What You Need to Know: Tarot Card for Beginners

Oct 25, 2021

What You Need to Know: Tarot Card for Beginners
  • Table of Contents


  • What are tarot cards?

    Recently, there has been a surge of interest in our spiritual life, which has led to a rising interest in Tarot cards. Mysticalcraft Arriana at Keen Psychics explains that Tarot cards can “bring insights into many areas of our lives and the lives of those connected to us.” The cards can be used just as a parlor game or to gain enlightenment. Whatever your stance, Tarot cards can make you think and bring out new thoughts and ideas from within yourself.

    The cards

    There are various different decks available, but all tarot card decks are made up of 78 cards: 22 ‘major arcana’ or trump cards, and 56 ‘minor arcana’. The minor arcana are divided into four suits, and contain 10 numbered cards as well as four court cards (Page, Knight, Queen and King).

    The minor arcana offer insight into your day-to-day life and smaller events, but these are still essential to our lives and can lead to major events. The four suits are pentacles (or sometimes coins), swords, wands and cups. Generally, the pentacles represent Earth and our practical life, the swords represent Air and our communications, the wands represent Fire and our actions, and the cups represent Water or our emotions.

    The major arcana represent more significant influences in your life. These include the more recognizable cards, such as the Lovers and Death. But don’t panic – the cards are not literal, and can be interpreted in different ways depending on the individual and which other cards come up alongside it. For example, Death is the ending of a situation, not a person. Sometimes we must end other parts of our lives to make room for change.

    Preparing the cards

    The first step is to ‘clear’ the deck. This removes the previous energy of the deck, which is particularly important if your deck is new. While you shuffle, keep a question or topic in mind. If you’re reading for someone else, keep their desired question or intent in mind, or have them cut or shuffle the deck to add their energy to the reading.

    Reading the cards

    Once the deck is shuffled, you can lay out the cards in a ‘spread’, which is how you arrange the cards on the table. There are lots of different spreads to try (many tarot decks will come with instructions or suggestions), but the three-card spread is the easiest for a beginner building their understanding of how the cards interact. In a three card spread, the first represents the past, the second the present and the third the future. Or they can symbolise mind, body and spirit.

    The main thing to remember is that the cards shouldn’t be scary – they draw on your energy and should shed light on things that were on your mind before the reading. They are a tool to help you understand your path and you should walk away instinctively knowing that the cards are right.

    ** In paid partnership with Keen.com

    Kris is a VA native with roots in DC and the Bay Area. As a reformed shy kid, Kris has found her voice by sharing, centering, and celebrating her experiences as a Black Queer folks. When she’s not co-hosting the Bad Queers Podcast @badqueerspod, she enjoys filling her belly with pho, ramen, or any non-American foods, binging documentaries, and enjoying time with her family and friends. You can follow Kris on IG @kris.chess and on Twitter @kidnamedkris

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