The day I got my first deck, I wasn’t expecting to enter a shop that sold them. I had been a fan of Tarot and Oracle cards a couple of years before that point, so seeing shelves full of beautiful sets got me so excited. I could’ve chosen to walk away from the store without buying anything, but at that moment, I knew it was time.
Two years and plenty of decks later, I’m still on a quest to grow my collection. As of writing, I have a handful more cards I can’t wait to snatch up but unfortunately can’t because of overseas shipping restrictions due to COVID-19.
While waiting, I thought it would be nice to list down my best tarot and oracle decks and write mini-reviews of each one for your pleasure!
The Difference Between Tarot and Oracle Decks
In case you missed it: Tarot and Oracle cards are both divination tools, meaning they are used for spiritual guidance and to develop one’s intuition.
Tarot comes from an ancient system with a history that dates centuries back and is usually a 78-card deck with a specific structure made up of four suits: swords, cups, wands, and pentacles. This is the deck most frequently associated with fortune-tellers or the prediction of your future. (However, that’s something I don’t agree with.)
Oracle cards, on the other hand, work almost the same way as Tarot, except they have a looser structure. They have many different themes, and each author can come up with different meanings for the cards. There are affirmation cards, astrology cards, yogi cards, and many more.
Having both in your collection is a great way to explore and strengthen your intuition.
How Do I Choose a Deck?
The best piece of advice I’ve heard is to not think about it too much. I know, I know, that’s so vague. But trust me, when it’s in front of you, you’ll know! Let yourself be attracted to the imagery of the cards rather than overthinking what to get. Find the one that speaks to you the most and settle on that.
It’s normal to research before buying a deck to see if it has positive reviews or production issues (flimsy cards, lousy printing), so make sure to do your homework before hitting the checkout counter.
There’s no right or wrong way to buy a deck. I’ve purchased the majority of mine in person after feeling the energy of the cards on my palm. But I’ve also done online and overseas purchases depending on the author of the deck and photos and reviews I’ve seen of them online.
There’s also an old saying that cards gifted to you bring luck, so if you have kind friends who give you a deck, don’t refuse it. Embrace that good energy!
8 Timeless Tarot and Oracle Decks for 2020
Here are some high-quality decks I’ve come across in my four years of exposure to different sets.
Update May 2020: The Sun and Moon Tarot deck review is up! I’ll be linking this post to in-depth reviews of the other seven decks. Subscribe to my mailing list to get notified.
1. Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort
As my first deck ever, this has a special place in my heart. Decort did a great job designing the cards with inclusivity, color, and symbolism. This deck has both male and female characters and features mixed races.
If you want a blend of RWS and Thoth, plus symbolisms from astrology, hieroglyphics, Taoism, and more, go grab this deck. There’s also a simple yin yang card layout taught in the accompanying guidebook, which is a neat addition to any readers’ arsenal of spreads.
2. Wisdom of the Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid
Wisdom of the Oracle is a highly-rated and popular deck, so there’s a huge chance that you may already know about it. This is the only Oracle deck I know that has at least five meanings for one card, and the first one I owned to deal with reversed meanings.
It has whimsical art and colorful design. I find the messages to be very well-written, insightful, and spot on. If you have a question, it will give you a straightforward answer–sometimes even on issues you weren’t asking about.
I got this deck after a random trip to a bookstore. After I saw this deck, I made a beeline for the checkout counter!
Get it here: Wisdom of the Oracle Divination Cards
3. Keepers of the Light Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray
Keepers of the Light is one powerful Oracle set that’s particularly great for guidance. The 45-card deck combines gods, goddesses, and spiritual deities (the light keepers) from different folklores and religions. I won this at a raffle during a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my local yoga studio.
Each one has a relevant message or lesson they want you to know based on what you’re going through. For instance, if you need strength to break free from a negative cycle, you might draw Kali Ma, the godess of destruction. Whenever I feel like I need support, this is the deck I pull from. It’s like drawing inspiration from the divine entity picked.
There’s also a myth or backstory for each light keeper on the deck, so you get a proper introduction and little history lesson every time you pull.
Get it here: Keepers of the Light Deck
4. Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards by Denise Linn
Life is a journey, and this deck perfectly encapsulates that. When I saw this deck, I couldn’t help but get drawn to this deck. It’s in a deep violet shade and has the most gorgeous illustrations similar to a fairytale book. I saw this at a bookstore near the place I went to have my Reiki Level 1 attunement.
The messages on this card allude to travel, and is gentle enough for daily pulls or intricate spreads. Some of the cards are named “Surrender to the Journey,” “In the Flow,” and “Impasse.” If you like the theme and positive, encouraging messages, this is for you.
Get it here: Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards
5. Archetype Cards by Caroline Myss
Archetypes are a concept introduced in both psychology and character writing for fiction. They are universal patters of human behavior, and each person has multiple roles they take on in life. I first came across this deck in a sound bath meditation class, and I pulled the Exorcist card. It hit close to home. I went ahead and bought a set of my own after a few months.
I like this deck because it’s about self-exploration and confronting the psyche. I’d ask this deck for insights on any new role I should be stepping into, what part of myself should I develop, and the like.
The best part about this deck is that is shows the light and shadow of each archetype. None are truly “bad” (ex. the villain) or purely good (ex. the samaritan). If it helps, I’ve read reviews that this deck’s good for inspiration on fiction writing too.
Get it here: Archetype Cards by Caroline Myss
6. The Moonchild Tarot by Danielle Noel
Although this is one of the newer deck in this list, The Moonchild Tarot is very popular. I had my grandmother bring this with her when she flew back home from Canada, so I’d like to think it’s sealed with a bit of her energy too.
Danielle Noel’s artistry is also known in the Work Your Light Oracle Deck by Rebecca Campbell. In her own deck, she did not disappoint. The guidebook is also extremely detailed, beginning from the history of Tarot to meanings of the moon phases.
This deck follows RWS but has three additional and unnumbered Major Arcana cards–Divine Wisdom, Moonchild, and Shadow Work. You may opt to keep or remove them from the spread.
Get it here: The Moonchild Tarot
7. A Yogic Path Oracle Cards by Sahara Rose Ketabi
As a yogi, I was thrilled to discover that a yoga-themed Oracle deck exists. This deck is also designed by Danielle Noel, so that made it all the more easy for me to pick this out. This deck is also extra special because it was gifted to me.
On the whole, this deck was very well made. Sahara Rose wrote and created an absolutely gorgeous guidebook which gives you upright and reversed meanings for each card. You can tell that a lot of thought went into the packaging and presentation, and they have an overall good energy coming from the package.
It touches on the esoteric side of yoga, from spiritual keys and Ayurveda to different deities and the seven chakras.
Get it here: A Yogic Path Oracle Deck (Keepsake Box Set)
8. Karma Cards by Monte Farber
The Karma Cards are the oldest deck in this list, with the original iteration published in 1988. What I have is the 2017 Sterling Ethos edition. This is an astrology deck, and you always have to pull three cards from the deck–one from the Planets, another from Signs, and lastly from Houses.
Each card contains a word or phrase, and together they form a sentence–the answer or advice to your query. They are reversible, in the sense that you read the red message if you have an action-based question (ex. What should I do?) and the blue message for an outcome-based question (ex. What will happen?)
These are extremely fun and eerily accurate. Each pull gives you a mini astrology lesson, too. The guidebook gives a ton more information. Owning this deck was another product of a serendipitous trip to the bookstore.
Get it here: Karma Cards Sterling Ethos Edition
Dive Deep into Divination
These decks have been great tools in giving messages of support to myself, my family, and my friends. At the end of the day, the best deck for you is one that resonates with you. Care to share which decks you’re a fan of? Sound off in the comments below!