Getting to know your cards

When you begin tarot, it’s a good idea not to jump directly into reading for other people. If you don’t know your deck and what the cards could possibly mean, it could lead to misreadings. It could confuse the person you’re reading. And it could confuse you! So, the best way to begin is to learn your cards.

Okay, so you’ve got a tarot card deck you’re really excited about. Now, you need to get to know the cards.

There’s 78 of them. They are split into two “sides”: Major Arcana (things like the Death and Sun card) and Minor Arcana (things like the 6 of swords and the 2 of cups). In the Minor Arcana, there are four suits: Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. There are 56 cards in the Minor Arcana. Each suit has a meaning, as well as the individual cards. The Minor Arcana usually means things popping up in your day-to-day that could be easily changed. The Major Arcana is more, well, major. These are themes in your life, life-changing events, soul wants and desires. There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana. It’s important to remember that the Minor and Major Arcanas can each interact with each other. Think about it: if you are doing the same thing every day (Minor), it’s usually not going to lead to a life-changing situation (Major). You must make small changes to your routine to practice and build up to a life-changing event.

Speaking of practicing a little every day… the best way to learn each and every one of these cards is to interact with them every day. Create a routine. You can pick a card in the morning (new card every morning) or sleep with a card under your pillow at night (new card every night). The important thing is to see how the cards interact with your daily life. Reflect on them. Do things pop up during the day that are related to the card? Do your dreams relate to the card? Meditate on the card. What do you see? Then, document. What keywords do you now associate with this card? What was your day like with this card? Create a reference for yourself, so you can come back to it later.

Creating a routine also helps you fall away from the big mistake of being emotional during readings. Emotions can hinder your ability to really see what the cards are trying to tell you. The emotional bias would be too much to separate the meaning from what you want them to mean.

Notice how this article doesn’t mention there one answer for card meaning. That’s important! Tarot cards, just like any other tool of magic or life is highly individualistic. If you think about another tool in life, social media, you can come up with vastly different results from one person to another. One person can use social media to gather her community together to create lasting change. Another person can use it to be a stalker and ruin other people’s lives. So, if you think of tarot cards as a tool to help you think about your goals, choices, and well-being, you can’t ever get a “bad” reading.

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