudging with sage or palo santo.
  • Dispose of the deck: Once you have released the energy of the deck and cleansed yourself, dispose of the deck in a responsible and environmentally-friendly way. Some people choose to recycle the cards or donate them to a secondhand shop or another reader.

Remember, releasing a deck doesn’t mean you have failed or that there is anything wrong with the deck itself. It simply means that your journey with that particular deck has come to an end and it’s time to move on. By releasing the deck with gratitude and respect, you can maintain positive connections with all of the decks you will work with in the future.


After considering all the factors outlined in this guide, you should feel confident in your ability to choose the perfect card deck for your needs. Remember to take into account your level of experience, intended use, artwork, theme, energy, and size when making your decision.

Whether you choose a Tarot, Oracle, or Lenormand deck, each one has its unique qualities and can offer you valuable insights into your life. It’s important to also consider where you purchase your deck from, whether it be through online retailers, independent artists, metaphysical stores, or secondhand retailers.

Once you have your card deck, it’s essential to care for it properly. This is not only for the longevity of the deck, but also to maintain its energy and keep it effective for your readings. Remember to cleanse and charge your deck, store it properly, and even release it if necessary.

In conclusion, choosing a card deck is not a decision to be taken lightly, but with these guidelines and your own intuition, you can find a deck that is perfect for you. So embrace the world of card reading, and may your readings be insightful and enlightening.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Tarot and Oracle decks?

Tarot decks have a specific structure and set number of cards, while Oracle decks can vary in structure and number of cards. Tarot decks traditionally have 78 cards and are structured into Major and Minor Arcana, while Oracle decks can have any number of cards and no set structure.

Can beginners use Tarot decks?

Yes, beginners can use Tarot decks. There are many resources available for learning and interpreting Tarot cards, and some decks are specifically designed for beginners.

What is the significance of artwork in choosing a deck?

The artwork on a deck can convey different meanings and emotions, and can greatly affect the interpretation of the cards. It’s important to choose a deck with artwork that resonates with you and the type of readings you want to do.

How important is the theme of a deck?

The theme of a deck can affect how the cards are interpreted and how they resonate with the reader and querent (person receiving the reading). It’s important to choose a deck with a theme that aligns with your personal beliefs and values.

What should I consider when choosing a deck’s energy?

Consider the overall vibe or feeling you get from the deck. Does it feel light and playful or more serious and introspective? Choose a deck with an energy that matches your intentions for using it.

How can I cleanse and charge my deck?

You can cleanse and charge your deck by placing it in the sunlight, moonlight, or with crystals. You can also use smoke from sage or palo santo to cleanse the deck.

What is the best way to store my deck?

Store your deck in a pouch or box that is designated solely for that deck. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.

Can I release a deck that no longer serves me?

Yes, you can release a deck that no longer serves you by thanking it for its service and passing it on to someone else or returning it to the earth with gratitude.

Where can I buy decks from independent artists?

You can buy decks from independent artists on their personal websites, Etsy, or other online platforms. Follow your favorite indie artists on social media to stay up-to-date on their latest releases.

Are secondhand decks a good option?

Secondhand decks can be a good option if they are in good condition and feel energetically right to you. Just be sure to cleanse and charge the deck before using it.


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