78 Cards total split into two sections –
Major Arcana (22) numbered 0 to 21
aka Trump cards
0 The Fool
1 The Magician
2 The High Priestess (or The Popess in Scapini)
3 The Empress
4 The Emperor
5 The Hierophant (or The Pope in Scapini)
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 Strength (or Justice in Scapini)
9 The Hermit
10 Wheel of Fortune
11 Justice (or Force in Scapini)
12 The Hanged Man
15 The Devil
16 The (Falling) Tower
17 The Star
18 The Moon
19 The Sun
21 The World
The appearance of one of these cards is pointing to a specific topic you can not avoid. Give them extra attention. They may be indicating something in your life that needs immediate action.
Minor Arcana (56)
Wands = Fire
Cups = Water
Swords = Air
Pentacles (coins) = Earth
14 Cards per Suit: numbered Ace to 10 plus 4 court cards (Page, Knight, King, Queen)
Arcana means “secrets” or “mysterious knowledge”
The cards’ images, while they do have basic interpretations, are meant to stimulate your own intuition.
1.) Set the mood however necessary – music, meditation, etc.
2.) Querent must shuffle and cut the deck while focusing intently on a SPECIFIC question. Shuffle any way you want until it feels right to stop. Cut the deck with LEFT hand into 3 piles, then restack into 1 pile.
3.) The Reader then lays a spread suitable for the question (some are better than others)
4.) Read the cards starting with Position 1
*Keep a journal of every reading
Date of Reading (phase of moon, day of week)
Type of Spread
Cards and their Positions
What each position signifies
The meaning of each card
Analyze (record your reading)
Analyze now, but return later, as well.
*Familiarize yourself by choosing and carrying a card each day, focusing on its meaning throughout the day – journal before and after
*Before studying book interpretations, MAKE YOUR OWN! The Tarot is meant to be personal; rely heavily on your own intuition.
*Questions should be about specific instances or situations – immediate situations. If the question is too broad or general, so will the answer be. ONE question at a time.
*Even if the reading makes no sense now, copy down the spread and return later- it may make more sense in retrospect.
*Notice patterns…a lot of Trump cards? A lot of the same suit? Same themes? What does this tell you?
*You don’t have to read in Reverse. Some say yes, some say not necessarily; particularly when you’re just starting out, focus on learning your cards straight up and worry about reverse later.