The Tarot is an old and mysterious practice that dates back from the 1300’s; it is believed that the first Tarot deck appeared in Italy and since then its legacy has spread throughout the world, with Tarot being practiced in almost every country on earth. It is made up of 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Like a regular pack of playing cards, it is divided into four suits:
- Swords (Air)
- Wands (Fire)
- Pentacles (Earth)
- Cups (Water)
How do the Tarot Cards Work?
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the intricacies of how Tarot cards actually work. Tarot has the ability to reveal the unknown to us; it can give us insightful information about people, places and situations; it can predict the future; it can reveal to us how others secretly feel about us. But how it can do this is perplexing to many; one theory is that the Tarot is able to tap into the subconscious part of our minds which connects us to everything throughout the universe. This is the same element that gives us prophetic dreams, triggers our sixth sense and gives us the ability to speak to spirits and ghosts. Our conscious mind – the one we use on a daily basis and where our rational mind thrives – does not have the ability to do this; our subconscious mind, on the other hand, is vastly more powerful and potent. Its depths still leave much to be explored and humankind still knows only a tiny fraction of what the subconscious mind is capable of. One thing most Tarot readers believe, however, is that the subconscious mind is the portal to other realms, and part of these other realms are access to information that Tarot succeeds in finding.
How do I use the Tarot?
Much of this is born out of intuition. I had barely even heard of the Tarot prior to 2013, but an unusual feeling crept up on me one day when I was browsing the local bookshop and I spotted a Tarot for Beginners book, along with a pack of cards. Without knowing why, I had purchased it. That was when my Tarot journey began; amazement filled me every single time that I would do a reading asking about the future and it would come true, or when I would ask about my current situation and how someone felt about me, and the results were stunningly accurate.
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You need to study the meanings of the cards, of course. Once you’ve got a good grasp on the general meanings of the cards, it is much easier to read the cards overall and piece everything together. A card meaning can change in a reading itself and become a different variation of itself, but the core of it remains the same.
Then there’s intuitive reading, so the more intuitive you are, the better! Intuitive reading is looking at a Tarot spread and just knowing what the cards mean without even having to know the meanings of the cards. Intuitive reading comes naturally to some, but for others, some practice is necessary. However, practice can achieve anything and intuitive reading is certainly something everyone can perfect to some degree.
You then want to look into choosing a Tarot deck that works for you. This can take some time. You may be drawn to a deck with very specific artwork; you may be drawn to traditional decks to stay safe at first; you may love the look of a deck but find it just doesn’t ‘gel’ with you once you start using it. That is absolutely fine. Just go with your gut and do what feels right.
Watching Tarot videos such as the one above can be enormously helpful in understanding the practice better. Remember, Tarot can be for everyone – it is not just exclusive to the psychics or the highly sensitives. Tarot is available to anyone with an open mind who believes in the workings of the universe. Belief is crucial to the Tarot; if there is doubt or disbelief, then why on earth would it work for someone?
So How About a Tarot Spread?
Alright, let’s do it! Below are the first steps you can take as you begin your journey into Tarot. We’ll start with a basic 3-card spread, but with more practice, you can certainly venture into longer spread. First, ensure that you’re in a relaxed state of mind and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Secondly, shuffle the cards and focus on your question. You can ask anything in relation to relationships, work, education, health, the coming future – anything, really.
In this instance, we’re going to ask, “How will my day go tomorrow?” The spread will go as follows:
Card 1: How the day will be
Card 2: Challenges I will face
Card 3: Advice for me to conquer the challenges
This is a great spread for preparation for the coming day. See the results below:
So here you can see the spread I have laid out.
Card 1 is the Page of Wands.
Pages represent messengers in the Tarot. There are four different court cards in each Tarot suit (Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages), each of them playing their own special role. Court cards often represent people, but they can also represent situations. The Page of Wands is vibrant, enthusiastic and energetic. Wands (fire) give him plenty of energy and motivation. This tells me the day will be energetic, motivational and most likely I will be non-stop on the go!
Card 2 is the 7 of Swords
This is the challenge I will face. Notice the man sneaking off with swords in the picture? This is often a card of deceit, trickery, sneakiness and gossip. Swords are Air and they relate strongly to the words we use. The 7 of Swords in this reading indicates I should be careful of people spreading malicious gossip about me and that someone may be working behind the scenes to bring me down. It is a powerful warning card.
Card 3 is the 8 of Pentacles
In the 8 of Pentacles, a man is hard at work, crafting an enormous coin. Pentacles are earth and represent the material world, such as money, sex and careers. The 8 of Pentacles is the ultimate card of hard work and determination. As the advice card in this spread, it is trying to tell me to keep my head down and get on with things; to just focus on the task at hand and not allow myself to be distracted.
Overall, this reading implies that the reading will be quite demanding, that it will be vibrant and enthusiastic, but that I must be cautious of people gossiping about me or spreading malicious rumours. However, it is strongly advised that I ignore them and simply crack on with working hard on whatever project I am doing.
The Tarot can be an incredible tool for providing insight into our lives, our relationships, our careers and our futures. If we feel lost and alone, it can be particularly helpful with helping us to see things clearly. You can, of course, visit a Tarot card reader, but remember that we are all blessed with powers of intuition, and therefore, we are all capable of using the Tarot. As I previously stated, belief is everything – the more you believe, the more successful your readings will be. Try the spread out for yourself and see!u
Sarah Brownlee is an author and esoteric enthusiast based in Devon, England. She has a keen and passionate interest in all that is arcane and unseen, such as Astrology, Tarot cards, the spirit world and astral projection. Sarah is also an animal lover who leads an international campaign against the Dog Meat Torture Trade in China and SE Asia.