Hello!!! First off you should check out my resource tag, it’s got some decent stuff in it.
Second, introduce yourself to the tarot community! We’re all super nice and love helping newbies join our
cult family :) I’m paging tarot-sybarite, innerselfnotes, and arcanemysteries who all have excellent resources for newbies.
*CRASHES THROUGH WALL* Did someone say they needed to beginner info to learn tarot?!
A while back I went online to gather the best—IMHO—free resources I could about tarot for use by them as wants to learn. Below are the fruits of my labor.
Quick Methods of Learning Tarot
Learning Tarot - Reversals
Learning Tarot - Court Cards
Learning Tarot - the Thoth Deck
Asking Questions (For Those Seeking Readings)
Public Domain Tarot Books (PDFs) via EsotericOnline.net:
- Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A. E. Waite
- A French Method of Cartomancy, by A. E. Waite
- An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot, by Paul Foster Case
- Oracle of the Tarot, by Paul Foster Case. Keyed to the Knapp-Hall Tarot
- The Wisdom of Tarot by Elizabeth Haich
- What is the Tarot? by Ouspenpsky
- Book T, by MacGregor Mathers Intro the the Golden Dawn system of tarot interpretation. Very dense reading, not keyed to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and not for beginners
- Tarot of the Bohemians, by Papus. References the Tarot de Marseilles and the Oswald-Wirth Tarot.
- A History of the Tarot, by Dame Gabby
- The Continental Tarots by Christine Payne-Towler
- A Self-Guided Tour of the Tarot by Cameo Victor
- The Continental Tarot, by Christine Payne-Towler
- The Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang
- Sex Magic, Tantra, and Tarot: The Way of the Secret Lover by Hyatt and DuQuette
Printable Tarot Decks (Public Domain Art)
Once you’ve decided which deck(s) you want to print, save the printable tarot cards to your computer. Avoid printing directly from the browser as you might end up with some weird and unwanted results (trust me on this).
Print out the tarot cards on your chosen paper. Make sure that you print them in the standard tarot deck size. If you’re not sure that the size is right, do a test print of one card so you don’t destroy the entire paper. If you printed the images on regular paper and want a good backing, then you need to use spray adhesive to glue the paper to the actual cards.
Carefully trim the edges of the cards - some people like rounded edges, so make sure you have enough place for the borders.
Once the cards are printed, let them dry and then seal them with a varnish spray. After that, run them through a laminator. These days laminators are pretty affordable, and if you find yourself creating lots of tarot decks, you might want to invest in one. You can also take the files to office supply stores (such as Office Depot in the USA) for printing and laminating.
Tarot & Astrology
Tarot & Numerology
- Secrets of Tarot Numerology by Gary Meister: Lesson One, Lesson Two, Lesson Three, Lesson Four, Lesson Five, Lesson Six, Lesson Seven, Lesson Eight, Lesson Nine, Lesson Ten, Lesson Eleven, Lesson Twelve
Issues in Tarot
Organizations That Support/Promote Tarot
- Tarosophy Tarot Association - “We teach methods of Tarot to divine your life, and make your way better through it – understanding more along the way.” This organization runs TaroCon US, TarotCon Australia, and TarotCon UK.
- American Tarot Association - “The American Tarot Association is a professional and social organization for Tarot enthusiasts, students, scholars, and readers. We promote the study and appreciation of Tarot by supporting a variety of educational programs.”
- Tarot Association of the British Isles - "TABI is a not-for-profit association run by unpaid volunteers with a passion for Tarot and the esoteric. We were formed in 2001 to provide support, information and resources for Tarot enthusiasts of all levels."
- Tarot Guild of Australia - “The TGA represents a community of Tarot enthusiasts, readers and teachers from across Australia and worldwide.”
- Tarot Media Company - “…our goal [is] promoting the work of Tarot authors, artists, and scholars to make their creations available to the Tarot public and to support them in their goal of right livelihood.”
- US Games Systems - Publisher of classic and contemporary tarot decks, Rider-Waite, Crowley Thoth, divination and oracle decks
- Lo Scarabeo - Born in 1987 in Torino, Italy, Lo Scarabeo is now a leading international company in the mind, body and spiritual health publishing, with a main focus in Tarot publishing. Lo Scarabeo is one of the most important Tarot publishers in the world.
- The Game Crafter - “the world’s first web-to-print game publishing company and offers a print on demand game publishing service…The Game Crafter gives designers an easy-to-use system to make a board game, card game, or custom playing cards. TGC offers templates, instructions, videos, and proofing tools to help designers create a quality product”.
Shopping For Decks
- If you’re browsing decks on AeclecticTarot, you can usually click a link on the deck’s page and be taken to a web site to order. Those affiliate links usually help the site, too.
Tarot Card Games
- Take a look at this graphic for some quick facts about tarot
- Thomas L. MacDonald’s detailed, excellent series on the history of tarot cards. MacDonald is an editor over at Games magazine.
- For a shorter overview of the history, you can look at tarot author Mary K. Greer’s blog post What Every Newbie Tarot Reader Should Know About the History and Myths of Tarot and the TarotL History and Information Sheet.
- History of Women’s Tarot - Tarot as a keystone of the Women’s Spirituality movement branches off in a different direction from the mainstream in the mid-1970’s.
- Make sure you do some reading about Pamela Colman Smith. Smith is the artist who designed the artwork for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (the world’s most popular tarot deck, and the one most people think of when they hear the word “tarot”) in 1909.
- Smith based her RWS deck design on the Tarot de Marseille.
- Smith’s creation of individual scenes on the cards of the minor arcana was a huge leap forward in tarot deck design, and contributed mightily to the enduring popularity of the RWS deck.
- You can see examples of her non-tarot artwork here and here. Don’t forget her book Susan and the Mermaid!
- One thing to keep in mind about Pamela Colman Smith is that she made a deliberate decision to reduce or eliminate the Christian imagery found in the early tarot decks. For example….
- The Hanged Man image comes from the medieval Italian practice of hanging traitors upside down (Fun Fact: at the end of WWII, Mussolini was hanged upside down to mark him as a traitor; and please be warned that link is GRAPHIC and TOTALLY NSFW). That practice was inspired by the death of Judas Iscariot in the Bible, where Iscariot is described as falling “headlong” (Acts 1:18). In the earliest tarocchi decks, the Hanged Man is depicted with bags of money, or with coins falling out of his pocket, a reference to the infamous thirty pieces of silver Iscariot was paid for betraying Jesus Christ.
- The World card can be seen in many churches and ancient Christian manuscripts, usually showing Christ ascending into heaven surrounded by symbols of the Four Evangelists.
- Smith’s High Priestess replaced La Papessa (the Papess, a female ‘Pope’ figure) in the deck. Lots of folks assumed that this image was inspired by the legend of Pope Joan, but evidence suggests that the image is a female allegorical figure for the Roman Catholic Church (which claims the title ‘The Bride of Christ’)
Have fun, and good luck!