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Learn How To Read Tarot Cards

Aug 9, 2008
If you have visited a fortune teller recently or you plan to visit one in the near future then it is a good idea to read up on what the cards that are used actually mean. At first glance they can appear confusing and unclear. In these circumstances you are simply left at the behest of the card reader and you have to trust their judgment. Fortunately reading the cards requires just a little knowledge. This article will look at some of the cards that you are likely to find in a tarot card reading and so hopefully next time you visit a fortune teller you are able to understand a little bit more about the cards.

A tarot card reading typically revolves around a spread of cards. There are many different types of spreads used by the card reader, but this is beyond the scope of this article. The most common spread used today is the Horse Shoe spread, named as such because the seven cards are laid out on the table in the shape of a horse shoe. This arrangement is said to increase the reader's concentration.

The basic spread for a tarot card reading will consist of the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. Arcana is a word derived from the Latin phrase arcanum which basically means a profound secret.

In a typical deck you will find 78 tarot cards, of which 22 are a part of the Major Arcana. These are the most important cards for the reading. It is said that these cards encompass the essence of human life and as such the cards reflect this. This can be seen in cards that represent Justice and Strength and is also more implicit in the character cards such as the Magician who conveys will power and intellect.

These cards are crucial during the reading as they are indicative of the major events within a person's life and the emotions and motives that are attached to them.

In contrast the second set of cards known as the Minor Arcana are used to interpret the practical issues within a person's life. The cards are used to answer the questions related to the mundane issues that comprise the day to day problems. The Minor Arcana comprises of 56 cards divided into 4 suites. These suites are called Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords.

Wands represent passionate emotions and physical movement and the imagery on these cards is focused on the flow of energy. The Cup cards are symbolic of the spiritualism within the person. This is focused on the inner self and the emotions and feelings that are retained internally. The Pentacles seek to explain the rational and practical elements of the person's life. Typically this will center on the mundane issues that are important here. Finally, the Sword cards help to interpret the person's psychology. Crucially these cards offer insight into the intellect and reason behind the decisions.

These cards are organized in the same way as a standard pack of playing cards with the Ace to Ten cards and the four Court cards. Each of these cards help the card reader to interpret how each emotion impacts on the questions asked. The Ace card is primary and is used to define the general theme. The middle cards are used to explore the issues, whilst the ten cards are used to conclude the question.

Finally, the court cards such as the King and Queen are used to provide an explanation of the various outcomes. These are used to demonstrate what the most appropriate course of action might be.
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