A Simple Guide to Tarot Cards
Tarot is an ancient game of cards used as a tool of divination.
Tarot decks contain 78 cards, divided into: 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The word ‘Arcana’ means ‘Secret’ in Latin. Playing with the Tarot is unveiling secrets of our past, present and future.
How to Do a Reading:
Clear the Deck.
Shuffle the Deck.
Choose a Spread. We recommend either the Three Card Spread, the Nine Card Spread or the Celtic Cross Spread.
See how many Major Arcana cards are in the spread.
This will show if the enquirer’s life journey is at a major turning point.
See which suit is dominant: Cups, Wands, Swords or Pentacles. This will show in which area is at the forefront.
Categorise the cards into: Happy, Sad, Bright, Dark.
Try to get the Overall feeling of the reading: Happy, Sad.
Categorize the cards into: Moving Cards and Standing Still Cards.
Identify if the people in the cards are ‘Looking to the Past’ or ‘Towards the Future’.
Get Impressions from the cards and use your intuition on the story they are telling.
Most Common Spreads:
Three Card Spread – Shuffle the cards & ask the enquirer to choose three cards from a fanned deck.
Past: Context, Present: Focus, Future: Outcome
Nine Card Spread – Shuffle the cards and ask the enquirer to choose 9 cards from a fanned deck.
Past: Context, Present: Focus, Future: Outcome
Celtic Cross Spread – Shuffle the cards & ask the enquirer to choose 10 from a fanned deck.
Card 1: Where you are right now
Card 2: Potential/Challenges
Card 3: What to focus on
Card 4: Your past
Card 5: Your Strengths
Card 6: Near future
Card 7: Suggested approach
Card 8: What you need to know
Card 9: Hopes and fears
Card 10: Your potential future
The Cards: Tarot decks contain 78 cards: 22 Major Arcana Cards, 56 Minor Arcana Cards.
Major Arcana Cards – There are 22 Major Arcana Cards. The Major Arcana cards give us an instant insight into the Major events or issues in the enquirer’s life. Therefore, the first thing to do when reading Tarot is to see how many Major Arcana Cards there are in the spread.
The Fool: New Beginnings Take Leap of Faith
The Magician: Wisdom & Power to do what seems impossible
The High Priestess: Divine Guidance Supported by The Universe
The Chariot: Victory & Triumph Positive Changes
The Hanged Man: Stuck in a Situation Need for Patience
The Star: Wishes Granted Healing, Restoration
The Empress: Mother Figure, Love Prosperity, Fertility
Strength: Divine Strength & Willpower
Death: Significant Change The End of Something
The Moon: End of a Difficult Time Messages through Dreams
The Emperor: Father Figure, Discipline Person in Authority
The Hermit: Making No Move Until Others Are Ready
Temperance: Confidence & Strength when Making Major Decisions
The Sun: Clarity, Enlightenment Happiness, Moving Forward
The Hierophant: Spiritual Leader, Guidance Possibly Marriage
Wheel of Fortune: Period of Change & Growth Abundance & Prosperity
The Devil: Temptation Enslaving Situation
Judgement: Great Change that affects Everyone
The Lovers: Loving Relationships Partnerships
Justice: Just Outcome Making Just Decisions
The Tower: Sudden Change to Allow for Growth
The World: Victory, Wondrous Possibilities Success, All Things are Possible
Minor Arcana Cards – There are 40 Minor Arcana Cards. These cards provide the context for the Major Arcana Cards. The Minor Arcana Cards are divided into 4 Suits: Wands, Cups, Swords & Pentacles. Each suit contains 10 cards, ranging from 1 (Ace) to 14; 4 of them are people’s cards: King, Queen, Knight and Page.
Wands: The Self, Desires
Cups: Relationships, Feelings
Swords: Challenges, Decisions
Pentacles: Money, Career
Page: Young Female
Knight: Young Male
Queen: Mature Woman
King: Mature Male
Wands: Represent the Self, Personal Goals, Inspirations & Desires.
Ace of Wands: The Self, Beginnings, New Idea or Project Emerges, Success, Go for It
Two of Wands: The Self, Choices, Choosing between two interests, Deciding on a New Life
Three of Wands: The Self, Growth, Success with New Ventures, New Path, Self-employment
Four of Wands: The Self, Stability, Celebration with family, Sharing happiness w/others
Five of Wands: The Self, Challenge Competing ideas & plans, Opportunity to do new things
Six of Wands: The Self, Harmony, Triumph, Leadership, Trust & Loyalty from Others
Seven of Wands: The Self, Decisions, Ability to Overcome Obstacles, Courage to Pursue Goals
Eight of Wands: The Self, Reorganising, Action, Movement, Group Work
Nine of Wands: The Self, Culmination Time to Stand Firm, Stand your Ground
Ten of Wands: The Self – Completion Concentration of all Effort to Bring Project to Fruition
Page of Wands: The Self, Young Female, Outgoing, Self-Motivated, Be Ready to Begin Something
Knight of Wands: The Self, Young Male Passionate, a Fighter, Sees Challenges as Opportunities
Queen of Wands: The Self, Mature Woman Strong willed, Loves Life
King of Wands: The Self, Mature Male A Leader, Energetic, Accepts Responsibility
Cups – Represent relationships, family, feelings & love
Ace of Cups: Relationships, Beginnings Fresh Start for the Better, Physical & Spiritual Healing
Two of Cups: Relationship, Choices Powerful Partnership Balanced & Equal
Three of Cups: Relationships, Growth Celebration, Joy Good Time with Friends
Four of Cups: Relationships – Stability Consider Options Carefully Don’t Rush Decisions
Five of Cups: Relationships – Challenge Sorrow at Something Lost Letting Go of the Past
Six of Cups: Relationship, Harmony Nostalgia, Looking Backwards, Rosy Memories
Seven of Cups: Relationship-Decisions Fantasize on Possibilities before Taking Action
Eight of Cups: Relationships, Reorganising Leaving Something Behind A Quest for what is Missing
Nine of Cups: Relationships, Culmination A Wish Granted, Self-Satisfaction
Ten of Cups: Relationships-Completion Happiness, Fulfilment Family & Community
Page of Cups: Relationships, Young Female Trusting, Patient, Wishes Granted, Mysteries Revealed
Knight of Cups: Relationships, Young Male Dreamy, yet Sensible Bringer of Healing
Queen of Cups: Relationships, Mature Woman Strong, yet Caring, A Healer, A Visionary
King of Cups: Relationships, Mature Male Strong & Powerful, especially when Partnered with a Powerful Woman
Swords – Represent Challenges, decisions, information, conflict
Ace of Swords: Challenges, Beginnings, Strong Force, Decision made with determination
Two of Swords: Challenges, Choices Turning Awareness Inwards before Making Decision
Three of Swords: Challenges, Growth Emotional Distress Growth after Grieving
Four of Swords: Challenges, Stability Retreat from Stressful Situation Time for Rest & Healing
Five of Swords: Challenges, Challenge Something Can’t Be Overcome Accept Defeat & Walk Away
Six of Swords: Challenge, Harmony Time to Protect Others, To Travel with Them if Necessary
Seven of Swords: Challenge, Decisions Need for Subtle Action Need for Creative Thinking
Eight of Swords: Challenge, Reorganising, Take Small Steps towards Seeing beyond Self-limitations
Nine of Swords: Challenge, Culmination Facing Something Painful, Face Reality & Move Forward
Ten of Swords: Challenge, Completion, An Extreme Situation Clears the Way for Something New
Page of Swords: Challenge-Young Female Communicative, Ambitious Move Forward with Caution
Knight of Swords: Challenge-Young Male Versatile, Committed Courage, Don’t Hesitate
Queen of Swords: Challenge-Mature Woman Logical, Sharp Wisdom, Clear Vision
King of Swords: Challenge-Mature Man with Principals, Practical, Authority, Decision-making
Pentacles – Represent money, work, career, success & health
Ace of Pentacles: Money, Beginnings A Good Start to a Project Offers of Money or Work
Two of Pentacles: Money, Choices Juggling various tasks, Deciding between projects
Three of Pentacles: Money, Growth, Time to Cooperate w/Others in Work at the Highest Level
Four of Pentacles: Money, Stability, Working towards Material Stability
Five of Pentacles: Money, Challenge Supporting Each Other during Hard Times
Six of Pentacles: Money, Harmony Shared Resources, Kindness
Seven of Pentacles: Money, Decisions Hard Work that makes something grow
Eight of Pentacles: Money – Reorganising Learning New Skills, Work, Dedication
Nine of Pentacles: Money, Culmination Success, Achievement Financial Rewards
Ten of Pentacles: Money, Completion Wealth, Stability, Security, Fulfilment
Give or Accept Something of Value
Page of Pentacles: Money, Young Female, Loyal, trustworthy, Hope, Restoration, Magic
Knight of Pentacles: Money, Young Male Dependable, Responsible, Protective, Hard-working
Queen of Pentacles: Money, Mature Woman Practical, Earthy, A Visionary
King of Pentacles: Money, Mature Man Businessman, Benevolent Boss Wealth, Stability