FAQ - my first deck - info please!

tarotbear

What deck would you recommend for the beginner who has no idea which deck to buy? Rather than just list your favorite decks, explain why you feel a certain deck or two might be their best chioce, and why you feel this way.

Also, list decks you think a beginner should avoid - for the time being. Explain why you feel this way.
 

Logiatrix

i think a beginner should have at least one rider-waite-smith or RWS "clone." this is even if it's not to read with, but at least for study and reference.
if you don't like the RWS, there are some nice "clones" out there. these are decks that stick closely to the RWS symbolism, but with a variety of artistic styles that may better appeal to you.
for a RWS clone, i like the morgan-greer. it is very vibrant in color, and the imagery is simple yet evocative to me. i also like the lack of a border, so that i am right "in" the card.
i also like the universal-waite; this is a version of rider-waite-smith with much more color and detail. i have found these aspects to be very important for deep analysis of the cards, and there are also plenty of books that can guide you through these details specifically with the universal-waite deck.
some other RWS versions (not "clones") are the original RW (very greenish tinged, to me), the albano-waite (kinda garish, IMO)and the diamond tarot (psychadelic, man!).
some other RWS clones are robin wood, hanson-roberts, new palladini and the aquarian tarot is also by david palladini.
:)
i did make some deck mistakes as beginner. here are some where i wish i'd "known better"...
zolar's astrological tarot--just confusing!
faery wicca--the card assignments are in traditional irish, so i was unable to translate when i was still trying to just learn tarot.
minchiate--lot's to learn; save it for later, and you will appreciate it.
new orleans voodoo--too much of a stretch if you're still trying to learn the basics of tarot.
however, if you're very determined to learn with a more "non-traditional" deck, keep that RWS deck around, and learn both sets through a side-by-side comparison.