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Suggestions for Tarot Books And Other Learning Tools

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I have avoided tarot for years.  I get a reading every year, and collect decks.  I did a few readings for myself over the years, but mostly playing around.  It seems that I am really being drawn to start really working on my tarot skills and intuition among other things at this point in my life.  It is rather unexpected.  I think I am looking forward to a new chapter and some change in my life.


I would like advice on the best books, videos, classes for beginners.  Recommendations on tools that some use.  Advice and guidance on how to really let my intuition guide me and not get fixated on those voices in my head telling me that I can't do this (I'm sure some of you know what I mean).  


Any help, advice and guidance are very much appreciated.  Feel free to ask me questions.  I have a crazy work schedule so give me a day or 3 for some replies. 


Thank you!!!!

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hail @Lillith

this could of been your introduction almost   which would of been posted in your introductions. . 

there is no reall reall best books, classes, videos, for beginners.. as everyone individual has their own gift, own style, 

example an astrology based approach would work for someone who was open to astrology,, but for someone who didn't understand astrology and would never get it. (it happens ) ,, a numerology based, or perhaps more inuitiative, pictorial approach would work. 


1. there is books  on reading for yourself. 

you could post readings in https://www.thetarotforum.com/forums/forum/99-tarot-readings/ 

you could do it as actual reading for yourself, or you could do it as mediation for the day. 


2. tarot and intuition..

the two do not necessarily go in hand alas.. 

if one approaches tarot from a book , this card means this because of qabalah says this,, or that course said that.. you go high up in tarot knowledge,, but your intuition may not grow unless you add some sort of spiritual approach or psychic approach to the tarot. 

conversarly if you take the intuitive approach,, more a psychic approach,, your intuition would grow ,, but your tarot knowledge woudlnt' grow.. 

so the thing to do is find an happy medium..

and that will be only by reading the tarot, opening yourself up to intuition.. meanwhile using the tarot meanings as your skelton. . 


3. the voices in the head saying no. 

it is for that reason why I personally seek feedback from every reading,, . it helps me to know I am doing good work,, yet keeps my ego in check so I don't think I am lord of the tarot readers. 


4. specialized books. 

after spending money on several books I realize dthey were all saying the same thing.. so what you want to do is after your beginning book to look at interemediate books, or advanced book. 

also I love tarot that comes with books written for that deck.. that really helps you understand that tarot deeper meaning.. from which you can flow better. 

specialized topics is , tarot and astrology, tarot and numerology, tarot and psychiology, tarot court cards (at least books on that ) tarot reversals ( at least 2 books on that ). 

and there is always new books coming out.. in the last 9 years.. there has been the textbook approach from couple of authors. 


as you are just opening yourself to the royal road,, it is not as narrow, and linear as you think. !



Edited by HOLMES

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Anything by Barbara Moore.

Also Mary Greer, especially 21 ways to read a Tarot card - but Moore is perhaps a little easier on beginners.


Lynda Cowles - The Tarot Playbook.


This thread may help.



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I'm going to recommend a lot of things, but only so that you have choices--not because I think all of them are necessary! These are things I have read, done, or heard good things about, and hopefully some of them will work for you and for how you want to work with and learn the cards. I tend to learn the best through reading, so this list is heavy on books and written resources. 


Books I Own / Have Read

  • Learning the Tarot, by Joan Bunning - This was the first tarot book I ever got, and it was incredibly helpful! I haven't read it in a few years, so I'm not sure I would still feel like it's the best beginner book out there, but it worked for me, so I'm recommending it. 🙂
  • Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova - This is an incredibly accessible and entertaining book that I would recommend to a tarot lover of any level!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Tarot by Liz Dean - I own this book but haven't read it cover-to-cover. It's a good option for a beginner, and it has excellent reviews, but I feel like Learning the Tarot above has more info on how to actually use the cards.
  • Around the Tarot in 78 Days by Marcus Katz - This gave me a deeper understanding of the cards, and I would recommend it for that reason. It may not be the best place to start, but I do like how it has you concentrate on one card for each day. 
  • 21 Ways to Read A Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer - This is another more intermediate book that really helped me cultivate a better understanding of how to read tarot, not just remember the card meanings. It helps show how the cards fit into different patterns and such. Definitely a good one, but not the first book I'd get as a beginner.


Books I Haven't Read But Have Heard Good Things About



  • Biddy Tarot - This is a website many people recommend. It has great, in-depth meanings, but I find it personally annoying because it has a lot of ads. This is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Meanings, if you prefer the information in book format, but this is an excellent free resource.
  • Aeclectic.net - This is the first website I found that had card explanations that really resonated with me. 
  • Tarot Subreddit - I list this here because they have a bunch of resources listed here that might be helpful, but also because I enjoy following it, and it helps me to see how others are using tarot, and read about their experiences. I struggle with logic vs belief, and just immersing myself in the tarot community helps a lot with that!
  • Ethony.com - Ethony has some nice guides and tutorials on her site that might interest you. She also offers classes, but I haven't taken any myself.



  • Tarot Card Meanings - This is the first tarot card meanings app I got. It's $1.99 and it's pretty good, but I prefer the Fool's Dog ones, I think.
  • Labyrinthos - This app has tarot card meanings as well as a feature that quizzes you on card meanings so you can test your knowledge.
  • Fool's Dog Tarot Apps - They have a series of deck-specific apps for around $5 each, and each app has card meanings in it. I've got a few of these, and it's nice to have on-the-go meanings for some of my favorite decks!
  • Tarot Card Memorizer - This is a free app by Brainscape, and it's basically tarot flashcards that you can use to review the meanings.



  • Keeping your own notebook of card meanings - Not only will it help you to have one go-to resource (if you end up getting information from multiple sources), but it will help when you have a place to keep the card meanings that resonate with you. A binder system or arc notebook (like from Staples or Levenger) will work really well so you can add, remove, and move around pages. I tried with a normal notebook and kept running out of room!
  • Daily 1-card draw - This is a really great way to learn about the cards, though some cards may come up more than others and create an unbalanced level of understanding. But you'd draw 1 card in the morning and keep it in mind throughout the day, recognizing how its message or energy was present. When I've done this, I kept a journal to reflect on it at the end of the day and cement the meaning of the card in my mind.
  • Weekly 3-card draw - Same principle as the 1-card draw, but for a longer time period and with more cards. 
  • Journaling your readings - Writing down the cards I drew and how I interpreted them has helped me a lot! For me, hand-writing things is a way to cement any kind of information into my brain, so this has always been an important step for me when learning.
  • Helping others interpret their meanings (in this forum, another forum, reddit, wherever!) - It's great practice for when I don't have someone else to read for and don't have anything to read about for myself.


This is a lot, but hopefully some of this resonates with you and you can find something in this list that will help you learn. Good luck!!

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Book T and Liber T are both available for a free download being public domain. Each are excellent sources primarily for the Minors and Court cards. The Liber T also has the Majors. Good to keep on a phone or lap top. Both are from the Golden Dawn. 

Edited by Eric

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Going to put a plug in here for Benebel Wen's Holistic Tarot!

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Thanks for all the good info!!

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Assuming that you're mostly interested in the RWS system (?), I'd vote for Benebell Wen's Holistic Tarot as an excellent reference source (I only wish I had the time - not to mention the self-discipline! - required to work through the accompanying study guides that are available on her website!).    Personally, I've also got a lot out of Rachel Pollack's 78 Degrees of Wisdom (for a more spiritual/mystical approach to how the RWS system fits together).   But the first book I bought was Eden Grey's The Complete Guide to the Tarot - the more I read, the more and more I appreciate it - and it's the book I would gift in real life to someone who wanted to start.


Personally, the single thing I've found most helpful (apart from reading the cards as much as I can) is realising that I have to be calm, grounded and centred before I get the cards out.    (Genuinely took me years to work out that there was a reason to light a candle/breathe deeply/get myself into a meditative state first!  🤣)


Good luck!  🙂

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Hi @Lillith 👋 I have been learning how to read tarot since September, using the following method:

  • working through 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack from cover to cover with a highlighter pen – fantastic book
  • collecting a handful of wildly different decks that come with a good guidebook (the new Lightseer's Tarot has a GREAT booklet, even in the mass market edition)
  • pulling a card daily, plus weekly and monthly spreads, and journaling those
  • creating my own book of tarot card meanings in a ring binder (an old Filofax that I was no longer using)

So far, I have completed the Major Arcana in my book, and I'm looking forward to beginning the Suit of Wands next. The way I do it is, when I have a few hours to myself, I sit down with my ring binder and all the different books and deck booklets I have. Then I look up the card meaning from all of those and extract what resonates with me into my binder.


I have also read a good portion of Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen, but I found it overwhelming and kind of strict/rigid. 78 Degrees of Wisdom explains the cards in context with each other, like an unfolding story, and I found it more interesting and entertaining to read.





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Hey, @Lillith, this may be a little late but if you are going with the Rider Waite Smith I would recommend The Big Book of Tarot by Joan Bunning! This book is pretty much her former books consolidated.  I have learned pretty much all of my tarot skills from her website, here, which is identical to her book. Her website is amazing, but if you are like me and like to have a hard copy and support the author, I would suggest getting her book!

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Thank you all for your help!  @jupiter, My system is similar to yours.  I dont have a big binder yet just a several journals.


I bought Holistic Tarot but it just does not resonate with me at all.  I am currently using Tarot Wisdom, The Easiest Way to Learn the Tarot Ever and Tarot For Yourself. 

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