are 78 cards in a deck. 22 Major Arcana represent and/or deal with universal
trends, spiritual truths, levels of soul awareness, and the such. 56 Minor
Arcana, are symbols for normal reality or the more mundane phases in life such
as: money, ideas, passions, and those sorts of things.
Within the Minor
Arcana there are 4 suits of 14 cards. The suit of Wands, or clubs, has to do
with fire, direction, control, interactions, interpersonal exchange, energy, and
will. Cups, or hearts, deal with emotions, love, and personal resources. Swords,
or spades, are action, activity, and often presage danger. Pentacles, or
diamonds, reflect earth matters such as abundance, or the lack thereof, and
riches of all kinds. These are traditional meanings and should only be used as a
springboard for learning the cards rather than hard and cold facts. To get the
most from a card's imagery you should attempt to let the card speak to you
through meditation and by contemplation.
Many books on the
subject of tarot give listed meanings and, while that may be fine for learning,
it isn't something you want to become dependent on. The best way to learn the
cards is to develop a relationship with them. Buy a deck that absolutely appeals
to you on more than one level. Choose one that has pictures and colors that
really appeal to you; there are many to choose from. For learning purposes, try
to pick a deck that has pictures on all of the cards; many decks only have
symbols on the Minor Arcana cards and that makes it a little more difficult to
have a personal relationship with them. Thing of the cards as a new friend,
treat them with respect, kindness, and attention.
You care for your
cards the same way you care for anything else that means something to you. You
put it in a safe place, where the kids can't get their hands on the cards to do
creative coloring on them. Wrap them in a nice cloth, or put them in a
protective pouch to keep the sun from discoloring them. You might even put a few
of your favorite herbs next to them to make them smell nice. Be creative!
The tarot works
because of mnemonics which is a system where visual imagery, one's subconscious
mind, and the images of the cards work together triggering off certain cues in
the memory. The symbolism on the cards is connected with the collective
unconscious, or universal archetype images. There are also numerological,
alphabetical, and kabalistic meanings buried within the card's imagery.
Below are some
traditional meanings given to tarot cards. Remember that these are traditional,
do try to use them to develop your own meanings.
Fool: begin a
new cycle or enterprise, a matter that is unexpected or unplanned, moving up
in a different direction, heading toward an unknown future, look before you
leap, use your hidden talents.
mastery of self, readiness to put plans into action, great power or energy,
use your skills.
Awareness of other planes of existence, hidden forces, new solutions,
feminine balance, occult learning, leadership potential.
financial and emotional security, motherly or womanly love, good fortune,
over emotion, politics, command, authority, patriarchal thought, the need to
conformity, tradition, going with the flow, facade, karma.
between opposites, second sight, love versus practicality.
Balance through movement, self-control, bringing two opposites under
control. In some decks this is card 11, or strength.
victory, successful end to tiresome event, spiritual strength, sharp mental
of life circumstance, tides of movement, turn of events, upward mobility.
introspection, enlightenment, plans, evolution, a physical teacher.
legalities, contracts, reaping what you sow, outside forces will balance the
situation. In some decks this is card 8 or Chariot.
thoughts, ideas, suspension of projects, stagnation.
change, old being ripped away, a new life.
adapting to new circumstances, acting under higher guidance, control through
binding by word, thought, or deed, lust, passion, untrustworthy person,
Tower: a break
down of some kind, suddenly seeing a truth that was unseen before,
unexpected set backs.
confidence, positive influences, cut through illusions, broader/wider
intuition, vision quest, imagination, possible deception, being torn in two
joy, well earned rewards, good news.
completion, an awakening, an ending, past returning to haunt you.
World: End of
cycle, end of a situation, loose ends tied up, conclusion, explore new
enterprises, creative growth, fire, business, career, talents, intuitive
sensing, blond hair, blue eyes, red/auburn hair and green eyes, Aries, Leo,
Sagittarius, energy, creativity, work situations.
relationships, emotional matters, love compassion, receptivity, water,
emotional sensing, light brown hair, brown eyes, medium complexion,
mental realms, thoughts, ideas, air, boldness, aggressive energy, mental
sensing, medium to dark brown hair, brown eyes, medium complexion,
intellect, mind, communication, conflicts and struggles.
winter, physical life, money, cash, merchandise, sensation, earth, black
hair and dark eyes, dark complexions, material matters.
vibrations, forthrightness, dominant, strong willed, pioneer, self reliance,
friendship, shy, lacking resolution, fond of home life, mediumship, the need
for co-operation with others, choices.
cheerful, generous, self-indulgent, expansion of consciousness, planning.
reliable, stubborn, unimaginative, orderliness, firmness, foundation,
changeable, mind power, impatient, searching for knowledge, adapting .
beauty, artistic, luxury, peace loving, harmony in self, patterns.
idealistic, self-possessed, reserves of inner strength, psychic, intuitive,
organization, material power, stern, pessimistic, high principles, cautious,
for good will, active, courageous, jealous, hasty, high spirited, creative
living, rights of will, expansion.
women with the energies and coloring depicted by the suit.
men with the energies and coloring depicted by the suit.
male adults with the energies and coloring depicted by the suit.
messages; youths of either gender with the coloring and energies depicted by
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