Tarot found me and generally does tend to find its followers as most devotees have an interesting tale. Mine began as a child when my grandmother gave me a deck of playing cards and from a primary school child I would tell my toys wonderful stories and later my barbies and finally tucked away out of sight, because this was secret business, I would run stories around my friends lives.
When I was in my twenties I met an intense Merlin like figure who had a deck of Tarot and I was enthralled. He told me to stay away, they were dangerous and I was hooked. At the time I was teaching in a sheep grazing district in Victoria and I searched in the local news agent to see if they had Tarot Cards. Well to my surprise, they did and a book that was too become one of my favoured companions for thirty years of my life. 

This fabulous deck: The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson was akin to finding an alien nestled secretly in a rural country village.
Based on Esoteric Workings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn was information from another world in this environment, as was the book Techniques of High Magic. This little text book has taught me and led me to many teachings over many years.
At this time both of these texts were way out of my league.

So what is a good beginning deck?

The Waite Rider deck is the "go to" beginner deck however personally I find this a little drab especially when we live in an era of tremendously stimulating art in tarot. So a great beginning deck is one that follows the structure of the Waite Rider and who's imagery tells the meaning clearly, after all tarot is visual, the reader should have no need to go to a book to interpret what a card means. They are designed to speak to our unconscious; to bring the content of our inner worlds and place it in front of us. 
The most important feature of choosing a deck is Do you love it? The reply should be a resounding yes. So many people I sell my decks too, take them straight to their heart. They can't wait to talk to them. This will work as opposed to thinking someone should give you a deck or the beginner's deck is a designated deck.

Tarot Illumanti by Erik C. Dunne & Kim Huggens

Tarot Illumanti by Erik C. Dunne is a great example of a vibrant, deck that leaps out to meet its reader. It follows the structure of the Waite Rider which means its Major Arcana runs in the tradition of twenty one archetypal characters. Its court has changed the Page to the Princess and gives us two female and two male characters to work with. The minor arcana runs in the same story lines of the tradition of tarot. This means this tarot can be used with any traditional text and is easy to read.
tarot Illumanti
@Lo Scarabeo

Tarot Illumanti
@Lo Scarabeo
The Major Arcana has few alterations; the Magician becomes an Alchemist which  doesn't really change the interpretation. My sense of an Alchemist is a more educated Magician. The Heirophant who is a Major Arcana concept that gets a lot of interpretation changes throughout time stays as a Pope in this deck. The Hermit who is usually a dowdy character is a vibrant caped wizard who looks like he is deep in magical practice testing his abilities against nature. The Death character resembles a Lord of the Shadows equalled by the sinister power latent in the Devil. The Sun pictured to the left is glorious, the child at ease on top of the well trained horse.

This is a fabulous Major Arcana as both the environmental backgrounds and the characters infiltrate our consciousness with a colourful power that magnetises. 

Tarot Illumanti
@Lo Scarabeo

The minor arcana is no less vivid. The four suits of Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands are the tradition. The Swords are set often with a sea village and an old English theme, they are bleak and dramatic.
Tarot Illumanti@
Lo Scarabeo
Tarot Illumanti
@Lo Scarabeo
The cups are a colourful European court fantastical imagery. Except for the five and the eight where winter has seemed to set in, this wonderful suit is full off mirth and play.  They remind me of Alice in Wonderland with the costumes and playing in the meadows of the wealthy with nothing better to do.
The pentacles whisk us away to Asia reminding us of Tibet with a Japanese flavour. Is Asia the best placed for concepts of wealth and money. Maybe in the modern future it is?
Lastly the wonderful Arabia or Moorish conquests of the wands. The fabulous whirling dervishes of the five and six wands has so much movement and pace. What better card to end this treatise is the card of triumphant. Certainly this deck is a triumphant. This deck talks loudly and vibrantly to its reader and I am sure the client will never forget the impact of these cards.

Tarot Illumanti
@ Lo Scarabeo

TAROT ILLUMANTI available at #Lyndall'starot  #Daylesford

Of Interest.

Erik C Dunne's image of the High Priestess from Illumanti has become a Tarot Icon.

 Dunne/ Huggens latest work is Tarot Apokalypsis, as red a Tarot as Illumanti is green.

Tarot Illumanti was Tarot of the Year 2013 and Outstanding Deck 2014


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