I was very fortunate to get a copy of The Complete Tarot Kit from U.S. Games Systems, Inc., written by Susan Levitt.
This is definitely a kit that I wish I’d known about at the beginning of my tarot journey.
Even for more advanced tarot readers, we can always go back to basics and learn something new.
As I looked through The Complete Tarot Kit, I brought myself back to a “beginner’s mind” (as coined by Soto Buddhist monk, Shunryu Suzuki) and allowed myself to be captivated by the new wonders that tarot offers to a beginner.
The Complete Tarot Kit includes:
- Introduction to Tarot book
- a portable-sized Thoth tarot deck
- a portable-sized Rider Waite tarot deck
- a cheat sheet for Thoth and Rider Waite decks
- a large (folded) sheet for a tarot spread layout
Let’s start off with one of the beauties of this complete kit:
Thoth & Rider Waite Tarot
You get TWO tarot decks: a Thoth deck and a Rider Waite deck. How great is that?!
Although they’re smaller than usual decks, the great thing about them is their size and how compact and portable they are.
They aren’t small like miniature decks, but they’re comfortable enough for those who may not be used to shuffling a standard size of 78 cards.
They’re very portable and you can carry them in your pocket or bag with ease and take them wherever you go.
Let’s talk about the significance of starting off with two of the most iconic decks of tarot.
The story and history of Arthur E. Waite and Pamela Colman Smith (Rider Waite tarot) and Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris (Thoth tarot) make these two tarot decks almost like pioneers in the world of tarot which so many decks have been based on them.
The Rider Waite (a.k.a. Rider Waite Smith / RWS) is usually suggested to beginner students of tarot to start their studies with tarot. The Rider Waite is simple in some ways and is an easier deck to begin with for many.
However, some tarot readers begin with the Thoth deck and some readers don’t find the Rider Waite appealing. Everyone has their own reasons.
Some tarot readers prefer the Thoth over the Rider Waite and vice versa, and some readers enjoy to work with both.
The great part about The Complete Tarot Kit is that you get to decide which deck you want to work with or even both, if you want.
For many readers as beginners, they begin with the deck that they have access to readily or can find at their local shop.
Sometimes a beginner tarot reader won’t be able to grasp that deck and then think that they can’t understand tarot at all based on one deck alone.
For a beginner, they may not want to try to buy other decks since they haven’t even grasped the one they have.
The Complete Tarot Kit gives you the Thoth tarot and the Rider Waite and you get to see which one you want to use.
Even if you have one or the other already, and you want to get your feet wet with the other, you can start as a beginner and learn the basics of the Thoth deck, for example, with the Introduction to Tarot book by Susan Levitt (included in The Complete Tarot Kit.)
Introduction to Tarot by Susan Levitt – The Book
The book included with The Complete Tarot Kit, titled Introduction to Tarot, is nicely laid out in that you don’t have to feel like you’re reading a big textbook or novel with paragraphs after paragraphs of information.
Some tarot books can be overloaded with information, which is good for the more serious and advanced tarot readers, but can be intimidating for a beginner.
A beginner needs somewhere to start to get the basics.
Susan Levitt’s book takes you from the start and even halfway through, you’ll have enough to do simple readings to get yourself started.
Learning tarot is all about practice and actually doing readings, not reading books after books, until you feel confident enough.
You just have to start doing it!
Introduction to Tarot by Susan Levitt gives enough information without overwhelming the reader.
If a topic interests you, you’ll have enough information about it that you can do further research and study (thanks to the Internet and other resources).
You’ll have enough information to know what you’d like to explore further.
Introduction to Tarot introduces the reader to areas such as:
- numerology/birth cards
- creating tarot space
- how to read
- simple spreads; and
- details about the major and minor arcana and court cards.
And there’s even a mention about Pets & Tarot (which I loved seeing!)
There’s no esoteric language that may have the beginner reader trying to understand ancient Hebrew or Sanskrit; everything’s straightforward and simplified, so it’s not intimidating for someone new to tarot.
All of this is explained in a way that you can have the book beside you and use it as you read without having to skim through paragraphs to find what you need.
The layout has “get in/get out” information that can get a beginner to start reading within days of reading (or even sooner.)
Tarot reading takes practice over time, but the Introduction to Tarot book gives somewhere to start.
Not to forget, there’s full coloured illustrated pages and all the images of the cards are coloured in the book making it detailed, vibrant and easy on the eyes.
The book, Introduction to Tarot by Susan Levitt, can be purchased separately from The Complete Tarot Kit for readers who have their own decks already and would like to read the book on its own.
The Cheat Sheet for Thoth & Rider Waite
The foldable cheat sheet has keywords for the Thoth and Rider Waite tarot for easy reference, which can be folded together to stand on its own.
Since the Thoth tarot has a different (yet somewhat similar) court card system, this cheat sheet is quite handy for a beginner or if your background is Rider Waite and you’re learning the Thoth tarot (and vice versa.)
For the court cards, there are images included to distinguish the courts.
Each panel of the cheat sheet is separated into major arcana, minor arcana and courts making it easy to quickly reference them.
Keywords are ideal to jog the memory or to entice the reader to think of word associations, delve deeper into the meaning and having a “jumping off point” to trigger intuitive thinking and feeling.
The Woven Spread Sheet
This foldable sheet can be laid out to have a first glance at what the Woven Spread is all about. The author details about this spread in the Introduction to Tarot book, included in the Complete Tarot Kit.
The Woven Spread has a layout similar to the Celtic Cross in the way the cards are displayed, but explained differently as shown on the sheet and in the book.
For a novice who may be unsure about what goes where and what means what, this is an excellent resource for a beginner.
Where to Purchase the Complete Tarot Kit and Introduction to Tarot
For more information about The Complete Tarot Kit and for purchasing details, please visit here.
For further details about the book, Introduction to Tarot and how to purchase, please visit here.
U.S. Games Systems, Inc. publishes The Complete Tarot Kit and the book, Introduction to Tarot, which they also offer a variety of other tarot decks.
For more information about decks available from U.S. Games Systems, Inc., please visit their website to see their current stock and availability.
Whether you’re a total beginner or have been reading for a while, The Complete Tarot Kit is certainly something to add to the collection.
Stacey & the Tarot Pugs
Images designed in Canva.
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