The best books to make Tarot seem less intimidating

Laura Perry Author Of The Minoan Tarot
By Laura Perry

Who am I?

I began reading Tarot in high school – or at least, trying to. Like most people, I was pretty intimidated starting out. It took several teachers, a stack of books, and a lot of years before I understood that Tarot cards are simply repositories for symbols of the human experience. That’s how they continue to be so popular: they speak to something deep within us all. It was only natural that my art endeavors and my passion for the ancient Minoans would eventually dovetail with my love of Tarot. The end result was The Minoan Tarot, which I’m delighted to share with you along with these excellent Tarot books.


I wrote...

The Minoan Tarot

By Laura Perry,

Book cover of The Minoan Tarot

What is my book about?

Ancient Minoans meet modern Tarot in this vibrant 86-card deck and guidebook that call on archetypes of Tarot through iconography inspired by beautiful works of art from ancient Crete. Connect with mysterious snake priestesses, labyrinthine temple complexes, and courageous bull-leapers. Explore gender-balanced face cards reflecting the egalitarian nature of Minoan society that makes this deck especially relevant for modern users: Priest and Priestess, Lord and Lady, Youth and Maid.

Each card displays symbols from an ancient writing system reflecting literal image concepts or pointing to deeper meanings. This deck and comprehensive guidebook can also be used for meditation and personal growth. Experienced or new readers will find The Minoan Tarot a natural tool.

The books I picked & why

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Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness

By Rachel Pollack,

Book cover of Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness

Why this book?

Though Tarot readings themselves don’t always feel clear or straightforward, this book is both of those things. It does an excellent job of demystifying the cards, providing both practical card meanings and the history and symbology behind the art and iconography. It’s my go-to when I have questions or need clarification. Pollack manages to organize a huge amount of useful information into a format that makes sense and isn’t at all intimidating. There’s a reason a lot of people call this book their “Tarot Bible.”


Guided Tarot: A Beginner's Guide to Card Meanings, Spreads, and Intuitive Exercises for Seamless Readings

By Stefanie Caponi,

Book cover of Guided Tarot: A Beginner's Guide to Card Meanings, Spreads, and Intuitive Exercises for Seamless Readings

Why this book?

Guided Tarot is a how-to book for Tarot readings: how to lay out the cards and get some sense out of them. There’s more to Tarot than just memorizing the card meanings, and this book walks you through the process of developing your own card reading style. If you can’t figure out which spreads to use, or if you’re having trouble trusting your intuition and letting the reading flow, this book will take you through exercises to figure out the answers to those questions so you become a more powerful Tarot reader and can take the training wheels off, so to speak.


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

By Benebell Wen,

Book cover of Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth

Why this book?

If you’ve ever thought about using the Tarot for personal development instead of just divination, but didn’t know where to start, Holistic Tarot is the resource for you. Tarot cards are no substitute for a good therapist, but in this book, Benebell Wen shows you how to use the cards to better understand your emotions and desires and to help you remove blockages to your creativity and satisfaction with life. This is a structured and methodical approach that will give you practical results.


Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for the Inward Journey

By Mary K. Greer,

Book cover of Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for the Inward Journey

Why this book?

Tarot for Your Self is a classic that has stuck around because it’s such a great resource. Like Holistic Tarot, this book focuses on using the Tarot for personal growth. But Greer offers some unique methods beyond just Tarot spreads: from mandalas to meditations to rituals and guided visualizations, even charts, and diagrams for those who understand better through visual aids. Though the results are powerful, the methods are enjoyable, even playful, which is sometimes the motivation we need to do that all-important personal work – and is anything but intimidating.


Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards

By Kim Huggens,

Book cover of Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards

Why this book?

This is a Tarot how-to book with a difference: It organizes the cards by theme, making it way easier to understand and remember their meanings compared to the usual memorize-them-one-at-a-time approach. The book is really a Tarot course in 22 lessons (it’s no coincidence that there are 22 Major Arcana cards in a Tarot deck!). Tarot 101 is an excellent resource for demystifying the Tarot and breaking it down into manageable chunks that make sense and that you can remember and use for the long term.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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