“A Tarot reading looks at your current life situations through
the symbolic language of image and color.”
A Tarot reading looks at your current life situation through the symbolic language of image and color. Tarot cards are a unique tool available to anyone who can look at a picture and describe what they see. In the case of the cards, this symbolic language triggers an unconscious response within the individual, signaling intuition, which in turn, sends a message to the conscious mind.
The Tarot functions as a guide. It is an anchor and an advisor. It can direct, suggest and open one’s eyes to new possibilities along with revealing roadblocks, challenges and fears.
Tarot cards can be used for self-understanding, and are often called the “mirror of the soul.” They are useful in looking at the current flow of energy in one’s life, or in the examination of a particular issue.
A Tarot reading can foster an understanding of the different perspectives and needs within a relationship, whether with a partner, a child, or a parent. Tarot spreads can indicate the energies in any given situation and suggest how best to deal with that situation.
Traditional Tarot decks are composed of a variety of parts: The Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana, which also contain a sub section, the Court Cards.
The 21 Major Arcana cards represent the development of the self at any given stage in one’s life. They describe the journey of the Fool, who represents the path of self-discovery, of awakening to a new path, and to the development of this path. Similar to the growth of the child into the fully functioning adult, the Majors describe a process through which any project must follow to reach completion. They are cosmic players in a divine play and collective archetypes common to all, helping an individual navigate the roadway of their life. One feels these energies at a deep level, and the cards give a face to that energy.
The Minor Arcana are divided into four suits: wands, swords, pentacles or coins, and cups. Each of these are associated with one of four elements; fire, air, earth and water. Fire and wands represent spirit, passion, inspiration and action. Air and swords represent the mind and all of its perambulations. Earth and pentacles are associated with health, work and structure of our life. Water and cups fill us with dreams, help us develop our imagination, and describe our current relationships.
Each of these suits contain a King, Queen, Knight and Page. Pages represent the brand new feeling or idea associated with the suit. Knights go out in the world and learn about the suit and also can indicate events. Queens are the managers of the suit, holding, fixing and containing the element. Kings must use the element in the world and then pass it on to the next cycle. These people cards can represent actual people in one’s life, teaching a particular lesson, and at the same time, represent parts of our own personality.
Together, these cards describe the full gambit of human experience. It is in the shuffling the cards and the laying them out, at that one particular moment, that tells a story that is unique to the individual.
A Tarot reading paints a picture of an individual’s inner world at any given moment. As the external world reflects this inner landscape, the Tarot can help one understand, “What’s going on?” Individuals may come to a Tarot reading with a particular question in mind, often concerning health, finances, work or relationships. During a reading, as the story unfolds, one begins to understand that the reading is multidimensional, affecting all areas of life, although the focus may be directed to a particular issue.
Contemporary Tarot readers have an extensive palette of choices regarding the deck or decks they choose to use in their practice. As the Tarot is a language of symbols, artists and academics have a great deal of leeway on how these symbols are represented.
The publication of the Rider-Waite deck in the early 20th C was revolutionary in its design, as it presented the Minor Arcana with pictures, rather than the depiction of the suit which had been the historical precedent. This made the Tarot accessible to the everyday seeker with portraits of recognizable landscapes. The pictures did contain arcane imagery, based upon the tenets of the Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult organization, popular at this time.
This language of symbols activates a response within an individual and it is that connection that allows for the reading to take place. There are many languages of divination, and the Tarot is one of these. The cards are a sacred tool that can be used daily, to learn about one’s life, as a spiritual practice or as a meditation tool.
Anyone can learn to read the Tarot. As with any skill, it must be studied, practiced, and used on a regular basis. Find a deck that resonates with you, and begin by laying out one or two cards a day, be observant and record what you saw and what happened.
The Tarot is an organic and dynamic language that translates the great force of Nature through symbols and color and provides a thread of connection and understanding to the story of one’s life.
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