It’s easy to get lost in the sea of tarot decks available on the market, but choosing the right one can make all the difference for beginner readers. If you’re looking to diversify your deck collection and delve into new cultures, look no further than multicultural tarot decks. Not only can these decks provide valuable insight into different belief systems and spiritual practices, but they also prioritize representation and inclusivity. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 5 multicultural tarot decks for beginner readers that not only offer stunning artwork and powerful symbolism, but also help expand your tarot knowledge and understanding of different cultures.
Why Multicultural Tarot Decks?
As tarot reading gains popularity, it’s important to consider the cultural significance behind the imagery on the cards. Many traditional tarot decks have predominantly white and Eurocentric symbolism, which can be limiting for those who want to explore diverse cultures and perspectives. This is where multicultural tarot decks come in – they offer a wider range of cultural representation and understanding. In this article, we explore the importance of using multicultural tarot decks, from understanding different cultures to expanding your tarot knowledge. We’ll also provide a list of top 5 multicultural tarot decks for beginner readers to get you started. So whether you’re new to tarot or a seasoned reader, read on to learn about the significance of multicultural tarot and how to incorporate it into your practice. Don’t forget to check out our other articles on exploring multicultural tarot decks, how to choose multicultural tarot, and the history and significance of these decks in social justice and care.
1. Understanding Different Cultures
One of the main reasons why a beginner tarot reader might opt for a multicultural tarot deck is gaining a deeper understanding of different cultures. Different cultures view the world through different lenses, and this is reflected in the iconography and symbolism of tarot cards. By using a multicultural tarot deck, beginner readers can begin to learn about the beliefs, customs, and practices of cultures different from their own.
For example, the Afro-Brazilian Tarot incorporates the wisdom and folklore of the West African Yoruba tradition and the Candomblé religion that emerged in Brazil through the blending of various African traditions with Catholicism. The Native American Tarot Deck, on the other hand, draws on the spiritual beliefs and practices of various Native American tribes, including the Lakota, Hopi, and Cherokee. The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot brings together the wisdom and traditions of indigenous cultures across the globe, while The Tarot of the Divine incorporates the deities, myths, and symbols of various world religions.
By exploring tarot decks with cultural origins and influences different from their own, beginners can gain new perspectives on life and the universe, and develop empathy and appreciation for diverse cultures and ways of thinking. Additionally, tarot readers can incorporate their own culture or heritage into their tarot practice using a multicultural deck, making their readings a more personal and meaningful experience.
Using multicultural tarot decks can also be a way of embodying social justice care. By consciously choosing and working with diverse tarot decks, we send a message of appreciation for the customs, spirituality, and wisdoms of people from around the world.
2. Representation Matters
When it comes to tarot decks, representation matters for several reasons. First and foremost, seeing oneself represented in the cards can make the readings more relevant and meaningful. Tarot readings can often provide insight and guidance for a person’s life, and it’s much easier to connect with the messages when the cards reflect one’s own experiences and culture.
A lack of representation can be troubling and problematic. It can reinforce feelings of exclusion and contribute to the erasure of certain cultures. This is why multicultural tarot decks have become increasingly popular and important.
Having a range of tarot decks that reflect a diversity of cultures and traditions can help us to expand our understanding of different spiritual practices and beliefs. It can also help to promote cultural appreciation and respect.
In order to illustrate the importance of representation in tarot, let’s take a look at the following table:
|Deck||Cultural Background||Key Features|
|The Afro-Brazilian Tarot||Afro-Brazilian||Features deities and figures from Afro-Brazilian traditions, such as Oshun and Exu.|
|The Native American Tarot Deck||Native American||Uses imagery and symbolism from Native American cultures, including animals and nature.|
|The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot||African Diaspora||Integrates spiritual practices and beliefs from across the African Diaspora, including Vodou and Ifa.|
|The Tarot of the Divine||Multicultural||Features deities and figures from a range of cultures, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Egyptian mythology.|
|The Next World Tarot||LGBTQ+||Employs a punk aesthetic and depicts diverse bodies and experiences, including disability and non-binary genders.|
Each of these decks provides a unique perspective and set of symbols that can be used in tarot readings. They also demonstrate the importance of representation and the many different cultures and identities that can be included in tarot.
3. Expanding Your Tarot Knowledge
One of the fascinating aspects of tarot cards is the potential for endless learning and growth. Expanding your tarot knowledge can enhance your understanding of not only the cards, but also the diverse cultures they come from. By using multicultural tarot decks, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the symbolism and meanings behind the cards, and also broaden your understanding of different cultural practices and beliefs.
Additionally, when you use a multicultural tarot deck, you may find yourself encountering new and unfamiliar symbols or archetypes. This can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Exploring new imagery and symbolism can help you break out of stale or limiting interpretations of the cards, and foster a more intuitive and creative approach to your tarot practice.
To further expand your tarot knowledge, it can be helpful to study the history and origins of the cards, as well as the cultural and spiritual traditions they are associated with. Many multicultural tarot decks come with detailed guidebooks and resources, providing a wealth of information for those interested in delving deeper into the meanings behind the cards.
Using multicultural tarot decks is an excellent way to challenge yourself, learn new things, and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich and diverse roots of the tarot tradition.
Top 5 Multicultural Tarot Decks for Beginner Readers
Now that we’ve discussed why multicultural tarot decks are important, it’s time to take a look at some of the top options available for beginner readers. Whether you’re a seasoned tarot enthusiast or just starting out on your divination journey, these five decks offer unique perspectives, stunning artwork, and powerful symbolism that will deepen your understanding of tarot and the diverse cultures represented within them. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of multicultural tarot decks!
1. The Afro-Brazilian Tarot
The Afro-Brazilian Tarot is a unique deck that blends the symbolism of traditional tarot with the cultural heritage of African slaves in Brazil. This deck was created by artist and writer Alice Santana, who wanted to pay homage to her ancestors and their spiritual beliefs. The deck includes 78 cards, each featuring vibrant artwork and Afro-Brazilian imagery that is steeped in symbolism and meaning.
One of the standout features of this deck is the use of traditional Yoruba spiritual figures and deities, such as Oshun, Obatala, and Orunmila. These figures are prominent in Afro-Brazilian religious traditions and add a layer of depth and authenticity to the deck.
The cards are divided into the traditional Major and Minor Arcana, with each card featuring Santos or Orixas, which represent different aspects of life and spirituality. For example, the Ace of Cups is represented by Yemanjá, the goddess of the sea and fertility. The Ten of Swords features Exu, a trickster figure who is associated with chaos and disruption.
In addition to its rich cultural roots, the Afro-Brazilian Tarot is also a visually stunning deck. The card art is detailed and colorful, and each card is filled with symbolism that can be explored and interpreted in a multitude of ways. The card stock is high quality and glossy, making these cards a pleasure to handle and shuffle.
The Afro-Brazilian Tarot is a wonderful addition to any tarot collection, particularly for those interested in exploring the intersection of spirituality and cultural traditions. Its unique imagery and deep symbolism make it a captivating and engaging deck for both beginner and experienced readers.
|Rich cultural heritage: The Afro-Brazilian Tarot is steeped in the spiritual traditions of African slaves in Brazil, which adds depth and authenticity to the deck.||Cultural specificity: While the deck’s cultural roots may make it appealing to some, others may find it limiting in terms of its universal applicability.|
|Unique imagery: The deck features vibrant artwork and traditional Yoruba spiritual figures and deities, creating a visually stunning and meaningful deck.||Complex symbolism: With its cultural specificity and deep symbolism, the deck may be challenging for beginners to interpret without prior knowledge.|
|High-quality card stock: The cards are well-made with a high-gloss finish, making them durable and enjoyable to handle.||Limited availability: The deck may be difficult to find in some areas, particularly outside of Brazil.|
2. The Native American Tarot Deck
One of the best multicultural tarot decks for beginner readers is The Native American Tarot Deck. This deck is a beautiful representation of Native American culture and beliefs. It is designed to help readers connect with the natural world and understand the connection between humans and the earth.
The Deck: The Native American Tarot Deck was created by artist and author Laura Tuan, with illustrations by Sergio Tisselli. The deck includes 78 cards with beautiful images that reflect Native American mythology, culture, and spirituality. Each card features a unique illustration and offers a unique interpretation.
The Symbolism: The Native American Tarot Deck incorporates a lot of traditional Native American symbolism, including animals, plants, and natural elements like fire and water. Some of the major arcana cards in the deck include the Shaman, the Lodge, and the Chariot. Each card offers its own unique interpretations and meanings that relate to the natural world and Native American culture.
The Benefits: One of the main benefits of using The Native American Tarot Deck is that it offers a unique perspective on the world and the universe. It helps readers connect with the natural world and appreciate the balance between humans and nature. Additionally, the deck can help beginners learn more about Native American culture and mythology, providing a deeper understanding of the world around us.
The Challenges: While The Native American Tarot Deck is a great option for beginners, it may be challenging for those who are unfamiliar with Native American culture and symbolism. As with any tarot deck, it takes practice and patience to develop a thorough understanding of the cards and their meanings.
The Native American Tarot Deck is a fantastic choice for beginners who are looking for a more multicultural perspective on tarot. Its beautiful imagery and incorporation of Native American symbolism make it a powerful tool for self-discovery and spiritual growth.
3. The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot
The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot is a powerful deck that draws heavily from African spirituality and culture. The deck was created by artist and author Oluwatobi Ajibolade, who wanted to create a tarot deck that would celebrate the ancestral wisdom that has been passed down through generations.
1. Deck Design: The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot is a 78-card deck that features beautiful, vibrant artwork inspired by African art, culture, and spirituality. The cards are printed on high-quality, glossy cardstock, and the deck comes with a guidebook that provides detailed explanations and interpretations of each card.
2. Theme: This deck focuses heavily on African spirituality and culture, and each card is meant to celebrate the wisdom and guidance of the ancestors. The deck can be used for divination like any other tarot deck, but it is also a powerful tool for meditation, self-discovery, and spiritual growth.
3. Unique Features: One of the unique features of this deck is the way in which it incorporates African traditions and mythology. The deck uses traditional African symbols and imagery to represent the major and minor arcana cards, and each card comes with a detailed explanation of the symbolism used.
4. Intended Audience: The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot is an excellent choice for beginner readers who are interested in exploring tarot from a multicultural perspective. This deck is especially well-suited for individuals who are drawn to African spirituality and culture, or who want to learn more about these traditions.
5. Overall Impressions: The Spirit of the Ancestors Tarot is a beautiful and powerful deck that offers a unique perspective on tarot. The deck is well-designed, and the artwork is stunning. The guidebook is also very informative, making this a great choice for beginner readers who want to learn more about tarot from a multicultural perspective.
4. The Tarot of the Divine
The Tarot of the Divine deck is an excellent option for beginner readers who are interested in exploring cards that represent a wide range of cultures and spiritual traditions. This deck consists of 78 cards that feature intricate and gorgeous illustrations created by artist Yoshi Yoshitani.
What sets this deck apart is its focus on bringing together different mythologies from various cultures, including African, Asian, and Middle Eastern. The cards are inspired by deities, myths, and legends from these diverse traditions, making it a truly multicultural tarot deck.
One of the standout features of this deck is its attention to diverse representation. The cards portray figures from different ethnicities, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations, making it an inclusive deck that represents a wider range of people.
The deck follows the traditional structure of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, making it a great option for beginners who are looking for a deck that is both culturally diverse and easy to use.
The Tarot of the Divine deck also comes with a guidebook that provides comprehensive interpretations of each card, as well as suggested spreads for readings. This makes it an ideal deck for those who are just starting out and may need some guidance in interpreting the meanings of the cards.
The Tarot of the Divine is a stunning and inclusive deck that brings together cultures and spiritual traditions in a way that is both respectful and enlightening. Its focus on diverse representation and its traditional structure make it an excellent choice for beginner readers who are interested in exploring different cultures through the medium of tarot.
5. The Next World Tarot
One of the most unique and visually stunning multicultural tarot decks for beginner readers is The Next World Tarot. Created by Cristy C. Road, this deck is inspired by punk and queer subcultures and features a diverse cast of characters.
The artwork in The Next World Tarot is both raw and beautiful, with each card telling a story and conveying a powerful message. The deck is designed to be inclusive and empowering, with characters of all genders, sexualities, and backgrounds represented.
One of the standout features of this deck is the inclusion of descriptive titles for each card. For example, the Death card is represented by a skull with the title “Reflection/Transformation”, emphasizing the transformative nature of this card rather than just its association with death.
Here is a table with some of the standout cards from The Next World Tarot:
|The Star||A person with a guitar standing on a desolate street, representing hope and beauty in the midst of chaos.|
|The Devil||A demon-like figure made of insects, representing the dangers of materialism and excess.|
|The Sun||A person holding a sign that says “Water is Life”, surrounded by sunshine and nature, representing illumination and optimism.|
|The Empress||A pregnant woman surrounded by flowers and nature, representing fertility, creativity, and abundance.|
Whether you are a beginner reader or an experienced tarot enthusiast, The Next World Tarot is a must-have deck for anyone interested in exploring multicultural and inclusive representations in tarot.
In conclusion, incorporating diversity and inclusivity in tarot readings and practice can broaden our understanding of the world around us. Using multicultural tarot decks is one way to achieve this. Not only do they offer different perspectives, but they also enhance the representation and appreciation of different cultures.
By choosing to use multicultural tarot decks, we can expand our tarot knowledge, gain a deeper appreciation for cultural differences, and positively impact the tarot community through increased representation of diverse cultures. It is important to remember that tarot is a tool for self-reflection and growth, and by embracing diversity, we can further enhance our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
In the end, the tarot is an ever-evolving and adaptable practice. It is up to us as individuals to keep fostering growth and inclusivity within the tarot community. By exploring the top 5 multicultural tarot decks for beginner readers, we can take the first step towards becoming more open-minded and diverse practitioners. Let us continue to embrace the power and beauty of diversity within the tarot world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a multicultural tarot deck?
A multicultural tarot deck is a tarot deck that incorporates cultures and traditions from different parts of the world.
Why is it important to use a multicultural tarot deck?
Using a multicultural tarot deck helps to broaden your understanding and appreciation of different cultures and their unique perspectives on life.
What are some examples of cultures represented in multicultural tarot decks?
Cultures represented in multicultural tarot decks can include Native American, African, Asian, and Latin American cultures, among others.
What are some benefits of using a multicultural tarot deck?
Using a multicultural tarot deck can help you to gain a deeper understanding of the world, broaden your perspective, and discover new insights into your own life.
Can anyone use a multicultural tarot deck, even if they don’t belong to a particular culture?
Yes, anyone can use a multicultural tarot deck. Tarot is a tool for self-reflection and inspiration that is open to all who are willing to learn and grow.
What should I consider when choosing a multicultural tarot deck?
When choosing a multicultural tarot deck, it’s important to consider the cultures and traditions that are most meaningful to you, as well as the artwork and symbolism used in the deck.
Is it important to be familiar with the culture represented in a multicultural tarot deck in order to use it effectively?
While it can be helpful to have some understanding of the culture represented in a multicultural tarot deck, it is not necessary in order to use the deck effectively. The deck’s artwork and symbolism will still be able to inspire and guide you on your journey.
Are there any special considerations to keep in mind when working with a multicultural tarot deck?
It’s important to approach a multicultural tarot deck with respect and open-mindedness, honoring the cultures and traditions that are represented in the deck.
How can I use a multicultural tarot deck in my personal practice?
You can use a multicultural tarot deck in the same way you would use any tarot deck, by meditating on the cards, using them for self-reflection, and incorporating them into your spiritual practice.
Where can I purchase a multicultural tarot deck?
A multicultural tarot deck can be purchased online, at a metaphysical store, or through a tarot deck publisher.