A Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot Deck: An Overview of the Cards and Best Practices

A Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot Deck: An Overview of the Cards and Best Practices

A Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot Deck: An Overview of the Cards and Best Practices

Jan Mathews on 12/08/2023

Welcome to the mystical world of Tarot! Whether you're drawn by curiosity or seeking deeper insights into your life journey, "A Beginner's Guide to the Tarot Deck" is your friendly companion through this ancient art. In this blog, we'll explore the fascinating imagery, uncover the meanings behind the cards, and share simple steps to understand your readings. While its possible to explore the Tarot solo, we highly recommend starting out with a trusted Psychic Reader at Bliss Crystals as to get the most out of your exploration. So, shuffle the deck and prepare to embark on an adventure of self-discovery and wonder with every card you draw. 

There are so many different cards. How is the Tarot Deck organized?

The tarot deck typically contains 78 cards as a complex and symbolic tool. The deck is divided into two main parts: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana, each comprising various cards that represent different aspects of human experience.

The Major Arcana:

The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, each representing significant life themes and lessons. These cards are often seen as the more impactful ones in a reading, highlighting major life events, deep psychological undertones, and overarching life paths. They include cards like:

  • The Fool: Symbolizes new beginnings, adventure, and sometimes naivety.
  • The Lovers: Representing love, harmony, relationships, and important choices.
  • Death: Symbolizing endings, transformation, and transitions rather than physical death.
  • The Empress and The Emperor: Representing femininity, nurturing, abundance (The Empress) and authority, structure, and control (The Emperor).
  • The Tower: Indicating sudden change, upheaval, and revelation.

Each card in the Major Arcana has a unique and profound message, contributing to the narrative storyline of a person's life  journey. In a future blog we will describe and discuss each of the 22 cards in more depth. 

The Minor Arcana:

The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits: Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit corresponds to a specific aspect of human life:

  • Cups: Generally associated with emotions, relationships, and connections. They deal with the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships, and connections.
  • Wands: Often linked to inspiration, spirituality, determination, strength, and ambition. This suit is about our spirituality and inner fire, representing our energy, creativity, action, and movement.
  • Swords: Tied to intellect, thought, and reason. These cards are about our mental activity, including our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.
  • Pentacles: Related to material aspects of life like work, finances, and material possessions. This suit concerns itself with the physical and external level of consciousness and reflects our outer surroundings.

Each suit contains cards numbered from Ace to Ten, followed by four court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King, representing different levels of development, personality types, or situations within their respective domain.

Interpreting the Cards

In a tarot reading, the specific meanings of these cards are interpreted in conjunction with their positions in a spread and their relationships to one another, creating a narrative or advice tailored to the individual's life or question. The art of reading tarot is in blending the universal symbolism of the cards with the intuition and context of the reader and querent, making each reading a unique exploration of life's journey.  The Tarot’s complexity and depth of symbolism is the main reason to use a trusted Psychic Guide at Bliss Crystals to empathically guide you through a reading. 

Shuffling the Tarot Deck

Shuffling and cutting the tarot deck are integral parts of a tarot reading, as they are believed to infuse the cards with the querent's (the person receiving the reading) energy and intention, and contribute to the randomness and synchronicity of the draw. Along with these practical steps, certain rituals and practices can enhance the connection to the tarot deck and the reading process.

  1. Focus on Intentions: Before shuffling, it's important for the querent to focus on their question or the guidance they seek. This intention-setting is a crucial step in aligning the energy of the reading.
  2. Shuffling Method: The querent or the reader shuffles the deck. There's no one right way to shuffle; it can be done similarly to playing cards or in any manner that feels right, as long as the cards are being mixed thoroughly. Some prefer the overhand shuffle, while others use the riffle shuffle.
  3. Infusing Energy: While shuffling, it's believed that the deck is infused with the querent's energy. It's a meditative process, often done until the querent or reader feels it's time to stop.

Cutting the Deck:

  1. Splitting the Deck: After shuffling, the querent or reader cuts the deck into two or three piles using their left hand (left hand is traditionally associated with intuitive energy).
  2. Restacking: The piles are then restacked in a different order. This step is also guided by intuition or specific ritual preferences.

Rituals and Practices

  1. Cleansing the Deck: Some readers cleanse their deck before a reading using methods like passing the cards through incense smoke, placing them under moonlight, or using crystals for energy clearing. This is believed to remove any residual or stagnant energies.
  2. Creating a Sacred Space: Setting up a conducive environment can enhance the reading experience. This may include lighting candles, using incense, or laying out a special cloth for the cards.
  3. Blessing or Prayer: Some readers say a blessing, prayer, or set an intention for the reading, asking for clarity and guidance from the universe, spirit guides, or higher self.
  4. Concluding the Reading: After the reading, it's common to thank the tarot deck or the spiritual entities involved. This shows respect and gratitude for the insights provided.
  5. Storing the Deck: Many readers store their tarot decks in special boxes or cloths to protect them and maintain their energy.

These practices vary greatly among tarot readers, influenced by personal beliefs, traditions, and the reader's intuitive practice. The key is to respect the tarot as a tool for divination and to use these rituals to enhance focus, intention, and connection to the reading process.

Meaning of a Jumping or Falling Card:

When a card "jumps" or falls out of the tarot deck during shuffling, many tarot readers and enthusiasts interpret this as significant. This occurrence is often seen as more than mere coincidence; it's viewed as a message or a sign that the card has particular relevance to the question or situation at hand. Here's a closer look at this phenomenon and how it's generally approached in tarot readings:

  1. Attention-Grabbing: A card that jumps or falls out is often considered an attention-grabber. It's thought to be a way for the universe, spirit, or the querent's subconscious to highlight something important.
  2. Immediate Relevance: Such cards are typically seen as having immediate and strong relevance to the question or the current situation of the querent. They might represent an underlying issue, an unseen influence, or an urgent message that needs acknowledgment.
  3. Intuitive Nudge: For many readers, a jumping card is a nudge to pay attention to their intuition or gut feeling about a situation. It's like a prompt to look deeper into what the card signifies.

What to Do with a Jumping or Falling Card:

  1. Acknowledge the Card: First and foremost, acknowledge the card. Take a moment to look at it, consider its symbolism, and think about how it might relate to the querent's question or life situation.
  2. Incorporate into the Reading: There are different ways to incorporate the card into the reading. Some readers set it aside to discuss after the main reading. Others include it as a part of the reading, either by placing it in a specific position in the spread or by interpreting it as an overarching theme or a background influence.
  3. Reflect on Its Significance: Spend some time reflecting on the card's significance. Even if it doesn’t fit neatly into the context of the question or the spread, it might offer valuable insight or a different perspective on the situation.
  4. Consider the Positioning: If the card fell face up, it's generally taken as a direct message. If it fell face down, some readers interpret this as a subconscious or hidden aspect of the situation.
  5. Use as a Prompt for Further Questions: Sometimes, a jumping card can lead to further questions or areas of inquiry in the reading. It can open new avenues of thought or exploration that were not initially considered.

In tarot reading, there's a strong emphasis on intuition and personal interpretation, so different readers might have their unique ways of handling jumping cards. The key is to remain open and receptive to the messages that the tarot deck is believed to convey, whether through a deliberate spread or through these unexpected moments.

Find your Tarot Partner to Get Started

Embarking on your Tarot journey can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming, and that's where the guidance of an experienced Tarot reader becomes invaluable. They not only bring years of wisdom and intuition to your readings, but also provide a nurturing space for you to understand the cards' deeper meanings. As a beginner, learning from someone seasoned in the art of Tarot can offer you insightful perspectives and a comforting hand to hold as you navigate this new and mystical world. Think of them as a reliable guide, helping you to connect more deeply with the cards and with your own intuition. The trusted psychics at Bliss Crystals are an invaluable aid to getting started in the  rich and vibrant world of the Tarot.  So, while we've touched on the basics in this blog, there's so much more to learn and experience with the Tarot. In our upcoming blogs, we'll delve deeper into the intricate tapestry of meanings, symbols, and insights that these cards hold. Whether you seek personal growth, spiritual enlightenment, or a deeper understanding of the mysteries of life, the Tarot offers an endless well of wisdom. So, stay tuned, keep an open heart, and get ready to continue this magical journey with us at Bliss Crystals in the world of Tarot!

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