How to Pronounce Tarot Cards: A Simple Guide for Beginners

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards are a powerful tool for individuals to explore their spirituality and gain insight into their lives. They are an ancient tool used for divination, dating back to the 14th century. The cards consist of an illustrated deck of 78 cards, divided into the Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (56 cards). Each card has a specific message that can help people to answer their questions and provide clarity on any matter.

Importance of Pronouncing Tarot Cards

Knowing how to pronounce the names of Tarot cards is an essential part of understanding the meaning of each card. In addition to providing insight into the message of the card, pronouncing them correctly also demonstrates respect for their historical significance and cultural roots, as well as for the reader themselves.

The names of the cards are mostly derived from the languages of old European cultures, including French, Italian, and Latin. Knowing how to pronounce the words correctly will allow you to feel more connected with the cards, and open up a new understanding of their messages.

Basic Principles for Pronouncing Tarot Cards

The following are some basic tips for correctly pronouncing the names of Tarot cards:

Accentuate the Correct Syllable

One of the most important things to remember when pronouncing Tarot cards is to emphasize the correct syllable. This is especially important in words that are derived from languages other than English, as they often have several syllables which require emphasis. For example, the pronunciation of the card ‘The Tower’, in Latin, is “teh TOH-wah”: the emphasis should be on the second syllable.

Sound Out Words Slowly

If you are finding it difficult to pronounce a particular card, try sounding it out slowly. This can help to break the word down into individual syllables, making it easier to figure out the correct pronunciation. The Latin words for ‘Strength’, is “VAHL-kohs”, so when pronouncing the card, sound out each syllable slowly: “VAHL-kohs”.

Practise Makes Perfect

Finally, the best way to ensure that you are pronouncing the names of Tarot cards correctly is to practise. You can purchase or print out a copy of the cards and practise reading them aloud several times until you become familiar with their proper pronunciation.

Examples of Commonly Mispronounced Tarot Cards

There are a few cards which are commonly mispronounced and can be difficult to get right. Here are some examples of commonly mispronounced cards and their correct pronunciation:

The Fool (Latin: “Vi-wa-lee”)

The Fool is one of the most commonly mispronounced cards in the Tarot. The correct pronunciation of this card is “Vi-wa-lee”.

The Empress (Latin: “eh-mire-ee”)

The Empress is a card of feminine power and creativity, so it is important to get the pronunciation right. The correct pronunciation of this card is “eh-mire-ee”.

The Chariot (Greek: “kee-ree-oh”)

The Chariot is another card which is commonly mispronounced. The correct pronunciation of this card is “kee-ree-oh”.


Knowing how to pronounce the names of Tarot cards is a crucial part of understanding their meanings and exploring their spiritual significance. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you can now confidently pronounce the names of Tarot cards and gain a new level of insight into their messages.
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What are the Meanings of the Tarot Cards?

Tarot card meanings vary greatly depending on the style of tarot being used. Popular tarot decks have pre-determined meanings for each card which are traditionally used as a guide when interpreting a tarot reading. Generally speaking, tarot cards can represent many things including archetypes, symbols, and spiritual messages. Common tarot card themes include: life cycles, decision making, struggle and achievement, spiritual growth, and psychological awareness. Ultimately, tarot card meanings are up to the reader’s own interpretation.

What is the symbolism of different Tarot cards?

The symbolism of Tarot cards varies by card. However, some symbolic themes, such as those representing life cycles, are common to many cards in the Tarot deck. The Fool, for example, is the card of new beginnings, innocence, risk-taking, and trusting the unknown. The Magician is often associated with creativity and transformation, as well as the use of power and influence in our lives. The High Priestess is said to represent intuition, inner wisdom, and the greater spiritual realm. The Hermit is symbolic of introspection, meditation, and searching for truth. The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes change, fortune, and cycles of life. The Tower speaks of sudden disruption and unexpected upheaval. The Moon is the card of secrets, the subconscious, and emotional depths.

What is the significance of the major Arcana cards in the Tarot?

The Major Arcana cards in the Tarot represent major life lessons and spiritual or psychological archetypes. Each card has a distinct meaning and can represent different stages in a person’s personal journey. In some readings, they can represent current events, such as the Lovers card representing a love affair or the Death card signifying ending of a stage in life. Other interpretations of the cards portray the spiritual journey, creativity, and destiny that accompany us all throughout life. The cards are powerful tools of divination, often used to gain insight on a person’s current situation and provide guidance for the future.