Tarot Cards, Part I
Holding a deck of tarot cards may be daunting to some. With 78 cards, how can one memorize all of their meanings? Regardless of the style of deck one picks up, there are twenty two Major cards, and within the fifty-six minor cards, there are four suites. Seems like a lot up front. However, with a little bit of patience and trusting intuition, using tarot cards become an easy exercise.
This is the first of a two-part series of blog posts covering the Tarot. This is not going to be in-depth, or go over every single card. Covering each card is not needed if one takes time to look at the deck and has a general knowledge of the the two Arcana. This series is to help arm the witch with information to be able to easily read a tarot spread without constantly looking at a guidebook.
Here are the basics within a normal Tarot deck:
78 cards in a deck
22 Major Arcana
56 Minor Arcana (this is our modern playing cards)
Minor – 4 suites
Wands – peasants/working class
Swords – nobility/military (high ranking)
Cups – clergymen/statesmen
Pentacles – tradesmen/industrial class
The Major Arcana are your “Top Guns”. These cards represent deep, spiritual meanings. They normally are reflecting the inner-self when reading a tarot spread.
Court Cards are part of the minor Arcana. The Queen and King represent adults or those who are more mature and stable. The ultimate ruler is the king, while the ultimate stability is the queen. Pages are new ideas and projects; usually represent news, teens, or someone with a young attitude (immaturity). Knights represent action, movement, and travel that cannot be stopped. Knights are normally young teen or a child, or someone with that attitude.
The Minor Arcana
Wands are the clubs in a deck of playing cards. They represent the fire signs of the zodiac, which are Aires, Leo, and Sagittarius. These cards represent things that are energetic, charismatic, warm, and spiritual. The Wands are cards of action. They are the spiritual level of consciousness, dealing with the things important to the core of being. When looking at these cards in aspect of time, they represent weeks, and the season would be the spring. Wands represent the direction of south. They hold masculine energy, and sometimes have tempers that when they are reversed, are out of control and wrathful. This is especially the case for the court cards.
The Cups would be the hearts in a deck of playing cards. They represent the water signs of the zodiac, which are Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio. These cards deal with emotion, healing, intuition, and health. Their season would be summer, and the time would be represented as days. The direction of Cups is east. These cards are an emotional level of consciousness. These cards think with the heart, not with the head. It is also a feminine energy, where the subconscious mind and reason have more control. These cards are not necessarily rational, but emotional.
The Swords would be spades in a playing card deck. They are very masculine in their energy, and are a mental level of consciousness that is centers around the mind and intellect. Think of how a sword fighter would be quick and agile. That is the concept that surrounds the Swords. The Swords represent the Air signs of the zodiac, which are Aquarius, Libra, and Gemini. The direction for these cards is North. The time frame the cards represent are months, and the season would be winter (think of the cold steel of the sword). The Swords represent change in a forceful manner. This is power that is constructive and destructive, depending on how it is used or abused. Swords are violent cards that are ruthless, rigid, and domineering. They are extremely confrontational, but get the task completed.
The Pentacles would be diamonds in your modern playing card deck. The Pentacles represent the earth signs of the zodiac. This would be Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. They are generally viewed as practical, generous, and grounded. Even if the spread you are reading is not for someone who is an earth sign, these cards show what the person is doing for the situation, or possibly how they need to act. This Arcana represent the season of autumn, and years. So the question they are asking may be a long-term one, or their actions may set off a chain reaction that last for years. In regard to direction, the Pentacles represent farms, mountains, and the West. The pentacles are a representation of the physical level of consciousness. That is everything material and tangible that is not family. Think of things like comfort, careers, and manifestation. These are cards of contentment.
Next week, we will cover other aspects that will help with reading the cards.