Have you heard the old wives tale about only being able to read effectively with cards that are gifted to you? Do you buy into it or do you buy cards.. I know which of these is the way I go and I have a shelf of 50+ decks to prove it!
So if you are going to jump in and buy a deck for yourself how do you choose which to buy? For me it is all about the way they look, the artwork and symbolism on them, which is not always easy to judge when they are on the shelf in a sealed box. If my intuition is super strong then I may well buy on a whim and mostly the cards are as ‘good’ as I thought. On the odd occasion though I have over-ruled my inner self and bought some just because I WANTED TO!! You can guess how often those cards get used (she says rolling her eyes).
OK, back to the original question.
Firstly do your research. Use good old Google if you see some in a shop and are drawn to them, so you can check out at least some of the actual cards. You can even search for reviews, though of course, the person reviewing may not be the same type of reader as you.
If you have friends with cards, go see them and feel the cards and perhaps try using them to read for your friend while you are there… proof of the pudding is in the using.
Depending on where you are buying, they may have some loose cards for you to get your hands on and look through. Again don’t get swayed by others and their opinion. These are going to be your cards – your tool, so they need to speak to you personally and perhaps even reflect some of your life journey. Tapping into your own experiences is a good way to connect.
Something other things you may wish to consider are: The size of the cards; some can be extremely difficult to shuffle. Are they going to travel with you? If so think about storage. Do they come with a little white book (instructions, not that I feel you need this). What is the quality of the cardstock, will it be durable if you are reading for others in a professional capacity. At the very least you want quality that will last you many years of personal use.
I hope this gives you a few things to mull over before you jump in feet first and perhaps regret it later. There is the perfect deck, or decks ;) out there for you.
Comment with your favourite deck as I would love to check them out. Mine is the Robin Wood Tarot.