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Whether you're new to tarot, or simply want to add to your deck collection, it's always great to tap into that divine feminine energy by using a deck created by women. We gathered together 13 of our favorite tarot and oracle decks designed by women. 

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1. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck by Pamela Colman Smith

Long-hailed as the OG standard for tarot cards, the Rider-Waite Tarot deck was created in 1909, featuring the hand-drawn illustrations of Pamela Colman Smith. Before the Rider-Waite deck, most tarot cards featured minimalist signatures with the classic suit signs: swords, pentacles, wands, coins, and cups. All of the cards in the Rider-Waite deck, both Major and Minor Arcana, feature elaborate vignettes, where one could spend hours unpacking each scene's symbolism. It’s a classic for a reason. 

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2. The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck & Guidebook by Kim Krans

Have you ever window shopped the Lifestyle tab on the Urban Outfitters website, looking for “trendy” tapestries or patchouli incense? Then you’ve probably scrolled upon The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck. An introductory deck for beginners to the world of tarot, The Wild Unknown plays upon mystery and magic, unlocking the ritualistic practice of tarot reading. This beautifully illustrated deck is one of Krans’ biggest hits, as many users share images of their readings, prints, and tattoos inspired by her art. 

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3. Modern Witch Tarot Deck by Lisa Sterle

A more modern spin on traditional tarot, the Modern Witch Tarot Deck gives a youthful, fresh take on spiritual guidance. While featuring an all-female deck, these tarot cards offer fashion-forward, vibrantly colored illustrations that celebrate womanhood. Including an Instructional Guide for beginners to the tarot-sphere, the Modern Witch Tarot Deck is the contemporary counterpart to any of your tarot stacks.

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4. The African Goddess Rising Oracle by Abiola Abrams

Spiritual teacher Abriola Abrams embodies African folklore and beauty in this 44-card deck, The African Goddess Rising Oracle Cards. The deck is divided into nine temples: Threshold Guardians, Ancestors, Warriors, Shadows, Conjurers, Griots, Lovers, Queens, and High Priestesses. These nine suits represent the temples within ourselves and the goddess energy waiting to be unleashed. Each card is adorned with the portrait of a different African goddess. Abrams’ deck is designed to reinforce the spiritual traditions that have elevated many Black women across the diaspora, for centuries. 

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5. True Heart Intuitive Tarot by Rachel True

Under the creative direction of lifelong occultist Rachel True, best known for her bewitching role in 1996’s The Craft, the True Heart Intuitive Tarot deck displays a multicultural aesthetic focused on our individual journey. Following the approach of True herself, this deck is meant to be read through an intuitive lens, for Seekers that are looking for present enlightenment as opposed to future predictions. True shares her personal experience in the Hollywood system and the unique set of circumstances that a tarot deck can offer for each user’s spiritual guidance. 

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6. Dust II Onyx: A Melanated Tarot- 2nd Edition by Courtney Alexander

Created by multimedia artist Courtney Alexander, the Dust II Onyx Tarot deck offers both an educational and inspirational display of the Black experience. Alexander’s work encompasses ongoing Black expansion and emancipation, achieved through her mixed media collage paintings. Each tarot card features illustrations of cultural myths and icons within the Black Diaspora. The Dust II Onyx Tarot deck transcends traditional tarot in strengthening users’ intuition and ancestral connection, encapsulated in the beauty of melanated art. 

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7. Prism Oracle by Nicole Pivirotto

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Channeling the power of color, the Prism Oracle deck plays upon the magic of 45 colors to tap into one’s intuition. Each card associates a color with a specific energy state, such as Love, Intuition, and Reflection. As a bonus, the rainbow-colored keepsake box is stylish enough to be displayed alongside your fellow tarot decks and extensive crystal collection! The guidebook helps users manifest each card’s message through meditation and altar building, in contrast to the more structured readings of tarot. Oracle cards, like the Prism Oracle, function as tools for self-reflection and daily inspiration.

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8. Major Arcana by Leonora Carrington

As one of the few women of the Surrealist movement, Leonora Carrington created a magical reworking of classic tarot imagery. Discovered from her archive back in 2018, Carrington’s Major Arcana functions as a “surrealist object,” adorned with saturated pigments and metallic detailing. Carrington’s cards are featured in a new novel, The Tarot of Leonora Carrington, and provide insight into her tumultuous life as a surrealist artist during the 1930s. 

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9. The Good Tarot by Colette Barron-Reid and Jena DellaGrottaglia

Unlike traditional tarot that can provide both positive and negative outcomes for one’s future, The Good Tarot gives an optimistic outlook on the present human experience. Tarot can be foundational for our mental and emotional states in the present moment and aim to offer immediate solutions. Following the path to manifestation, each card in The Good Tarot deck offers a short affirmation for a Seeker to read aloud and implement into their life. While lacking the ornate symbolism of traditional tarot, The Good Tarot acts as a progressive outlet for those seeking balance.

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10. Tarot of the Divine: A Deck and Guidebook by Yoshi Yoshitani

Tarot of the Divine transcends cultural boundaries by blending traditional folktales into tarot readings. Yoshitani stresses our path to enlightenment through the lessons of cultural narratives passed down from generation to generation. This deck reworks classic tarot archetypes to feature deities and fable figures from over 40 countries around the world. The 44-page guidebook details the cultural significance of each card, providing users a worldly experience into tarot.  

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11. Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing, & Empowerment by Jerico Mandybur

Focused on self-love, self-care, and self-reflection, the Neo-Tarot deck from Jerico Mandybur is an essential tool for spiritual healing. Alongside a complete deck illustrated by Daiana Ruiz, Mandybur’s guide to tarot incorporates practical wisdom and intuitive exercises for Seekers to feel empowered. Her guidebook offers detailed descriptions of each card’s symbolism and how it can be harnessed for self-care tactics. Rather than predicting our futures, the Neo Tarot goes beyond the deck and offers a proactive approach to enlightenment.

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12. The Literary Witches Oracle by Taisia Kitaiskaia

Based on the novel from Taisia Kitaiskaia, Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers, this oracle deck features portraits of 30 authors from the book along with 40 symbol cards inspired by spiritual icons based on the book’s imagery. Seekers will discover insight from the guidance of feminist writers. Cards feature a collection of trailblazers, from Virginia Woolf to Yumiko Kurahashi. The included guidebook provides loose interpretations as you go on your individual journey of self-discovery. 

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13. The Cosmo Tarot: The Ultimate Deck and Guidebook by Sarah Potter

Designed by Cosmo contributor Sarah Potter, The Cosmo Tarot offers collage-style illustrations that blend space with humanity. Many cards in this collection feature cut-and-pasted photographs of the human, from eyeballs, lips, and hands, plastered on a cosmic backdrop. This deck emphasizes the unique experience of tarot reading, included with a guidebook for beginners to get started!

Top Photo by Jen Theodore / Unsplash

Elizabeth Safaryn is a fourth-year student at New York University, studying Media & Communications. She lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and enjoys learning/writing about feminist representation in cinema and social media. You can follow her at @lizsafaryn

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