Understanding the Tarot Card Deck - Part 2Written by Lisa Lamont
Tarot card reading delves into an individual’s psyche and thus depends largely upon energy that person generates, whether consciously or subconsciously. And because human beings are complex creatures with all kinds of major and minor issues – not only negative, but positive as well – Tarot must duly address them all. So, although Major Arcana bring to light larger issues in life, there also exists Minor Arcana – which serve purpose of illuminating “secret and closed” events, feelings, needs, and everyday details of our existence.
Fifty-six cards constitute Minor Arcana within these suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. And just as with Major Arcana, interpretation of these cards lies not only face-value meanings of cards, but also in how they are laid (the “spread” – whether they are upside down, positions they take in your chosen pattern, etc.), mindset and emotions of interpreter and of person being “read,” and very questions themselves. Reading Tarot cards successfully takes time, and with that comes experience – key to giving a good reading.
But one must start at beginning, learning meanings of each of individual 56 Minor Arcana. As mentioned above, these are divided into four suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. And each suit encompasses Ace, then 2-10 numeral cards, and finally court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King – very similar to an ordinary deck of playing cards in some ways, yet powerfully different in others!
Each suit in Minor Arcana represents distinctive characteristics, and these combined qualities create an image of our day-to-day lives. The suits and a very abbreviated listing of some of their characteristics include:
Tarot BasicsWritten by Lisa Lamont
A Tarot card deck typically consists of 78 colorful cards imprinted with what many deem fascinating and curious images. The cards, each filled with a particular meaning and portent, most often come somewhat larger than ordinary playing cards and make an impressive display when ritually laid out. This deck of special cards can be used by a trained “reader” for glimpsing into his or her own future or that of another person for whom cards are read. The Tarot deck, divided into Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, contains 22 symbolic cards and 56 suit cards – wands, swords, cups, and pentacles – interestingly also called “pip” cards.
Many types and styles of Tarot cards exist, and a breakdown of even more common Tarot card deck reads like a mysterious journey into occult – and perhaps it is! The Major Arcana includes magician, high priestess, empress, emperor, hierophant (a sage or wise man), lovers, chariot, strength, hermit, wheel, justice, hanged man, death, temperance, devil, tower, star, moon, sun, judgment, world. The Minor Arcana (the suits) consists of aces, twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, tens, court cards, pages, knights, queens, and kings – all in above-mentioned suits.
The key to successfully reading Tarot deck, however, does not lie only in what cards mean, but in how to interpret them. A gifted Tarot reader can sometimes create a huge following by accurately predicting futures of friends, family – even strangers who call on him or her for a reading.
“Tarot” comes from Italian word "Tarocchi,” a French card game originally termed “carte da trionfi” – “cards with trumps.” It has been theorized that name was shortened from “Tarocchi” to “Taro” and thus evolved over time into “Tarot” by French. The definition of Tarot goes hand in hand with origin of name because Tarot is considered to be a tool of divination by believers, and roots of name explain, in part, how this came to be so, though we may never know complete story, since its complete origins have been lost in passage of time.