Tarot 100: Tarot for Absolute Beginners- What are Tarot Cards?

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What are tarot cards?


Tarot cards are cards used for divination (aka fortune telling or gaining insight into the future). Each complete tarot deck comes in a deck of 78 cards, each of them having their own unique meanings. These cards are ideally used to tell your future. A tarot card reading usually consists of a fortune teller first asking you to focus on a question or specific incident that you are wanting answers to. Next they’ll begin shuffling the deck of cards, cutting or splitting the deck, and laying the cards in a certain order known as a “tarot spread” to guide and organize the advice you are receiving and questions you may have. There are multiple spreads for all situations so the reader will choose the spread they are most comfortable answering your question with.

Once the cards are laid out the interpreter will explain what each card means relative to the spot that they landed and the relation to the cards around it. A tarot deck is always separated into two main categories; the Major Arcana numbered 0-21 and the Minor Arcana which have four suits like in a regular card deck. The major arcana consists of 22 tarot cards that represent strong, important, experiences or energies in our life, as opposed to the 56 Minor Arcana cards that represent less intense energies but gives details about your situation.

The Major Arcana

The 22 cards that make up the major arcana, each mean something different. Here is a list of each of the cards in the major arcana, I will dedicate a post to each cards meaning and their symbolism. Here are the 22 cards of the major arcana!

        0. The Fool     1. The Magician     2. The High Priestess

3. The Empress   4. The Emperor  5. The Hierophant

6. The Lovers     7. The Chariot      8. Strength

 9. The Hermit     10. The Wheel of Fortune     11. Justice

12. The Hanged Man      13. Death     14. Temperance

  15. The Devil    16. The Tower     17. Star

18. The Moon     19. The sun       20. Judgement

21. The world

The Minor Arcana

The minor arcana is very similar to a deck of regular playing cards! There are four different suits each containing 14 cards. Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (like hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds).

The four suits are: Wands      Cups      Swords      Pentacles

Each of these suits represents a different aspect in your life (emotions, money, arguments, and imagination)! The suits each start with ‘court cards’ which consists of a page, a knight, a queen, and a king (similar to the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack). For example, The Knight of Cups, The Queen of Wands, and The King of Swords etc. After the court cards, the cards continue to “Ace of ____” and end with “Ten of _____”. For example, Ace of Pentacles, Four of Cups, Six of Wands, Ten of Swords. Each and every card in the tarot have different meanings.

Tarot Spreads

Each tarot card has a meaning, and depending on where the tarot card lands in the “spread” will determine what it means to you.

Once you learn what the meanings to the tarot cards are, you can see what they mean and the messages trying to be sent to you through a spread! If you draw the death card for a past position and the world card in your future position, then it would mean you went through some kind of transformation and in the future you will receive the world because of those actions. However, if you draw the world card in the past and the death card for your future, then it would mean you had the world, and all the options in the past and in the future you will be looking out for life changing transformations for better or worse!

In Conclusion

Tarot cards are used to tell your future and your past. Fortune telling is interesting and hard to explain sometimes but tarot can be fun and easy if your don’t stress! Check out the next posts in this lesson to become a master!

Tarot 101 How to give yourself your first tarot reading

Tarot 102 The Fool’s Journey

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