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Meaning Of Tarot Cards - Symbolism & Significance


All things witchy, the meaning of tarot cards, have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity during the past several years. Some people use tarot as a helpful social tool to encourage relationships that they would not have otherwise had with friends.

Others view the tarot as a spiritual art form and a potent life-management tool. Tarot cards were initially meant primarily as a parlor game, despite the mystical connotations they have acquired in popular culture.

The cards have been in use since at least the middle of the 15th century, and the earliest known decks were from different regions of Italy.

The tarot wasn't used for divination or occult purposes for the first time until the 18th century. Antoine Court and Jean-Baptiste Alliette are credited with making tarot "readings" popular in Paris in the 1780s.

There is a sizable number of people who find tarot cards informative and entertaining, if not necessarily supernatural, in between those who think it's a joke and those who believe it's real magic. Tarot reading (for oneself and others) may be an enlightening pastime, whether it turns into a pastime or a full-time business.

COPYRIGHT_SZ: Published on https://stationzilla.com/meaning-of-tarot-cards/ by Caroline Teresa on 2022-10-06T23:17:34.674Z

The History And Meaning Of Tarot Cards

The meaning of tarot cards is believed to have been created in Europe, notably Italy, in the 15th century. The original name of the deck was Tarocchi. As soon as the French took control of Milan and the Piedmont region in 1499, the cards swiftly acquired popularity in many other European nations.

For affluent families, the Major Arcana, often known as trump cards, were manufactured to order and hand-painted, including many decks prepared for the Viscont you family in Milan.

The 15 Visconti-Sforza tarot decks that Duke Filippo Maria Visconti ordered between 1418 and 1425 are the oldest still in existence, making tarot card interpretation a skill that has been practiced for more than 600 years.

A Woman Fortune Telling
A Woman Fortune Telling

The Difference Between Tarot And Oracle Cards

Tarot decks must contain a certain number of 78 cards, which are divided into 56 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana cards. Not more, not less. Additionally, four different suits must be included.

These are pentacles, swords, cups, and wands in the classic Rider-Waite deck; other decks may use a different image for each of these four components. Tarot decks will also usually have court cards (often the page, knight, queen, and king), but some decks may substitute princesses for pages or make other small aesthetic changes.

Although there are fewer rules, oracle cards are used similarly as a tool for self-reflection. Any number of cards and interpretations may be included in an oracle card deck.

Various Types Of Tarot Cards Means

Despite their vastly different designs, all tarot cards have a few characteristics. Each one has 78 playing cards, split into the main and minor arcana. The major arcana, which are the deck's 22 trump cards, generally allude to bigger influences and disclosures when they are revealed during a reading.

These cards stand alone without a suit and symbolize key occasions or people in a person's life. In contrast, the minor arcana allude to influences and issues that are more commonplace. Wands, swords, pentacles, and cups make up the four suits that these 56 cards are split into.

(Occasionally, tarot decks will use different terminology in place of pentacles, such as "coins," although these are exact replacements for the four basic divisions.) A distinct aspect of life is represented by each outfit.

Wands often represent imagination and passion, swords intelligence, pentacles work and wealth, and cups emotion. Additionally, each suit is associated with a certain set of astrological signs, such as wands being associated with fire, swords with air, pentacles with earth, and cups with water.

Since we're novices, the meanings you'll most frequently refer to are the functional definitions, albeit these meanings can be used when cards symbolize people and their zodiac signs. For example, a three-card spread with three pentacle cards denotes a financial concern. (More on the various spreads to follow.)

Fortune teller with textbook during divination process
Fortune teller with textbook during divination process

Why You Need To Read The Meaning Of Tarot Cards?

You will need a tarot deck first. The Rider-Waite deck, created by artist Pamela Colman Smith and released in 1910, is the most well-known and widely used.

These cards are renowned for their straightforward symbolism, their straightforward color palette (which includes plenty of yellows, sky blue, and gray), and their straightforward imagery.

Since the meanings of the cards are sometimes obvious, the Rider-Waite deck is frequently recommended for novices. When they are not, there are many interpretation aids available in books and online.

Many decks, notably the Rider-Waite, include a little piece of paper outlining each of the most typical interpretations of each card.

The Rider-Waite is not the only deck available to beginning readers, despite being the most well-known. While the Wild Unknown deck is very attractive, novice players may find it a little less obvious.

The Morgan Greer deck is somewhat comparable to an enhanced Rider-Waite: similar symbols are used, but larger, bolder faces and more vibrant, diverse colors are used instead. There are contemporary, varied decks as well as decks with Game of Thrones themes. The most crucial step is choosing a deck with pictures and meanings that appeal to you.

Symbolism Of Assembling The Tarot Cards Deck

While most of this is up to the deck's owner and what resonates with them, there are a few conventions that apply to the majority of tarot readings. If you're reading cards for someone else, you should ask them for a question or a prompt about what they're interested in.

Keep that question in mind while you shuffle the deck, which is another name for "cleaning" the deck of previous questions and readings. (An illustration might be, "When will you discover love?" Is your career the right one for you? "How can you get over your block as a writer?"

Then, once again concentrating on their query, you can ask the person you are reading for (often known as "the querent") to cut the deck. Although some readers will cut the deck for the querent, you prefer this option since it gives the querent a chance to feel linked to the deck personally.

In any case, you will next select the necessary number of cards for your spread and place them in front of you if you are reading for yourself or between you and the querent.

How To Read The Tarot Cards?

This section is for you if you've ever wondered what a "three-card spread" is. Tarot readings can be done in a variety of ways, and frequently, the instructions that come with the cards will include images of the most common spreads.

You'll quickly discover that there is a spread for any circumstance, and you can always come up with your own, too. These include the straightforward three-card spread, the Celtic cross, and a seven-day spread.

After the deck has been shuffled and divided in half by the client, a reader will pick three cards from it for a three-card spread (more on that in a moment). The past, present, and future are often represented by the first, second, and third calls pulled, respectively.

Depends on the reading and the question. "Future" could mean tomorrow or ten years from now, depending on the reading and the question. A daily card reading is another popular way to utilize tarot cards.

In this practice, one card is chosen at random from the top of the shuffled deck and used as a reminder or a direction for the day. This could be a very helpful activity for anyone who wants to learn more about the tarot deck and what each card means.

Soothsayer predicting fate with magic ball at home
Soothsayer predicting fate with magic ball at home

What Does Each Card Mean In Tarot Cards?

As vital as it is to think about the specific meaning of each card, it is also crucial to think about the atmosphere and symbolism of the spread as a whole. There is just as much information to be learned from the whole image as there is from its parts, especially in bigger spreads.

If you're reading for someone else, take advantage of the chance to collaborate with them; the more pressure you put on yourself to mind-read, the harder it will be to do so. This should come as a relief: it's ok to ask the topic questions about the cards and to discuss possible applications of the cards to their initial query.

Tarot reading doesn't make you clairvoyant. When a questioner asks about money, but you only get two cup cards and "the lovers," the cards will occasionally not match at all. This might imply that their love life was what they truly wanted to talk to you about. Doesn't everyone?

Tarot reading may be done in many different ways, but they all take practice. It takes effort to learn 78 different cards, especially since many of them have numerous possible interpretations. However, the more you study and handle the cards, the more comfortable you'll feel using them as a tool to better understand both yourself and others.

Tarot cards and tarot readings: Explained | How tarot cards work | EXPLORE MODE

The Minor Arcana For Tarot Cards

The 56 cards of the Minor Arcana are divided into the four suits of wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. King, Queen, Knight, and Page, the court cards included inside these four, might be seen as persons and personalities or as parts of yourselves that we're being called to recover,

The Minor Arcana focus more on your everyday situations while the Major Arcana symbolize larger issues. That does not mean they are any less significant. The Minor Arcana is like the weather if the Major Arcana represents the season.


The element of fire, which deals with your fervor and energy, is associated with the suit of wands. Cards have to do with creativity, meaning, and how you use your energy. They also have to do with infusing deeper significance into a banal situation.


The water element, which is linked to emotions, feelings, and intuition, is represented by the suit of cups.


The element of air and the mental world, including intelligence, thoughts, and how those thoughts emerge, are associated with the suit of swords.


Pentacles deal with the tangible world since they are related to earth. Although they are frequently connected to money, they may also represent your values, worth, and sense of security.

People Also Ask

What Are The Tarot Cards Supposed To Mean?

The purpose of tarot cards is to provide direction and, in the words of shamans, "medicine" on what is happening in your particular orbit, including love, money, work, goals, and your whole life path.

What Kind Of Faith Did The Tarot Cards Come From?

Tarot cards are frequently cited as a component of New Age philosophy and practice, along with astrology, aspects of Buddhism, paganism, and First Nations traditions in the eclectic scholarly approach to the New Age.

Which Card Is The Luckiest?

In English-speaking nations, the Ace of Spades sometimes referred to as the Spadille or Death Card, is customarily the highest and most valuable card in the deck of playing cards.


Do you know the meaning of tarot cards? The Major Arcana, a series of 22 cards in the tarot, is regarded as the basis and the main part of the deck. The Major Arcana is where archetypal meaning is most overtly expressed in the deck as a whole.

These playing cards portray a narrative of spiritual journeys from The Fool's childlike wonder to The World's unification and fulfillment. In other words, these cards show how people grow spiritually as they move toward enlightenment and becoming their person.

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About The Authors

Caroline Teresa

Caroline Teresa

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