Beginner’s Guide to Reading Tarot Cards: Understanding the Basics

Getting Started with Tarot Cards: A Beginner’s Guide

Are you interested in learning more about tarot cards and how to read them? Then this beginner’s guide is perfect for you. Tarot cards, also known as tarot readings, are sets of cards used for fortune-telling and divination. Tarot cards have been used for centuries to provide insight into a person’s life and fate. In this guide, you’ll learn about the basics of tarot cards, and what you need to know before you start reading them.

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards are a set of 78 cards separated into two distinct sections. The Major Arcana, also called the trump cards, consists of 22 cards, and the Minor Arcana has 56 cards divided into four suits of 14 cards each. The Major Arcana cards are often seen as representing the major spiritual lessons or experiences in a person’s life. Meanwhile, the Minor Arcana cards focus on day-to-day issues and challenges.

What is Tarot Reading?

Tarot reading is the practice of using tarot cards to gain insight into a person’s life or situation. A tarot reader will use the tarot cards to explore a person’s past, present and future. Tarot readings can provide guidance for decision making, aid in problem solving, and answer questions about life. Additionally, tarot readings are often used to gain a deeper understanding of oneself and uncover hidden talents or perspectives.

What Do You Need to Read Tarot Cards?

Before you start reading tarot cards, you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary materials. Here is a list of what you’ll need to get started:

  • A Tarot Deck: A standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards. You can find tarot decks at your local metaphysical bookstore or online.
  • A Tarot Book or Guide: A guide to help you better understand the meaning of each card. This will also help you find accurate interpretations.
  • A Quiet Place: Somewhere quiet and comfortable where you can focus on your tarot reading and the cards.
  • An Open Mind: You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of tarot reading. Just have an open mind and be willing to learn.

Basics of Reading Tarot Cards

Once you have gathered all the materials you need, it’s time to start reading tarot cards. Here are some basics techniques you can use to get started:

  • Shuffle the Cards: Begin your reading by shuffling the cards. This helps focus your energy on the cards and the reading.
  • Lay out the Cards: You can choose any of the different spreads available, such as the Celtic cross spread, the horseshoe spread, or the three-card spread.
  • Interpret the Cards: Look up the meaning of the cards and think about how they could relate to your life. This will help you gain more insight into the cards.


Tarot cards can be a powerful tool for divination and gaining insight into your life. With a little bit of practice and dedication, you can become a skilled tarot reader in no time. With the help of this beginner’s guide, you now have an understanding of the basics of tarot reading. So grab your tarot deck and get started!
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What are the Major and Minor Arcana cards and how do they differ?

The Major Arcana cards consist of 22 cards and they represent powerful archetypes or spiritual symbols. They represent the major events and influences that shape a person’s life.

The Minor Arcana cards consist of 56 cards which are divided into four suits similar to a deck of playing cards. These cards represent the day-to-day issues and challenges that people face in life.

The main difference between the Major and Minor Arcana cards is the symbolism behind them. The Major Arcana cards represent spiritual and philosophical concepts while the Minor Arcana cards represent more mundane and practical matters. The Major Arcana are usually viewed as being more significant and powerful than the Minor Arcana.

What is the traditional method for shuffling tarot cards?

The traditional method for shuffling tarot cards is to start by cutting the deck into three piles, then reassembling the piles in a different order. After that, the deck should be shuffled thoroughly before performing a reading.

What are the four suits of the tarot deck and what do they represent?

The four suits of the traditional Tarot deck are Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles.

Cups represent emotions, intuition, and spiritual connection.

Wands represent creativity, passion, and new beginnings.

Swords represent the intellect and communication.

Pentacles represent material wealth, the physical world, and practicality.

How does one create an appropriate and insightful tarot spread?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the individual. To create an appropriate and insightful tarot spread, one must first understand the symbolism associated with the meaning of each card in the deck. Once this understanding is developed, one can create a spread that speaks to the specific situation or question being asked. When the spread is laid out, it should be laid out in a logical manner that allows for meaningful interpretations. Additionally, it is important to be open to the messages that the cards can give. Taking the time to understand the meaning of each card in the spread, while considering how they all interact together, can create an insightful and meaningful tarot spread.

What are the different methods for reading tarot cards?

1. Three Card Reading: This method of reading tarot cards is used for quick, intuitive guidance about a specific question or any area of life.

2. The Celtic Cross Reading: This tarot spread is one of the most popular tarot readings and is used to explore various aspects of a person’s life.

3. The Five-Card Spread: This tarot reading is used to gain additional insight into a particular situation by exploring four positions regarding the past, present, and future.

4. The Horseshoe Spread: This tarot spread allows readers to explore different aspects of a particular situation by examining seven positions.

5. The Star Spread: This tarot spread is more complex than others, allowing readers to look at six positions regarding personal issues connected to relationships, career, and more.

What is the best way to learn how to read tarot cards?

The best way to learn how to read tarot cards is by taking lessons from experienced tarot readers or experienced occultists. There are many websites and books available to teach the basics of tarot reading, and having an experienced mentor can give you the tools to further your tarot reading skills. You can also find online tarot courses and tarot reading workshops from various tarot schools. Joining local tarot or occult groups is another great way to learn as well. With online and offline resources available, anyone can learn to read tarot cards.

What tarot decks are best for beginners?

1.The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

2.The Universal Waite Tarot Deck

3.The Golden Thread Tarot Deck

4.The Cosmic Tarot Deck

5.The Classic Tarot Deck

6.The Gilded Tarot Deck

7.The Spiritsong Tarot Deck

8.The Morgan-Greer Tarot Deck

9.The Halloween Tarot Deck

10.The Mythic Tarot Deck

What are the different types of tarot decks?

1. Rider-Waite-Smith: The original tarot deck designed in 1909 by Arthur Edward Waite and drawn by Pamela Colman Smith.

2. Thoth Tarot: Designed by renowned occult scholar Aleister Crowley and drawn by artist Frieda Harris in the 1940s.

3. Marseille Tarot: An 18th-century deck that uses familiar symbols and colors.

4. Gothic Tarot: A modern deck illustrated in the style of Victorian engravings.

5. Golden Dawn Tarot: A reprint of an original deck that honors many esoteric teachings.

6. Tarot of Dreams: A vibrant, dream-like reimagining of traditional tarot imagery.

7. Wild Unknown Tarot: A modern deck inspired by nature and animal spirits.

8. Fountain Tarot: An “airy” version of the Rider Waite-Smith deck that’s perfect for beginner and experienced readers alike.

What decks are recommended for beginners to tarot?

1. The Rider-Waite-Smith Deck: This is an iconic deck designed by A.E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. It is one of the most popular decks and is good for beginners because it is straightforward and easy to interpret.

2. The Universal Waite Deck: This is another Rider-Waite-Smith Deck, but the illustrations are more vibrant and detailed. It is also a good choice for beginners.

3. The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck: This modern-style deck has black-and-white illustrations and is geared towards seekers who are in touch with their intuition.

4. The Sacred Rose Tarot Deck: This peaceful tarot deck was created with the idea of having close contact with nature and the Divine Feminine. It is considered a good choice for beginners because it is simple and has easy-to-interpret symbols.

5. The Thoth Tarot Deck: This deck is based on the teachings of Aleister Crowley and is recommended for the more experienced tarot reader, but beginners can find it useful due to the construction of its four suits and the in-depth descriptions of the cards.

What tarot decks are good for beginners?

1. Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

2. Universal Fantasy Tarot

3. Glastonbury Tarot

4. Morgan-Greer Tarot

5. Shadowscapes Tarot

6. Osho Zen Tarot

7. Golden Thread Tarot

8. Deviant Moon Tarot

9. The Wild Unknown Tarot

10. Mystic Mondays Tarot

What tarot deck should I start with if I am a beginner?

We highly recommend starting with the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. This is a classic deck that is simple to understand and can be used in many different ways. It’s a great place to start as it offers an easy-to-follow symbolism system and key words as tools for reading and interpreting the cards. By understanding this deck, you will form a solid foundation and confidence when reading the tarot.

What deck is the best for a beginner tarot reader?

The Rider-Waite tarot deck is typically considered the best for beginners as it uses plain imagery and is the most commonly used deck. It also comes with an accompanying guidebook, which can be very helpful for understanding the cards and symbols. Other decks that are great for beginners are the Morgan Greer tarot deck and the Golden Dawn tarot deck.

What decks are best for beginner tarot readers?

1. The Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck – This classic deck is the foundation for much of modern tarot, offering traditional symbolism, simple imagery, and a straightforward approach.

2. The wildwood tarot – This deck is based on an ancient druid system of belief, featuring illustrations which reflect the natural world. The deck’s nature-based symbolism is easy to interpret, making it a great choice for a first time reader.

3. The Gaian Tarot – Specially designed with a modern environmental twist, this deck makes use of archetypal and mythical imagery. The clear colour palette and straightforward imagery make it a great choice for new readers.

4. The Shadowscapes Tarot – This deck draws heavily on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith but steps out from its conventions, offering a contemporary take on tarot with beautiful, detailed and original artwork.

5. The Cosmic Tarot – A mix of traditional tarot symbolism and modern cosmic themes, this deck is filled with delightful artwork and offers a unique approach to tarot reading.

What tarot decks are good for beginners?

• Rider Waite: This classic tarot deck is one of the best for beginners. It’s easy to understand, has a lot of detail to it, and has been used for years.

• Mystic Mondays: This is a great deck for those who want to use more fantasy-inspired Tarot for their readings.

• Dream Shadow Tarot: This deck is both beautiful and easy to understand. It’s full of detailed artwork and uses the traditional Rider Waite Smith system to help you learn.

• Tarot of the Sweet Twilight: This is a great deck if you’re looking for something with vibrant and beautiful artwork. It’s easy to use and great for beginners.

• Hanson Roberts Tarot: For those of you looking for a classic-style Tarot, the Hanson Roberts is perfect. It’s easy to use, the artwork is beautiful and the deck has been around for decades.

• Wild Unknown Tarot: This is a great modern deck with beautiful artwork. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a more modern and mystical approach to Tarot.

What are the most popular tarot decks for beginners?

1. Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck

2. Vision Quest Tarot Deck

3. Angel Tarot Deck

4. Thoth Tarot Deck

5. Shadowscapes Tarot Deck

6. Gilded Tarot Deck

7. Legacy of the Divine Tarot Deck

8. Universal Waite Tarot Deck

9. Mystic Dreamer Tarot Deck

10. Medicine Woman Tarot Deck

What are the basic principles of tarot reading?

1. Listen to your intuition- Take your time with each card and allow your subconscious to guide your interpretation of each image.

2. Become familiar with elemental and numerological correspondences- Consider the astrological sign, season, numerological value, and elemental representation associated with each card. The more familiar you become with these associations, the easier it will become to interpret each card.

3. Take note of the order of cards- If you’re reading for yourself or another person, how the cards are laid out can give a great deal of insight into the areas of life that need attention or where a particular issue began.

4. Consider the card’s placement- Look at how the card has been laid out in relation to other cards, to the left or the right, over or under. This will give clues as to how the issue in question affects other areas of life and how other aspects of life are intertwined.

5. Reflect on the card’s symbolism- Pay attention to the images, colours, and symbols of the card and allow them to speak to you. Each card has a unique message that can give guidance to the querent.

6. Check your interpretation- Once you’ve interpreted a card, review your interpretation and make sure that it resonates with your intuition and the position of the card in the spread.

What is the significance of the Major Arcana in tarot reading?

The Major Arcana (or Triumphs) are a set of 22 cards in a Tarot deck that represent a variety of important life lessons. They reflect essential aspects of human existence, such as difficult choices, spiritual struggles, and growth. In a tarot reading, the Major Arcana can reveal, in an archetypal sense, the universally understood experiences of human life, and the knowledge and wisdom that can be gained from them. They can also act as a gateway to self-discovery and greater awareness of the self and the Cosmos.

What are the meanings of the Major Arcana tarot cards?

The Major Arcana tarot cards are associated with themes such as life lessons, spiritual development, emotional growth and symbolic representation of inner truth. Each card has its own name and rich interpretation, including the Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgment, and World.

Like any type of divination, the meanings of the Major Arcana cards are subjective and may change depending on the situation. In general, the cards are associated with energy and symbols including:

• The Fool: New beginnings, innocence, surprises, open to possibilities

• The Magician: New ideas, creation, manifestation, resourceful

• The High Priestess: Inner wisdom, intuition, mystery, subconscious

• The Empress: Feminine power, fertility, compassion, abundance

• The Emperor: Authority, structure, control, responsibility

• The Hierophant: Tradition, conformity, teachings, beliefs

• The Lovers: Choices, relationships, harmony, commitment

• The Chariot: Willpower, persistence, victory, ambition

• Strength: Courage, inner strength, animal instincts, discipline

• The Hermit: Introspection, guidance, retreat, inner guidance

• The Wheel of Fortune: Cycle of life, destiny, serendipity, good luck

• Justice: Balance, reason, fairness, justice

• The Hanged Man: Sacrifice, letting go, stillness, surrender

• Death: Transformation, endings, freedom, evolution

• Temperance: Balance, moderation, harmony, patience

• The Devil: Temptation, materialism, darkness, denseness

• The Tower: Sudden change, liberation, chaos, shock

• The Star: Hope, inspiration, faith, light

• The Moon: Emotions, illusion, truth, subconscious

• The Sun: Imagination, success, vitality, joy

• Judgment: Awakening, reflection, rebirth, absolution

• The World: Completion, destiny, closure, fulfillment.

What are the names of the Major Arcana tarot cards?

1. The Fool

2. The Magician

3. The High Priestess

4. The Empress

5. The Emperor

6. The Hierophant

7. The Lovers

8. The Chariot

9. Strength

10. The Hermit

11. The Wheel of Fortune

12. Justice

13. The Hanged Man

14. Death

15. Temperance

16. The Devil

17. The Tower

18. The Star

19. The Moon

20. The Sun

21. Judgment

22. The World

What is the traditional order of the Major Arcana tarot cards?

1. The Fool

2. The Magician

3. The High Priestess

4. The Empress

5. The Emperor

6. The Hierophant

7. The Lovers

8. The Chariot

9. Strength

10. The Hermit

11. Wheel of Fortune

12. Justice

13. The Hanged Man

14. Death

15. Temperance

16. The Devil

17. The Tower

18. The Star

19. The Moon

20. The Sun

21. Judgment

22. The World

What do the tarot cards of the Major Arcana represent?

The tarot cards of the Major Arcana represent the larger archetypal themes of life, such as life’s purpose and spiritual growth. Each card symbolizes a specific meaning, such as fortune, power, strength, love, and justice. The cards can also depict various stages of a person’s life, including the past, present and future. They can also be used as a divination tool in order to help a person gain insight into their own life and the forces at play in the world.

What are the 22 Major Arcana in the Tarot?

1. The Fool

2. The Magician

3. The High Priestess

4. The Empress

5. The Emperor

6. The Hierophant

7. The Lovers

8. The Chariot

9. Strength

10. The Hermit

11. Wheel of Fortune

12. Justice

13. The Hanged Man

14. Death

15. Temperance

16. The Devil

17. The Tower

18. The Star

19. The Moon

20. The Sun

21. Judgment

22. The World

What cards make up the Major Arcana in Tarot?

The Major Arcana in Tarot consists of twenty-two cards, often numbered 0-21, and includes the Fool/The Jester, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World.

What is the symbolism behind each Major Arcana in Tarot?

The symbolism behind each Major Arcana in Tarot is said to be a representation of different stages of life, spiritual and physical lessons, and aspects of the human condition. The meanings differ depending on how each card is interpreted, but some core lessons can be identified.

The Magician stands for the power of imagination and will, signifying creativity, innovation, and possibility.

The High Priestess symbolizes divine knowledge, intuition, and wisdom. It can also represent understanding of the collective unconscious.

The Empress stands for creativity, fertility, and abundance.

The Emperor represents structure, logic, order, and power.

The Hierophant symbolizes the need for structure, laws, and traditions to be followed.

The Lovers card stands for the struggle between desire and reason and the struggle between different members of a group.

The Chariot represents progress, motion, strength, and determination.

Strength suggests inner power, courage, and grace.

The Hermit stands for inner reflection and withdrawal from the material world.

The Wheel of Fortune represents the idea that life is unpredictable and ever-changing.

Justice symbolizes fairness, justice, and balance.

The Hanged Man symbolizes surrender, voluntary sacrifice, and letting go of one’s ego.

Death stands for change, transformation, and leaving the old behind.

Temperance is thought to symbolize balance, moderation, and harmony.

The Devil stands for temptation, materialism, and addiction.

The Tower symbolizes a sudden, destructive change.

The Star represents hope, inspiration, and renewal.

The Moon suggests intuition, psychic awareness, and emotional turmoil.

The Sun stands for joy, happiness, and clarity.

Judgement symbolizes a process of self-examination and reflection.

The World stands for wholeness, the attainment of a goal, and the end of a cycle.

What is the meaning of The Fool Tarot card?

The Fool Tarot card is typically interpreted as a representation of new beginnings and a reminder to embrace life’s opportunities with optimism, faith and courage. It symbolizes potential, innocence, naivety and a sense of optimism. The number zero of The Fool Tarot card represents a “spiritual void” – the potential for great transformation or a journey of a lifetime. The main theme of The Fool Tarot card is to take risks, believe in yourself, and make the most of life’s opportunities.

What is the symbolism of The Fool Tarot card?

The Fool Tarot card is a symbol of new beginnings, new opportunities, and a reminder to take risks. It can also signify a time in life when we are open to new experiences, have a sense of trust, and faith in the unknown. The card is a reminder to follow your intuition and trust the process of life. The card shows a barefoot traveler with a bag slung over their shoulder walking confidently towards the edge of a cliff. In one hand they hold a white rose, which symbolizes hope, innocence and trust. The sun shining behind the traveler symbolizes illumination, clarity, and truth. In many tarot decks, there is a small white dog following the traveler, symbolizing loyalty and companionship.

What is the meaning of The Fool Tarot card in a reading?

The Fool Tarot card can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the context of the reading. Generally, it is seen as a card of youthful innocence and a reminder to trust your intuition and free yourself from fear. It can also signify a period of new beginnings, the potential and opportunity that life has to offer, and a willingness to embrace the unknown. The foolish traveler can also represent the querent, a journey of self-discovery or a turning point in life.

What does the reversed Fool Tarot card mean?

The reversed Fool Tarot card often suggests a lack of trust or faith in something. It may indicate a need for greater risk-taking and creativity, a fear of being taken advantage of, or an unwillingness to take risks and venture into uncharted waters. It may suggest a need to reassess your decisions, to understand the risks and rewards of each option, and to prepare thoroughly before making a choice.

What is the significance of the Fool Tarot card reversed?

When the Fool Tarot card is reversed, it can signify a lack of risk-taking, a lack of imagination, or a fear of new beginnings. It can mean that you are clinging too tightly to the past and refusing to take chances and try something new. It can also indicate a lack of progress or stagnation in your life. The card can be a reminder to take a leap of faith and trust yourself to make the right choice.

What are the effects of the Fool reversed in Tarot readings?

The Fool reversed in a Tarot reading can signify a lack of enthusiasm and enthusiasm to take risks, an unwillingness to move forward, a fear of the unknown, stagnation, and a refusal to explore new ideas. It can suggest that a person is stuck in a rut and is too scared to take risks even if it could be beneficial. It may also indicate that a person is not living life to their fullest potential and is not living up to their own expectations.

What does it mean when the Fool card appears reversed in a Tarot reading?

When the Fool card appears reversed in a Tarot reading, it suggests a lack of enthusiasm for life or for taking risks; it can indicate that the querent is tempted to be irresponsible, overly reckless, or to remain in a state of stagnation. This card can also point to a lack of self-confidence or unwillingness to face an inevitable situation. It could also be a warning to take care and proceed cautiously in new situations.

What is the significance of the reversed Fool card in a Tarot reading?

The reversed Fool card typically appears in a Tarot reading to signify someone who is ignoring their intuition and failing to recognize potential opportunities in their life. This card can also indicate recklessness or lack of focus in the individual. The card will often suggest that the individual needs to take responsibility for their actions and make more mindful decisions. The card can also represent an inability to learn from past mistakes.

What does the meaning of the reversed Fool card in a Tarot reading signify?

In a Tarot reading, the reversed Fool card can signify a lack of trust in one’s own instincts and intuition, a reluctance or refusal to take risks, a fear or unwillingness to explore or discover unexplored paths, and an overall lack of enthusiasm or motivation. It may also suggest that a person is too stubborn to see potential opportunities or change in their life. The reversed Fool card may also serve as a warning to proceed cautiously in life and be mindful of any missteps.

What does the reversed Fool card signify in a Tarot card reading?

The reversed Fool card can signify recklessness, difficulty finding one’s direction in life, and a lack of understanding about the consequences of one’s actions. It can also imply a fear of change and a reluctance to take risks. The card may be a warning to take a step back and make more thoughtful decisions before taking any big leaps. In some readings, this card may also indicate a lack of enthusiasm or inspiration.

What is the meaning of the Fool card in Tarot?

The Fool card in Tarot is a symbol of fresh beginnings, innocence, and spontaneity. It can represent taking a risk, embracing change, and trusting the journey. This card can also mean opportunities to explore new creative ideas and uncover greater wisdom. It is often interpreted as signifying a lack of caution and an openness to new possibilities.

What does the Fool’s Journey mean in Tarot?

The Fool’s Journey in Tarot is an allegorical path that traces a person’s spiritual journey towards enlightenment. It is based on the 22 Major Arcana cards of the Tarot deck, which depict archetypal figures and energies that serve to guide the seeker on their path. Through the different stages of the Fool’s Journey, the individual can understand the ways in which their lives have unfolded, and can come to a greater understanding of their purpose. The journey provides insight into the various facets of life, allowing for both understanding and transformation.

What is the pattern of the Fool’s Journey in Tarot?

The Fool’s Journey in Tarot is typically a story arch that follows the progression of the major arcana cards, which in traditional readings are numbered 0 through 21. The journey is seen as a metaphor for the journey of life, with the 0 card being the initial Fool, or innocence, and the 21 card representing enlightenment, completion, or fulfillment. The sequence of cards usually follows a three-part arc– Early Life, Maturity, Enlightenment/Fulfillment, although the interpretation of each card and the events in the story arc can change depending on the reader. As the Fool travels through their journey, they learn more about themselves and their relationships with the world, leading them to a greater understanding and wisdom in the end.

What types of archetypes are featured in the Fool’s Journey?

The Fool’s Journey features a number of different archetypes. These include the innocent innocent Fool, the wise old Sage, the childlike Magician, the temptress Seductress, the powerful Emperor, the loving Empress, the guardians of the Threshold, the symbolically destructive Tower, the Devil figure, the starry-eyed Star, the reflective Moon, the triumphant Sun, the wise Judge, the life-giving World Tree, and the divine Hermit. Additionally, each card offers individual archetypes and symbols, like the cups, swords, pentacles, and coins that offer their own insights and meanings. As the reversed cards are encountered in the journey, the shadow self is explored, allowing the Fool to gain a deeper understanding of their true nature.

What is the connection between the Fool’s Journey and Jung’s archetypes?

The Fool’s Journey is based upon Jung’s archetypes and his work in psychology. This journey is a representation of a person’s life journey, and each of the card’s archetypes corresponds to a different character trait or stage of psychological development. The journey is intended to symbolically illustrate the process of personal growth and self-discovery. Ultimately, the Fool’s Journey is a useful tool for understanding the inner workings of one’s own subconscious and how the archetypes play a role in human behavior.

What archetypes are presented in the Fool’s Journey?

The archetypes typically presented in a Fool’s Journey include the Fool, the Teacher, the Creator, the Lover, the Rebel, the Healer, the Seeker, the Leader, the Visionary, and the Sage.