When I was a child, my mother used to say that I “always had my nose in a book”.
This is still true to this day – I am always reading something. In fact, I collect more books about tarot than actual tarot decks.
There are many great books about tarot on the market today (and more coming out every day). Here are some of my absolute favorite tarot books that I love to recommend:
(This list is not in any particular order nor is this list complete – you may have other favorites or may disagree with my choices. Also please note: some books may be out of print.)
- Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot by Rachel Pollack – deep and rich with information, no list is complete without this book. If I did have to pick a favorite, this may be it.
- Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners by Joan Bunning – based on her online course, this book will get any tarot newbie reading the tarot proficiently in no time.
- Mary K. Greer’s 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary Greer – novel ideas to expand your tarot skills.
- The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals (Special Topics in Tarot Series) by Mary Greer – I’m a fan of reversals (they are not mandatory by the way) and this is THE book for those of us who choose to read upside down. (Honorable mention: Joan Bunning also has a good book on reversals, Learning Tarot Reversals )
- The Complete Tarot Reader: Everything You Need to Know from Start to Finish by Teresa Michaelson – this book has a massive amount of information – it’s like a little encyclopedia
- Tarot Masterclass by Paul Fenton-Smith – this book is rarely mentioned but I think it is pure genius. Not just a tarot primer but also a great section on being a professional tarot reader. (Honorable mention: Fenton-Smith also has a great beginner’s book, The Tarot Revealed: A Beginner’s Guide )
- The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols by Angeles Arrien – featuring the Thoth deck, this book will help you to understand tarot clearly – even if you do not read with the Thoth deck
- The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa – This profound book gets super deep with the Marseille deck. How I wish I would have had this book when I first started out!
- Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis – loads of interpretations and a slant towards beginners, this is the book I recommend to all my students
- Understanding the Tarot Court (Special Topics in Tarot Series) by Mary Greer – face it, the Court cards are one of the hardest suits for any tarotist to master. Greer spells it all out with clarity. LOVE this one.
- Tarot: A New Handbook for the Apprentice, Classic Ed (Connolly Tarot) by Eileen Connolly – this is the first tarot book I ever got my hands on. It’s still a treasured favorite. Some might be put off by her Christian undertones but I find the interpretations to be pure gold. I love all of her works.
- SuperTarot: New Techniques for Improving Your Tarot Reading by Sasha Fenton – although this is out of print, it is worth searching for a copy. The techniques contained within will help you expand your tarot skills.
- The Secret Language of Tarot by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone – a fantastic book detailing the symbols in the tarot cards.
- Tarot for Life: Reading the Cards for Everyday Guidance and Growth by Paul Quinn – A modern book with real life examples of tarot readings, this one will help you bring your readings to life.
- Best Tarot Practices: Everything You Need to Know to Learn the Tarot by Marcia Masino – another great book that tends to be overlooked, this one has novel exercises and good advice on reading tarot professionally.
- Tarot: Your Everyday Guide by Janina Renee – this book focuses on using tarot for dispensing advice.
- Beyond the Celtic Cross: Secret Techniques for Taking Tarot to an Exciting New Level by Paul Hughes Barlow and Catherine Chapman – a very different approach to tarot – card counting and elemental dignities explained in a conversational format.
- Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom: Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings by Rachel Pollack – once again, Pollack delivers an impeccable and thought provoking book with new insights for the modern tarot reader.
- Classic Tarot Spreads by Sandor Konraad – I’ve had this book for years and learned many a good spread from it. (Honorable mentions: Learning Tarot Spreads by Joan Bunning and Tarot Spreads and Layouts A User’s Manual For Beginning and Intermediate Readers by Jeanne Fiorini)
- The Spoken Cabala: Tarot Explorations of the One Self by Jason Lotterhand – based on the Thursday night talks from Lotterhand, this book will give you some insight into the Kabbalah and how it relates to tarot. (Honorable mentions: Tarot and the Tree of Life: Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana by Isabel Radow Kliegman for a glimpse on how Kabbalah weaves through the Minor Arcana plus The Tarot Workbook: Understanding and Using Tarot Symbolism by Emily Peach which is a great Kabbalah/tarot primer for beginners)
- Tarot Decoded: Understanding and Using Dignities and Correspondences by Elizabeth Hazel – every single dignity and correspondence you can imagine is featured here.
- Who Are You in the Tarot?: Discover Your Birth and Year Cards and Uncover Your Destiny by Mary Greer – this is a fantastic book that gives deep insights on your personality, life and journey based on your “birth card”.
- Tarot for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Reading the Cards by Barbara Moore – the easiest beginner book out there, this one will appeal to absolute newbies and those who are really sure they can’t “get it”. Moore shows you that you CAN.
- Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards by Kim Huggens – excellent exercises, good reading list suggestions and a unique format make this book one you cannot miss. Good for all levels.
- The Tarot Coloring Book by yours truly! Part coloring book, part tarot manual – 100% fun! Learn tarot in a hands-on experiential way as you color your way through the entire deck.
New additions to the list:
Llewellyn’s Complete Book of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot: A Journey Through the History, Meaning, and Use of the World’s Most Famous Deck by Sasha Graham. This is a MUST have for every tarot library!
Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova – a fun, down-to-earth look at the tarot.
Tarot Tracker – A Year-Long Journey by Angelo Nasios. This is the ULTIMATE tarot journal. Super useful and highly recommended!
Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self through the Wisdom of the Cards by Michelle Tea. One of my recent faves – this book is smart, edgy, and personal. I love it!
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot: A Beginner’s Guide to the Cards, Spreads, and Revealing the Mystery of the Tarot by Liz Dean. A clear, comprehensive dive into the tarot. No wonder this book is such a best seller!
WTF is Tarot?: …& How Do I Do It? by Bakara Winter. A hip and modern take on tarot.
Books added awhile back:
Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth by Benebell Wen – this may be the mother of all tarot books! At over 800 pages and almost three pounds, this hefty book is full of on-point tarot information, useful spreads, and wise instruction. This book belongs on every serious tarot reader’s shelf. A MUST HAVE.
Tarot Diva: Ignite Your Intuition Glamourize Your Life Unleash Your Fabulousity! by Sasha Graham – don’t dismiss the fun, sassy tone here. This book packs a lot of punch and is a joy to read.
365 Tarot Spreads: Revealing the Magic in Each Day by Sasha Graham – you’ll never run out of tarot spreads with this book!
Tarot Coupling: Resources & Resolutions for Relationship Readings by Gina Thies – uncover relationship issues and solutions with this wise book.
Tarot Face to Face: Using the Cards in Your Everyday Life by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin – an easier read than their first book, Tarosophy, this one is aimed at readers who are ready to begin reading face to face. Valuable insights and exercises make this a winner for any tarot library.
Tarot Spreads: Layouts & Techniques to Empower Your Readings by Barbara Moore – think you can’t create a tarot spread? Think again. Moore helps even the most non-creative types learn how to craft wonderful custom spreads! I LOVE this book.
Every Day Tarot: A Choice Centered Book by Gail Fairfield – super practical and useful, this book takes tarot from away from divination towardsself-developmentt.
Around the Tarot in 78 Days: A Personal Journey Through the Cards by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin – another smart book with many interpretations that any reader, new or old school, will find useful.
The Tarot Activity Book: A Collection of Creative and Therapeutic Ideas for the Cards by Andy Matzner – a unique tarot spin with therapeutic exercises and games that take tarot in a whole new direction.
Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings With the Wisdom of the Zodiac by Corrine Kenner – finally, a book that brilliantly weaves tarot and astrology together!
Psychic Tarot: Using Your Natural Psychic Abilities to Read the Cards by Nancy Antenucci and Melanie Howard – if you are an intuitive reader, you need to get your hands on this book.
Tarot Beyond the Basics: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Meanings Behind the Cards by Anthony Louis – this new book promises to become an instant classic! I just got it and am LOVING it.
101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters by Sheilaa Hite – join Sheilaa and 20 other tarot readers (including me!) for a fab tour through some amazing tarot spreads.
As I stated above, this list is by no means complete. I revise my list often because although there are the classics that stand the test of time, there are also good things coming out from our talented tarot community constantly.