Tarot reading is the art of using a precise spread (or arrangement) of Tarot cards to intuit knowledge and direction. Contrary to common perception, Tarot readings are not only for the psychically gifted, and the cards do not simply tell your future. The purpose of the cards is to reveal the deepest truths of your higher self. In other words, the cards give you a more sophisticated understanding of what you already know deep inside. Although we don't know where the Tarot came from, we do have historical records of its use in Europe as early as the fourteenth century. Since the start of the seventeenth century, the Tarot has been utilized as an oracle in its most basic configuration.
The Meaning Of Tarot:
There are 22 cards of the Major Arcana, which divulge greater secrets, and 56 cards of the Minor Arcana, which divulge lesser secrets and are further divided into four suits. The suits of the Minor Arcana include Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles. The fourteen cards in each suit are numbered Ace through Ten, plus the Court Cards: Page (Princess), Knight (Prince), Queen, and King. Decks can vary some in naming. The suits and the individual cards are not always called the same thing, but their core meanings are fairly universal. For example, in some decks, the Knight equates to the King and not the Prince.
Most decks come with a booklet you can use to get familiar with its specifics. The Minor Arcana of the Tarot symbolize daily aspects of life, giving insight into our challenges, talents, opportunities, and experience of ups and downs. Each suit represents an element: Wands are Fire, Swords are Air, Cups are Water, and Pentacles are Earth. The suits can reflect attitude and temperament, such as a fiery person or someone who is “up in the air” or “down to earth.” Determining a card’s significance is dependent upon the question, the reader, the person receiving the reading, and the placement of other cards in the spread. The Major Arcana are numbered 0 through 21, starting with The Fool, and ending with The World. These cards align with the milestones of life’s story or The Hero’s Journey which can be explored further with Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” In this sense, the cards of the Major Arcana represent the 22 inevitable phases or passages of every journey, which we’ll all encounter during our lives (not necessarily in this order). It’s also possible for these phases to repeat themselves, and recur multiple times throughout one’s life, creating a cyclical nature in which there is no true beginning or end.
Tarot Spreads:There are many types of Tarot spreads. Perhaps the most classic is an eleven-card layout called The Celtic Cross (11 cards including the Significator). There is also a Tree of Life spread, a Planetary spread, the Tetraktys spread, and the Pentagram spread, among many, many others. Some readers like to do simpler, smaller spreads using only three cards. A three-card spread can have many interpretations in and of itself, such as Past-Present-Future, Mind-Body-Spirit, or Situation-Action-Outcome. The variation of three-card spreads is virtually endless.