Tarot Card Meaning: Exploring Symbolism and Interpretation

Introduction to Tarot

Tarot cards are a centuries-old form of divination, used to gain insight into various aspects of our lives. The meanings of each card are highly symbolic, and tapping into and understanding the symbolism is the key to properly interpret tarot card readings.

The Structure of a Tarot Deck

A tarot deck consists of seventy-eight cards, divided into two sections. The first section is known as the Minor Arcana, which contains fifty-six cards divided into four suits. Just like a regular deck of playing cards, each suit is associated with a particular element and contains fourteen cards. They range from Ace to King, with additional court cards named Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The second section is known as the Major Arcana and contains twenty-two cards. Unlike the Minor Arcana, each card in the Major Arcana has its own symbol and meaning.

Symbolism in Tarot

The tarot symbols are imbued with meaning derived from various sources, from traditional European imagery and folklore to the Hermetic and Kabbalistic traditions of the Middle Ages. Each card in the deck is said to represent an archetype, each with different associated meanings and interpretations. In addition to this, each suit in the Minor Arcana is associated with particular elements, characteristics, and traits, adding further nuance to the symbolism of the cards.

Interpreting a Tarot Reading

Interpreting a tarot reading begins by understanding the various symbols and meanings of the cards. It is important to consider the different cards laid out in the tarot spread as a whole. The individual meanings of each card must be combined with the other cards, and interpreted in reference to one another. The number of cards used in the tarot spread, as well as the orientation of the cards, must also be taken into consideration.


Tarot cards are steeped in rich symbolism and meaning. Each card is thought to represent an archetype, and understanding the symbolism of each card is an essential part of interpreting a tarot reading. By combining the individual meanings of the cards, as well as considering the structure of the tarot spread, we can gain a clearer picture of the messages the tarot cards are conveying.
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What is the difference between Tarot Card meanings and regular card games?

Tarot card meanings are a system of divination that uses specialised cards with symbolic imagery to obtain insights about the future. A deck of Tarot cards is generally composed of 78 cards divided into two groups: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 highly symbolic cards, each with its own unique divinatory meaning. The Minor Arcana includes 56 cards divided into four suits (Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands) and used to answer more specific questions. Regular card games rely on randomly arranged cards of various suits, ranks, and numbers to create a game for two or more players. The ultimate goal of regular card games is to beat the other players at the table by playing the right combination of cards.

What is the purpose of Tarot Cards?

The purpose of Tarot cards is to use them as a tool for self-exploration and understanding. They can provide insights into our inner worlds, helping us gain perspective on our lives, our goals, and our relationships. They can also be used to work through difficult decisions and find creative solutions to challenging problems. While some people use Tarot to predict future events and occurrences, the main purpose of reading Tarot cards is to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our lives.