As you will find out on the upcoming Tarot Tuesday, I did not study anything about tarot cards prior to choosing some and reading them. I simply dove in and dabbled around the internet to make sense of the cards.
This is not necessarily a bad method of exploration. What ended up happening was a more targeted avenue toward specific questions I came upon as I studied my cards. This in turn directed my path toward a whole pile of online sources which I was able to accept or reject. Let it be known that in the month I’ve studied tarots, I’ve condensed my go-to list of tarot sources significantly. I know what I like and what speaks to me, so that’s what I stick with now.
One thing I discovered right from the get-go was how little I knew about the actual deck of cards. So today’s tarot supplement is a general description of the cards.
Note: there is an interesting history about tarot cards, their origins, and how they became known in the contemporary world as Rider-Waite cards.
The full deck of tarot cards
There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. They are divided into two parts: Major Arcana and Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana cards consist of 22 cards numbered from 0 to 21 (or 0 to XXI). These are the destiny cards, the trumps.
When a Major Arcana card comes up for you, it usually points at something significant in your life, something you can’t overlook.
The Major Arcana cards have some cool names. The Fool, the Empress, the Chariot, the High Priestess, Judgement, Death…you can google the complete list if you wish.
The Minor Arcana cards consist of four suits which are numbered the same as a traditional playing card deck – from Ace to King:
- Wands (clubs ♣ )
- Pentacles (diamonds ♦ )
- Cups (hearts ♥ )
- Swords (spades ♠ )
These cards represent the daily life events, although it’s important to remember they depict an idea, not an actual event.
There are many sub-lessons about each of these cards in the Major and Minor Arcana but you don’t have to memorize them. This isn’t math class with its pesky multiplication table, or French class with its annoying verb conjugation. 😀
I’ll give you a glimpse of my first day choosing a series of tarot cards.
Day 1 – my first three tarot cards
When I picked my first three cards on the first day of my journey (which was on April 17, several weeks ago), I discovered I picked two Major Arcana cards and one Minor Arcana card.
The Chariot and the Empress are both Major Arcana cards, and the Five of Swords in reverse position is a Minor Arcana card.
I won’t dive into all the details and meaning today, but if you’re interested in my interpretations, tune in on Tarot Tuesdays and we’ll discuss these, and other things, then.
As you noticed, the Minor Arcana card appeared upside down. There is a whole thing on this topic which I will elaborate on another time.
But for today, we have an introduction. If you have a set of tarot cards, and some time on your hands, take them out and place them on the table in front of you. Then, sort them according to the Major and Minor Arcanas. Have a good look at them – this will serve you when we begin to play and actually read them.
Thank you for stopping by today! See you in the comments.
More on Tarots here