Happy Friday! Today, I am sharing with you the ultimate guide to tarot cards! Tarot cards were the first tool I used as a witch. They helped me evolve as a person and have been a huge help in my self-healing practice. In this post, I will explain to you what are Tarot Cards, why I work with them, how to use them, and how to treat your deck.
Now, if you want to know more about Tarot cards, then keep on reading. Don’t forget to check out my previous post: BEST CLEANSER FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE.
The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Cards
About Tarot Cards
Tarot is a pack of cards distinguished by elaborated illustrations. For centuries, they’ve been used as tools to see the future or for guidance. Their origins remain uncertain but according to my research, they date back to the 14th century and were originally from France and Italy. It’s also been theorized that back in the renaissance era, Tarot cards were used for gaming or gambling. The storytelling, as well as the meaning of the cards, were added later.
Each Tarot deck has 78 cards, made up of 22 Major Arcanas and 56 Minor Arcanas. The major arcana cards represent major life themes, phases, or shifts. In this category we follow the fool (0) in its process of self-discovery and we explore the different phases of a spiritual experience. They are more generalized and can be seen as the “center of gravity”. They also often refer back to significant life passages.
The minor arcana cards are divided into four families: Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles (each representing a specific theme) and each family has 14 cards (ace, two, three…page, knight, queen, king). Most of the time, the minor cards complete and help understand in-depth the major cards. You can see them as detailed visual guides of the human experience.
You should also know that nowadays there are three influential decks of tarot cards. The Marseille cards (which is the most ancient and traditional deck), the Smith-Waite cards (the deck I personally use, love and display in the photo above) and the Thoth cards (which are more visually heavy and dense).
Why Work With Tarot Cards
Tarot cards help develop intuition, examine underlying issues, and can serve as guidance tools in your wellness journey. Personally, they are a way for me to reflect and evolve as a person. They offer me some comfort when I feel anxious and the whole ritual I initiate when I conduct a tarot session just calms my mind.
In general, I like to see tarot reading as a therapy session. A session to question myself, understand how I am feeling, and learn how to process some life events. Tarot reading might help you feel more grounded, expansive, connected, and intuitive. They are truly more than a divination medium.
How to initiate a Tarot session?
Set an intention
Before starting, I always like to set my intentions. So, what I want from this tarot session. Do I want clarity towards a situation, calm my anxiety or prepare myself for the upcoming week? Setting up an intention helps me come up with a specific question to ask my deck of tarot.
Clean your space
Then, I start my tarot session by setting up the space and cleaning the energy. I put on my AirPods, play meditative music, light incense, take deep breaths and ground myself. This allows me to set the mood and get comfortable.
Shuffle, ask and draw
After setting up your space, you can start shuffling your cards while thinking about what you want to know from them. There are a many ways to pick a card. You can lay out the cards in a long horizontal line, like a fan. You can randomly scatter the cards in front of you. Or, you can split the deck in two and pick the card on top.
After picking a card, I start to reflect and write in my journal. I write how this card makes me feel, what it tells me and how it helps in my situation. Sometimes, the card I pick spark a lot of inspiration and thoughts. Sometimes, i need to take a moment and think.
When I pick a card, I try to first analyze it by myself to trigger my intuition and then use a book to help me interpret it. The one I am currently using is by a Quebec author and Witch “L’art du tarot”. I personally love this book because the author puts her own experience and understanding into it which makes the Tarot reading more modern and relatable
How often should you do a tarot reading?
In my original post, I wrote that you should ideally pick a card everyday to channel your focus for the day, get to know your deck, and understand the meanings of each card. While this method is amazing, it’s also hard to attain because, let’s be honest, all of us are extremely busy in our lives. So, I like to settle for once or twice per week.
Once as part of my Sunday morning routine, to prepare myself for the new week. And another time if I have any issues I want to tackle.
Both times, I only draw one card because that’s how I prefer to work but a second way to draw tarot cards is the three-card spread. So, to pick three cards and ask three questions. Depending on your question, each card can represent anything; Past, present, future; You, relationship, partner; Mind, body, spirit; Strenght, weakness, advice.
A third popular way to read tarot cards is through the yearly spread. For this method, you draw 12 cards, each representing either a month of the year or an aspect of the year that you want to focus on, such as relationships, career, health, and so on.
Generally, you can do a tarot reading for any situation. For example, during any phase of the moon or any life situation. It all depends on what you want from this tarot session. For instance, on a new moon, you can ask the following questions:
- What lessons have I learned in this past cycle?
- What am i being invited to focus on this cycle?
- How can i find alignment in this cycle?
To connect to Nature, you can ask those questions:
- How can I connect to nature today?
- What is the theme of this season for me?
- How can i harness this current sesons’s energy?
If you feel anxious, you can ask:
- What am i feeling right now?
- What’s the reality of the situation?
- What’s the best way to move forward today?
Yes and No Questions
Although it is not advisable to use a simple “yes or no” question, it’s totally possible. For instance, in the minor arcana, even numbers signify “yes” and odd numbers signify “no”. In general, you can assign what is yes and what is no to any card. It’s really up to you. Nevertheless, Tarot cards were made for more complicated readings. For yes and no questions, I would recommend a pendulum.
Handling your Deck
Cleansing and purifying
Upon receiving your first deck, you must always cleanse them. Getting rid of unwanted or negative energies will allow the deck to offer a more accurate answer to your questions and to connect with your spirit. There are several ways you can purify your deck. The easiest way is to actually hold your deck with your weakest hand (I am right-handed, so that’s my left hand) and with your strongest hand hit your tarot deck, envisioning all of the unwanted energy leaving the cards. Another way is to run your deck through smoke or place clear quartz on top of it.
As an object, you’re supposed to treat your tarot cards like the most precious thing you own. Hence, it is essential to know how to properly store them. After all, they are the tools you use to guide you, help you but also, to connect with. One way I love to do so is by displaying them on my altar, on a gorgeous jewelry tray. . Even when I travel, I never leave my tarot cards in my suitcase, I always carry them in my bag, close to my heart. Another way you can store them is in a velvet bag or protected charm bag (one that you’ve enchanted).
Another topic that is essential to this guide is connecting. Your tarot cards are supposed to be a magickal tool in which you confine yourself. It’s therefore essential for you to connect with your deck. To do that, you can carry them around, practice with them on a daily basis, or place them near when you’re asleep. Just do what feels right but the more connected you are with your deck, the better they will work.
Choosing the right deck
Choosing the right tarot cards is a question that comes back every time I mention my deck on Instagram. For a good reason. I learned that in order to start Tarot reading, you need to let your intuition choose which set of cards is right for you. A friend of mine also mentioned to me that they wanted to wait for someone they loved to offer them a deck of tarot cards. Which in my opinion is very thoughtful. Whatever it is, don’t choose a deck on a whim, let your heart choose it for you.
The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Cards
Cartomancy remains amongst the most popular of modern divination mediums. In this guide to tarot cards, I shared with you more about this divination tool and why I personally love it! I hope this post was helpful to you and wish you a wonderful weekend!