How to read tarot cards

How to read tarot cards

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Tarot is one of the most popular divination practices, and though occultists have been drawing the allegorical cards for centuries, illustrated decks are now popping up all over. The intrinsic aestheticism of this ancient art has revitalized interest in tarot, and after seeing so many tarot readings over on TikTok, perhaps you're ready to start your own practice. After all, tarot manicures are even a thing.

Despite its ubiquity, though, the art can still seem elusive and confusing. What exactly is tarot? What do the cards mean and how are they used? Don't fret: The fundamentals are easy to understand. Here's what every beginner should know about the history of tarot, as well as tips and tricks for kick-starting your unique practice.

Where does tarot come from?

Surprisingly, it is a relatively modern craft. Though tarot decks date back to the 1400s, pictorial cards were originally used for games rather than prediction. Cartomancy, or fortune-telling through the use of playing cards, actually wasn't developed until 1785, when French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette — known by his pseudonym, Etteilla, the inversion of his surname — created comprehensive links between illustrated cards, astrology, and ancient Egyptian lore.

Over the next century, mystics and philosophers continued to expand the role of tarot. In the late 1890s, several London-based occultists formed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one of the groups responsible for the modern magical revival. Two of the group's founders, husband and wife MacGregor and Moina Maters, wrote a manual that detailed tarot's symbolic power, entitled Book T.

The World, the Wheel of Fortune, and the Sun are all Major Arcana cards.

In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith designed and published a tarot deck loosely based on the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This timeless deck is commonly known as the Rider-Waite deck and is still the most popular tarot variant for both beginner and professional card readers. In 1943, occultist Aleister Crowley (the self-declared nemesis of Arthur Edward Waite) and Lady Frieda Harris published their own interpretation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's tarot. Their Thoth deck, named after the Egyptian god of alphabets, incorporates specific astrological symbolism into each card, linking the divination practice to the cosmos.

What's the difference between the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana cards?

Let's talk about the structure of the deck and the meanings of its cards. Any magical practice — tarot, astrology, or spell work — is based on the Hermetic axiom "as above, so below." In other words, the macrocosm of the cosmos is reflected in the microcosm of individual experience. Accordingly, the entire universe exists within a tarot deck, with each card representing a person, place, or event. These symbols are depicted in both the Major Arcana cards, which speak to greater secrets, and the Minor Arcana cards, which speak to lesser secrets.

The Major Arcana cards represent monumental, groundbreaking influences. They punctuate our journeys and each stands alone as a powerful message, representing life-changing motions that define the beginnings or ends of cycles. These dynamic cards appear during major transitions, signaling distinctive moments of transformation. The cards are numbered to represent stations within our greater journey through life; their chronological order reveals the passing of time.

The Minor Arcana cards, on the other hand, reflect everyday matters. These cards showcase ordinary people engaging in mundane activities, such as dancing, drinking, sleeping, or quarreling. They suggest action that is triggered by human behaviors and appear during gentle transitions that may be temporary or have only minor influence.

The Swords card is among the Minor Arcana cards.

(Photo: Getty Images)

How many tarot cards are there?

The Minor Arcana cards are broken up into four suits, each containing ten numbered cards and four court cards. In the Minor Arcana, the card's number reveals the stage of an event: The ace card represents the beginning, while the 10 symbolizes the end. Similarly, the progression of the court cards demonstrates our understanding of circumstances on an individual level, representing either personality types or actual people. The Page (or Princess, in some decks), Knight, Queen, and King interpret circumstances with increasing levels of understanding and wisdom.

The suits (Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups) correspond to their own unique areas of life and astrological elements. Wands symbolize passion and inspiration (corresponding with the fire element), Pentacles represent money and physical realities (corresponding with the earth element), Swords depict intellectual intrigues (corresponding with the air element), and Cups illustrate emotional matters (corresponding with the water element). These suits reveal which spheres of influence are being activated, offering guidance on how to best manage any circumstances at hand.

How can I get started reading the cards?

Together, the Major and Minor Arcana cards create a comprehensive pictorial language. It is important to remember that all the answers we seek exist innately within the deck, with each card illustrating a person, circumstance, or potential outcome. Since there are no secret puzzles or hidden agendas with tarot, the ability to discern meaning lies within your own narrative interpretation.

Before any reading, be sure to shuffle (or "clear") the deck. This deliberate gesture should become a meditation. Feel the physicality of the cards in your hand, visualizing your question. If you're reading for another person, use this reflective moment to get to the root of their situation and help you formulate specific queries for them. Take as long as you need. Clearing the deck is a critical first step in reading tarot cards, as it opens the pathway between spiritual dimensions. Whenever you're ready, cut the cards into three and reorder the pile, face down. On your favorite cloth (be precious with your tarot deck), prepare to pull cards for your tarot "spread."

What are the different tarot card spreads?

The "three-card spread" is one of the most simple and effective tarot spreads. You can adjust the categories to accommodate any situation (past, present, future; yourself, the other person, the relationship; opportunities, challenges, outcomes; mind, body, spirit). The cards and their corresponding positions will effortlessly expose bonds and dynamics. But before reading the straightforward explanation of each card, take a moment to create your own story based on observation. How do the cards you drew make you feel? What are the colors and symbols? If there are characters, are they facing towards or away from each other? Do the illustrations seem cohesive or disjointed?

How to read tarot cards

You can drive yourself nuts trying to learn all the spreads, study multiple guidebooks, and learn “the right” meaning of each of the 78 cards in your Tarot deck!

To make matters worse, your guidebooks probably have different (and sometimes contradictory) card interpretations, there are a whole bunch of reading techniques, you’re getting bogged down in complex esoteric systems and language that’s more than a little “out there,” and can someone just show you how to make sense of the Tower card and the Ace of Wands, already?!

I get it. Because I used to feel like that too.

But learning Tarot doesn’t have to be hard, complicated or stressful.

If you’re just starting to learn Tarot, I’ve got your back. Here are my top tips on how to read Tarot cards for beginners.

By the way, I created this free PDF resource to help you create accurate and insightful Tarot readings every time you consult the Tarot cards – 7 steps!

1. Choose a Tarot deck

How to read tarot cards

I know it would be easy just to say to you, “Just go and get the Rider-Waite deck, and be done with it.” Half of me kind of feels that way, but I also want to honour and acknowledge that we all have different styles. Different Tarot decks are going to resonate with us in different ways, and it’s really important to connect with that and find the deck that is right for you.

Just know that there is no perfect answer here, and ultimately, you do need to find that deck that feels good for you.

That said, look for a good learning deck. If this is your first Tarot deck, you want to make sure it’s a deck that you can learn with and that’s going to make your learning process easy and enjoyable as well. Think about things like the pictures, the imagery in the card, that you can understand it quite quickly, as well as once you start to go deeper with learning about the Tarot, then you can go much, much further with your studies.

Choose a deck that you do resonate with visually, energetically, and make sure that you have that opportunity to go through the cards and check in how you’re resonating with the deck.

If you want to go a little deeper, I just recorded an entire podcast episode on how to choose your first Tarot deck. You can check that out at biddytarot.com/68 and download the free PDF checklist to help you choose your first Tarot deck.

2. Familiarise yourself with the cards

How to read tarot cards

Photo credit: www.beingerin.com

Literally just go through your cards one by one, and spend some time with each card.

Flip over the first card and just gaze at the images in this card.

  • What do you notice?
  • What comes through to you?
  • What do you see first?

It might be a symbol. You might hear something. You might feel something in your body. You might start to see almost a story coming out through that particular card.

Now, you don’t have to do anything with that information. This is just about connecting in with each of your cards.

Spend three or four minutes with each card. Just really drink it in, take in the imagery, the energy of the card, and just become familiar with those cards. Then pick up the second card and do it all again, until you’ve started to work your way all the way through your deck.

3. Do a daily Tarot card reading

How to read tarot cards

The best way to learn Tarot and to create a personal connection with the cards is to simply draw a card each day.

Ask the Tarot each day, “What energy do I need to focus on today?” and proactively manifest that energy throughout your day.

Or, ask the Tarot, “What might I experience today?” At the end of the day, match up what happened throughout the day and what you know of the Tarot card you drew.

Over time, your ‘bank’ of personal experiences with the Tarot will grow and grow.

4. Do a 3-card reading

How to read tarot cards

Nearly every Tarot beginner book includes the Celtic Cross Tarot spread. It’s a beautiful spread, but at 10 cards, it’s not a great place to start for the Tarot beginner.

Instead, use simple 3 card Tarot spreads. You’ll be pleasantly surprised about how much insight you can gain from even just a 3-card reading.

To start, create a sacred space – whatever that means for you. Maybe you get out your crystals, turn on some soothing music, and burn some incense.

Then, ask your question. Next, shuffle and lay out your cards (here is a link to some of my favourite 3-card spreads).

When you read the cards, pay attention to the images. What story are they telling you? Keep in mind — that story might be different that the textbook meaning. Really feel into that story to get the best intuitive hits.

Make sure you record your reading in your Tarot journal and commit to one action to manifest your goals.

You could be reading Tarot more confidently in just a few weeks if you do this!

When I first started learning to read Tarot more than twenty years ago, I kept trying to memorise the meanings of individual cards.

Maybe you’re trying to do that now, too.

I did everything I could think of to get the meanings to stick in my head. I tried writing out meanings. I tried flash cards. I tried ‘quizzing’ myself when I looked at a card, and then looking at my meanings book to see if I got it right.

No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t remember all the card meanings.

I felt discouraged. I felt like a failure. I felt like a fraud.

Until one day, I heard a little voice in my head say, “Hey Brigit, let’s try something different.”

Over the years, I started to create my own way of relating to and understanding the cards. I experimented with trusting my ‘still, small voice’ within as a guide. But most of all, I let go of trying to memorise the cards, and focused on finding techniques that freed me to interpret them, using my unique inner wisdom.

Download this free PDF resource to discover the 7 steps to creating accurate and insightful Tarot readings every time you consult the Tarot cards!

Reading playing cards is known as cartomancy. Did you realize that each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history? Spades = King David; Clubs = Alexander the Great; Hearts = Charlemagne; and Diamonds = Julius Caesar.

Reading with playing cards is easy because the tarot layouts and divinatory meanings are easy to adapt to reading regular playing cards. Clubs = Wands, Hearts = Cups, Diamonds = Coins, and Spades = Swords. To do a reading, simply shuffle and cut in your usual method, and deal the spread of your choice.

Here is one method:

Begin by separating the Kings or the Queens from the deck. Lay them side by side in this order: Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades. Assign a name of someone you are involved with or interested in to each card. You can choose Unknown for the leftover cards. Put the cards back in the deck, shuffle, and ask a question.

Deal out the remaining cards face up, laying them out one at a time. Proceed across four stacks and return to the beginning if required. Your question is answered when you deal a matching suit on one of the Kings or Queens. Ask another question and start laying down cards from the beginning of the row again, stopping again when a suit matches a King or Queen. After all of the cards have been dealt, pick up each stack and count the number of cards of each suit. Hearts denote love, clubs indicate vitality and liveliness, diamonds indicate money, and spades show contemplation and thought. The more you have of one suit indicates the predominant influence or the potential of that relationship. Look up the meanings of the cards on the reference chart for a deeper understanding.

Clubs (Wands)

How to read tarot cards

Ace: the beginning of achievements, professional success, the power to make things happen
King: dark haired man, honest, open, generous and faithful
Queen: dark haired woman, strong, helpful, attractive, nice woman, inclined to be temperamental
Jack: a reliable friend, sincere but impatient
10: unexpected good fortune with bad loss, imprisonment
9: a new romance, disputes with friends, endurance and strength
8: fast or sudden occurence of the matter at hand
7: honor, uphill battle, prosperity in opposition, chance of romantic interference
6: business success, profitable business in partnership
5: opposition from friends or associates, quarreling, strife, failure of project due to friends
4: fulfillment, solidification, crystalization, completion
3: good marriage or partnership, long engagement, and then a fast wedding
2: ownership and territory, the desire to possess

Hearts (Cups)

How to read tarot cards

Ace: the beginning of love, friendship, the home and distinct happiness
King: fair haired man, affectionate, generous, impetuous, honest man, hasty in decisions, not to be relied upon for advice
Queen: fair haired woman, trustworthy, faithful loving woman, gentle & pleasing
Jack: fair haired young person, good friend, a close (or long lost) friend
10: instability of extreme brooding passion, an overfilled heart spilling over
9: the ‘wish card’, dreams and desires will come true, good fortune, happiness, good news
8: invitations, but also partings, parties or celebrations
7: someone is unreliable, lust, debauch, whoredom
6: unexpected good fortune, generosity, imposed upon by untrustworthy people, pleasure
5: jealousy, inability to make a decision, disappointment
4: overabundance and excess
3: fertility, abundance, pregnancy
2: love, friendship, fulfilled heart, perfect harmony

Spades (Swords)

How to read tarot cards

Ace: the beginning of a new way of thinking, a new enlightenment
King: dark haired man, ambitious, usually successful, his ambition overrides everything else
Queen: dark haired woman, seductive or unscrupulous, treachery, betrayal, malice, widow
Jack: dark haired young man, well meaning but lazy person, hindrance in all work
10: insanity, destruction, despair, rock bottom, restless misery
9: orneriness, quarrels, unhappiness, cruelty, sadism
8: lies, rumours, scandal, gossip, deceit, opposition, interference, division, jealousy
7: a warning against a hopeless battle, loss of friendship, quarrels with friends
6: use perseverance to make your plans work, your method is sound
5: anxiety, setbacks, interferences, success in business, harmony in partners
4: compromise, making a deal, bartering, reconciliation, warning against a second marriage
3: partings due to faithlessness, bad things in love or marriage, love gone wrong
2: peacefulness, harmony, friendship, good vibes

Diamonds (Coins)

How to read tarot cards

Ace: money, a ring, important message, or a valuable symbolic gift
King: fair haired man, stubborn and powerful, vengeful, dangerous when crossed.
Queen: fair haired woman, flirt, sophisticated, witty, interferes in others’ affairs
Jack: a relative, unreliable, selfish or jealous, bad news
10: opportunities and surprises, usually financial, taste for adventure
9: changes usually bringing wealth, money as objective, maybe not result
8: late marriage or new relationship, late blooming, waiting for the right time
7: an unlucky gambler, criticism, a disappointing failure, fighting and losing
6: success, victory, fruitfulness, good fortune, abundance
5: worry, anxiety, wastefulness, loss of vital energy on trivial concerns
4: an inheritance, changes for the better, unhappiness from bad friends, betrayal
3: creation, fruitfulness, building, stockpiling, working towards a goal
2: changes, a great love affair strengthening, may be opposed by friends

How to read tarot cards

Court Cards in the Tarot are often the most complex and confusing cards to interpret. Why? Because there are so many different ways to interpret them – as people, as personalities, as situations, and more.

In this post, I show you the different ways to read the Court Cards and share some tips on how to know which method to use when.

Court Cards As Specific People

Most often, Court Cards represent a person. That person can be either yourself or someone else. By understanding the personality and attributes of the card, you can pinpoint whether it is yourself or someone else represented by that card.

Court Cards primarily reflect personality traits and characteristics. They provide clues as to how a person thinks, feels and acts, and what truly motivates them.

The Court Cards have often been linked to the Myers-Briggs Personality Trait Indicator (MBTI). Myer-Briggs is based around the theories and ideas of Carl Jung and is now a very well-respected method of gaining a deeper understanding about personality types and motivational factors.

According to the MBTI tests, there are 16 different Personality Types. Interestingly, this corresponds to the 16 Court Cards in the Tarot.

If you have worked with MBTI before, you may like to draw your own conclusions about which MBTI profile fits with each of the Court Cards and note it in your Tarot Journal. At this stage, there is no single universal system of correspondences between the 16 court cards and the 16 MBTI types.

In more traditional Tarot books, Court Cards are also given physical attributes such as hair and eye colour, gender and age (e.g. male, brown hair, blue eyes, attractive, mature, etc.). However, in my experience, I find that this is very limiting and often inaccurate. Many times, Queens come up for men, Kings come up for women, Pages come up for older people and so forth.

Connecting With the Court Card Personalities

It’s a great idea to develop your own connection with each of the Court Cards and decide which attributes they represent for you. Here are two fun and engaging techniques you can use to learn and connect with the Court Card personalities:

Technique #1: Put a face to a name

Lay out all of the Tarot court cards in front of you. Now pick one up and think of someone you know who is just like that card. It might be a friend, family member, colleague, acquaintance, or even a celebrity. Write down a few sentences about that person and how their personality relates to the card.

Work through each Court card until you have 16 real people that you can relate to whenever you see the court cards come up in a reading.

Technique #2: Go speed-dating with the cards

Again, separate your court cards from the rest of the cards. Randomly choose two and put them side-by-side. Now imagine you’re at a speed dating event and these two court cards meet. What would they say to each other? Would there be some chemistry? Write down the conversation, exactly as you imagine it.

Now draw another two cards and create a new conversation. Rinse and repeat.

Soon, you’ll have a sense of not only the personalities of each card but also how the court cards relate with one another.

Court Cards As a Part of Yourself

Sometimes, the Court Card may indicate a part of yourself, rather than your complete personality. It shows a side of yourself that is being expressed or is seeking expression. It may be part of you that you draw upon regularly, or that you need to nurture and develop.

For example, the appearance of the Page of Swords in a career reading may indicate that you need to adopt a more curious mindset to be successful. Or, if you have already been asking questions, its appearance confirms that you’re doing everything you need.

Court Cards As a Situation or Event

However, there are times when it just doesn’t make sense for the Court Card to represent a person or part of their personality. Thus, sometimes Court Cards can represent a situation or an event that takes on a personality of its own. For example, the appearance of the Page of Cups often indicates an invitation or an offer that brings a lot of joy and excitement. Or the King of Wands suggests a situation where you are maturing your goals and visions in life.

Court Cards As a Level of Maturity

In addition to Court Cards representing people, personalities or situations, they also represent different levels of maturity.

From a personal perspective, maturity can allude to the age of the person in question, but it is usually more insightful to look at maturity as a mindset. For example, the Page, who is often viewed as a young, immature person, doesn’t have to be under the age of 21, but may indicate someone who is young at heart, naive, or unfamiliar with a particular situation.

Maturity level can also point to the various stages of a journey. The Page represents the start of a journey, while the King represents the conclusion of a journey, complete with life lessons and a deep understanding.

How to Know What Interpretation to Use and When

With so many different ways to interpret the Court Cards, no wonder many Tarot students struggle with these cards. So, how do you know which method to use and when?

Here are a few tips:

  • Before you start your reading, determine whether or not you want the Court Cards to symbolise people, personality traits or situations.
  • Use your intuition. Listen out for your inner voice to guide you in the right direction.
  • List out possible interpretations for the Court Card as a person, personality and situation. Select the interpretation that makes the most sense in the reading.

I also asked the Biddy Tarot Community how they interpreted the Court Cards in a reading. Here are a few different approaches:

“Sometimes I see them as the emotions they represent or the level of understanding of a situation. More often I see the Page and the Knight more as possible events, like a homecoming, moving, or a message.”

“Personally, the Court Cards represent people, without fail! I have given myself goose bumps from the accuracy!”

“I usually try to match it to a person. If I can’t find a person who matches I try to take on the attributes of the card.”

“The querent’s question or which spread I am using, clues me in to whether it is a person, trait, or an energy. Overall, I trust my intuition.”

I hope this has given you some inspiration and new tools to get to know the Court Cards and feel confident with them in your readings.

If you’ve been searching for a way to Master the Court Cards once and for all, then join me in the Biddy Tarot Community where you’ll receive immediate access to two Court Card Masterclasses, a recorded Q&A sesh with me, and six Bonus Resources all about those pesky Pages, Knights, Kings and Queens – Join the Biddy Tarot Community today!

Learning how to use tarot requires a strong mix of intuition and familiarity with the symbols of the tarot. There is no right way to do it, and eventually everyone develops their own technique that they are comfortable with. We’ll go through a step by step process to get you started reading your cards in no time.

How to read tarot cards

Tarot relies on symbols pulled from a wide range of human consciousness. There are many decks available, each with their own unique set of symbols and systems. You’ll have to create stories using the symbols of the deck in your reading, so choosing a deck whose artwork resonates with you is important. The most common deck and a great way to start is the Rider-Waite deck. There are however a myriad of options to choose from, but we’ve created a minimalist deck which makes reading somewhat simpler.

I’m sure if you’re here, you’re already filled with questions. Most people become curious about tarot when they are faced with great uncertainty in their lives. And when the cards are used correctly, they prove to be a formidable tool to help you consider other perspectives and move forward in the best way possible. Consider what you’d like to learn with this reading. It can be as simple as, “What am I supposed to learn today?” or “How are my relationships going?”. Here at Golden Thread Tarot, we acknowledge that tarot is not about revealing a fixed future, but rather about exploring your unconscious self. They are a tool in which you can project hidden perceptions. We explain the foundations of tarot in our app.

How to read tarot cards

While you shuffle, think carefully about the area of your life in which you’d like more clarity for. Shuffling and handling the cards is a great way to physically connect with the deck that you’re using. As intuition is an important aspect of a reading, you’ll need to bring yourself into the cards. Try to shuffle at least once, but however many times you feel is necessary to get the cards “cleared”. You can also cut the deck into 3’s and reorder them. When you feel ready, keep the cards face down.

Tarot spreads give you a structure in which you can explore your questions. Each position in the spread reflects an aspect of your question to consider. You don’t have to use them for every reading, but it’s a nice way to get started while you learn about the cards. One of the simplest readings you can use to familiarize yourself with the cards is the past, present, future spread. Take the top card from your shuffled deck, and reveal them one by one, left to right.

How to read tarot cards

Before delving into the individual card meanings, scan your cards and absorb what your reactions to the images are. Start to consider things like emotions, feelings, objects and symbols, and color – if there are any. What is your immediate reaction to these things? Be aware of this as you continue through the spread.

How to read tarot cards

If you’re just starting out, you’ll need a reference to help you along with the cards. Usually this can come with the tarot deck that you purchased, or you can use online resources to help you find meanings. As you develop your reading skills, you can learn to let go of these resources and rely more on your intuition. But having somewhere to start is a good thing. Consider how the meaning of the card interacts with the aspect of the question you’re answering. See if you can tell a story with the cards that are in front of you. Much of tarot reading has to do with interpreting a random selection of events and giving them meaning. With our Golden Thread Tarot App, we’ve created an easy to search Tarot Database where you can pull meanings.

Rituals are an important way we process events, and even if you’re skeptical, the act of following a ritual and treating your cards with respect and significance can be change how we perceive the world (and transform it). After you allow your reading to process, be grateful, clear your cards, and make sure to store it in safe and secure location.

How to read tarot cards

With time, you’ll be able to be more confident in reading. And as you encounter the cards, you’ll start to also notice systems and patterns in how their meanings are set up. For example, how the suits of the minor arcana relate to each other, and how the major arcana tells a story. All these things are beneficial in helping guide you through readings. And if you’re interested in tracking your progress, our Golden Thread Tarot helps you do all of that through an app.

If you’re interested in learning tarot, we’re building something exclusively for tarot beginners. Learn tarot online with mystical monsters at Labyrinthos Acadmey. Sign up now and you may be one of the first lucky witches or wizards taking our first class.

About Golden Thread Tarot

Golden Thread Tarot started out as a simple illustration project where I illustrated a card each day. I chose what to design by pulling a random card in the morning. This deck is the product of that project, but I also want to take it further.

Tarot is an immense part of my own personal journey towards self development. I’ve always felt compelled to share it with others through readings in my spare time. But I find myself trying to explain away the fear and misconceptions that have been imbued into the cards; that they are not about fortelling your inevitable future, but taking control of it through self knowledge and awareness. This app is the start of that journey.

The beginning of reaching your full human potential is remembering that there is no such thing as fate, and that your true self is the master of your own destiny, if only you could hear its call.

Yours with love,
Tina

Stay Connected

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Whether you want to use tarot to predict the future or get to know yourself better, there’s a book for that.

How to read tarot cards

How to read tarot cards

Congrats, you have your first (or third? twelfth?) tarot deck (maybe The Cosmo Tarot. )! But, um, now what? While you can gaze at the different cards, touch them, shuffle them, talk to them, dream about them, you can also learn how to properly read tarot cards. Tarot can help you predict your future, understand yourself better, and give your friends insightful readings.

Odds are, your tarot deck came with a booklet sharing the meanings of the cards and maybe instructions for a simple tarot spread or two. But maybe those short synopses about the cards aren’t quite enough and you want to dive deeper! Or maybe you want to get into the history of tarot or learn more about alternate ways to read the cards. Or maybe you’ve been doing daily one-card pulls and three-card spreads for yourself a while and you’re ready to level up to more complex spreads—like a Celtic cross spread. Or maybe you want to learn to use tarot for a specific purpose, whether that’s incorporating it into your self-care practice or developing a tarot side gig to earn some extra ca$h.

Whatever aspect of tarot you’re interested in learning about, there’s probs a tarot book for that. And you might want to pick up more than one. See, there are dozens of different approaches to tarot out there—just ask five tarot readers if you should read your own cards and you’ll probably get five very different answers!

How to read tarot cards

Jessica Wiggan’s How to Read Tarot is a simple, straightforward introduction to the practice. Based in New Orleans, Jessica is the owner of the apothecary BehatiLife, from which she runs the Sacred Circle Tarot School.

How to read tarot cards

Out on October 26, 2021, Tarot for Change is the first book by Jessica Dore—who has a fan base of more than 130K followers on Twitter, thanks to her daily card pulls and insightful tarot readings. Instead of using tarot for fortune-telling or divination, this book includes guidance on using tarot for growth and self-care, intended for both beginners and pros who want to take a new approach.

How to read tarot cards

Written by Brigit Esselmont, founder of the platform Biddy Tarot, Everyday Tarot is a modern guide to learning tarot, with chapters on using the cards for work, self-discovery, and relationships. Once you’ve read it cover to cover, head to the Biddy Tarot website or Instagram for countless tarot spreads you can recreate at home.

How to read tarot cards

Sami Main’s How to Deal: Tarot for Everyday Life focuses on using tarot for self-reflection and practical decision-making in your day-to-day activities, from navigating friend drama to asking out your crush. Also, that cover? Gorgeous.

Golden Thread Tarot is a modern approach to an ancient tradition. Learn tarot, learn about yourself with our app and printed deck.

How to read tarot cards

Education is power. Let go of your fear. Our lessons and card database equip you with the knowledge to understand Tarot and its role as a spiritual tool. No creepy shenanigans here, pinky swear.

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The soul of the cards will always be in physical form. Mirror your digital experience with the physical. Buy the deck, but have the app everywhere.

My Top Question Topics

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Common Card Suits

Find patterns by using the cards as a tool to project your thoughts. Save your readings and your daily cards to build a database of your own feelings and emotions.

How to read tarot cards

Reveal the voice of your innermost self. Guided Readings help you use the cards to meditate on your life’s journey and guide it forward with awareness. No experience required.

How to read tarot cards

We’re just getting started. We’re ready to listen to our users, and cooking up new features as we go. Here is just a taste of what’s we’re planning to make next.

Your Mind is Your Mirror

When you save a reading, add it to your mental map. Uncover things about yourself you never knew. How do you think? What biases do you have?

Train your Reading Skills

There are several key skills that will help unlock the power of the cards. Trusting your intuition, creating stories, and memorization. We help you understand.

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How to read tarot cards

About Golden Thread Tarot

Golden Thread Tarot started out as a simple illustration project where I illustrated a card each day. I chose what to design by pulling a random card in the morning. This deck is the product of that project, but I also want to take it further.

Tarot is an immense part of my own personal journey towards self development. I’ve always felt compelled to share it with others through readings in my spare time. But I find myself trying to explain away the fear and misconceptions that have been imbued into the cards; that they are not about fortelling your inevitable future, but taking control of it through self knowledge and awareness. This app is the start of that journey.

The beginning of reaching your full human potential is remembering that there is no such thing as fate, and that your true self is the master of your own destiny, if only you could hear its call.

Yours with love,
Tina

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Each zodiac sign is linked to one of the Tarot cards in the Major Arcana. Most of these powerful cards have images of archetypal figures that represent the essence of a type of person. See what your Tarot card says about your sign below!

How to read tarot cards

Aries’ Tarot Card: The Emperor

Your Tarot card is The Emperor, the guy who will always be there when you need him. This card represents your sign’s loyalty and ability to stick by your friends through thick and thin. Like the royal figure on your card, you use your authority and analytical powers to help others and to achieve your goals.

How to read tarot cards

Taurus’ Tarot Card: The Hierophant

Your card, The Hierophant, represents learning from knowledgeable teachers who can help you search for higher truths by exploring tried and true traditions. Sifting through the superficial, these learned souls can lead you to the heart of matters where profound insights reveal important life lessons.

How to read tarot cards

Gemini’s Tarot Card: The Lovers

Every Gemini is blessed with a dual nature represented by your Tarot card, The Lovers. Turning points for you often involve making a moral choice between taking the high or low road. This card encourages you to weigh your options carefully and follow the path dictated by your personal integrity.

How to read tarot cards

Cancer’s Tarot Card: The Chariot

You stand proud and strong as you guide The Chariot on your card, steering a steady course and rising above life’s conflicts. Even though Cancers seek security, you also love the freedom of the open road where you can use your highly-developed intuition to win the race.

How to read tarot cards

Leo’s Tarot Card: Strength

The Strength card represents your physical strength — like that of the mighty Lion on your card — as well as your emotional, mental and spiritual prowess. Like the Lion, you are blessed with plenty of courage, which helps you overcome problems and obstacles.

How to read tarot cards

Virgo’s Tarot Card: The Hermit

Like The Hermit, you often need to slow down and go within to focus on your purpose in life. The image on this card — an old man — represents a person who is weary of the outer world. When he retreats to explore the mysteries of his inner life, he becomes open and innocent like a child.

How to read tarot cards

Libra’s Tarot Card: Justice

Justice holds the scales, asking you to weigh your desires against your needs. In order to reach a fair outcome, you must put your feelings and emotions aside. When you reach the light at the end of the tunnel of indecision, you will be able to serve the greater good.

How to read tarot cards

Scorpio’s Tarot Card: Death

Like your Tarot card, Death, you welcome transformation. You often shed your skin like a snake, seeking to release your spirit and be reborn. Because you are able to detach yourself from the ties that bind others, it’s easy for you to change your identity, making you the mysterious person everyone wants to figure out.

How to read tarot cards

Sagittarius’ Tarot Card: Temperance

Like your card, Temperance, you are a gifted mediator, able to find common ground by balancing out judgments with genuine understanding and awareness. Like a steadily-meandering stream, you work your way through whatever difficulties get in the way.

How to read tarot cards

Capricorn’s Tarot Card: The Devil

The Devil card encourages you to face your shadow-self in order to gather the knowledge necessary for spiritual transformation. It advises you to reflect on any negativity that has made you doubt yourself, swap it for confidence and hold fast to your highest vision of who you are.

How to read tarot cards

Aquarius’ Tarot Card: The Star

Your card, The Star, focuses on your optimism. When you wish on the stars, you really believe you can achieve your heart’s desires. Your job in this world is to convince others they can too, thereby helping to lead them home in a spiritual sense.

How to read tarot cards

Pisces’ Tarot Card: The Moon

Like your Tarot card, The Moon, you are a creature of ever-changing moods. You do best when you attune to nature’s cycles and use them to refresh your intuitive powers. The Moon rules emotions, which are your strong suit, especially when you use your compassionate nature to help others.

Welcome to Learning the Tarot – my free course on how to read the tarot cards. The tarot is a deck of 78 picture cards that has been used for centuries to reveal hidden truths. In the past few years, interest in the tarot has grown tremendously. More and more people are seeking ways to blend inner and outer realities so they can live their lives more creatively. They have discovered in the tarot a powerful tool for personal growth and insight.

How Does This Course Work?

Learning the Tarot is a self-paced series of 19 lessons that begin with the basics and then move gradually into more detailed aspects of the tarot. These lessons are geared toward beginners, but experienced tarot users will find some useful ideas and techniques as well. For each lesson there are some exercises that reinforce the ideas presented. The Cards section contains information about each of the tarot cards. You can refer to this section as you go through the lessons and later as you continue your practice. These are the main features of the course, but there are many other pages to explore here as well.

What is the History of this Course?

How to read tarot cardsHow to read tarot cards

My experience with the cards is in doing readings for myself, friends, relatives and acquaintances. probably the kind of tarot you are interested in. The tarot cards are not difficult to learn, but there is always more to them that can be learned. They are deceptively simple, but surprisingly rich.

What Is Needed For the Course?

The on-line version of this course is illustrated with the popular Rider-Waite deck. This is a good deck to start with because there are pictures on every card which helps when you are learning. The Rider Waite and its many variations is by far the most popular tarot deck.

If you already have a different 78 card deck, you may use it with the course. The principles of tarot work are much the same no matter what deck you use. You can buy tarot decks in many places now. Bookstores sometimes carry them, and many internet sites offer a variety of tarot decks for sale.

How Can I Take This Course?

At Home: You can purchase Learning the Tarot or The Big Book of Tarot from a local or on-line bookstore. The Big Book of Tarot contains much of what’s in Learning the Tarot, but a lot of material from my other books as well.

I hope you’re intrigued enough to try this course. If you’re still not sure, read Lesson 1. I think you will find Learning the Tarot interesting at least, and perhaps the tool you have been looking for to develop your unrealized potential.

Tarot cards are associated with divination—unlocking the secrets of the future by occult, supernatural means. Divination is strictly prohibited in the Bible.

Tarot cards come in a deck of 78 individual cards. They were developed about 600 years ago for gaming. However, some mystics, psychics, and occultists began to use the cards for divination, and today the cards and the ability to “read” them are seen as elements of fortune-telling. To receive a tarot reading is to attempt to find out things about one’s life or future through the occult.

Usually, the practice of reading tarot cards starts with the questioner cutting the pack of cards or sometimes just touching it. The psychic or card reader then deals out some cards, face down, into a pattern, called a “spread,” on the table. As the cards are overturned, the psychic or reader constructs a narrative based on the cards’ meanings and their position on the table. Obviously, reading tarot cards places a heavy emphasis on fate, “hidden knowledge,” and superstition.

God warned His people, the Israelites, against divination when they were on the verge of entering the Promised Land. He lists divination among such evils as child sacrifice and casting spells in Deuteronomy 18:9–12. Leviticus 19:26 puts is succinctly: “Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Tarot card reading definitely falls within the scope of this prohibition. In some cases, tarot card reading can be guided by demons. In Acts 16, Paul meets a fortune teller, a slave, who earned her masters a lot of money by fortune-telling (verse 16). The Bible attributes her ability to having a demonic spirit, which Paul was able to cast out of her by the name of Jesus Christ (verse 18). The Bible does not mention the tools the slave girl used to tell the future, but, whether tea leaves or dice or lots or cards of some type, the items used in that context brought honor to demonic spirits.

The spiritual dimension of our world is real, and it is not to be taken lightly. The Bible tells us that Satan seeks to destroy us. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Lions are not to be toyed with.

Solomon, the wisest person ever, offered this wisdom about knowing the future in Ecclesiastes 7:14:

“When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.”

And in Ecclesiastes 8:7 he writes this:

“Since no one knows the future,
who can tell someone else what is to come?”

Only God holds the future, and only He truly knows what will happen (Isaiah 46:10).

If you desire to have peace about your future, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. The future is bright for those who know Him (Romans 8:17).