The tarot is an ancient form of divination that has been used for centuries to help people gain insight into their lives.
What are Tarot Cards?
Tarot cards are a set of 78 cards, each with a different meaning, used for divination or fortune-telling. Tarot reading is one of the most popular forms of divination in the world, and has been used for centuries to help people find answers to their questions about life, love, and destiny.
The tarot can be used for many different purposes, such as predicting the future, understanding oneself better, or gaining insight into a situation. There are many different ways to read tarot cards, but the most common method is to lay them out in a spread (a specific configuration of cards) and interpret their meaning in relation to one another.
Tarot readings can be incredibly helpful in giving advice and guidance on life's biggest questions. Whether you're looking for answers about love, career, or other areas of your life, the tarot can give you a valuable insight into your past, present, and future.
What is the History of Tarot Cards & Tarot Readings?
Tarot cards have been used for centuries to peer into the future and provide guidance to people and the events that surround them. The exact origins of tarot are unknown, but it is believed that they first originated in northern Italy in the 15th century. Tarot cards were originally used for games, but soon began to be used for divination purposes. There are many different theories about how tarot readings work, but one popular belief is that the cards are able to tap into the subconscious mind and provide guidance.
The earliest tarot decks were hand-painted and were very expensive. During the 18th and 19th centuries, mass-produced decks became available, making tarot more accessible to the general public. In the 20th century, interest in tarot exploded, with a proliferation of books, decks, and schools of thought about tarot emerged. Today, there are many different ways to use tarot cards for divination purposes.
What sort of Questions do People Ask the Tarot for Help With? Most people who seek out a tarot reading are looking for answers to specific questions. The tarot can be very helpful in providing both clarity and guidance around all sorts of concerns, both big and small. Here are some examples of the types of questions people often ask the tarot:
-I am feeling lost and confused, what should I do? -Should I take that new job? -I am considering moving, is this a good idea? -What can I do to improve my relationship? -I am having financial difficulties, will things get better? -I am experiencing health problems, what do I need to know?
The Tarot Explained: Major Arcana The term "Major Arcana" is used to describe the 22 trump cards of a Tarot deck. The name derives from the Italian words "arcano maggiore," which translate to "greater secrets."
The Major Arcana are also sometimes known as the Trumps, Triumphs, or Greater Mysteries. They are considered the most important cards in a Tarot deck, as they represent major life lessons and spiritual teachings.
Some Tarot experts believe that each of the Major Arcana cards corresponds to a stage in the hero's journey. This journey begins with The Fool, who represents innocence and potential, and ends with The World, which symbolizes enlightenment and completion.
In between these two extremes are cards that represent important archetypes and Universal truths. For example, The Empress corresponds to abundance and fertility, while The Tower represents disaster and upheaval.
Each Major Arcana card can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on its position in a spread (the layout of cards used for a reading) and the other cards surrounding it. However, there are some core meanings that are associated with each card.
The Tarot Explained: Minor Arcana
The Tarot Minor Arcana are the 56 cards that make up the Tarot deck, excluding the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. The Tarot Minor Arcana can be further divided into four suits: cups, pentacles, wands, and swords. Each suit contains 14 cards: Ace through 10, and the face cards Page, Knight, Queen and King.
The suits of the Minor Arcana correspond to the four elements: fire (wands), earth (pentacles), air (swords), and water (cups). The element of fire corresponds to creativity and action; earth corresponds to stability and materialism; air corresponds to thought and communications; water corresponds to emotions and intuition.
While the Major Arcana represent significant life events or experiences, the Minor Arcana represent the day-to-day challenges and opportunities we encounter in our lives. The symbolism in each card can be interpreted in many ways, but often reflects an energy or feeling associated with a particular situation.
When interpreting card meanings in a tarot reading, keep in mind that often times a card will have both positive and negative aspects depending on the context of the question being asked. In general, however, the suits of Cups, Pentacles and Wands tend to represent more positive energies while Swords tend to represent more negative energies.
The Tarot Explained: The Court Cards
The tarot deck is made up of 78 cards, divided into two groups: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The 22 cards of the Major Arcana represent major aspects of life and symbolize the journey of the soul from its beginning to its ultimate destination. The 56 Minor Arcana cards are further divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit contains 14 cards, which are numbered from Ace to Ten, plus four court cards: the Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
The court cards often seem to be the hardest to interpret in a reading because they can represent so many different things. In a traditional tarot deck, they are usually assigned astrological associations: Pages correspond to Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), Knights to Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), Queens to Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), and Kings to Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn). However, they can also represent actual people in your life or different aspects of your personality.
Here is a brief overview of each court card:
The Page: The Page is associated with new beginnings and represents a time of innocence and youth. He (or she) can also signify a message or news that you are about to receive.
The Knight: The Knight is associated with action and movement. He represents courage and bravery in the face of adversity. He can also signify upcoming travel or changes in your life.
The Queen: The Queen is associated with emotional issues and represents feminine energy. She can signify nurturing and compassion or she can represent manipulation and control.
The King: The King is associated with masculine energy and represents authority and power. He can be a positive force representing wisdom and experience or he can be a negative force representing ego and tyranny.
The Tarot Explained: The Wand Suite
In a tarot deck, the wand suite symbolizes creativity, passion, and energy. The wands are associated with the element of fire, which is why they're often seen as being representative of ambitiousness and willpower. If you're someone who tends to be proactive and takes initiative often, then you'll likely find that the wands suit speaks to you on a personal level.
Those who identify with the wand suite may find that they're natural leaders. They're often creative types who are always full of new ideas. And while they may not always follow through on all of them, they're always coming up with something new to try. People in this suit are typically go-getters who aren't afraid of taking risks. They're also usually very confident and have a strong sense of self-belief.
If you pull a wand card in a tarot reading, it's likely that it's indicative of some project or endeavour that you're working on. It could be something related to your career, or it could be a more personal undertaking. Either way, the message is that you have the potential to be successful if you put your mind to it. There's no need to doubt yourself – if you believe in yourself and stay focused, you can achieve anything you set your sights on.
The Tarot Explained: The Cups Suite
In a tarot deck, the Cups suite symbolises the emotional aspects of our lives. This can include our relationships, our family, our friends, and our own emotions. The cups can represent both positive and negative emotions, depending on the card. For example, the Ace of Cups can represent a new beginning or a new relationship, while the Ten of Cups can represent happiness and contentment.
The Tarot Explained: The Swords Suite
The Swords suite in a tarot deck symbolises the element of air. This means that the suit is associated with the mind, intellect and communication. The suit is also traditionally associated with the astrological signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
The Swords cards typically represent issues to do with courage, truth, justice and force. They can also indicate a battle or conflict. The Minor Arcana cards in the suit often depict scenes of fighting or struggle, while the Major Arcana cards tend to represent deeper issues or life-changing events.
The Tarot Explained: The Pentacles Suite
The Pentacles suite of the Tarot deck symbolises the material world, our physical bodies and our earthly possessions. It is associated with the element of Earth, and hence with the colours green and brown.
The pentacles cards represent our relationship to the physical world around us, how we interact with it, and what we take from it. They can also represent our mental and emotional state in regards to our material well-being.
For example, The Two of Pentacles card can symbolise a period of financial difficulty or instability, whereas The Nine of Pentacles can represent financial abundance. The Ace of Pentacles can represent new opportunities or a fresh start in regards to our material circumstances, whereas The Ten of Pentacles can signify a time of contentment and satisfaction with what we have.