If you go searching for free tarot resources on the interwebs, you’ll go down a deep rabbit hole of content and for the beginner, that itself could be just as daunting as the process of having to learn tarot. Which one do you really start-start with? Isn’t there an easy linked “Lesson 1” and then you can just go from there?
Here I’ve compiled for you a list of five (5) beginner sources that are essentially free online tarot courses. These courses are self-paced, yet guided by a tarot master, structured, and with substantive content I’ve vetted, reviewed and felt, wow, yeah, okay, this is good stuff. Also, in assembling this list, I tried to look for resources that had some nice polish to them, were well-designed, well-produced, aesthetically-pleasing, and not too smarmy with any efforts to sell you something.
So, to be fair, there were several pretty good sites that I’ve left out from this list because ultimately, it was geared toward selling you something. An important criterion was the site had to be, overall, leaning more toward “educational purposes” than toward “promotional purposes.” Another important criterion was that the tarot lessons were well-organized and easy to follow.
Given those parameters, here are my top five for you.
Joan Bunning’s “Learning the Tarot” free online course is some OG (“old guard” or “original gangster,” take your pick) tarot shietz and has been around for maybe, um, decades. It has withstood the test of time because today, it is still one of the best free online resources for the tarot. It is a self-paced series of 19 lessons for the tarot beginner. There are also references right there for you on tarot card meanings, tarot history, and so much more. If you’ve been to this site before, then right now you are smiling and nodding at me in agreement. If you’ve never heard of this site before, then oh boy, you are in for a treat. Go there. Now.
This is a comprehensive website and blog on every facet of learning tarot at various depths of learning. If you’re a newbie, start here with the course background. You then start with Part I: The Minor Arcana and make your way through the numbered lessons, Lesson 1, 2, 3, and so on. This Lesson 1 link here is a great place to begin your mouse-clicking adventure through her site.
The linked playlist is a series of ten video tutorials by Kelly-Ann Maddox that covers all the fundamental aspects of a tarot foundations course. It’s a well-structured series if you follow the order set out in the playlist. The course consists primarily of Maddox talking to you in a conversational style and it feels like your tarot-knowledgeable friend is sitting right there next to you, telling you everything you need to know about beginner tarot. You can also multi-task with most of these videos, so you can set the playlist on automatic run, listen, then go about your daily activities while you listen to the audio.
Ethony Dawn is a well-known tarot YouTuber, so all of these tarot tutorials are both a high quality YouTube video plus supplemental text in the form of a blog post below each video tutorial. Archived here are all of her tarot video tutorials. This is a comprehensive and eclectic portfolio of tutorials. You’ll have to scroll through the listing to figure out where you want to start. There’s content on beginner tarot decks, beginner tarot spreads, acclimating you with the tarot, all the incidental metaphysical resources you would need about crystals, grounding, shielding, personal boundaries, and so much more. There’s also content here for tarot professionals. The video tutorials range from beginner to advanced/professional, so take your time checking out the content listing. The only reservation with this resource is it’s an archive rather than a structured, ordered course, so there’s no “Lesson 1” to start with. You have to click around on your own and figure out where you want to start.
Subdivided into five simple lessons, from Majors through the four suits of the Minors, an extra section on courts, then tarot spreads, plus one supplemental section on tarot card meanings and another section on various articles on the tarot, this course will get you proficient with the tarot in a rather short span of time. With engaging visual cues plus text and an aesthetically pleasing layout, this will be an easy, well-structured, and short course to navigate yourself through.
Take a tour of the tarot with this ongoing educational video series. Discover new books and tarot thought leaders. Workshop classic tarot spreads or specialized reading techniques. Let’s explore all the different perspectives of tarot reading through the ages. This video course series of hands-on tarot workshops, 10 to 30 minutes at a time, will introduce you to a diverse range of approaches to the cards.
Many of the video workshops include free tarot resources, reference charts, handouts, and workbooks for free download, so be sure to check the Series Page linked above.
I also offer a structured, self-paced tarot tutorial series. This tarot tutorial is a companion course to Holistic Tarot, meaning it’s keyed to the contents of that book. While someone proficient with the tarot can follow along the above-linked video playlist with complete ease, it may be more difficult for a total beginner, unless that total beginner has my book and is following the free course syllabuses provided here, “Holistic Tarot Study Guides.”
If, however, you’ve got a handy copy of Holistic Tarot and you’d like a self-paced, guided, well-structured tarot beginner course, then start by downloading the “Study Guide for Tarot Beginners” (PDF) check out the below linked Companion Course, and go from there.
An online tarot course taught from my book Holistic Tarot. Enter the companion course at any level–beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Organize a tarot journal in a three-ring binder by downloading the study guides and handouts. Begin the course by watching the video lectures.
This is an educational video series covering the 78 keys or cards of the tarot, showcasing the distinct attributions for four different deck systems: the Tarot de Marseilles (TdM), the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS), the Thoth deck by Crowley-Harris, and my own deck, the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.
Using audio-visual learning methods, the series facilitates reading fluency with the four listed tarot systems. The card by card primer is designed to help with memory retention in a more visually engaging way than studying them out of a book.
Be sure to check the Series Page linked above to download free references, correspondence tables, video transcript, recommended reading or study techniques, and more.
Know of a structured, self-paced, and comprehensive free online tarot course for total beginners you’d like to recommend? Give your recommendations in the Comments section below and explain why that site is your recommendation. Self-promotion is totally okay and encouraged.