Tarot Card Information
What are tarot cards?
Tarot cards are a deck of 78 cards used for divination, self-exploration, and gaining spiritual insights. The cards have rich symbolic imagery and archetypal meanings that are interpreted by readers in response to questions or situations posed by seekers. Some key things to know about tarot cards:
- The 78 card deck is divided into the 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards across 4 suits (Cups, Pentacles, Swords, Wands)
- The Major Arcana represents universal life lessons and archetypes. Cards include The Fool, The Magician, Strength, The Hermit, etc.
- The Minor Arcana deals with day-to-day activities and situations. The suits represent the four elements (Cups = water, Pentacles = earth, etc.)
- Origins trace back to 15th century playing cards used in European games, later evolving into tarot for divination
- Imagery on the cards, like The Lovers, Death, the Moon have symbolic meaning and interpretation
- Tarot decks must contain 78 cards to be considered true tarot rather than oracle decks
- Readers shuffle the cards, have seeker draw cards, and then interpret the cards based on their insights
- Can provide guidance on relationships, careers, personal struggles, life purpose, and point seeker inward
- Some read tarot for concrete predictions and fortune telling, but most see it as unlocking intuitive wisdom
Though often associated with psychic abilities, most readers view tarot as a tool to gain perspective and clarity to make positive changes aligned with one's highest purpose and potential.
How many cards in a tarot deck?
There are 78 cards in a standard Tarot deck. The cards are divided into two main sections:
- Major Arcana - 22 cards that represent archetypes, life lessons, and spiritual growth. They start with The Fool (card 0) and go up to The World (card 21). Some examples are The Magician, The High Priestess, The Lovers, etc.
- Minor Arcana - 56 cards divided into four suits with 14 cards each. The suits are very similar to a traditional playing card deck and consist of:
- Wands - Associated with fire energy, passion, inspiration. Aces represent new beginnings.
- Cups - Associated with water energy, emotions, relationships. Aces mean new love/emotions.
- Swords - Associated with air energy, intellect, conflict. Aces indicate a new way of thinking.
- Pentacles - Associated with earth energy, prosperity, health. Aces symbolize new financial opportunities.
In the Minor Arcana each suit contains:
- 10 Number cards - Ace through 10
- 4 Court cards - Page, Knight, Queen, King
So in total, 78 cards make up a complete Tarot deck - 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. This composition allows the Tarot to provide spiritual insights and wisdom for those who learn the symbolism and meanings behind the intricately designed cards.
How to read tarot cards?
Here is a quick overview of how to read tarot cards:
- Prepare your space - Create a calm, quiet atmosphere before your reading. Light candles, burn incense, play soft music to set the mood.
- Focus your intention - Before shuffling the cards, clearly define your question or the issue you want guidance on.
- Shuffle and cut the deck - Shuffle the cards thoroughly while concentrating on your question. Then cut the deck into 3 piles and reassemble.
- Select your spread - Choose a tarot spread that suits your question. Spreads vary from 1 card to complex multi-card layouts. Common spreads are Celtic Cross, 3 Fates, Tree of Life.
- Lay out the spread - Deal the cards face down into the spread pattern you chose. Place them from left to right or top to bottom.
- Reveal and interpret - Flip each card over and examine its imagery and meaning. Interpret each card individually then look for connections between cards.
- Connect the meaning - Piece together the cards' combined narrative and symbolic meaning as it relates to your question. Intuit deeper insights from the reading.
- Close the reading - Shuffle the cards again to clear their energy. Thank them for their guidance. Take notes on insights gained from your reading.
The more you practice, the more intuitive you will become at interpreting the card meanings and relationships. Allow your inner wisdom to guide you.
What is tarot used for?
Tarot cards are most commonly used for:
- Divination - Tarot is used to gain insight into past, present, and future events and situations. Readers use the cards to tap into intuitive wisdom and provide guidance.
- Meditation and Reflection - Tarot cards can be used as focal points for meditation, self-reflection, and sparking inner contemplation. The symbolic cards allow us to explore our deeper selves.
- Personal Growth - Tarot readings often provide advice and perspective that allows people to overcome challenges and foster positive change and development.
- Understanding Archetypes - The tarot cards represent universal archetypes and situations we all face. Working with the cards helps people understand core human experiences.
- Subconscious Exploration - Tarot helps access the subconscious in ways the conscious mind cannot. The imagery triggers something in our deep minds.
- Spiritual Development - For some tarot supports spiritual connection with something larger than ourselves and a higher purpose.
- Decision Making - Readings can reveal insights that guide decision making by clarifying situations and identifying wise choices.
- Transition Points - Tarot is often used during major life transitions like relationships, careers, moves to gain perspective.
The symbolic nature of tarot makes it an incredibly flexible tool to find meaning, guidance, and enlightenment in all aspects of life.
How accurate is tarot card reading?
The accuracy of tarot card readings is a debated topic, but here are some key considerations:
- Highly subjective - Accuracy depends heavily on the intuition, skill, and interpretation of the individual tarot reader.
- Not scientifically proven - There is no concrete scientific evidence that tarot readings provide accurate predictions of the future. The effectiveness relies on belief systems.
- Better for general guidance - Tarot is generally more accurate for providing broad personal guidance rather than precise predictions. The cardsunlock intuitive insights.
- Self-fulfilling prophecies - If a person believes and acts on a tarot reading, they may unconsciously align their choices with the reading.
- Reflects probabilities - Tarot may reflect the most energetically probable outcomes based on current situations and decisions. The future is always in flux.
- Archetypal significance - The tarot symbols and archetypes mirror universal human experiences, so they resonate on a deep level.
- Practice develops intuition - Regular tarot practice can develop one's natural intuition and perception to increase accuracy over time.
Overall, tarot accuracy depends on the reader's abilities and the seeker's openness. Due to its symbolic nature, tarot may be more aligned with revealing truths about the present moment than making definitive claims about the future. The cards are best used for guidance rather than as a fortune telling method.