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.

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The books I picked & why

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

Why did I love 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.”

By Rachel Pollack,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling tarot classic in a new edition with a new preface by the author.

“Whenever I have a question about tarot, I reach for 78 Degrees of Wisdom. It is the most in-depth exploration of tarot and my most trusted resource. If you want to learn tarot, you’ll want 78 Degrees on your bookshelf too. It’s the gold standard in tarot.” —Theresa Reed, author of Tarot No Questions Asked

"What is your favorite tarot book? The answer is always 78 Degrees of Wisdom."—Melissa Cynova, author of Kitchen Table Tarot

“Essential reading for the beginner and a classic that tarot…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Stefanie Caponi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guided Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your essential guide to reading tarot cards seamlessly--with confidence and ease

Each of us holds gifts deep within and, with tarot, we have the power to unlock those gifts and make transformative discoveries. For beginner tarot readers, learning the cards--all 78 of them--and understanding how to use spreads may seem daunting. Tarot expert Stefanie Caponi explains that interpreting the cards is a blend of knowing the card meanings, listening to your heart, and trusting your intuition. In her fully-illustrated book, Guided Tarot, she offers easy exercises to nurture and grow your intuition, not only to understand the cards' universal meanings,…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Benebell Wen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Holistic Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Designed for beginning as well as experienced tarot readers, Holistic Tarot offers a fresh and easy-to-follow approach to the use of the tarot deck for tapping into subconscious knowledge and creativity. The tarot deck has been used as a divination tool for more than two centuries; while the tarot is still most commonly thought of as "fortune telling," the true power of the tarot lies in its ability to channel a clear path for our deep intuition to shine through. Consulting the tarot can help clear creativity blockages, clarify ambitions, work through complex decisions, and make sense of emotions and…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Mary K. Greer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tarot for Your Self as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tarot classic that first promoted the practice of reading the cards not just for others but for one's own personal insight and self-transformation

“Tarot for Your Self was ground-breaking when this book was first published and is still radically significant today.” —Benebell Wen, author of Holistic Tarot

“Deciding to work with the Tarot is like embarking on a long, inward journey.”—Mary K. Greer

This tarot classic by Mary K. Greer was the first book to promote reading the cards for your own insight, revolutionizing tarot through a combined emphasis on self-teaching techniques and personal growth. Tarot for Your Self…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Kim Huggens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tarot 101 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you eager to learn the Tarot in a way that's both effective and fun? This complete course in Tarot demystifies the art of card reading by drawing on your intuition and imagination. "Tarot 101" will turn anyone into a professional card reader in just twenty-two practical lessons. Each lesson introduces an essential concept broken down into four topics, with exercises, tips, and key terms, plus optional tasks designed to enhance your learning experience. Unlike other Tarot guides, "Tarot 101" groups the cards according to theme - a simpler, more intuitive way to learn - and is compatible with any…

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