Are you just starting out on your Tarot journey, wondering how exactly to make your own Tarot readings happen? In this Tarot Cards For Beginners guide, you will walk through a step-by-step guide, from deciding to learn Tarot, to laying out and interpreting your first readings.
We will begin with exploring what Tarot and divination are and dispelling a common misconception.
Following that, we’ll be ready to dive right in by sampling what a Tarot reading is like finding our first own Tarot deck, getting ourselves and the cards ready to read, and finally drawing some cards laying out our very first Tarot spreads.
I’m a professional Tarot reader from the Passing Fancey Tarot Corner. Over more than 15 years of Tarot reading, I’ve collected a solid base of knowledge and experience about the traditional meanings of the cards, different reading and interpretation techniques, and psychic insights. You can visit my website here.
The cards depicted in this article are from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.
First of all…
What is Divination?
Divination is the interpretation of seemingly random events in order to gain insight, guidance or messages. Drawing cards from a shuffled deck are such random events, as are, for example, tossing a coin, rolling dice or throwing small objects into a tray.
Divination practices go all the way back to the dawn of humankind, and people of any historical era have looked to divination in uncertain times.
There are different beliefs about why exactly this works, and why the seemingly random events are in fact not random but meaningful to the question asked.
As the word divination already implies, many people believe that divination is a way to communicate with the divine and that some form of higher power influences the cards, runes or another divination instrument in order to show results that can be interpreted as helpful answers to the question.
What is Tarot?
Tarot is a deck of cards originating from fifteenth-century Italy. These cards were first and foremost produced as playing cards before people started to use them for divination purposes.
The first manuscript detailing divination methods using Tarot cards dates back to the eighteenth century.
Tarot is a system of divination that uses a deck of tarot cards to gain insights into the past, present, and future. The tarot has been used for centuries by fortunetellers and psychics to help people make decisions about their lives. The tarot deck is made up of 78 cards, each with its own meaning.
The major arcana, or rump cards, represent the forces at work in the world, while the minor arcana cards represent the influences at play in our day-to-day lives. To read tarot, the querent (person having their tarot reading) shuffles the deck and then selects several cards, which are then laid out in a spread. The reader then interprets the meanings of the cards in relation to the querent’s question or issue. Tarot readings can be used for a wide range of purposes, from gaining insights into our love lives to making decisions about our careers. Many people also use tarot as a form of self-care, using the readings as a way to reflect on their lives and gain clarity about their choices.
History of Tarot Cards
The tarot is a pack of cards (usually numbering 78) used for divination. It has four suits (similar to those of playing cards) which are typically numbered from ace to ten, and four face cards (the king, queen, knight, and jack/page). In addition, the tarot has a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool.
The trump cards are numbered 0 through 21, while the Fool is unnumbered.tarot card readers believe that the objects on the cards (suits, numbers, pictures) can be interpreted to answer questions about a person’s life.
The history of tarot is long and contested, but most scholars believe that the modern tarot deck evolved in Italy during the Renaissance. The first Tarot decks were used for games, but slowly they began to be used for divination as well.
When Tarot first spread to France and other countries in Europe, it was used primarily as a tool for gambling; however, over time more people became interested in its potential for predicting the future.
The origins of Tarot are unknown, but there are many theories about where the cards came from. One popular theory suggests that the Tarot is based on an ancient Egyptian book of wisdom called The Book of Thoth.
This theory is supported by the fact that many of the symbols on the Tarot cards can be found in Egyptian artwork. Another theory claims that the Tarot comes from China or India, although there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.
The Spread of Tarot
The popularity of Tarot spread quickly throughout Europe after it was first introduced in the 1500s. By the 1600s, Tarot was being used for divination by both nobility and commoners alike. It was also during this time that Tarot began to be used for occult purposes such as black magic and sorcery.
During the 1700s and 1800s, Tarot saw a decline in popularity due to changes in religious beliefs and the rise of science. However, there was a resurgence in interest in Tarot during the late 1800s and early 1900s among people who were interested in spirituality and the occult.
This revival led to the creation of new Tarot decks with different designs and meanings than traditional decks.
How to Read Tarot Cards: There is no one right way to read Tarot cards; however, there are some basic guidelines that can help you get started. When you are first learning how to read Tarot cards, it is important to choose a deck that you connect with on a personal level.
Once you have chosen your deck, take some time to familiarize yourself with the images and symbols on each card. Spend a few minutes meditating on each card before you begin your reading.
When you are ready to start your reading, shuffle your deck of cards and then lay them out in whatever spread you have chosen. As you interpret each card in the context of your question or issue, trust your intuition and allow your interpretation to flow from your subconscious mind.
Tarot Cards date back to the 15th century in Italy and hence the Major Arcana still named to this day as trump cards originating from first known as “trionfi“, then later named “tarock” where you can see how the word tarot originated. At this time there where only 32 cards, only later did they increase to the 78 card deck as we know them to be today.
In the latter part of the 18th century, certain tarot decks were utilized for divination by means of tarot card reading and cartomancy. This led to the creation of specialized cards that were designed specifically for occult purposes.
The tarot, much like traditional playing cards, is divided into four suits, each of which corresponds to a different language and culture:
- French suits are used in Northern Europe
- Latin suits are used in Southern Europe, and
- German suits are used in Central Europe.
In 1783 the French occultist & cartomancer Etteilla assigned divinatory meanings to the cards and thereby making tarot more popular amongst other occultists.
Following the tarot’s success in France, occultists in Britain began to take an interest in the card game, which led to the founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in that country in the year 1888. This order improved their tarot practice throughout time, but they never made their deck available to the general public. As a result, tarot has remained the domain of skilled practitioners.
The Rider-Waite-Smith Deck and the Thoth Deck are two of the most well-known variations of the Tarot, and both of these decks were devised by members of the order.
The tarot was first introduced to the general public in the United States, where a number of articles explaining what it was and how to read it was published. However, it wasn’t until Eden Gray’s book, A Complete Guide to the Tarot, was published in the 1970s that the tarot truly began to gain popularity.
The Origins of Tarot
The origins of Tarot are shrouded in mystery. One theory is that they originated in ancient Egypt, while another suggests that they may have originated in ancient China. However, there is no concrete evidence to support either of these theories. Some scholars believe that the Tarot may have originated as a game, with the first deck consisting of playing cards.
This theory is supported by the fact that many of the early Tarot decks were created in Italy, which was known for its love of card games.
Another theory is that the Tarot was created as a tool for divination. This is supported by the fact that many of the early Tarot decks were created with divination in mind. For example, one early deck was called the tarocchi di Mantegna, which means “the tarot of Mantegna”.
Mantegna was a 15th-century Italian artist who is best known for his work on the Tarot.
Whatever their origin, the Tarot has been used for centuries as a tool for divination and self-reflection. The images on the cards can be interpreted in many ways, and each person will see something different in them.
The Tarot can be used to gain insight into your past, present, and future. It can also be used to get in touch with your subconscious mind and explore your hidden desires. The possibilities are endless!
Getting started with Tarot as a beginner
If you’re new to the world of Tarot, the first thing you need to know is that there is no one right way to read the cards. There are many different Tarot decks available, each with its own symbolism and interpretation.
The best way to learn how to read Tarot cards is to find a deck that speaks to you personally, and then practice reading it for yourself and for others.
There are a few things you’ll need before you can get started reading Tarot cards: a deck of Tarot cards, a notebook, and a quiet place to sit where you won’t be interrupted.
Once you have your materials, sit down in a comfortable position and shuffle the cards. As you shuffle, think about your question or focus for your reading. Once you feel ready, cut the deck into three piles and choose one pile to be your reading.
Now, it’s time to start interpreting the tarot card meanings! There are a few different ways to do this: you can look up the meaning of each card in a book or online; you can use your intuition to interpret the card’s meaning, or you can use a combination of both methods.
Whichever way you choose to interpret the tarot card meanings, remember that the main purpose of reading tarot is to get guidance and insight into your question or situation.
Get to know the Arcanas
The tarot is a deck of 78 cards, each with its own unique symbolism and meaning. The deck is divided into two sections: the Major and Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, all of which represent major life events or lessons.
The Minor Arcana is made up of 56 cards and represents the more day-to-day aspects of our lives. Most tarot decks will also include a separate card, known as the Fool, which can represent any one of us at any given time. The Fool is usually numbered 0, as it reminds us that we are always learning and growing.
Each card in the tarot has its own specific meaning, but there are also general meanings that can be applied to any card.
For example, all of the Major Arcana cards represent some aspect of the human experience, such as love, death, or change. By understanding the symbolism and meanings of the tarot, we can use the cards to gain insight into our own lives and make better decisions.
If you’re just starting out with tarot, it’s important to take some time to get to know the different cards and their meanings. Once you have a good understanding of the cards, you can begin reading tarot for yourself and others.
The Major Arcana is a tarot deck consisting of 22 cards, each representing a specific stage in the journey of life. The suit of cups represents the emotions, the suit of wands represents the spirit, the suit of swords represents the mind, and the suit of pentacles represents the physical world. Each card in the Major Arcana has a specific meaning that can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the context of the reading.
The Major Arcana is often used for exploring the deeper aspects of our lives, as it can represent both our light and dark sides. The cards can also offer guidance on our life purpose and the challenges we may face along the way.
- The first card in the Major Arcana is The Fool, which symbolizes new beginnings, innocence, and unlimited potential.
- The second card is The Magician, which represents our ability to create our own reality through our thoughts, words, and actions.
- The third card is The High Priestess, which signifies intuition, wisdom, and hidden knowledge.
- The fourth card is The Empress, which stands for fertility, creativity, and abundance.
- The fifth card is The Emperor, which suggests structure, authority, and discipline.
- The sixth card is The Hierophant, which reminds us that there are spiritual laws that govern our lives and that we need to respect them.
- The seventh card is The Lovers, which speaks to the importance of relationships and indicates that we need to balance our heads and heart.
- The eighth card is The Chariot, which suggests that we need to master our emotions and stay focused on our goals in order to achieve success.
- The ninth card is Strength, portraying inner strength and courage as well as compassion and gentleness.
- The tenth card is The Hermit, signifying introspection, soul-searching, and enlightenment .
- The eleventh card is Justice, representing fairness, balance, and harmony .
- The twelfth card is The Wheel of Fortune, illustrating the ups and downs of life and reminding us that change is inevitable .
- The thirteenth card is Death, symbolizing transformation, renewal, and letting go of what no longer serves us .
- The fourteenth card is Temperance, urging us to find moderation in all things and warning against excess .
- The fifteenth card is The Devil, warning us of addiction, materialism, and enslavement .
- The sixteenth card is The Tower, signifying sudden change or upheaval .
- The seventeenth card is The Star, representing hope, faith, and inspiration .
- The eighteenth card is The Moon, reminding us that there is always a dark side to everything and that we need to be aware of hidden dangers .
- The nineteenth card is The Sun, symbolizing confidence, happiness, and success .
- The twentieth card is Judgement, prompting us to reflect on our past actions and make changes accordingly .
- Finally, the twenty-first card is The World which reassures us that everything is connected and that was all part of a larger whole
The Major Arcana consists of 22 Tarot Cards
These cards show the big archetypal themes and life lessons that are affecting your life and soul’s path to enlightenment.
Starting in the Major Arcana with the 1st card number 0, The Fool, and completing the set with the 22nd card numbered 21 with The World card, each card representing different keywords, elements, planet, astrological, healing crystal, & its Yes or No association. And most importantly its upright and reversed meanings.
The Minor Arcana is often thought of as the more ‘ mundane’ side of the Tarot, compared to the more ‘spiritual’ Major Arcana. However, the Minor Arcana still contains a wealth of knowledge and insight and is an essential part of learning the Tarot. There are four suits in the Minor Arcana, which correspond to the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Read how the tarot is connected to the Sun.
Each suit has 14 cards, for a total of 56 cards in the Minor Arcana. The suits are:
- Wands: Also known as batons or rods, this suit is associated with the element of fire. Wands represent energy, creativity, passion, and will.
- Swords: Also known as blades, this suit is associated with the element of air. Swords represent intellect, logic, truth, and justice.
- Cups: Also known as chalices or goblets, this suit is associated with the element of water. Cups represent emotions, love, relationships, and intuition.
- Pentacles: Also known as coins or disks, this suit is associated with the element of earth. Pentacles represent security, stability, material wealth, and practicality.
The Minor Arcana consists of 56 Tarot Cards
The Suit of Wands
(also named Staves) Connected to Fire & creativity, will, power, passion, and desires.
The Suit of Wands is like a magic wand. It stands for creativity, intuition, and new ideas. Wands are active cards that have to do with the fire element. On the other hand, this suit shows strength and determination.
It’s about going as far as you can to achieve your goals and dreams. This suit also has the help of spirituality and awareness. The cards talk about what’s really important to you and tell you more about who you are and what you believe in.
The Suit of Cups
Connected to Water & emotions, memories, relationships, love, and spirituality
The Suit of Cups has to do with heart matters, love, feelings, and relationships are the main things that this case is about, and is ruled by the element of water.
Cards in this suit can also make you think about how you react to the world around you. If most of the cards in a reading are cups, it means there are emotional issues, like trouble in a relationship.
The Suit of Swords
Connected to Air & matters related to thoughts, the mind, planning, problem-solving or conflict.
The suit of swords represents communication and action. They are ruled by the element of air. Their strengths help us gain wisdom and see things clearly.
The cards in this suit tell you to think things through before making a choice.
They can also be a sign that you should pay more attention to your surroundings because a fight or argument could be coming up.
The Suit of Pentacle
(also named Coins or Disks) Connected to Earth & our physical world, health, jobs, wealth, and home.
The suit of pentacles which have to do with money, work, and success, and is ruled by the element of earth. These cards are called “money cards” because they are often linked to decisions about money and sudden money gains.
When most Pentacles show up in your reading, it’s likely that you’re looking for answers about the things in your life that are made of matter.
Out of these fourteen cards, the first ten cards are numbered Ace to 10.
The remaining four cards are called court cards and are traditionally called
- Page (representing someone who is just starting his or her journey in life)
- Knight (representing pursuing goals & taking action)
- Queen (representing someone who is in a sharing or supporting role)
- King (representing someone with authority, leadership, and experience)
Some decks rename these. For example, the page and knight may be renamed to prince and princess, or more gender-neutral terms may be chosen.
What is important to remember is that though some names or labels may be changed around, each deck of cards that follows the pattern described above is a Tarot deck.
There are also other card decks used for divination purposes. Lenormand decks are also popular and contain 36 cards. There are also oracle cards.
Oracle cards do not have a standard structure, and they are simply an umbrella term for any deck of cards made for divination purposes that do not fit standard structures such as Tarot or Lenormand.
The Spread of Tarot
The Spread of TarotThe tarot is a deck of 78 cards, divided into two sections: the Major and Minor Arcana.
The 22 cards of the Major Arcana represent the archetypal themes of human experience, while the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana represent the day-to-day challenges and opportunities that we all face.
The tarot has been used for centuries as a tool for divination and self-improvement. In recent years, it has experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the rise of the New Age movement.
There are many different ways to interpret the tarot, but one of the most popular is to use it as a tool for personal growth and self-discovery.
The tarot can be used to gain insight into your past, present, and future; explore your relationships with others, and to understand your own innermost thoughts and feelings.
One of the best ways to learn about the tarot is to use it for yourself. Try doing a personal reading for yourself, or studying the meanings of tarot cards with a friend or family member. You can also find online courses and books about the tarot, which can help you learn more about this fascinating system of divination.
How to Read Tarot Cards
There are a few things you need to know before you start reading tarot cards. The first is that there are four suits in a standard tarot deck – wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Each suit corresponds to a different element – fire, water, air, or earth – and can represent different aspects of your life.
The second is that there are 22 Major Arcana cards in a tarot deck, which are the most important cards in the deck. They represent major life events or changes and can be very positive or negative.
The third is that there are 56 Minor Arcana cards in a tarot deck, which represent more day-to-day aspects of your life.Now that you know the basics, let’s get started! There are a few different ways to read tarot cards.
The first is to simply look at the card and try to interpret its meaning. This can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the symbolism of tarot cards, but there are plenty of resources available to help you out.
Another way to read tarot cards is to lay them out in a spread. This is where you lay out the cards in a specific pattern and interpret their meaning based on their position in the spread.
There are many different spreads you can use, so again, there are plenty of resources available to help you choose the right one for your question.
Once you’ve chosen a spread, it’s time to start reading the cards!
The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and clear your mind. Then, focus on your question and choose the cards that you feel drawn to. Once you’ve chosen your cards, take another deep breath and start interpreting their meaning based on the position they’re in and the suit they belong to.
If you’re still finding it difficult to interpret the meaning of your tarot reading, don’t worry – there are plenty of resources available online and in books that can help you out. With a little practice, you’ll be reading tarot-like a pro in no time!
Step One: Shuffle the Cards
Shuffling the tarot cards is an important step in any reading, as it helps to randomize the deck and ensure that the results are not biased.
There are many different ways to shuffle the cards, but one of the most popular methods is to simply hold the deck in your hands and move the cards around, mixing them up as much as possible.
Once you feel like the cards are sufficiently shuffled, you can then begin your reading.
Step Two: Choose a Spread
Now that you know the basics of tarot, it’s time to choose a spread. A spread is simply a layout of cards, and there are many different spreads to choose from depending on your question or situation. Below are some of the most popular spreads:
The Celtic Cross
The Celtic Cross Spread is one of the most popular and versatile spreads in tarot. It can be used for any question or situation and consists of 10 cards laid out in a cross shape.
- The first card, placed in the center, represents the issue at hand.
- The second card is placed directly above it and represents the immediate problem or challenge.
- The third card is placed to the right and represents the past influence on the situation.
- The fourth card is placed below the central card and represents the future influence on the situation.
- The fifth card is placed to the left and represents the present influence on the situation.
- The sixth card is placed at the bottom of the cross and represents outside influences or obstacles.
- The seventh card is placed above the sixth card and represents advice or guidance.
- The eighth card is placed to the right of the seventh card and represents your innermost thoughts or feelings.
- The ninth card is placed below the eighth card and represents your immediate future.
- The tenth and final card is placed to the left of the ninth card and represents the overall outcome of the situation.
The 3 Card Spread
The Three-Card Spread is a quick and easy way to get guidance for a specific question or situation. It consists of three cards laid out side by side. The first card, on the left, represents your past influence on the situation.
The second card, in the middle, represents your present influence on the situation. The third card, on the right, represents your future influence on the situation.
The Horseshoe Spread
The Horseshoe Spread is similar to the Celtic Cross Spread, but with only seven cards laid out in a horseshoe shape. It can be used for any question or situation and can provide detailed insights into both past and future influences.
The Line Spread
The Line Spread is great for gaining clarity on a specific issue or question. It consists of six cards laid out in a straight line from left to right.
- The first card represents your past influence on the situation.
- The second card represents your present influence on the situation.
- The third card represents outside influences or obstacles.
- The fourth card represents your innermost thoughts or feelings.
- The fifth card represents your immediate future.
- And finally,the sixth card represents the overall outcome of the situation
Step Three: Ask a Question
There’s no right or wrong way to ask a question when using tarot cards. The key is to be specific, and focus on what you want to know.
Be clear in your mind about what you’re asking, and don’t ask multiple questions at once.
Once you’ve decided on a question, shuffle the deck of cards and cut them into three piles.
Then, choose one of the piles at random and select the top card. This is your answer.
When interpreting your answer, consider the card’s traditional meaning, as well as the context of your question.
For example, if you’re asking about your love life and you draw the Tower card, it could represent upheaval or chaos.
However, it could also mean that you’re about to experience a major change or breakthrough in your relationships.
Most importantly, trust your intuition. The more you work with tarot cards, the better you’ll become at reading them.
With time and practice, you’ll develop your own unique style of interpretation.
Step Four: Interpret the Cards
In this step, we’ll learn how to interpret the tarot cards. By understanding the meanings of the tarot cards, you’ll be able to read them for yourself and others.
The tarot has 78 cards, which are divided into two groups: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 trump cards, which are also known as the greater secrets.
These cards represent major life events, such as The Fool, The Tower, and The World.
The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, which are further divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.
Each suit contains 14 cards, which represent more specific events or situations.In a tarot reading, the querent (the person receiving the reading) will shuffle the deck and choose a certain number of cards, which will be laid out in a specific spread.
The tarot reader will then interpret the meaning of the cards based on their position in the spread, as well as their relationship to each other.
There are many different ways to interpret the tarot cards, but some basic guidelines include:
– Looking at the overall energy of the spread. Is it positive or negative? Light or dark? Upbeat or challenging?
– Interpreting the individual meanings of each card. What does this card represent? What does it mean in relation to the question asked?
– Seeing how the cards interact with each other. Do they support or contradict each other? Are they pointing in a particular direction?
By using these guidelines, you can start to interpret the tarot cards for yourself and others. With practice, you’ll develop your own style and approach to reading the tarot.
Tarot Cards For Beginners Great! Where do I begin?
If you haven’t done so already, you may want to try sampling what Tarot reading is like.
I highly recommend those who are curious to get a reading from an experienced, professional reader of their choice to see what a detailed reading looks like and what kind of guidance can come through.
Many Tarot readers will also gladly answer questions and share their knowledge with those who are interested.
Discussing how the reader interprets the cards on the table during your reading can be a very insightful experience.
How to Use Tarot for Divination
If you want to learn how to use tarot for divination, there are a few things you need to know. First, you need to understand the meanings of the tarot cards. There are 78 tarot cards in total, and each one has its own meaning.
Once you understand the meanings of the tarot cards, you can start using them for divination. There are a few different ways to use tarot for divination. One way is to use them for simple yes or no questions.
To do this, you simply shuffle the deck and pick out two cards. The first card represents the questioner, and the second card represents the answer. If the first card is upright, then the answer is yes.
If the first card is reversed, then the answer is no.
Another way to use tarot for divination is to do a simple three-card reading. To do this, you shuffle the deck and pick out three cards.
The first card represents the past, the second card represents the present, and the third card represents the future. You can also use tarot for more complex readings, such as relationship readings or career readings.
For these types of readings, you will need to consult a book or online resource that will give you specific instructions on how to do the reading. Tarot can be a great tool for divination, but it’s important to remember that it’s just a tool.
The real key to accurate divination is understanding your own intuition and trusting what you see.
Step One: Relax and Clear Your Mind
The first step in learning the secrets of the tarot is to relax and clear your mind. This may seem like a difficult task, but it is essential in order to focus on your reading. There are a few different ways to go about this:
- Take a few deep breaths and focus on each one. Slowly exhale and let all of your tension go with each breath.
- Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Focus on the blackness behind your eyelids and imagine yourself in a calm and relaxing place.
- Listen to calming music or nature sounds and let them wash over you. Once you have taken a few moments to relax, you will be ready to begin your reading.
Step Two: Focus on Your Question
As you begin to learn about tarot, it is important to understand that there is no one correct way to read the cards. Instead, tarot is a tool that can be used in many different ways, depending on what you are hoping to learn or gain from the experience.
Before you begin a reading, it is important to take some time to focus on your question.
- What is it that you want to know?
- What are you hoping to learn?
Keep your question in mind as you shuffle and deal the cards.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you focus on your question:
1. There is no such thing as a yes or no question in tarot. The cards can provide guidance and insight, but they cannot give you a definite answer. Instead, focus on asking questions that will help you gain clarity and understanding.
2. Be specific with your question. The more specific you are, the more accurate your reading will be.
3. Keep an open mind. Sometimes the answer we receive is not what we were expecting. Be open to whatever the cards may reveal.
Step Three: Choose a Card
When you are ready to choose a card, take a deep breath and calm your mind. Allow your intuition to guide you to the card that you are meant to see.
With practice, you will be able to interpret the meanings of the cards intuitively. For now, however, it is helpful to consult a book or online resource for guidance.
There are many different Tarot decks available, so choose one that speaks to you. Once you have chosen a deck, look through the cards and find one that calls out to you. Once you have found your card, take a moment to look at it closely.
What do you see? What does the image on the card mean to you?
The interpretation of the card will vary depending on which position it is in. The position will give additional meaning to the card, so be sure to take that into account when interpreting
Step Four: Interpret the Card
When you are ready to interpret the tarot card, look at the card and think about what it means. The tarot cards are divided into two parts: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, and the Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards. The Major Arcana are the most important cards in the deck, and they represent the major events in our lives.
The Minor Arcana are less important, and they represent the smaller events in our lives. To interpret the tarot card, start by looking at the card and thinking about what it means.
Each tarot card has a specific meaning, and you can use this meaning to help you interpret the card. There are many different ways to interpret a tarot card, so there is no one correct interpretation.
Instead, use your own intuition and imagination to come up with your own interpretation of the card.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you are interpreting a tarot card:
- The images on the tarot card can give you clues about its meaning. For example, if you see a lot of water on the card, this could symbolize emotions or feelings.
- The colors on the tarot card can also give you clues about its meaning. Each color has a different meaning, and these meanings can help you interpret the tarot card.
- The position of the tarot card can also be significant. For example, if a particular tarot card is upside down, this could mean that the meaning of the card is reversed.
- Finally, pay attention to your own intuition and imagination when you are interpreting a tarot card. Trust your gut feeling about what the card means, and don’t be afraid to be creative in your interpretation.
The Tarot has you covered with guidance for your relationships, wellbeing, career, spirituality and everyday life, providing answers to your questions or giving general messages.
Click here to book a Tarot reading
Another easily accessible way to try out Tarot reading is by using online Tarot decks or apps. Many of these are free or low cost and give you the opportunity to look at some cards and their meanings.
Eventually, if you wish to make reading Tarot into a more regular practice, it’s time to get your first Tarot deck!
How do I choose my first Tarot deck?
Contrary to a common myth, you do not have to be gifted your first Tarot deck, and you certainly shouldn’t steal it!
It’s a nice gesture if someone gifts you a beautiful Tarot deck, but buying one yourself is completely fine. It can, in fact, even be beneficial to buy your own, because then you can find and choose the deck that really speaks to you.
In order to familiarize yourself with the traditional symbolism, it may be best to start out with a traditional deck. There are three core traditional decks, and countless other Tarot decks have been made inspired by them.
The Marseilles Tarot deck originates from the fifteenth century.
Only the major arcana and court cards are fully illustrated, while the rest of the cards bear symbolic representations of their suit and number.
You can get the deck here.
The Rider-Waite-Smith deck was commissioned by Arthur Edward Waite, illustrated by Pamela Coleman-Smith and published by the Rider publishing company in 1909.
It was a revolutionary development in Tarot, as Pamela Coleman-Smith also illustrated all the minor arcana in full detail.
This is the most commonly used Tarot deck today, and most modern Tarot decks are based on the symbolism of this deck too.
You can get the deck here.
The Thoth Tarot was commissioned by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Frieda Harris, and published in 1944, years after its creation.
This Tarot deck as well as others inspired by it can be recognized by the court cards being renamed to princess, prince, queen and knight, and the renaming of eight major arcana cards.
You can get the deck here.
Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
You can get this deck here.
Since the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck is the most widely used in many Tarot resources, it can be the easiest to learn with.
Still, what is most important while choosing your own Tarot deck is to find one that you can read well, one with images that you can relate to.
The RWS Tarot deck was published more than a century ago, and over this century, illustrating and printing technology has rapidly evolved.
If you don’t feel like the traditional images appeal to you, then rest assured there are thousands of other Tarot decks available today, drawn in a vast variety of different styles, representing a plethora of different cultural and spiritual directions.
Tarot decks can be found in metaphysical stores, some book or gift shops, and of course online.
The key to finding the best deck for you is to take a good look at the cards to ascertain that you can relate to each image.
The questions to ask yourself while examining the cards are: Could these cards be laid out as panels of a graphic novel about me?
Do the images on the cards describe my thoughts, feelings, imagination, and the way I see the world?
Note that the images don’t literally have to look like your life, rather, they should represent scenes, settings, time periods, or characters that spark your imagination and let you glimpse aspects of yourself within them.
Some shops offer sample decks to flip through. If that is not the case or you are ordering online, search the Tarot deck on the internet and you will most likely find reviews with pictures and videos. Take your time to explore until you find a deck you feel you can really connect with.
Once you have your very own deck, it’s time to…
Prepare for your first Tarot reading!
Before you begin pulling cards, look through your deck, giving yourself time to familiarize yourself with each card’s imagery. Most decks also come with a guidebook which is worth reading through.
You may want to cleanse and charge your cards before you begin reading with them.
The cards have sat around in the shop or warehouse for a while before coming to you, picking up feelings, thoughts, intentions, the atmosphere around it, “psychic dust”.
With a simple ritual, you can remove these influences and infuse the cards with your intention to receive clear, helpful guidance through them.
Your Tarot deck is like a sensitive metaphysical instrument that you can calibrate.
Sleep with the deck in your bed
One of the best ways to learn the secrets of the Tarot is to sleep with the deck in your bed. This will allow you to become more attuned to the energies of the cards and their meanings. It is also a good way to cleanse and charge your deck. Simply place your deck under your pillow before you go to sleep and let the magic happen.
To cleanse and charge the cards, you can do any or all of the following:
- Light some incense, fan out the cards in your hand and let the smoke touch each card.
- Place the cards in moonlight in your window. Any moonlight is good, but the light of the full moon is said to be especially powerful.
- Place some crystals on your deck. Selenite, clear quartz, rose quartz, moonstone or amethyst are especially beneficial for divination, intuition and helpful guidance.
You can also come up with your own rituals that fit your belief system.
Time to read the cards!
Find a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Take a moment to breathe and let go of busy thoughts, opening your mind to subtle intuitive impressions.
Sit comfortably and shuffle your cards thoroughly. It doesn’t matter what method you use to shuffle as long as you end up with a well randomized deck. When you use a deck for the first time, take some extra time to make sure it’s well shuffled.
Think or say out loud what you would like to know. For a first readings, following questions can be good starting points:
- What will happen today?
- What advice do I need to hear right now?
- How will (something I will do soon) go?
- How can I make sure (something I will do soon) will be successful?
Decide how many cards you will draw. For first readings I recommend drawing one single card.
Eventually, your cards may feel ready, and you can stop shuffling. Alternatively, you can also decide in advance how long you will shuffle.
It can happen that a card jumps out of the deck while shuffling! Jumping cards carry messages that really need to be heard.
If no card jumps out, let your hand be guided to the deck and pick the card you feel drawn to. If you don’t feel up to picking the “right” card intuitively yet, then decide in advance while shuffling that you will pick the card from the top or the bottom of the deck, and now do so.
Interpreting the Card:
Before opening the guidebook, give yourself some time to take in the image on the card. Are there any details, colors, or characters that catch your eye?
What is going on in the scene depicted? Try and translate it to your current situation and question.
Note that two of the questions suggested in the previous section are predictive questions, asking what will happen or how something will go.
In response to such questions, the card you draw will be describing events. Try describing what is going on in the card, literally or symbolically, to begin with, your interpretation.
The other two questions ask for advice. The card you pull will be describing what you can do in order to reach your goal, or perhaps it will act as a mirror, showing you what you are doing now that may not be constructive.
After you’ve interpreted the image, look up the meaning of the card in the guidebook. Extend or adjust your interpretation using the information found in the guidebook, and summarize it as the answer to the question you asked.
Example of a Reading in a Spread:
Simon draws a single card in the morning before going to work, asking “what advice do I need to hear today?” and draws the 10 of Wands.
He sees the image depicting a figure stooped under all the weight she carries. He recognizes himself in the image, as he had recently taken on additional responsibilities at work, and has felt like the weight of the world was resting on his shoulder.
He realizes that perhaps he’s exerting himself too much, just as the figure in the card, and needs to see how he can prioritize and set some things down before he becomes overwhelmed.
The answer to his question is, therefore: The advice is to recognize that he is carrying too many burdens, overexerting himself. To lighten the load and make his life easier again, he can look for opportunities to prioritize and delegate tasks at work.
Asking the Questions:
- What then?
- Will predictions come true?
- Would you like it to come true?
Tarot predictions are not set in stone, and the reading reflects what may happen if you continue on your current path. Therefore, if you like what you see, make sure to continue what you were doing and keep working towards your goal.
If you don’t want the scene depicted in the card to happen, investigate what you can do to change something.
Reading Tarot is a skill that takes a lot of practice. Don’t give up if your first readings don’t feel accurate, or if you have trouble remembering card meanings.
Do quick readings for yourself whenever you can, ideally once a day, and record your readings in a journal or by taking photos with your phone.
Eventually, you’ll be able to glean more depth from the cards, move on to multiple cards and ask more specific detailed questions.
The Tarot has you covered with guidance for your relationships, wellbeing, career, spirituality and everyday life, providing answers to your questions or giving general messages.
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Julianne has a bachelor’s in communication and journalism working with Psychic Spirituality & Relationships. She has also practiced numerology, tarot, and other psychic arts.