How do tarot cards work?

Many people are of the misconception that tarot cards are used to predict the future. In fact their purpose is not to make predictions. They are instead used by some people to gain an insight about themselves or to aid them in making choices or answering questions.

A deck of tarot cards generally contains 78 cards and each of these cards holds a specific meaning. Although the images on different tarot card decks change the meanings all remain the same.

A standard pack of tarot cards is made up of two different parts called the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana is divided into four suits; wands, swords, cups and circles or pentacles. Each of these cards represents a specific approach to life and aspects of daily ups and the downs. The Major Arcana tarot cards are not in suits. They represent longer term and bigger events in life and include picture cards representing principles, concepts and ideals.

The person that the reading is being done for will have a question or an area in mind that they need guidance on. The tarot cards will be shuffled and then laid out in a pattern called a ‘spread’, there are many different ‘spreads’ and the one used will depend on the question being asked or the type of advice or insight needed and the preference of the person the reading is being done for.

Each card position in the spread has a meaning and once the tarot cards have all been laid out the meaning of the card placements is then read. The meanings are interpreted based on which card is in which position and what its neighbouring cards are. The position in which the card falls shows which area of life a card is speaking about, it also indicates whether you are speaking about the past, present or future.

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