What Is Tarot – A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Tarot

Tarot. A simple five-letter word that invokes a world of mystery, symbolism, and divination. Tarot cards, for centuries, have been shrouded in a mystique that is both enchanting and daunting. This comprehensive guide intends to …

What Is Tarot - A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Tarot

Tarot. A simple five-letter word that invokes a world of mystery, symbolism, and divination. Tarot cards, for centuries, have been shrouded in a mystique that is both enchanting and daunting. This comprehensive guide intends to bring Tarot’s beauty and profound insights into the limelight. We will delve into its historical origins, its intricate symbolism, the art of tarot reading, and how it can serve as a tool for personal growth. In doing so, we want to demystify Tarot and help you appreciate its depth and relevance to everyday life.

What Is Tarot - A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Tarot

Historical Background of Tarot

Origins of Tarot

Tracing the origins of Tarot brings us back to 15th-century Italy, where the first known tarot decks were created. The original Tarot was not intended for divination. Rather, they were artistic endeavours, often used as playing cards. These early decks, rich in religious and philosophical symbolism, soon became popular in various parts of Europe.

Evolution of Tarot

Over centuries, the Tarot has evolved, incorporating elements from different cultures and philosophies. The 18th century witnessed the Tarot’s emergence as a divinatory tool, thanks to French occultists like Antoine Court de Gébelin and Etteilla. They connected the Tarot with ancient Egyptian lore, the Kabbalah, and other mystical systems, making it a central tool in Western esoteric traditions.

Connection with Religion, Spirituality, and Psychology

The Tarot’s symbols are deeply intertwined with many religions and spiritual paths. For instance, Major Arcana’s Fool’s Journey parallels the Christian concept of salvation or the Buddhist path to enlightenment. The Tarot’s psychological dimensions, emphasized by Carl Jung, illustrate its connection to our subconscious minds. The Tarot is not just about predicting the future. It’s a mirror reflecting our deepest selves.

Understanding Tarot Decks

Structure of a Tarot Deck

A standard tarot deck contains There are 78 cards in total, categorized The tarot deck is divided into two groups:The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, while the Minor Arcana contains 56 cards. Major Arcana cards are a part of this set. or “greater secrets,” represent significant life events and spiritual lessons. The Minor Arcana, or “lesser secrets,” details everyday situations and human experiences.

A Brief Explanation of the 78 Cards

Each card carries a unique meaning. For example, Major Arcana’s Fool signifies new beginnings, while Death represents transformation. The Minor Arcana, divided into four suits (Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands), relate to different aspects of human life, such as emotions (Cups), material world (Pentacles), intellectual sphere (Swords), and actions or ambitions (Wands).

Different Types of Tarot Decks

Numerous tarot decks are available, each with its unique artwork and symbolism. The Rider-Waite-Smith deck, created in the early 20th century, is often recommended for beginners due to its clear symbolism. The Thoth deck, developed by Aleister Crowley, delves deeper into astrological, kabbalistic, and Egyptian themes. One of the oldest, the Marseille deck is admired for its raw and potent imagery.

The Art and Symbolism in Tarot

Importance of Symbolism in Interpreting Tarot Cards

Symbols serve as a language that connects our conscious thoughts with subconscious intuition. Each tarot card is a repository of symbols, each conveying nuanced meanings. Thus, understanding symbolism is crucial for effective tarot interpretation.

Common Symbols in Tarot and Their Meanings

Tarot cards abound in symbolic imagery: animals, objects, colours, numbers, celestial bodies, and more. For instance, water often signifies emotions and intuition, while a lion may symbolize strength and courage. Each card’s symbology must be considered within its broader context to comprehend its message fully.

Role of Color and Number Symbolism

Colour symbolism imbues Tarot with additional layers of meaning. Red could suggest passion or anger, while blue might hint at calm or truth. Numerology also plays a key role in Tarot, with each number carrying specific energies and concepts. One represents beginnings and unity, while two often signify balance or choices.

Reading Tarot Cards

Preparing for a Tarot Reading

Preparation involves creating a serene environment, grounding yourself, and shuffling the deck while focusing on your question. This concentration and energy transfer help align the cards with your query’s vibrational frequency.

Phrasing Questions

The art of Tarot lies in asking the right questions.It’s recommended to ask open-ended questions instead of ones that only require a yes or no response. ones seeking definite predictions. For instance, “What do I need to focus on right now?” or “How can I improve my relationship with X?”

Different Tarot Spreads

There are countless tarot spreads, each suited to different types of inquiries. The Three-Card Spread is perfect for straightforward questions, the Celtic Cross for complex issues, and the Horseshoe Spread for broader perspectives.

Interpreting a Tarot Spread

Interpretation involves understanding each card’s meaning in its position within the spread, relating it to the question asked, and then intuitively linking all the cards to craft a narrative. Practice and intuition are your best guides in this journey.

Myths and Misconceptions about Tarot

Debunking Common Tarot Myths

Tarot doesn’t predict a fixed future, nor is it inherently evil. These are common myths stemming from misunderstandings or fear. Tarot is a tool for insight and guidance, and like any tool, its use depends on the user’s intentions.

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Clarifying What Tarot Can and Can’t Do

Tarot doesn’t make decisions for you or provide definitive predictions. It offers perspectives and suggests potential outcomes based on current energies. The true power of Tarot lies in its ability to inspire self-reflection and help you navigate life more mindfully.

Ethical Considerations

Reading Tarot requires respect for the querent’s feelings and privacy. Honesty, empathy, and discretion are paramount. Also, remember that Tarot doesn’t replace professional help in medical, legal, or psychological matters.

Using Tarot for Personal Growth

Tarot for Self-Reflection and Personal Development

Tarot can serve as a personal growth tool, shedding light on subconscious thoughts, emotional blocks, and life patterns. By acting as a mirror, Tarot encourages introspection, promoting self-understanding and growth.

Tarot for Decision-Making, Understanding Emotions

Tarot can guide you in decision-making, not by telling you what to do but by showing you the potential consequences of each choice. It can help unearth suppressed emotions, providing clarity and therapeutic insights.

Real-Life Stories

Countless individuals have found Tarot beneficial in their personal journeys. Stories abound of individuals who’ve used Tarot to navigate career changes, relationships, or personal crises, thereby attaining greater self-awareness and wisdom.

What is the Tarot Used For?

The Tarot is a versatile tool utilized for a variety of purposes. Primarily, it’s used for gaining insight into personal questions or situations. It’s a tool for self-reflection, decision-making, meditation, spiritual growth, and even for sparking creativity. Tarot is not about predicting a predetermined future but about exploring the energies and patterns shaping our lives. Understanding our subconscious thoughts and feelings can be greatly aided with its help., giving us the knowledge we need to make empowered choices.

Is it Good to Read Tarot Cards?

Reading tarot cards can be an enriching experience. It’s like conversing with your inner self, helping you understand your feelings, behaviours, and patterns better. Tarot readings can illuminate hidden aspects of a situation, providing guidance and clarity. It’s important to remember, however, that tarot cards are not meant to replace professional advice in areas such as medical, legal, or psychological matters.

How Accurate is Tarot Reading?

Tarot reading accuracy depends on various factors, such as the reader’s skill, the querent’s openness, and the question’s appropriateness. Tarot doesn’t predict a set future but offers potential outcomes based on current energies and patterns. It’s a tool for self-discovery, exploration, and guidance, not an infallible predictor of the future.

What is the Meaning of Tarot?

At its core, Tarot is a system of symbols representing universal human experiences and spiritual journeys. It’s a mirror that reflects our inner world and helps us understand our outer world better. Each tarot card carries a unique set of meanings based on its imagery, symbolism, and position within the tarot structure. Tarot, therefore, is a language of symbols that communicates the wisdom of our collective unconscious.

Who Created Tarot Cards?

The first known tarot cards originated in 15th-century Italy, intended for gameplay. The specific creators of these initial decks are unknown. However, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, perhaps the most popular today, was created by occult scholar Arthur Edward Waite, illustrator Pamela Colman Smith, and publisher William Rider in the early 20th century.

Why is it Called Tarot?

The term “tarot” possibly derives from the Italian “tarocchi,” the name for a card game played with tarot decks in the 15th century. Some speculate that “tarot” could have Arabic or Egyptian roots, but these theories lack substantial evidence.

Can Anyone Do you want to learn how to read tarot cards? It’s possible for anyone to do so!It doesn’t require psychic abilities. Reading Tarot is about understanding the symbols on the cards and interpreting their meanings in the context of the question or situation at hand. With practice, study, and a willingness to tap into one’s intuition, anyone can become proficient in tarot reading.

When was Tarot First Used?

Tarot was first used in the mid-15th century in parts of Europe as a card game. It was only during the 18th century that Tarot began to be used for divination and esoteric purposes.

How to do First Tarot Reading?

Doing your first tarot reading can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Begin by choosing a simple spread, like the three-card spread. Shuffle your deck while focusing on your question or situation. Draw the cards, lay them out, and then interpret each card’s meaning in relation to its position in the spread and the question asked.

Can You Read Your Own Tarot Cards?

Absolutely! Reading your own tarot cards can be a powerful self-reflection and decision-making tool. It allows you to tap into your intuition and uncover insights about your personal journey. However, it’s important to remain objective and open-minded when reading for yourself, which can sometimes be challenging.

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How Many Tarot Cards Are There?

A standard tarot deck is composed of 78 cards.These are divided into the Major Arcana, comprising 22 cards representing significant life themes, and the Minor Arcana, consisting of 56 cards depicting everyday experiences.

How Many Cards Are in a Tarot Reading?

The number of cards in a tarot reading depends on the Tarot spread being used. A spread can range from a simple one-card pull to more complex spreads like the Celtic Cross, which uses ten cards.

How to Study Tarot?

Studying Tarot involves learning the meanings of the 78 cards, understanding the symbolism involved, and practising different tarot spreads. Begin with one card a day, exploring its meanings and symbols. You can use tarot books or online resources for reference. The key is to be patient with yourself and allow your understanding and intuition to develop over time.

How do I Read Tarot Cards?

Reading tarot cards involves:

  • Understanding the symbolic meanings of the cards.
  • Asking open-ended questions.
  • Selecting a spread.
  • Drawing the cards.
  • Interpreting the cards in the context of the question and spread.

It requires a blend of knowledge, intuition, and practice. Being open-minded, empathetic, and respectful during the reading process is important.

How do you Activate Tarot Cards?

Activating tarot cards, also known as cleansing or charging them, is a way to imbue them with your energy or clear them of unwanted energies. This can be done in several ways, such as by leaving them in moonlight, using smoke from sage or incense, or simply shuffling them with intention. Activation helps to enhance the connection between you and your deck, facilitating more accurate and intuitive readings.


Through this exploration of Tarot, we’ve journeyed through its historical evolution, dived into the depths of its symbolic richness, grasped the basics of tarot reading, debunked common misconceptions, and seen its potential as a tool for personal growth. As we’ve discovered, the Tarot is far more than a fortune-telling device—it’s a profound instrument of self-discovery and personal evolution. Dive deeper, explore more.


1. What is a Tarot Deck?

A tarot deck consists of 78 cards. divided into the Major Arcana (22) and the Minor Arcana (56). Each card carries a unique symbolic meaning and corresponds to various human experiences and life stages. There are many types of tarot decks, each with its own artwork and symbolism.

2. Can Tarot Predict the Future?

Tarot does not predict a predetermined future. Instead, it offers insights into current energies and patterns and suggests potential outcomes based on the present situation. Tarot provides guidance and encourages self-reflection rather than giving definitive predictions.

3. Is Tarot Reading Safe?

Yes, tarot reading is safe. It is a tool for self-reflection, exploration, and guidance. However, it’s important to approach tarot readings with an open mind and to use the insights for personal growth and understanding rather than as absolute answers or predictions.

4. How Often Should I Get a Tarot Reading?

The frequency of tarot readings depends on individual needs and preferences. Some people have a tarot reading daily for guidance or reflection, while others might seek reading only during significant life changes or challenges.

5. What is a Tarot Spread?

A tarot spread is a specific arrangement of cards drawn in a tarot reading. Each position in the spread corresponds to a different aspect of the question or situation. There are numerous tarot spreads, each suited to different questions or issues.

6. How Can I Learn Tarot Reading?

Learning tarot reading involves studying the meanings and symbolism of the tarot cards, practising different spreads, and developing your intuition. Many resources include books, online courses, workshops, and more. The key is consistent practice and patience.

7. Do I Need Psychic Abilities to Read Tarot?

No, you do not need psychic abilities to read Tarot. Tarot reading is about understanding the symbols on the cards and how they relate to your life or the question at hand. While intuition plays a crucial role in Tarot reading is a skill that someone can possess. developed with practice.

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