What Are Tarot Cards?
Traditionally made up of no less than seventy-eight cards, modern day decks of Tarot cards can be wildly different. Tarot cards come in all sizes, with all types of artwork on both the front and back. Some Tarot deck creators even make up their own additional Tarot cards. The meanings and the message of each one of those seventy-eight cards, however, usually remain the same.
Many believe that Tarot cards are some kind of evil but this is not true. When used traditionally, Tarot in a reading may provide insights, warning, new perspectives and/or ideas regarding the question you asked of them.
The goal is not fixed meanings but rather a method by which each person can gain a greater insight into life; the Rider deck serves those of us who use the cards primarily for awareness of self and the world around us
What’s In the Cards?
The Minor Arcana cards are made up of four suits: wands, swords, pentacles/coins, and cups.
|Wands||Represents the element of Fire, movement, growth, and encourages approaching life with action and eagerness. Wands shows us winning our challenges but also warns that fire has the potential to burn & destroy.|
|Swords||Represents the element of Air and ungrounded thoughts. While the imagery can depict pain, anger, destruction, and is mostly these experiences, it can also symbolize cutting through illusions & complicated problems. The swords reminds us that we cannot begin the quest for meaning and value in life until we have learned to recognize and accept the truth, whatever pain it brings.|
|Pentacles/Coins||Represents the element of Earth and is generally associated with materialism in the narrow view of money & work. In some of the depictions the Tarot definitely warns of becoming too involved with these things. However, there’s a greater dimensions of nature to the suit if we ground ourselves and not just in our work but in a love for the world around us. As a magickal sign, is symbolizes the magic of ordinary creation, the beauty of nature, the joy of satisfying work. The very mundaneness of day-to-day life ensures, by a kind of law of reciprocity, that such things posses a greater ‘magick’ than the more immediate attractions of the other elements. This could also be associated with abundance in areas of our lives that ground us: love, relationships, health etc.|
|Cups||Represents the element of Water. If Fire symbolizes the spirit force giving life to the universe, then water signifies the love that allows the soul to receive that force. The sun draws the seed out of the ground but only when water has first softened and nurtured it. Fire represents action, Water formlessness or passivity. Water does not symbolize weakness; rather it stands for the inner being, and that slow coming to life of the seed.|
Because the water in a river changes constantly, yet the river always retains its basic character, rivers symbolize the true self that remains constant beneath all the outer changes in a person’s life. The suit of cups shows an inner experience that flows rather than defines, that opens rather than restricts. They represent love, imagination, joy, peace harmony and wonder. They show us that love is the Way to Spirit, both the live we give to others and the love we receive from people and from life itself in it happier moments.
The other twenty-two cards of the standard Tarot deck are called the Major Arcana cards, and are the psychological depiction of our journey through life – from youth to aged.
How Could a Tarot Card Reading Actually Help Me?
When done traditionally, a Tarot card reading can put everything into perspective in a clear and understandable way. Every Tarot card reading is prefaced by a question. Oftentimes, each card will then come up in the past, present, or future position and will shed some light on the topic of your question.
Whether or not you believe in spiritual or esoteric things, a Tarot card reading can help you better understand your own thoughts. You’ll realize potentially dangerous patterns in your life, and get a better understanding of self. Even the question that you ask in your mind can help you understand something about yourself, and in this way a Tarot card reading can truly help you.
Can Anyone Read Tarot Cards, Or Do I Have To See Someone or Go Online?
Anyone can learn how to read Tarot cards. There are many books available, both online and physical bookstores that will tell you the meaning and message of each and every card. Every card in Tarot has a card-specific meaning, and a message or warning. The good news is, there’s no secret about what these cards mean to convey, so you, too, can learn how to read the Tarot.
Once you know the meaning of the cards (and it’s not something you have to memorize; it’s perfectly okay to keep notes by you when you give yourself a Tarot card reading), you can read the Tarot for yourself or for others. Any book you read about the Tarot will explain the spreads to use and the way to lay the cards out to understand their meaning and placement in the scheme of your question.