“The Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicit characteristics of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization of the few of truths embedded in the consciousness of all.”
– Arthur Edward Waite
Tarot cards likely originated in northern Italy during the late 14th or early 15th century. The oldest surviving set, known as the Visconti-Sforza deck, was created for the Duke of Milan’s family around 1440. The cards were used to play a bridge-like game known as tarocchi, popular at the time among nobles and other leisure lovers.
Most commonly numbering 78 Tarot cards represent life lessons and practical advice that can be applied to our lives. The cards are like symbolic keys that serve to open up the psyche to new ideas, concepts and spiritual possibilities.
On a deeper level, the cards offer a way to access hidden knowledge stored within our subconscious minds and awaken the deeper layers of our souls.
The 22 Major Arcana
The 22 cards of the Major Arcana reflect the archetypal qualities that are present in our lives. Archetypes are universally understood symbols or patterns of behavior that flow through from the collective to the individual. The Major Arcana also reflects what is known as the Fool’s journey – the journey that we take as we evolve, develop and grow.
|0||The Fool||The alpha and omega all un-boundless possibilities|
|1||The Magician /
|The beginning of an ideas, passion, feeling, projects, the seed|
|2||The High Priestess /
|The duality, form coming together, a meeting, a decision, fluctuations|
|3||The Empress||The trinity, the created idea, passion, feeling, project, attraction|
|4||The Emperor||The stability, solidity, rest, contemplation, the power on the physical plane|
|5||The Hierophant /
|The change, dynamic, creative, unsettled, anxiety, strife, conflict, temptation|
|6||The Lovers||The security, comfort, charity, the past, balance and harmony|
|7||The Chariot||The evaluation, quiet, analytical, perfection, study, faith|
|The powerful manifestation and transformation, evolution, debts, resourcefulness, apprentice|
|9||The Hermit||The ending, knowledge, sharing, compassion, fulfillment, summing up a cycle, hopes, initiation|
|10||Wheel of Fortune||The completion which will change to a new cycle, the penultimate, crossroads, decision|
|11||Justice||Begin a new cycle in a balanced manner, weighing out thoughts, words and deeds, karmic justice|
|12||The Hanged Man /
|Regeneration through suspension, insight, suffering, fruition or perfection in duality, suspension|
|13||Death||Expresses perpetual movement of creation, death and regeneration, new life through the transformation of the material desires into spiritual aspirations|
|14||Temperance||Upon a firm foundation we have a balanced personality, who can create divinely using the right combinations, formulas, science, calculations, music, sound, calibrations, the angel of time|
|15||The Devil||Limited consciousness, bondage, darkness, ignorance, misuse of power or force, adversaries, obstinacy, stubbornness, materialism, evil occultist, terrorism, anarchy, sex for sex sake, slave to necessity|
|16||The Tower /
|Dramatic change of beliefs through strife, a slash of truth, tearing down to form higher consciousness and creativity|
|17||The Star||Meditation, rest, insight into ones spiritual reflection, faith and hope renewed, star origins, knowing and listening to the inner voice filled with divine guidance|
|18||The Moon||Hidden things, deception, illusions, confusion, subconscious, dreams, astral plane, periodicity, fluctuation, an initiation|
|19||The Sun||Initiating from the inner planes, success, freedom to create, inner child, happiness, consciousness self-contentment, awareness, action, vibration, concentration, words of power, a regenerated personality affirming the unity of Source all that is|
|Holy spirit, holy breath, conscious immortality, re-awakening to the angel self, completion, higher-self, decides, termination, cosmic fire, 4th dimensional awareness, mathematical considerations, the adept realizes that his personal existence is nothing but the manifestation of the relationship between self-consciousness and subconsciousness sees they are both modes of universal consciousness. The personality has no separate existence by having 4th dimensional experiences the psychic.|
|21||The World||Attainment, success, dancing one’s own tune, total liberation, the 5th dimension, creative, active, meditation, cosmic consciousness, alignment, the 3 dimensions no longer bind the Self, everlasting, infinity, integration, or disintegration, equilibrium, super-consciousness, as above so below, we dance eternally the play of Maya.|
The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana consists of four suits – Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles.
Each suit in the Minor Arcana consists of 14 Tarot cards, including 10 numbered cards (Ace through to Ten) and 4 Court Cards (the Page, Knight, Queen and King).
The numbered Tarot cards reflect everyday life situations while the Tarot Court Cards reflect personality-types or actual people.
|Wands||Fire||Aries, Leo, Sagittarius||South||Inspiration, spirituality, ideas|
|Cups||Water||Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces||West||Emotions, feeling, creativity|
|Swords||Air||Gemini, Libra, Aquarius||North||Power, intellect, thoughts|
|Pentacles||Earth||Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn||East||Finance, material possessions, career|
The 40 Numbered Cards
Aces – New Beginnings
|Ace of Wands||New starts in enterprises, fortune, family and inspiration.|
|Ace of Cups||New love, joy in the heart, blessings, fertility and self-love.|
|Ace of Swords||New willpower, new activity and victory.|
|Ace of Pentacles||Beginning of a new project, wealth, and material gains.|
Two – A pair of opposites,polarity, negative & positive, day & night, male & female, spirit and form, duality, creativity not yet fulfilled.
|Two of Wands||Balance between thought and desire, boldness, courage going forth, attraction, generosity, proud person.|
|Two of Cups||Vows of affection, harmony between male and female energies, reciprocity, new friendships, a love affair, balance of plans with a kindred soul.|
|Two of Swords||Blind to a situation, trapped, a stalemate, tension in relationships, indecision, balanced forces but in need of direction, military friendships.|
|Two of Pentacles||The ability to juggle situations, lightheartedness, gaiety, recreation, harmony through changes, or difficulties with new projects, news, messages, industrious nature but unreliable, polarizing from gaiety to depression bi-polar personality.|
Three – Growth, expression of the trinity of life, man woman and child, the seed that grows the plant. Ideas worked out in the mid then grow with material results. The number one is the idea, two the pair of opposites that can carry it out and three the fruits of the partnership or mating. Spirit, Mind, Body.
|Three of Wands||Accomplishment, realization of hope, strength, nobility, wealth, caution against pride, developing partnerships and opportunities, connections with others.|
|Three of Cups||Success, abundance, good lick, fortune, the three fates of destiny, joy, happy undertaking, music, dance, singing and celebrations of abundance.|
|Three of Swords||Sorrow, sadness, pain tears, separations, quarrels, misunderstandings, upheavals, war, disappointments and strife.|
|Three of Pentacles||Material increases, skilled artist, commission, small gains, commercial transactions, clubs, societies, memberships.|
Four – Stand for stability, reality, logic and reason, the material plane.
|Four of Wands||Perfected work, rest after labor, peace and prosperity, happy holidays, harmony with romance, or marriage which is coming, initiation in security, stability.|
|Four of Cups||A time of contemplation and rest, stationary phase, some weariness not really liking what you get, kindness may be offered by others yet not able to appreciate it.|
|Four of Swords||Hermit’s repose, rest, think on it, release from anxieties, rest after war, banishment, soon things will change for the better.|
|Four of Pentacles||Assured material gain, success, earthly power, miser holding onto wealth creates stagnation, gifts, legacy, inheritance, conservative.|
Five – Uncertainty and change. It carries no constant vibration in that it may shift and change sometimes without warning. It can indicate uncontrolled activity and swing to the depths of despair. It stands for adversity.
|Five of Wands||Completion, battles, adversity, opponents, quarrels, lawsuits and disruptions, however bold action that changes things for the better.|
|Five of Cups||Disappointments in relationships, love affairs, sorrow from pleasure, a broken marriage, loss of friendships, vain regret but with something still left over.|
|Five of Swords||Failure, defeat, degradation, conquest over others, cruelty, unfairness, slander, cowardliness.|
|Five of Pentacles||Unemployment, poverty consciousness, lovers unable to find a meeting place, affinities discovered through similar troubles, dark night of the soul.|
Six – Balance and harmony, family life, motherhood, stability, security. It’s a solid number that stands for equilibrium, calmness, well-being, composure.
|Six of Wands||Self-esteem, goodness, victory after strife, pleasure gained through work, success through industry, advancement in the arts and sciences, rewards, friends are helpful|
|Six of Cups||Happiness, enjoyment but from the past, memories, meeting friends from the past, or could be new friends, a gift from an admirer or from the past, new knowledge, new opportunities.|
|Six of Swords||The future will brighten, success after anxieties, traveling away from difficulties, they will pass, journey to a new home, sending someone else to represent you, coming out of difficulties by resolving your thought forms, an increase in consciousness.|
|Six of Pentacles||Justice, gifts, and inheritance, a helping hand is offered you et what you deserve based on self-worth.|
Seven – Perfection, wisdom, evaluations, self-reflection, inner processing, a quiet time, completeness.
|Seven of Wands||Victory, courage, leadership standing up for one’s own rights, boundaries, limits, confrontations, debates, having the advantage, competition is successful, trusting self and responsibilities.|
|Seven of Cups||Dreams, castles in the air, pie in the sky, an imagination that is overworked, scattering one’s forces, spacey and lost.|
|Seven of Swords||Executing a plan which may fail, taking what is not one’s own, unstable effort, strategies, arguments over plans, spying, sneakiness, one-up-man-ship, partial success.|
|Seven of Pentacles||Pause during development of an enterprise, unprofitable speculations, loss of promising, fortune, disappointment, anxieties over money, skills, refining one’s work, evaluation of work, waiting for product to bear fruit.|
Eight – Signifies justice, judgement, material progress. Can be health and regeneration, death, rebirth. Change and inspiration that occurs externally on material plane.
|Eight of Wands||Spent energy, fast movement, great haste, hope, too rapid advancement, movements that coming in fast, communication, messages of love, journey by air.|
|Eight of Cups||Abandoning success, things thrown aside as soon as gained, traveling from place to place, misery without cause, disappointment in love desire for something higher or deeper and abandoned success.|
|Eight of Swords||Stuck in the mud, blinded to new ideas, narrow restricted surroundings, bondage, imprisonment, indecision, betrayal, fear to move out of a stagnate situation, temporary sickness, a negative mind.|
|Eight of Pentacles||Learning a new trade, apprenticeship, arts, crafts, a new undertaking that is profitable, employment, commissions, money coming in from various skills, handiwork, sharping one’s skills or trade.|
Nine – Completion, endings, finality, culmination and summing up of a cycle.
|Nine of Wands||A pause in a struggle, preparedness, strengthen reserve and conserve one’s energies, caution, apply steady force for success, obstinacy strength, power and health.|
|Nine of Cups||The wish card, material success and well-being, satisfaction, good thing are available.|
|Nine of Swords||Suffering over anxieties, loss, misery, burdens, oppression, doubt and desolation, fear, illness death of a loved one, someone close who suffers.|
|Nine of Pentacles||Solitary enjoyment of good things in life, inheritance, wisdom where one’s interest lie, person with a green thumb, material ell being, growing abundance, fertility strength, courage, creative solitary work, prudence, caution with investments or goods.|
Ten – An over-abundance, completion, transformation and resolving to unity through cycles, the completion of a cycle from 1-10. The penultimate summit leads to change back to the 1.
|Ten of Wands||Force and energy applied to selfish ends, power used unwisely, carrying a burden of ill regulated energy, carrying others stuff, over obligation, problems soon to be resolved.|
|Ten of Cups||Contentment, lasting happiness, inspired from spirit rather than the sensuality implied in the nine of cups, perfection of human love, great friendship, lasting success, peacemaking|
|Ten of Swords||Ruin of all plans and projects, defeat, beating oneself up, war, disruption of home life, tears, failure over thinking leads to overwhelm, mind is negatively creating the ruin.|
|Ten of Pentacles||Riches, wealth, success, inheritance attention to family and pride in the ancestral tree line, problem concerning a will or pension, or acquiring a house or property, new community, new role in community.|
The 16 Court Cards
Pages – The risk. Young male or female.
|Page of Wands||The beginning development of one’s will power a child or young adulthood. Represents announcements, news, messages and taking a rish on an inspiration.|
|Page of Cups||Represents the development or the capacity of emotionally being in touch with one’s intuition and meditation. Subconscious, imagination, poetry , art, loving, intuitional, psychic and playful. A new proposal that is inspirational that is on its way to you or perhaps the announcement of the birth of a child or coming of a birth.|
|Page of Swords||Represents the mind pointed in a direction, clearing the air, spying, researching being weary of other’s intentions. Grace dexterity swiftness taking a risk with an idea or plan.|
|Page of Pentacles||The energy moves surely and carefully with confidence and value. Taking a risk with a value, like writing a book, offering something of value, investing in studies, a student.|
Knights – The development. Person in their 30’s and 40’s.
|Knights of Wands||Represents things moving along in a moderate pace, positively, activity, generosity, pride, impulsiveness, can be swift, change in residence since it implies traveling.|
|Knights of Cups||Represent an arrival, a proposal, artistic inventions, a romantic and seduction involving the feelings like a dreamer, trickery, deceptions, or unrequited love.|
|Knights of Swords||Represent energy that is moving in without notice, unexpectedly or in a threatening manner and without forethought.|
|Knights of Pentacles||Represents energy that moves slowly, methodically, cautiously, patience and once with a definite plan. Stand for promotions, wisdom and perseverance.|
Queens – Female Maturity, Authority and Power. Female over 40.
|Queen of Wands||Represents autonomy, success, leadership, generous, happy, inspiring, Negative meanings are vanity, pride, arrogance and pushy.|
|Queen of Cups||Represents the emotions and feelings states like love, honest, devoted, kindness, the heart filled with joy, tranquility and artistic temperament. She can stand for the positions of motherhood, caretaker and counselor. Negatively she can be distorted by her emotions, imaginations, delusional and not reliable.|
|Queen of Swords||Represents the mental states of grief, widowhood, decisions that are difficult to make but one must follow through with, also the authority of a female in the power position. She can be keen, quick, alert, discerning, gracious and graceful. Negatively she can be cruel, impatient, superficial and a devious enemy.|
|Queen of Pentacles||Represents the earthly sensual and practical abilities. The value of financial rewards, fruitfulness, and the ability to product on the material plane are characteristic of this Queen. This can be a person who has a rich noble soul, charitable, secure and grounded. Negatively she can be suspicious, greedy and melancholic.|
Kings – Maturity, Authority and Power Pinnacle. Male over 40.
|King of Wands||Stands for maturity, an enterprising quality, passionate and educational. He is generous and willing to help through inspiration, noble and friendly. The energy stands for learning and wisdom.|
|King of Cups||Stands for emotional sensitivity, warm and compassionate, a caretaker, a counselor or a ma with an open heart. Negatively he can be possessive, controlling through the emotional hold on other.|
|King of Swords||Stands for power, authority, severity, and firm decisions. He can be like a lawyer, executive, a judge or military officer. he can stand for man’s law, the government or the head of any organization. He can be cruel, plotting and self-centered. negatively he can be inflexible in the execution of the law or rules.|
|King of Pentacles||Stands for security, wealth, stability powerful business executive, chief, real estate, and industrialist. A mathematician with financial gifts. He can be married, loyal, reliable and sensible. Negatively he can be full of vice, dangerous, dull minded, materialistic.|
How to start a Tarot Oracle Reading?
When we do a reading, our actions and intentions align the energies of the moment with the cards to form a picture. The cards capture the energy currents in and around you as you shuffle and cut. That’s why, before you start a reading, mental preparation is important.
When you shuffle the tarot cards, is common that they end up facing in different directions.
Tell the Universe prior to a reading how you are choosing to read your spreads.
Is this an all upright card reading or include reverse card reading?
When a card is upright, its energy is free to manifest. Its qualities are available and active. When a card is reversed, its energy is not fully developed. It may be in its early stages, or losing power. It may be incomplete or unavailable. The qualities of the card are present, at least in potential, but they can’t express completely.
If you decide to read the card in reversal, you can set the intention for example “I am going to interpret all reversals in this reading as blockages.” This way, the Universe will present your message to you through the most relevant cards, given that you are interpreting them in a certain way.
Tarots can always provide guidance in terms of seeking help in order to manifest and achieve our goals in life. The prediction can provide us with new insights and concepts where we can discover what is it that influences us the most and emphasize situations that may have been unknown to us. As a result, we will develop a new sense of consciousness of who we really are.
On the other hand, it is good to note that in tarot reading you must use your good judgment and free will because the tarot won’t tell you exactly what to do. You possess the power to choose the direction that you want to take. Tarots will only help you become aware of your feelings about certain things that are present in your life. Hence, when you constantly work with tarot you will eventually develop intuitive skills.