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23 Feb 2019

Tarot Card Reading: What’s on the Cards

Tarot card readings is a relatively recent practice of foretelling, which relies on inspiration and divination attained from a deck of cards. The predictions in Tarot are based on the symbol interpretations, as each card in the deck holds a different meaning of its own. The cards that are used in this system consist of a total of 78 cards. Of which, 22 cards are special picture cards, which represent different symbols, each with its own mystery. These cards constitute the ‘Major Arcana’. Further, the cards that form the ‘Minor Arcana’ are divided into 4 suits of 14 cards each. These are comprised of Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.


Even though the exact origin of the Tarot is unknown, it is believed to have come to Europe somewhere in the 1300s, and was probably derived from the ‘Mamluk’ deck popularised by the Muslims.

Initially, the Tarot was used by the Italians to play a game which was closely related to Bridge. The game, referred to as ‘Tarocchi’, was popular among the royalty of Italy.

A.E. Waite was at the helm of the deck with illustrations on all cards, which is the model of the modern-day Tarot.

How it works

Contrary to the popular belief that the Tarot cards are a magical or supernatural system of predicting the future, these cards are actually believed to be a mere medium to tap one’s own intuitive power. Tarot readers believe that every individual is capable of making the perfect decisions and altering the course of their lives.

However, the power to do so remains latent in most of us, and needs to be activated by a divine intervention, which is what the Tarot system does.

A Tarot card reading begins with a spread, which refers to how the cards are displayed before the subject. The most common spreads are The Three Fates’ and ‘The Celtic Cross’. In the former, three cards are spread out, representing the past, present and the future. In ‘The Celtic Cross’, the arrangement consists of ten cards, which represent other issues of life, like the hopes and desires of the subject, future conflicts etc.

The cards in each deck of the Minor Arcana are numbered through one to ten, and consist of an additional four court cards- the king, queen, knight and page. Those in the Major Arcana are numbered one to 21, with the 22nd card being the “Fool”, numbered as zero. Each of these cards has a different implication and meaning. While the cards in the Minor Arcana hold the answers to the everyday issues of our lives, those in the Major Arcana are referred to for answers to the greater events of our lives.

The readings are usually divided into two types- Question readings and Open readings. In Question readings, a lot depends on how the question is asked.

Tarot cards are not meant to give specific answers, such as the date you will get married, the name of the company you will work in etc. Instead, they help you to make decisions and get in touch with your intuitive power. Open readings focus on the greater issues in life, like marriage, kids, career etc.

Things you need to keep in mind:

While signing up for a Tarot card reading, you might want to keep the following tips in mind:

Do not keep an answer in mind before asking a question- Keep all your options open to help in an effective reading.

Balance the brevity and detail of your question- Try to get the answer for a broad perspective to a question, but to do not complicate the reading by stuffing too many issues in one question.

Ask questions that directly influence you, and not the people in your life.

Try to keep the tone of your question positive.