Tarot Decks

The following features just a small selection of some of the best-known tarot decks together with a few others that are delightful, charming, quirky or deserve to be included for some other reason.

Rider Waite Tarot
Rider Waite Tarot

This classic and highly influential tarot deck by Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942) and Pamela Coleman Smith (illustrator, 1878-1951) made a huge impact due to being among the first of which all the cards were fully illustrated.

Until then the pip cards of most tarot decks showed only arrangements of the symbols of the suit. Examples include Tarot Nouveau (really a parlour game from the early 1900s) and the similar simple Playing Card Tarot Deck developed by IvyRose in 2017 to add to our range of Free Tarot Readings. Since the Rider Waite Tarot became available many fully illustrated decks have been published. A large proportion of those follow the Rider Waite style and symbolism to at least some extent.

Robin Wood Tarot Deck
Robin Wood Tarot

This beautiful tarot deck was designed by Robin Wood (1953-2021). Published in 2002 and it was an immediate success gaining much popularity as an inspiring deck than uses 'classic' tarot symbolism.

This is an example of a tarot deck whose images are closely comparable with those of the Rider Waite deck. The strikingly vibrant images contribute to making each card and its meanings even more memorable and enhance the pleasure of using this deck. While still using established tarot symbolism, the images are particularly inspired by nature. Due to the nature theme the Robin Wood Tarot Deck is often said to appeal to Pagans - as well it might, as part of its much wider enthusiastic user base.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set)
The Gilded Tarot

This popular deck by Barbara Moore and Ciro Marchetti (illustrator) boasts beautiful art with intense, almost metallic, colours. The meanings and symbolism follow the Rider-Waite Tarot. Pub. by Llewellyn, 2004.

Tarot Grand Luxe
Tarot Grand Luxe

Ciro Marchetti created these images from personal inspiration with the overall deck based around the classic Rider Waite system. This also includes aspects of the Tarot de Marseilles and other symbols and archetypes. Pub. 2015.

Angel Tarot Cards
Angel Tarot Cards

Previously published as 'Angel Tarot Cards' by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine, this is beautifully illustrated by Steve A. Roberts. It was promoted as the first tarot deck to be totally 'safe' and positive, an interesting idea as some say that most changes and opportunities allow for positive or less desirable outcomes depending on how the people view and react to them. The images in this deck include artistic depictions of angels, unicorns, fairies and mermaids. [Pub. 2018.]

Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck
Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck

The Thoth Tarot Deck has interesting origins. The cards were painted by Lady Frieda Harris (1877-1962) from instructions by Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Crowley's unconventional life included joining the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1898 and going on to found the religion of Thelema, of which he is considered the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Aeon of Horus (more on Wiki). This version pub. 2005.

Golden Dawn Magical Tarot
Golden Dawn Magical Tarot

This tarot deck combines traditional Tarot imagery with descriptions from the initiation ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is by husband and wife Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, well-known authors in the esoteric community. Pub. 2010.

Celtic Tarot - Tarot Cards and Book
The Celtic Dragon Tarot

The Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt (illustrator) is a delight. Fantastic images. Unique, inspired, highly recommended. The symbolism differs from that of other decks, with that and the meaning of each card is explained in the book included with the deck. Pub. 1999.

Tarot Articles:

Tarot Card Games - for, against and examples

Learning to Read Tarot Cards

20 Steps to reading Tarot Cards

Why use Free Printable Tarot Cards?

List of Tarot Card Meanings

Origins of the Tarot Nouveau - or 'French Tarot'

Learning Tarot

Uses of Tarot Cards

Celtic Angels were believed to act as guardians or companions - much as totem animals in other traditions.

Although care has been taken when compiling this page, the information contained might not be completely up to date. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright. See terms of use.

IvyRose Holistic 2003-2022.