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Tarot 101: Divining Wisdom throughout the Ages

By Krupa B - January 7, 2020

What is Tarot Card Reading?

Tarot reading is a quick, insightful way to generate positive decision-making skills by gaining new perspectives and clarity on any questions or issues with which you might be struggling. Tarot itself is the practice of reading a spread or layout of playing cards in such a way that the order of the draw, along with the symbol, image or story of the card, illuminates quick and clear answers to your queries. When facing a life issue or simply the unknown, tarot can help you center your decision making skills on progress and forward movement, rather than on fear and over-analysis of all possible outcomes (i.e. that spinning your wheels feeling).

Why is it Important?

Tarot is known to have been used as early as the 15th century to help readers and querists alike develop self-awareness, gain clarity, enhance creativity, build intuition and generally feel more confident in their day to day life. Best of all, it’s fun!

Who Is It For?

Anyone! But especially anyone who feels bored in life, stuck on their path, unsure of their next big move, overwhelmed by life’s options or curious about what else the universe has in store. It’s also a great way to jump start your new year with positive action planning!

How Does it Work?

The physical layout, or spread, of the cards, along with the specific image, symbol or story of the card, help to guide the interpretation of the reading. Think of tarot cards as a tool in that how you use it is completely up to you. This is less about making specific predictions for your future and more about holding a mirror up to your soul. What problems or challenges do you typically face in your day to day life? How do your closest relationships feed your soul? How are your current habits and decision making patterns helping or hindering you along the way? A guided tarot reading can shed light on all of these things.

In a typical deck of 78, there are 22 cards belonging to the Major Arcana. These cards are numbered 0 through 21 and represent life’s spiritual lessons and karma. Of all of the cards, these are considered the most pivotal and carry the deepest psychic meaning. They represent the whole of human consciousness and as such are believed to contain all of life’s lessons passed down through the ages. (Keeping in mind that tarot is centuries old, that’s a heck of a lot of life lessons!) Cards of the major arcana will often set the scene for the entire tarot reading. If you encounter one, be sure to reflect on any themes that have been consistently popping up in your daily life.

The 56 cards that remain belong to the Minor Arcana. These cards are divided into 4 suits of 14 cards each and can employ the traditional French suits (clubs, hearts, spades, diamonds), but more often correspond to the Italo-Spanish suits (cups, pentacles, swords, wands). The Minor Arcana are believed to be more strongly tied to the physical in that their affect is often temporary and can be changed by taking action. Don’t let the word minor fool you! These cards still have a significant impact on your life in that they relate to what’s happening to you day-to-day and offer keen insight into what you are experiencing and how it is affecting you. Think of them as currents of energy flowing through you in the present moment.

How you choose to arrange these cards in your tarot reading changes everything. Different spreads can be used based on the type of questions you ask or the answers you seek. For instance, the Birthday Spread will help you set and achieve specific goals for your next birthday. You might use the Star Spread when you need to ask the universe a very specific question. In the Astrological Spread, all of the cards are read according to their corresponding astrological sign. The Dream Exploration Spread can help you gain critical insight into the meaning behind a recent dream. Perhaps the most widely used in tarot readings today, the Celtic Cross spread offers well-rounded perspectives on many different aspects of life. For this spread in particular, everything depends on the question you’d like to ask.

Tarot, Numerology & Ayurveda

Surprise! Tarot, numerology and Ayurveda are all related due to the numerological nature of the deck and the suits they represent. (Remember: Everything is connected!) Along with the French and Italo-Spanish suits, the Minor Arcana may also be represented through the four elemental building blocks of life: water, earth, fire and air. The numbers of the cards can similarly relate back to your numerological chart. The numerology of the tarot is typically looked at as like a cycle, with even cards being more stable and enduring and odd cards being more instable and dynamic. Numerology and tarot interpretations can go both ways: You can use the tarot to interpret a deeper reading of your numerology or you can use numerology to interpret a deeper reading of the tarot cards. Whatever the case, both readings inform the other.

Now that you’ve been introduced to all things tarot, remember that everything that happens in your life is based on decisions you ultimately make. Truly, you decide your destiny. Tarot, numerology and Ayurveda are merely tools which invite you to understand your soul on a deeper molecular level and tap into acknowledging what the universe has in store for you. Rather than offer up predictions, they reveal opportunities and truths along the way. They are there for you should you choose to listen, but it’s up to you to answer the call.

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