There are many variations of card divination systems as well as actual tarot cards on the market today. It is important to understand that some card divination systems are not the tarot per se. To obtain the most for yourself you would be advised to work with one of the more widely accepted versions of the tarot deck consisting of a 78 card deck.
There are many decks on the market which vary in style off art work and in written interpretation to that of the standard deck. This has often been done to create a themed deck and might integrate the tarot with some other source of esoteric belief or cultural knowledge. Modern art work has come a long way since 1910 when the original deck was published. You'll find many wonderful decks which incorporate information and artwork from other subjects of esoteric interest such as astrology, runes, mythology, other cultures and herbalism to mention just a few. While these decks are wonderful they will only delight you if you have a real interest or feel a strong connection for the additional subject or angle of approach.
The 78 cards of your deck should be split into two main sections: the higher, or major arcana and the lower arcana. The higher, or major arcana should contain 22 cards numbered either one to 22 or 0 to 21. The lower arcana should contain the remaining 56 cards which are usually divided up into four suits, each of which comprises 14 cards.
To get to grips with the roots and understanding of tarot, a traditional deck will help you set a straighter course along the Royal road you aim to walk without getting sidetracked by a theme. Therefore a solid traditional deck may serve you best to begin with and be the equivalent of the learners drivers license, for if you learn to read the signs and signals of tarot well you will get to your destination and achieve your aims without getting confused and lost.
Learning the tarot can be a lifelong joy and quite probably will find you buying more than one deck in your lifetime. From understanding a deck like the traditional one, or those very similar to it, you'll be able to make an easy transition to any themed deck of your choosing later on.
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