Tarot is a very popular type of divination among practitioners. It can be very useful like other types of divination to see things that you might be missing, and to gain insight into the world around you. This is truly a practice everyone can benefit from, if they have the cards to do it. When you’re first starting out learning tarot it can be quite overwhelming but if you stick with it you will learn how to have a relationship, and communication with your cards, but you probably did not think was possible. Tarot is a wonderful, and beautiful art in which you use 78 different, and unique cards to divine questions that you, or a client might have. These 78 tarot cards are split into the major, and minor arcana.
The major arcana are also sometimes known as the trump cards, and are made up of 22 cards that hold very deep meaning, and important life lessons that can lead to great insight, and understanding. The major arcana are the first of the tarot cards where the first tarot card is actually labeled 0, and is known as the fool. It is actually possible to do readings completely only using the major arcana, because of the great insight that they provide.
The minor arcana also sometimes known as the Lesser Arcana has 56 tarot cards in it, that are split in even suits with 14 cards each. These suits are Wands, cups, swords, and pentacles with some variant names depending on what type of tarot deck you have. Each one of these suits has their own aspects that they deal with, and are usually the main meaning for the receiving of the card. Some of the meanings for each suit are:
The suit of wands has to do with the element of fire, or air depending upon tradition, and usually refers to more things that have to do with passions, and ambitions. It is about creativity, understanding, and execution of ideas, desires to make change in the world, inventing, and creating new things, passionate desires, travel, and quick movement. The zodiac signs that are associated with the suit are aries, leo, and sagittarius. Other names for the suit of wands are rods, staves, spears, and staffs.
The suit of cups has to do with the element of water usually refers to more things that have to do with passionate powerful heart emotions, love, relationships, and communication. It is about happiness, sorrow, feelings, connections, elation, recognitions, and regrets. It is also linked to a lot of psychic, intuitive, and insight based on energy, and are primarily brought up in readings for feeling into certain situations in a more heartfelt way. the zodiac signs that are associated with the suit are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Other names for the suit of cups are chalices, and goblets
The suit of Swords has to do with the element of element of air, or fire depending upon tradition, and usually refers to more things that have to do with intelligence, knowledge, logic, the mind, and thinking. The zodiac signs that are associated with the suit are gemini, libra, and aquarius. Other names for the suit of Swords are blades, and athames.
The suit of Pentacles has to do with the element of earth, and usually refers to more things that have to do with health, wealth, the world, mundane, physical, hard reality, and the material. It is about being grounded, down-to-earth, the homestead, and things that are in your physical life. The zodiac signs that are associated with the suit are taurus, virgo, and capricorn. Other names for the suit of wands are coins, discs, and pentagrams.
Royal arcana is a subgroup that is usually connected to the minor arcana, and contains four cards from each of the suits. These cards being the page,the knight, the queen, and the king. Royal arcana is sometimes referred to as the court cards. These cards meanings, and appearances can reflect certain people in our lives, or even ourselves, and maybe powerful indicators for certain questions, and insights in a plethora of different types of readings. There cards that usually speak about people, and the moods, and emotions that they feel. These usually have more of the voice, and can really evolve a reading into something that is more personal, and connected to the person who is receiving the reading. These cards are said to make the practitioner use a lot more of their intuition than they do with the rest of the cards, because of the way that you have to interpret these cards by coming at them from a completely different angle. By reading them from the perspective of a person, or entity involved in the reading in probably more of a first-person interpretation.
In metaphysics flipping any sort of symbol upside down will usually reverse its meaning, and energy. This also translates into tarot, and other divinations where if the card is upside down the meaning also gets reversed. This does not always make the reverse card negative though, just reverses the meaning, and with so many various different types of meanings, they can sometimes be confusing what the actual reverse is going to be. Some practitioners that do tarot actually don’t use reverse cards, and that’s perfectly alright, but I use them, because I like having more meetings to work with. Regardless of if you use them, or not you should know they exist.
Tarot spreads are layouts for questions that help you gain insight into different parts of what you are asking. It also provides a stylized gridded layout for you to place your cards, so that the reading of the cards are easier, and intuitive. There are many different types of tarot spreads that can be used for all different types of readings, and questions, but it is important to pick the right one for what you are asking. To find a spread for what you are looking for you can always just look around the interwebs, or books for one that meets your needs. If you cannot find one you can always make one yourself by choosing a grid-like position to put your cards in, and assign questions to each space. It’s not that hard to do, and it can be a lot of fun, and it will be special to you because you created it yourself. All you need to do to use a spread is to place the cards down in the reading on the spread, and interpret the cards according to the spaces where they are laid. When you first start off it is a good idea to start out with less complicated spreads. You should probably try to start off with 1-3 card spreads in order for you to learn how to use them, and grow accustomed to them. That’s all you need to do, and it is quite simple to figure out once you get the hang of it, from there you can pretty much divine anything that you would like.
Step by step on how to Tarot Reading
1) Gathering the materials
First, you’re going to need to get all your supplies together. The things you are going to need is a tarot deck, a question from either you, or a client, a space where you can do it preferably quiet, and a tarot spread that can help you get insight into the question that you are looking to answer. If there is anything else you want to grab that is going to help you out in tarot reading, or your magickal practice now would be the time to grab it. This could be such things as items to make ambiance such as incense, candles, or music. You could also bring in something that could open you up to the spiritual realms such as gemstones, crystals, statues of religious figures, servitor housing, or many other items that could be quite spiritual to you. You’ll never know when you’ll need a little bit more juice. It is also a good idea to bring some form of notebook, or tool for documentation, so that you can keep track of what happens in the tarot reading. Once you have that all assembled, and ready to go in your spot of choice, you will be able to move on to the next step.
Once you’re finally ready to go, and you have everything together you should first start by cleansing, and shielding the area. This will prevent any outside, or negative energies from interfering with your readings, so that these energies do not make your reading drop in accuracy, or possibly mislead you. For this you can use any type of cleansing, or shielding method that you would like, because all that matters is that it gets cleansed, and shielded. For this process I would probably use the gnostic pentagram ritual to cleanse, and cast of circle of protection for shielding. After you have cleansed, and protected the area you should then begin to ground, and center yourself. You are going to want to relax yourself all the way into a gnostic state. From this state you should be able to communicate with your cards better during the reading. Once you’re completely in a gnostic state, grounded, centered, and protected, you are ready to move on to the next part.
3) The reading
Once you reach this point you need to begin to shuffle your deck. You can do this in whatever fashion that you would like, but you should do it thoroughly, and you also have to make sure to flip some of the cards in reverse. Once you’re done shuffling put down the deck, and draw as many cards from the deck as you need for your spread. Then begin placing the cards down in the spread in the numbered order which they appear. When you have all the cards down in their own unique spaces you can now begin to interpret the tarot spread. When you are interpreting the cards you should go in the order in which the cards placed. To interpret a card you must first know the meaning of the card, and use that meeting to answer the question that is outlined by the spread. To get the meaning of the card you can either look it up, or you may have it memorized, and in other rare occasions your intuitive nature might actually provide some of the answer, if you’re connected enough to hear it. Basic meanings for all of the cards and they’re reversed forms can be found at this link, and is a okay website to get started with: http://www.psychic-revelation.com/reference/q_t/tarot/tarot_cards/
Here’s an example for understanding :
Let’s say that the tarot card “The Sun” ends up in a space in our tarot spread that represents “Will I have a good day, today”.
By taking the meaning of the tarot card “The Sun” and applying it to the question you can interpret it, and get insight.
Some of the meanings for “The Sun” are positivity, success, fun, and warmth. if you take this and apply to the question, then you can see a that the answer is they will have a very happy, and positive day filled with good events. It’s as simple as that for every question in the spread.
During this interpretation step you should probably take special care to write down the information you get, so that you can look back upon it later. It is always important to keep documentation of your readings you never know when the insight might come in handy. Once you interpret all the cards in the tarot spread, you are done, and you can move on to the next step.
4) After reading
Once you are completely done with the reading put your cards back into one deck, and put them in their box. Slowly, and carefully leave the gnostic state, and return back to the mundane world. Center, and ground to relieve the energy that you got during the reading. Lower your protection, and return the energy in that space back to what it was naturally, and then you can go on your way with the new insight, and knowledge that you have received from your tarot reading.