Mass Market Tarot Decks vs. Indie Tarot Decks: Exploring the Mystical Divide

Mass Market Tarot Decks vs. Indie Tarot Decks: Exploring the Mystical Divide


Tarot cards have intrigued and fascinated people for centuries. They are often used as a tool for introspection, divination, and self-discovery. When it comes to acquiring a tarot deck, individuals have the option to choose between mass market tarot decks and indie tarot decks. These two categories of decks offer different aesthetics, experiences, and vibes. In this blog, we will explore the differences and advantages of mass market tarot decks and indie tarot decks to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right deck for your spiritual journey.

Mass Market Tarot Decks

Mass market tarot decks are readily available in most bookstores, online retailers, and metaphysical shops. They are usually produced by well-established publishing companies, and some of the most common examples include the Rider-Waite Tarot and the Tarot of Marseille.

Pros of Mass Market Tarot Decks

  1. Accessibility: Mass market tarot decks are easy to find, making them a convenient choice for beginners. They are widely distributed and can be purchased at affordable prices.

  2. Classic Symbolism: Many mass market decks are based on classic tarot traditions, such as the Rider-Waite Tarot. These decks maintain traditional symbolism, making them a reliable choice for those who want to stick to the basics.

  3. Guidebooks: Mass market decks often come with comprehensive guidebooks that explain the meanings of each card. This makes them user-friendly for newcomers to tarot reading.

  4. Popularity: These decks are widely recognized, and many tarot resources and communities are centered around mass market decks, providing ample support and guidance.

magicians, martyrs and madmen tarot

Indie Tarot Decks

Indie tarot decks, on the other hand, are usually self-published or produced by smaller, independent artists and creators. They offer a unique and personal touch to the tarot experience, making them a popular choice among tarot enthusiasts looking for something special.

Pros of Indie Tarot Decks

  1. Artistic Freedom: Indie tarot decks allow artists to explore their creativity and incorporate their unique interpretations into the deck. This results in diverse and visually captivating decks.

  2. Unconventional Themes: Indie decks often feature non-traditional themes, which can resonate with a broader range of people. These decks offer fresh perspectives and symbolism.

  3. Limited Editions: Many indie tarot decks are produced in limited quantities, making them collector's items. Owning one can feel like having a piece of art.

  4. Support for Independent Creators: Buying indie decks directly supports independent artists and creators. It's a way to encourage and appreciate their talent and innovation.

Which One is Right for You?

The choice between a mass market and an indie tarot deck ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and what you're seeking from your tarot experience.

  • If you're a beginner or prefer to stick with traditional symbolism and meanings, a mass market deck, such as the Rider-Waite Tarot, might be a great starting point.

  • If you're looking for something visually unique, deeply personal, or themed around a specific interest, an indie tarot deck may be more appealing.

  • Consider the level of support and resources available for your chosen deck. Mass market decks have well-established communities and guidebooks, while indie decks may have a smaller but passionate following.

  • Your budget and accessibility might also play a role in your decision. Mass market decks are typically more affordable and easier to find, while indie decks can be pricier and limited in availability.

  • There is also the chance that an Indie deck might be released by a mainstream publisher. If you have the patience to wait (unlike myself) you could see your wishlist decks from your favourite creators available in your local book store or website 


Whether you opt for a mass market tarot deck or an indie tarot deck, the most important thing is that the deck resonates with you and helps you connect with your inner wisdom. Each type of deck has its own charm, offering a distinct experience on your spiritual journey. So, explore, experiment, and choose the deck that aligns best with your energy and intentions as you embark on your tarot reading adventure. Remember, the magic lies not only in the cards themselves but also in your connection to them.

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