Tarot cards have been around for centuries and as the world seems to have become more open to spirituality over the last few decades there seems to have been a resurgence in people turning to the Tarot cards for advice and guidance. But what is the Tarot exactly and how can you get started doing your own readings? Continue reading for your own crash course in understanding the complexities of the Tarot:
So What Is Tarot, Exactly?
The first Tarot deck is speculated to have been created in the 1400s in Italy. It was first used as a card playing game and only become a tool for fortune-telling and predictions as we know it today in the 1800s. A standard Tarot deck has 78 cards consisting of the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana has 22 cards depicting the inner spiritual journey we all have to take, while the Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards divided into four different suits namely the cups, wands, pentacles, and swords. The Minor Arcana illustrates the practicalities of life and are usually more material in their meaning. These cards are numbered from an Ace to a King like a normal playing card deck. Each number has a different meaning and association within the particular suit.
Why Use The Tarot?
There are many different divination tools out there, but the Tarot is special because you are able to ask specific questions to help you on your journey. The questions can be focused on an area of life that you are uncertain of and support you in making the right decisions. With the Tarot, it is really important to get very specific questions because being too general might confuse you and leave you with more questions than answers. It is really important not to repeatedly ask the same questions because this is seen as quite disrespectful to the art and you might get conflicting answers which will just confuse you further. The misconception about the Tarot is that it is used to tell you your exact future, but in truth, it should only be used as a tool to help guide you in making your own decisions. It is a glimpse of what might be if you take certain steps but it is never set in stone.
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Where To Find Your Own Deck?
Tarot decks are much more accessible than they ever have been before. You can find them in all sorts of places from websites, to bookstores usually in the metaphysical section. A good starting point would be to go for the Rider-Waite deck which is the gold standard of all Tarot decks. It uses vibrant imagery full of symbolism which makes it quite easy to interpret and grasp when you’re first starting out. But always use your own intuition when deciding on a particular deck and go with what speaks to your soul.
How To Start Learning?
Most Tarot decks come with their own little booklet to help guide you through the ins and out of each card’s meaning. A good rule of thumb is first to work your way through the Major Arcana. I would suggest buying a Tarot journal and each day sit with a card and write down all the symbolism you see and the feeling it evokes within you. Your intuition can teach you a lot when it comes to the Tarot, so don’t doubt what a card might bring up for you. Of course, refer to your booklet or do some research online if you get stuck. There are so many resources available that will make learning the Tarot a breeze.
How To Do A Reading?
- Set the ambiance by lighting some candles and putting on some soothing music in the background. If you like you can burn some sage or palo santo to clear the energy in the room to help set the mood.
- Place your cards in front of you and take a few deep breaths to really help yourself ground, become present, and be more open to hearing the message from spirit. It might be helpful to put your favorite crystals around your reading space to really get the energy flowing.
- Do a prayer or set an intention about what you would like to get out of the reading. It is very important to connect to what your objective is with your reading.
- Start to shuffle your deck in any way that feels natural to you. You don’t have to be amazing at it, but just make sure that you have thoroughly shuffled through the cards. While shuffling the cards try and concentrate on what your question is and focus on it intently.
- Cut the cards into two separate piles with your left hand and then put the bottom pile on top of the other pile.
- Select three cards and place them face down. Then flip them one card at a time. It is good to follow a simple spread like Past, Present, and Future to understand what each card represents and is associated with.
- Start to interpret your cards always remembering your initial question. First, do each card individually and once you have done that then try and piece together what you think the meaning of all three of them are all together. This should give you clear guidance and something to ponder on for the next while. Don’t expect everything to make sense all at once, be patient with yourself and recognize that this is a learning process.
- To finish things off, say thank you to the cards and pack them away. Remember that this is a sacred process and you should treat it as such.
- Learning to read by yourself can be a little daunting and it is often difficult to be objective if you are looking at the cards while asking questions about your own life. This is why I would always suggest learning the Tarot with a friend. This way the two of you can keep each other in check and offer each other support when things get a little difficult to understand. Doing readings for each other can really help you both to grow into amazing Tarot readers.
- Give each reading time to develop and make sense for yourself. Sometimes readings don’t make sense immediately, but if you let things unfold you will notice that eventually your readng will make sense, especially if you follow the guidance the Tarot gave you.