There are over a thousand different Tarot decks to choose from today – and there’s sure to be more tomorrow. Yet, despite the three most prevalent subcategories*, which stem from an illustrative theme, there are only three fundamental categories, the Metaphysical, the Esoteric, and Oracle or Meditation Tarot Cards, any and all of which, can serve as a means to enhance or unleash your personal intuition.
While Oracle or meditation
Cards can number from as little as twenty-one (21) to sixty-four (64) cards
their primary goal is to assist the reader in discovering and understanding
their purpose in life and/or their spiritual connection to nature as well as
Although most Metaphysical
and Esoteric Tarot Cards contain seventy-eight (78), cards some can contain
eighty (80) or more cards, designed to portray the inner-vision that each
author and/or artist believes will strengthen the readers personal connection
to the Tarot and their higher or inner-self.
The first category and
suit in virtually all seventy-eight card Metaphysical or Esoteric Tarot Decks,
is known as the Major Arcana. The second category is
called the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana features four suits known as the
Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.**
Whether Metaphysical or
Esoteric, since 1909 the best-known Tarot decks are those that contain
seventy-eight Tarot cards as well as a small white instruction booklet (aka the
LWB or "little white book") and subscribe to the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Tarot
Based on my observations over the years, whenever possible, I not only invite clients who come to my office to select the Tarot Deck of their choice for me to read from, I also encourage students as well as clients who occasionally conduct Tarot readings for themselves to purchase at least two Tarot decks.
* Subcategories: Historical Tarot Decks, such as the Golden Tarot of the Renaissance, Tarot of Marseilles, and Tarot of the Bohemians; Art Tarot Decks such as the Tarot of the Mermaids; and Cultural Tarot Decks such as the Tarot of the Elves.
** Nowadays, upon purchasing a new deck of Tarot cards you’re
quite likely to discover that the Wands may be labelled Batons,Rods, Staves,
Sticks, Spears, Acorns or Candlesticks, and your Cups rechristened as
Chalices,Goblets, Gourds,Hearts or
Teacups, while your Swords have become Daggers, Knives, Quills or Leaves, and
your Pentacles renamed as Coins,Discs or Bells — just to name a few! In some
instances Tarot Artists will also substitute the title Prince, Knave or
Princess for the Page.
To discover more about
what the RWS format means to you, or why two decks are better than one simply
click on the links below.