Tarot Card Meanings

Tarot reading is an ever evolving art form.

The Oracle at Mushin

Quick Tarot history lesson

The origins of Tarot cards are murky at best. Throughout the ages suppression of their use makes much of their history difficult to trace. We know playing cards began in Asia, then were later adopted by Muslim countries before coming to Europe. Tarot first became widely accessible to the modern world with the publication of the Rider-Waite-Smith Deck in 1910. This deck is often the base concept for many modern tarot decks. As tarot grows in popularity new decks and new interpretations come out regularly.

How to read Tarot

Often times people link tarot with fortune telling, psychic abilities and divination. While this may be true they don’t work how most perceive. To fully appreciate Tarot study and regular use of the Tarot is needed. Most of the power of the Tarot rest in their archetypal symbolism. However, some inexplicable element that defies logic is at play as well. This intersection of metaphysics and introspection invoking symbolisms creates the highest expression of Tarot as an art form. Thankfully your job as a tarot reader is to tell people what the cards say and leave the rest up to the unknown. The next logical step in your journey is figuring out the structure of a tarot deck.

Understanding Tarot Cards

Tarot decks consist of 78 cards that are sub-divided into the Major Arcana, which is composed of 22 illustrated cards and the Minor Arcana, which is made of 56 cards. The Minor Arcana is further divided into 4 suits and each of these suits contains 4 court cards. Understanding the similarities and differences between these cards makes a substantial difference in your ability to give insightful readings to yourself, your friends and potentially your clients.

What is the Major Arcana?

The 22 cards of the Major Arcana reflect larger forces at play in a seekers life. All 22 cards represent archetypal energies that connect with the seekers inner world. These could either be attitudes to embody or attitudes to overcome. These cards can have a big impact on the seekers life.

What is the Minor Arcana?

The 56 cards of the Minor Arcana often represent external events. These cards come up to guide the seeker towards taking actions in these physical areas. The four suits of the Minor Arcana represent the elements water, air, earth and fire. Each of these elements represents different aspects of the seekers relation to the outside world. Another key point is that each suit also has 4 Court cards.

  • Cups
  • Swords
  • Pentacles
  • Wands

What are the Court Cards?

The Court Cards are complex cards that represent two elements. Each card reflects the element of their corresponding suit as well as an additional element that is unique to that specific court card. In addition to having two elements, Court Cards can be explained from a few different angles.

  • Page
  • Knight
  • Queen
  • King