Hi, there all you magnificently magical peeps!
Welcome to my new tarot card series! I'm super excited that you're here, and hopefully, you'll learn something new. I'm going to post a new class every Wednesday. So be sure to be on the lookout!
This series is going to be on the different tarot cards and their meanings. In it, we'll be covering the upright and reversed meanings. I'm going to talk about the traditional meanings, reading intuitively, and show you how the same card in different decks can end up being interpreted in very different ways.
In this class, we're going to get started with the Major Arcana before moving on the Minor Arcana. Now some of you, if you're super new to Tarot or Divination in any way, may be wondering what the Major and Minor Arcana are. So, here let me give you the rundown on it.
Generally speaking, most standard Tarot decks (not Oracle - that's a whole different can of worms we can talk about later!) are built on a similar system. This standard is based around the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. It was initially published in 1910 and was considered revolutionary in its day and features abundant symbolism that can still be seen in most decks today. Now, decks are usually still based on the same structure and models as the Rider-Waite. Though there is a great deal of them which are simply influenced by the Rider-Waite and not a word for word, picture for picture, redo of the deck.
To be perfectly honest, I don't really care for the old-school Rider-Waite Decks myself. They seem too strict and unbending in their meanings for me. Or maybe it is merely because they have become the standard, and that's all we know them as. Whatever the reason, I have never been successful in separating them from their traditional meanings. I'm a more intuitive reader, so I simply can't connect with them the way I can with my decks. I will say mine, as most today are, are based on the Rider-Waite system. But their imagery, while nodding to the Rider-Waite, is uniquely their own. The connection with your tarot cards is critical in reading Tarot! Please see this post about New Decks and How to Break Them In.
Typically, in your standard deck, you have 78 cards in it. Of these 78, you have 22 of the cards which called the Major Arcana. They represent the more massive broad themes, archetypes, and ideas of our life. They have a tendency to, in my experience, feel more powerful or influential with a far reach. They are also more insistent on being acknowledged and having their advice taken. (Sometimes I feel like I'm being hit over the head with a mallet!) Think big picture when dealing with these cards.
Now, this leaves 56 cards that are known as the Minor Arcana. These cards are then broken down into 4 equal groups, known as suits when dealing with Tarot. The most common names you'll find for these are Swords, Cups, Pentacles, and Wands. The second would possibly be the elements they correspond to. So, Swords would be Air, Cups would be Water, Pentacles would be Earth, and Wands would be Fire. Of course, as long as there are still four suits, the decks' creators can name them anything they want. I have one, my Wildwood Tarot Deck (Willow), and their suit names are Arrows (Air - Swords), Bows (Fire - Wands), Vessels (Water - Cups), and Stones (Earth - Pentacles).
In each of these suits, there are 14 cards. They are made up of the King, Queen, Knight, Page, Ace, and card numbers 2-10. Similar to a playing card deck in their structure. Within the Court cards, the Kings have a tendency to be strong, decisive doers. While the Queens are more connectors of ideas, emotions, and people. Knights serve as catalysts for change, and the young Pages are all about new things, ideas, and fresh beginnings.
The numbered cards in each suit are more detailed and subtle than the others. They lend themselves to really clarifying things for you. If you're into numbers or numerology, that can also help you here. You see, the number cards fall into themes as well.
Aces, like in a playing card deck, are our number 1 card in each suite. In numerology, the 1 is independent, self-sufficient, and determined. In Tarot, the Aces are an explosion of energy and ideas. They're primal and a driving force for their suits. See how they go together? 2's are all about relationships, harmony, and balance. 3's are about positive thinking, creative self-expression, and communication. With 4's, think foundation, structure, and security. 5's bring change and personal freedom, sometimes through loss or chaos. 6's are all about those nurturing, protective, and healing vibes. With 7's, you have contemplation, spirituality, and seeking wisdom. 8's deal with inner-strength, evolution, and gaining knowledge. 9's are about humanity, global awareness, compassion, and self-awareness. 10's are about completion, unity, and infinite potential. Numerology and Tarot really go hand in hand, in my opinion, but you don't have to remember all of that. Or even study numerology to any degree. It's just helpful to remember sometimes, especially if you're having trouble with a card.
Make no mistake, these cards are no less powerful than the Major Arcana. They just happen to be less broad and all-encompassing. The switch-off for this is that they become detailed and precise with the ability to really clarify and drive home what you need to know.
And that my dears, is your rather general overview of tarot decks. I'll explain all the cards in detail as we reach them. Next Wednesday, we'll be starting our journey through the cards themselves, beginning with the first Major Arcana Card #0 The Fool. So, be sure to stay tuned in to check that out. Remember to keep positive and stay safe out there!
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