The word tarot conjures up visions of gypsies for many people. In reality tarot cards can be dated as far back as the 1400’s in Ireland and Italy. These are not countries that are typically associated with gypsies. Tarot was developed as a regular card game and became quite popular, crossing into many countries and cultures. Originally owned and played by the wealthy as they were invented before printing presses. There’s no evidence the cards were used for divination purposes prior to the late 1700’s. The word tarot means Royal Road. The early decks were called carte da trionfi meaning Triumph Cards. The tarot was not created as a part of any religion.
Many people I encounter are afraid to have their cards read, they feel there is some taboo about them. For this reason, I am going to explain the process that most tarot readers follow. This will help clarify what it entails. I purchased my first deck of tarot card twenty years ago. I did take a sabbatical from reading them, but I felt the calling again.
While various readers may not have the exact same processes with their tarot and oracle cards, this is the most generally practiced routine. Oracle cards are similar to tarot cards, but much less structured and easier to read. The oracle decks come with varying number of cards and meanings. I enjoy doing readings that combine both tarot and oracle decks in one sitting.
When a reader purchases a deck and opens it he will cleanse the cards, taking away any energy picked up in the manufacturing process. Then he touches and familiarizes himself with every card in the deck, placing his own energy into the cards. At this point he will say a blessing over your cards.
Many readers will meditate prior to giving client readings. As a reader prepares for the reading he says a prayer of sorts, asking his angels and spirit guides to send messages of guidance for the client with clarity, revealing to them what they need to know specifically and accurately. Asking that no lower negative entities be allowed to interject into the reading.
The client, also called the querent “one who seeks” can ask or even just think a specific question. If they do not have anything specific to ask, then the guides will show them what is important for them to know, bringing blessings to everyone involved.
Some readers only want their own energies in their decks of tarot or oracle cards. Personally, I feel the reading is much more accurate if the client places his energies directly into the cards. Therefore, I hand the deck to my client, ask them to shuffle the cards in any matter that they choose, for as long as they choose. If they want to cut the cards, then by all means, do so. After the reading, I will clear the cards of that person’s energy.
There are literally hundreds of card spreads. This is the way the cards are laid out on the table, and what each card placement is associated with. Some spreads use only one to three cards. I prefer larger spreads. One of the most common spreads is called the Celtic Cross Spread and uses ten cards. The reader lays these ten cards out in a specific order. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and practicing tarot. I have noticed that readers lay the Celtic Cross spreads out in slightly different orders. The first and second card are always in the center of the spread, the third through the sixth cards surround these two center cards, but are not always laid in their positions the same. For instance, sometimes the third card is placed to the right of the center cards, sometimes its placed at the bottom. This doesn’t matter in the big picture; the reader has an intent for the meaning of the card wherever he places it and the guides are aware of that. The card placements refer to what is happening in the present, the recent past, the distant past and the future. They speak to the challenges in your life, external influences, hopes and fears and the final outcome. My readings have never been of doom and gloom. They can gently point out what the client may want to work on in their life.
Some of the cards may look intimidating, but generally their meanings aren’t that ominous. For instance, the death card rarely speaks to an actual death, but rather a transformation, out with old in with the new. The devil card does not mean the devil is going to throw you to the pits of hell. Its more about addictions and self- imposed restrictions that we experience. Things that can be changed. The hanged man card is about a new perspective. There are more positive happy cards in the deck. The Sun card is about life, abundance joy and success. The Star card speaks to hope and spirituality. The Magician is manifesting the things you want on your journey. Most of the cards just give us direction, answer those little nagging questions as to how to proceed.
There is so much more to reading the tarot than just memorizing the meanings of the 78 cards, which can be daunting. This is a big part of the learning curve, but many factors come into play. There are 22 Major Arcana cards which are about major life events, things out of our control. Then there are four suits like a regular deck of playing cards. They have a King and Queen for each suit, along with a Page and a Knight, making a total of 56 Minor Arcana cards. The minor cards tell us about the day to day things we deal with.
The number of each card has a meaning. For instance, the aces (ones) speaks to a new venture, a raw idea, the concept. Twos are about choices and decisions to make this happen. There are four suits which each apply to different aspects of our lives. Cup cards are about emotions and relationships. They deal with the element of water. Pentacles or coins are earth cards and deal with worldly material items, finance. Wands are fire cards relating to passions, creativity and work projects. Swords are air and speak to mental clarity and endeavors, philosophy, ideas. Each card has many symbols within it, and the colors also have meanings. The reader must pay attention to see if there is one suit that is dominant in a spread. The placement of each card makes a difference. If the characters in the cards are facing each other or away from each other can come into play. The meaning of a card changes if it appears reversed (upside down). There are also astrological meanings for each card. Learning all these factors is important to being a good reader. With that being said; intuition and listening to your guides is just as important to guide you through the nuances of the meaning. If you look down at a card in the spread and something in the scene of the card catches your attention, you need to go with that, it is important to the reading. Say it aloud, it may resonate with the client.
Many people sit down for a reading because it’s fun. It is fun! They also walk away a bit blown away about how accurate and informative the reading was. These enduring cards are tools for awareness and decision making, and the experience is highly spiritual and introspective. I pull a card every morning before heading off to work.
Some readers will light candles during the reading, generally white candles for purity and protection. Although if a reader knows a querent has a specific issue going on they may burn a candle in the color of the correlating chakras. Many will lay crystals on the table. Each crystal has a different purpose. Just as humans are made of energy so are these crystals, each with a different vibration. The crystals are simply used for protection and clarity of the messages.
Generally speaking, most tarot readers are very spiritual people, believing in a divine source of creation and love. There are some shysters out there of course, but if you are interested in a tarot reading there are many reputable grounded people that can provide the service for you. There is no reason to be afraid of having a reading. It is a positive enlightening experience. Blessings to you all~