I’m often asked to explain what Tarot is, so here is a summary for you on the cards and how I use them as a practitioner.
Let’s start with some logistics! The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, each with its own unique symbolism. Earliest decks appear to date back to around the 15th century. There are MANY decks available, but the one I choose to practice with is the traditional Rider-Waite. I love the imagery and clear symbolism of this deck, and it speaks to me the most clearly.
The 22 Major Arcana or “Trump” cards represent more significant karmic and spiritual lessons / events. These are the cards most often seen portrayed in Hollywood, such as “Death”, “Wheel of Fortune”, “The Hermit”, etc.
The 56 Minor Arcana cards usually refer to the lessons and individuals that we experience and encounter on a daily basis. The Court Cards (Pages, Knights, Queens & Kings) within the four Minor Arcana Suits (Pentacles, Swords, Wands & Cups) are usually representative of personality traits or people we have in our life. Each suit is tied to an element – the Pentacles being Earth, Swords – Air, Wands – Fire, and the Cups – Water.
Everyone reading tarot learns in the way that best suits their skill set and belief structure. I’ll attempt in the following paragraphs to describe what a session with tarot feels like to me as an individual practitioner 🙂
As the person being read for draws the cards, the Tarot allow us both to tap into our subconscious and intuition. A typical spread for my clients will include three cards, with additional drawn for more clarity if necessary. The spread is a tool for connecting with our Highest Selves and hearing what we need to hear at a particular moment in time. Although some readers claim to use the cards in a divinatory manner, I do not use them as such. I feel it is of highest benefit to speak to the client where she or he is at. Looking at past events and tendencies and possible future outcomes is often useful, but only as they relate to the situation at hand, and the choices presently on the table.
As well as speaking to the symbology and inherent meaning in the cards of your spread, I also use my intuitive skills to dig deeply and find hidden truths that may not be obvious in the card’s outward imagery. I encourage my clients to dig deeply as well, and always check in throughout the reading to make sure things are making sense.
If something is muddy or unclear to me (every once in a while this happens, more often when a client has multiple questions or if they are unclear what they want from the cards) I may ask you more questions to gain clarity. I want you to have the most accurate and impactful reading possible!
It is beautiful to me how accurately the cards speak to an individual, giving them the precise information or encouragement they need to proceed. Tarot can be especially useful when we feel “stuck” with a difficult choice or when we are having trouble seeing clearly what choices we have. The cards will turn our attention to a helpful point of focus, allowing us to feel more confident and assured. Sometimes the cards will tell us when it’s time to resolve past emotional trauma, or when we need to let something or someone go – and even how we may go about doing so.
Even if you do not have a specific question or concern at the moment, we can ask the cards together what information would provide you with the BEST medicine for YOU right now. Although this may seem vague to some, it is actually a very clear intention that myself and the cards are very happy to speak to. You may be surprised with how in tune a reading can be when you ask for your best medicine!