The number one question I get when encouraging folks to use tarot is some version of, “what deck should I choose?” There are a thousand tarot decks out there, the styles of which vary immensely, so it’s understandable that the choices leave people excited, a bit confused, and even overwhelmed.
To help, I’ve put together this round up of 37 incredible decks, organized by Zodiac sign.
And while these are organized by sign, there’s absolutely no rule on which deck you should pick! We all have the qualities of every sign inside us in different ways. The most important thing is to choose a deck that resonates with you. The more drawn you are to the imagery and information, the easier it will be for your intuition to connect with the cards and pull meaning from them.
Other things to consider when choosing a tarot deck:
Size and material of the cards — if ability to easily travel with your cards is important to you, these are good factors to look at (material also influences how easy it is to shuffle a deck)
Price — these decks range from prices in the $30’s to over $100, so consider your budget and how much you want to invest
Inclusion of a Guidebook — depending on your familiarity with the cards’ meaning, you may need the resource of a companion guidebook. Not all decks below come with a guidebook; some are sold separately, while others have none at all. Don’t let the lack of a guide deter you from a deck you love though — there is a wealth of information online and from other sources that you can rely on.
Keep scrolling to see the amazing round up, and tell me in the comments whether your favorite made the list!
The Ram, the Emperor, the Pioneer, a shooting star.
Aries initiates, probes, and penetrates, always functioning with extreme independence.
Swords, knives, and needles are all Aries imagery — tools that can pierce through one state to the next. It was just natural then that the Tattoo Tarot belong here in the Aries realm. Plus, no one can steal the attention of a room like an Aries who saunters in showing off two full sleeves. The art on these cards is beautiful enough to want to put on your own body forever.
Golden Thread tarot cuts straight to the point with their design, and boasts the ability to take the tarot with you via the deck’s companion app. Though the virtual version doesn’t have the same flashy gold sheen, it does have a unique ability to track your trends. Download it on your phone to "save your readings and daily cards to build a database of your own feelings and emotions [...] no experience required.”
One word: fire. Ok, a few more words: bold, fierce, naked, and raw. Story Medicine is Aries at its wildest and most natural, created from a fiery, passionate core, the story sung out onto the cards. It’s a deck that will re-wild your readings.
The Bull, the Hierophant, the Builder, a luscious garden.
Taurus is grounded, stable, and productive; with its deep, foundational roots, Taurus rises.
Sensual in the softness and simplicity of the illustrations, Mesquite tarot doesn’t need (or want) flash to impress. This deck is inherently tied to earth by its namesake: “Honey Mesquite has one of the deepest root systems of any plant, [with] taproots regularly reaching over 50 feet deep.” The epitome of Taurus.
Taurus has an experiential nature — it needs to feel, see, or do something itself to believe it. This deck’s name originates from the reaction the creators regularly received from their readings, after the tarot had proved itself a precise and resourceful tool.
This deck, first and foremost inspired by nature, incorporates a heavy dose of European mysticism and a rich illustrative style. It uses the traditional imagery of the tarot as a base from which to dream, so if you are familiar with the SRW you’ll find many similarities here. This deck has an extra card — The Seeker — encouraging readers to discover their sacred truths, as well as five holographic cards illustrating the moon phases.
The Twins, the Lovers, the Communicator, a butterfly.
Gemini is multi-faceted, curious, and worldly — a forever-student continuously pursuing new perspectives.
Mystic Mondays vibrates with bold color that will titillate the senses of any reader, and has a flowing illustration that carries you away into a whole new world. The imagery of the deck encourages folks to lift off into new possibilities, exploring a card’s meaning not just through what is shown, but through the inner wisdom that the graphics inspire.
If there’s one perspective you didn’t expect to hear from tarot it’s probably a baby’s, and this deck is belongs with Gemini precisely for that reason. Baby Tarot channels the curiosity and playfulness of toddlers (qualities that Gemini never fully loses, even when they grow up), and it’s just downright adorable. My personal favorite: The Hanged Man card, shown as a baby swinging high on a playground swing, head thrown back in delight and legs in the air.
The Luna Sol deck combines traditional imagery with a colorful new world; one that is definitively more diverse than the SRW as well. Gemini has much to explore within the details of each and every card of this deck, and will surely discover new symbols and meaning that reveal themselves over time.
The Crab, the Chariot, the Nurturer, an oasis.
Cancer is generous and protective, with an intense craving for the exchange of emotional warmth and safety.
I’m convinced that all cats are Cancers at heart — with the ability to be extremely cuddly when they feel safe and at home, stingingly fierce when they are fucked with, and infinitely aloof to convince you they don’t care (when they actually just want to be loved unconditionally), all cats might as well have been born in July (are we sure they weren’t?). Also sure to tug on Cancer’s heartstrings is the fact that the Considerate Cat deck is inspired by the stories of rescue cats from around the world.
More animals to warm Cancer’s heart. The White Sage tarot is nature-heavy, and has soft illustrations representing the essence of each card’s meaning. An extended guide for the deck is available on the website, and this deck comes with a bonus card explaining the 7 main chakras and their mantras as well. The only way to buy it at the moment is in a bundle with the Oracle deck (currently on sale), or a pocket-sized version. If you go with the bundle, a tree will be planted in your honor through the National Forest Foundation.
“The characters in this deck blend the boundaries between gender, sex, family, friendship, shape and size. I love the beauty in our differences and I want people to use this deck to explore the love they can find in themselves.” The illustrator’s note about this deck captures the best of cancer in a nutshell: deep love and safe space for authentic souls, no matter how they choose to express themselves.
The Lion, Strength, the Performer, the sun.
Leo expresses, creates, and achieves; you can share its stage, just don’t ever knock them off it.
The cards of the Serpentfire deck contain psychedelic designs that will lead the reader on a quest of new meaning within the cards. Leo isn’t one to be scared of the intense energy these cards exude, or of the attention they will garner. Be careful not to blind yourself with the glint of the golden edges flash as you shuffle.
Leo shines bright, and loves to be recognized for their contributions. There’s no question these cards are eye-catching with bold goldleaf on striking black and unique, geographic illustrations. This is certainly a deck that will impress at any party, and your ability to read the elegant, intricate symbols across the cards will leave your querent wowed.
Look, I’m not going to say that Leo is always a drama queen, but if that’s a side of yourself that you embrace you will love the Lovely Omens. These playful cards have millennial-relevant graphics we can relate to, and manage to not take themselves too seriously (which is something I can seriously appreciate).
The Virgin, the Hermit, the Analyst, a crystal.
Virgo prepares, critiques, and perfects; there’s nothing Virgo can’t organize or make just a little bit better.
When most people picture tarot they are thinking of the Smith Rider Waite (SRW) deck and these illustrations, filled with esoteric symbolism. Virgo appreciates that it can spend hours, days, or decades decoding the intricate and layered meaning to be found in these cards. Though this traditional deck holds immense knowledge about the archetypal meaning of the cards, it lacks diversity of nearly any kind. This is a good starter or forever-deck, if we’re able to take the essence of each card that holds true for all and discard the pieces that no longer serves us. Virgo, by chance, is extremely skilled at doing just that.
While the SRW may be the most well-known deck, and thought of as the traditional illustrations, tarot existed long before it. One system was Tarot de Marseille, which focused on instinct and a natural understanding of the suits, numerology, and nature around us. This deck reflects that tarot system. Virgo’s initial instinct may be to want to know the definition of each card, but instead of looking out, every Virgo should challenge themself to trust their own brilliant wisdom as the ultimate truth. This deck will certainly be a practice in honing that skill.
Virgo is an earth sign, and very connected to the body. The Dreamkeeper’s tarot spoke to me as a Virgo deck because it had both a bodily element and an ethereal component, reminding us that we are here in on earth to experience the spiritual and dream worlds through and within our bodies, not without them. Our bodies, in whatever form they take, are our vehicle to crossing veiled thresholds, and they are not to be forgotten, devalued, or discarded.
The Scales, Justice, the Diplomat, a rainbow.
Libra cooperates, harmonizes, and creates balance, righting the wrongs around them.
As anyone can tell from its box alone, this is a deck created from the lens of justice, and therefore ideal for Libra. The deck’s blurb says it all:
“Featuring body outlaws, endangered cultures, and anti-colonial belief systems, THE NEXT WORLD TAROT envisions a world where justice relies on respect and revolutionary love. The Fool’s Journey is about smashing systemic oppression, owning their truths, being accountable to the people and places that support them, and taking back a connection to their body that may have been lost through trauma or societal brainwashing.”
The combination of its rich, muted colors, and layered semi-abstract art create a sense of balance on the cards. This is true both in the major archana, as well as in the style of the minor archana, where the suits have the mirror-image depiction of traditional playing cards. This gives the deck a sense of neutrality, veering away from heavy visuals and leaving it up to the reader to call on their knowledge of the tarot and numerology. This deck is best suited for folks who are fairly familiar with the tarot, and ready to push passed guidebook descriptions into their own intuition and channeling.
The black and white art of these cards stands out as another nod to Libra’s balancing qualities. Similarly, the nautical theme that uses imagery of both the ocean and the sky is an “as above, so below” component that appeals to Libra’s sensibilities. The creator mentions that the inspiration for the deck came from their great grandmother, who read the creator’s cards (and palms) when they were younger. This ode to lineage is also a Libra component — skilled at unearthing the ancestral practices of one’s own culture instead of taking or appropriating from others.
The Scorpion, Death, the Healer, a melting ice crystal.
Scorpio intuits and transforms; with intensity it dives deep into the underbelly of all it explores.
Scorpio more than any other sign has a deep wisdom for the life-death-life cycle, literal and figurative. Every ending makes space for a new beginning, and an opportunity to synthesize the old with the new. With Scorpio, the veils are always thin and thickening the sense of mystery high. Marigold Tarot channels that energy in its tri-color cards and graphics. Where other tarot decks use people, Marigold has skeletons, still animate and participating in the acts of life. Where do our cosmic experiences begin and end? We may never truly know, but Marigold would suggest we are much more than just our flesh.
Scorpio is unfazed by taboo topics — sometimes even compelled by them. They are comfortable in realms that most others shy away from directly addressing, including sex and sexuality. The Garden of Love deck isn’t shy with its burlesque nakedness and sexual imagery — just click through to see how the wands are depicted for a prime example! The probability of getting a blush out of your querents is high when using this deck, which is just the kind of party trick Scorpio takes quiet delight in.
The latin meaning of Anima Mundi is “the world’s soul,” or the idea that there is an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet. This unseen energy weaves us together — animals, plants, and more — and creates a flowing, vital force of “unknown knowing.” Scorpio, as a deeply intuitive sign, feels this energy deeply and draws wisdom from it in order to navigate meaning in the world. This deck, inspired by that force, offers an opportunity to call that energy into our natural ritual of reflection, through the lens of the tarot.
The Centaur, Temperance, the Explorer, a burning bush.
Sagittarius seeks adventure and independence; it is hungry for freedom and diverse experiences.
There is no option for boredom with Tarot del Fuego. Sagittarius can spend hours getting lost in its color and detailed motifs. The companion book is in five languages (though all European) — English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German — so give your brain a challenge and explore an option other than your first.
These cards are layered and surreal, and the edges shiny, which will catch Sagittarius’ quick-moving attention. She Wolfe “features dozens of women and men who elected to become a part of this project, to embody the archetypes with their own flavour of interpretation,” further encouraging readers to find their own style and meaning while using the deck. There’s nothing prescriptive with this one, so Sag won’t feel trapped by boring, old tradition.
Speaking of breaking with tradition, Modern Witch is committed to doing just that. Veering away from the all-white nature of many older decks, this one is diverse, bright, and brilliantly blends old and new to create a stylish spin on the cards. This deck is forthcoming, with expected release in late Summer, so grab a spot on the the Liminal 11 newsletter to be one of the first with this deck in hand.
The Goat, the Devil, the Governer, a mountain peak.
Capricorn organizes, and accomplishes, navigating systems with practicality and grace.
At the end of the day, I’m not sure I can tell you exactly why I knew this deck belonged here, but I can say that pairing Capricorn and the Fountain tarot was a match I felt most strongly (and as a Capricorn moon, I trusted myself on this one). There is something about this deck that feels the most structured out of them all — part of it might be the traditional size and borders, but there’s an energy to these cards that goes beyond that. For all of the decks I’ve used, this one always feels the most neutral, neither quite masculine or feminine, ethereal or corporeal. In that way, it’s a practical, versatile deck good for beginner and long-time reader alike.
The most minimal of the decks on this list, Dreslyn naturally belonged here. Its clean, simple imagery reads almost as code, the symbols relying on a reader’s previous knowledge of the cards. The deck as a system is a puzzle for Capricorn to explore and master, a task you will either be very up for doing, or completely dismissive of. Certainly someone who spends time with this deck to decipher the cards and bring depth to their reading of them over time could be heralded as the ultimate wisdom-holder.
This deck gives off serious 80’s vibes that I’m really digging. The illustrations are beautifully unique, and colorful without being overwhelming. Its guidebook is “a mixture of revealing insights, practical wisdom, and actionable exercises that readers can incorporate into their self-care practice instantly” — all qualities that appeal to Capricorn’s sensibilities.
The Water Bearer, the Star, the Reformer, a flash of lightening.
Aquarius is original and innovative; as an agent of change, it loves being at the forefront of the pack.
The cards of the Dark Days tarot are square — the only ones like it in this roundup. As such, they are unique in that they can be read in four different ways, depending on the alignment of the card when it is pulled. The guidebook contains interpretations for right side up, right alignment, left alignment, and reversed.
Thea’s tarot is a lesbian feminist deck full of gorgeous paper cut art. While it was originally published in 1984, it still stands out in its representation. The website mentions that this deck it makes a great companion to She Is Sitting in the Night: Revisioning Thea’s Tarot by Oliver Pickle – a queer and inclusive tarot guidebook which uses Thea’s Tarot as a reference.
By embracing an older deck and simultaneously developing current and re-visioned ways of interpreting its images and the cards’ meanings, She Is Sitting in the Night provides a much-needed informed, aesthetically strong, accessible queer tarot book for feminists, queers, and tarot readers new and old.
This quirky deck filled with space imagery couldn’t be more Aquarian. Solidly science fiction, with nods to the modern world in every illustration, this deck is really out there in the most fun way possible. Space suit not included in the price of the deck.
The Fish, the Moon, the Dreamer, the ocean.
Pisces dreams and creates — less concerned with what is, and more excited by what could be.
The illustrations of this deck conjure thoughts of an artist, wild in their passion, splashing paint and ink across a canvas in a hurry to get what is in their head out into the world. This is Pisces. Pools of watercolor add perfect imperfection, the color sorting itself out in strokes and blots to match up with the line drawings. The deck is downright dreamy.
Look, not all Pisces can be born sophisticated artists, but every Pisces has a deep need to express itself regularly. This is where OK Tarot comes in — the illustrations are just ok, and that’s what makes them perfect. This deck holds no high standards — it’s easy and approachable, with no ounce of intimidation.
The Starseed decks — both Starchild and Moonchild — are filled with collage imagery depicting landscapes, people, and portals. They are designed to transport you into the Akashic realm, drawing on the vast universal encyclopedia of wisdom available to each of us. Pisces was made for this type of transcendent work, and will gladly step into the great unknown in search of possibility.
How accurate was it? Did you feel connected to decks listed for your Sun, Moon, or Rising signs?
Which decks did I miss? Which are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
Does all this talk of tarot have you curious about readings?
Check out my Moonly Readings, a monthly recorded tarot reading delivered to you on each new moon exploring the waxing, culminating, and waning energy of the moon cycle through the lens and language of the tarot.