9 Best Tarot Books to Master the Art of Tarot Card Reading

Are you interested in delving deeper into the world of tarot reading? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced reader, there is always more to learn and explore. One of the best ways to expand your knowledge is by reading books on tarot. In this article, we will provide you with a list of the best tarot books to help you master this ancient art.

9 Best Tarot Books to Master the Art of Tarot Card Reading

Understanding the Basics of Tarot Reading

Before we dive into our list of top tarot books, let’s first explore the basics of tarot reading. Tarot is an ancient divination tool that has been used for centuries to provide insight and guidance to those seeking answers to life’s most pressing questions.

The History and Origins of Tarot

The origins of tarot can be traced back to the early 15th century in Europe. Originally used for playing games, tarot cards became associated with divination and mysticism in the late 18th century. Today, tarot decks consist of 78 cards that are divided into two categories: Major Arcana and Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana cards represent significant life events and archetypes, such as The Fool, The Magician, and The High Priestess. These cards are often seen as the most powerful in the deck.

The Minor Arcana contains four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit consists of 14 cards: Ace through Ten, plus four court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King. These cards represent everyday situations and challenges that we encounter in our lives.

The Structure of a Tarot Deck

A tarot deck is comprised of 78 cards and divided into Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, while the Minor Arcana contains 56 cards. Each card in the deck has a specific meaning and symbolism that can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

When conducting a tarot reading, the cards are typically shuffled and laid out in a specific pattern, known as a spread. The most common spread is the three-card spread, which represents the past, present, and future.

How to Choose Your First Tarot Deck

Choosing your first tarot deck is an important decision as it will be a tool you will work closely with for years to come. When choosing a tarot deck, consider the artwork, theme, and symbolism. It’s also important to connect with the energy of the deck.

We recommend visiting a local metaphysical or bookstore to handle different decks and see which one resonates with you. Some popular decks include the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Thoth deck, and the Wild Unknown deck.

Remember, the most important aspect of tarot reading is your intuition and connection with the cards. Trust yourself and allow the cards to guide you on your journey.

Top Tarot Books for Beginners

Now that you have a basic understanding of tarot, let’s dive into our list of top tarot books for beginners. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit about the history of tarot. Tarot cards were originally used as playing cards in Europe during the 15th century. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that tarot cards were used for divination purposes. Today, tarot cards are a popular tool for spiritual guidance and self-discovery.

“The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings” by Brigit Esselmont

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings

This book is a comprehensive guide to the meanings of each tarot card. It includes upright and reversed meanings, as well as keywords and interpretations for each card. The book also includes spreads, exercises, and helpful tips for reading tarot confidently. One of the most helpful features of this book is the “Quick Reference” section, which allows readers to easily look up the meaning of a card without having to flip through the entire book.

You can find this book here.

“Tarot for Beginners” by Barbara Moore

Tarot for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Reading the Cards (Llewellyn's For Beginners Book 28)

In this book, Moore covers the basics of tarot reading, including symbolism and interpretation. She also provides exercises and spreads to help readers practice tarot reading. The book is easy to read and perfect for beginners. Moore also includes a section on how to ask the right questions when doing a tarot reading, which is crucial for getting accurate and helpful guidance from the cards.

You can find this book here.

“The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot” by Skye Alexander

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Understanding the Tarot (Modern Witchcraft Magic, Spells, Rituals)

This book is a modern take on tarot, incorporating witchcraft and spirituality into the practice. It includes detailed explanations of each tarot card and meanings for each position in popular tarot spreads. The book also includes spells and rituals that can be performed with tarot cards. One of the most interesting sections of this book is the chapter on “Tarot and the Elements,” which explores the connection between tarot and the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned tarot reader, these books are sure to provide valuable insights and guidance. Remember, tarot is a tool for self-discovery and spiritual growth, so don’t be afraid to trust your intuition and let the cards guide you on your journey.

You can find this book here.

Intermediate Tarot Books for Expanding Your Knowledge

Once you have a good grasp of the basics, it’s time to expand your knowledge with these intermediate tarot books.

As you delve deeper into the world of tarot, you may find yourself wanting to explore more complex concepts and techniques. These books will help you take your tarot practice to the next level, providing insights and exercises to deepen your understanding of the cards.

“Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom (Hardcover Gift Edition): A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness

This classic tarot book is a must-read for any serious tarot student. Pollack provides in-depth interpretations and insights into each tarot card. Her approach is grounded in Jungian psychology, making this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in the intersection of tarot and psychology.

One of the most valuable aspects of “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” is the exercises and meditations Pollack includes throughout the book. These exercises are designed to help readers connect with the cards on a deeper level, and to develop their intuition and tarot skills.

Another unique feature of this book is its focus on the history and evolution of tarot. Pollack provides a detailed overview of the origins of tarot, as well as its use in different cultures throughout history. This context can help readers better understand the symbolism and meaning of the cards.

“Tarot and Astrology” by Corrine Kenner

Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings With the Wisdom of the Zodiac

This book combines two powerful divination systems: tarot and astrology. Kenner provides in-depth explanations of the astrological correspondences for each tarot card, as well as techniques for using tarot and astrology together.

One of the most interesting aspects of “Tarot and Astrology” is Kenner’s discussion of the Major Arcana as a journey through the zodiac. She breaks down each card in the Major Arcana and shows how it corresponds to a particular sign or planet. This approach can help readers deepen their understanding of both tarot and astrology.

Kenner also includes several spreads designed specifically for combining tarot and astrology. These spreads can help readers gain insights into their astrological chart, or explore how the energy of a particular planetary transit is affecting them.

“Holistic Tarot” by Benebell Wen

Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth

This comprehensive guide to tarot covers everything from the history and symbolism of tarot to spellwork and ritual use of tarot cards. Wen provides detailed explanations of each tarot card, along with practical exercises and spreads to help readers develop their tarot skills.

One of the unique features of “Holistic Tarot” is Wen’s discussion of tarot ethics and reader responsibility. She emphasizes the importance of approaching tarot with integrity and respect, and provides guidance on how to handle difficult readings or ethical dilemmas.

Wen also includes a section on using tarot for spellwork and ritual. She provides step-by-step instructions for creating tarot-based spells and rituals, as well as guidance on how to use tarot in meditation and visualization practices.

Advanced Tarot Books for Mastery

If you are a dedicated tarot student looking to master this ancient art, these advanced tarot books are for you.

“The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages” by Paul Foster Case

The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages

This classic tarot book delves deeper into the mystical and symbolic meanings of tarot. Case explores the Kabbalistic and astrological correspondences of each tarot card and provides detailed explanations of each card’s symbolism.

For instance, the High Priestess card is often associated with the moon, intuition, and secrets. However, Case goes deeper and explains that the High Priestess represents the subconscious mind, the feminine principle, and the hidden mysteries of life. He also connects the High Priestess to the Hebrew letter Gimel, which means camel and represents the path of life.

Furthermore, Case provides insight into the Minor Arcana cards, which are often overlooked by beginners. He explains that the four suits of the Minor Arcana correspond to the four elements of nature: earth, air, fire, and water. Each suit also represents different aspects of life, such as finances, communication, creativity, and emotions.

You can find this book here.

“The Book of Thoth” by Aleister Crowley

The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, Being the Equinox Volume III No. V

This controversial tarot book by Crowley is not for the faint of heart. It explores the esoteric and mystical meanings of tarot cards and includes detailed instructions on using the Thoth tarot deck. The book is dense and difficult to read, but for serious students of tarot, it is a must-read.

Crowley’s approach to tarot is based on his philosophy of Thelema, which emphasizes individualism, self-discovery, and spiritual evolution. He sees tarot as a tool for personal transformation and encourages readers to use tarot to explore their own psyche and spiritual path.

In “The Book of Thoth,” Crowley provides detailed explanations of each card in the Thoth deck, which he created with Lady Frieda Harris. He also includes correspondences to astrology, numerology, and other esoteric systems. The book is not for everyone, but for those who resonate with Crowley’s philosophy, it can be a valuable resource.

“Tarot and the Tree of Life” by Isabel Kliegman

Tarot and the Tree of Life: Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana

This book explores the connections between tarot and the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Kliegman provides insights into the symbolism and meanings of each tarot card in relation to the Tree of Life. The book also includes exercises and meditations to deepen your understanding of tarot and Kabbalah.

The Tree of Life is a diagram used in Kabbalah to represent the structure of the universe and the human psyche. It consists of ten spheres, called sephiroth, connected by twenty-two paths. Each sephirah and path corresponds to a different aspect of life and consciousness.

Kliegman shows how each tarot card can be placed on the Tree of Life, based on its symbolism and numerology. For example, the Fool card corresponds to the first sephirah, Kether, which represents the pure essence of being and the beginning of creation. The Fool also corresponds to the Hebrew letter Aleph, which means ox and represents the strength and endurance needed for the spiritual journey.

By studying tarot and Kabbalah together, readers can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the universe. Kliegman’s book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in these two ancient systems of wisdom.

You can find this book here.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced reader, there is always more to learn and explore in the world of tarot. We hope this list of top tarot books has inspired you to deepen your knowledge and master this ancient art.

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Eddison Monroe
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