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Your First Tarot Deck: Must it be a Gift?

Is it necessary to be "gifted" your first Tarot deck?

The short answer is no, but continue reading if you wish for more explanation.

This is a question asked frequently by newcomers to Tarot who have done a little research online or through word-of-mouth.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about Tarot, making public word-of-mouth near useless. The internet is not much better, because sources must be analyzed and considered carefully. This is a difficult thing for someone with a new interest in Tarot to do, because the newcomer lacks the knowledge base necessary for deciphering whether a source is sensible or not.

One of the most important things for newcomers to Tarot to realize is that there are a variety of different styles of Tarot readers. You can read more about this topic here: https://www.druidtarot.com/articles/types-of-tarot-readers

Each source you find online is predominantly one of these basic types.

The concept of being "gifted" your first Tarot deck is rather recently-invented and comes from spiritualist circles. Several Tarot readers with interests in "New Age" worldviews have decided for themselves that being gifted a first Tarot deck is necessary.

Some of this belief arguably hails from a desire to be seen as special or elitist. Many mystical practices have attracted, unfortunately, the fame-and-glory seekers who think the best way to set themselves apart is by emphasizing the perceived difficulty in acquiring their knowledge and skills. Hence, anything that serves as a barrier to entry---such as needing to be gifted your first Tarot deck---benefits spiritualist Tarot readers by making them seem more important, exceptional, and "magical".

Please take care when you come across someone suggesting that you need to be gifted your first Tarot deck, and be wary of taking any of this person's advice or thoughts on Tarot to heart unless you agree completely with that person's spiritual and religious worldview. Otherwise, you will become confused, inevitably.

Keep in mind that many such people are not professional Tarot readers; they are professional charlatans, using Tarot as a means either to earn money off the gullible and desperate, or to benefit their egos by positioning themselves as spiritually and magically superior to other people, or both.

In traditional Tarot practice, there is no compunction to be gifted your first Tarot deck. In fact, being gifted a deck is arguably more detrimental than positive, because you could receive a deck which features artwork lacking in symbolism and meaning, which makes accurate interpretation unnecessarily difficult. It would be better to choose for yourself a traditional Tarot deck with depth of meaning.

Because traditional Tarot is a profession not dissimilar to psychology, therapy, counseling, mentoring, and life-coaching, it is standard for aspiring Tarot professionals to learn from a highly experienced teacher. At the end of the course of study, it is common for the teacher to gift a deck to students; I have done the same for my own students. In this sort of case, the gift is just that: a gift; nothing more, nothing less. By no means is it necessary for a student to use this gifted deck, for instance.

If you are interested in Tarot, please research the best deck to purchase. Do not wait endlessly for someone to "gift" a deck to you. Start learning today. If you wish for some guidance on choosing a suitable deck, please see this article: https://www.druidtarot.com/articles/which-tarot-deck-is-best-for-a-beginner

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