If you've been thinking about reading tarot, have dabbled in readings for yourself or you picked up a traditional Rider Waite Smith deck took one look at the 6 of Swords (6 swords stabbing a boat?) and thought like I did - "this makes NO SENSE" and then put that deck back on a shelf for another day... THIS is your day! C'mon let's play!
Welcome to the Tarot Tutorial Spooktacular!
As Marcus Katz of the Tarot Association says about reading tarot, I can teach you the tarot in 10 minutes, then all you'll need is 30 years of practice. And wow - trust me the tarot reveals infinite layers the more time I spend with it!
But... "I don't have 30 years to practice!"
That's ok... what I'm sharing with you in this series is a fun introduction to the cards, a peek behind the deck - NOT a course in becoming a professional reader - this is just to encourage you to open up those divine conversations AND enjoy the spirit of the fall and the fun of Halloween while you do.
Let's start with a really brief overview of a tarot deck.
It's 78 cards, usually with really cool art! Just cardstock, not magic. The magic is in the channel you'll create to allow in divine messages.
The cards consist of 22 Major Arcana, (an arcana is a secret) and 56 Minor Arcana. It may help if you think of the majors as the overarching secrets of life and the minors as the daily or more mundane secrets/activities. The Minors are also divided into 4 suits - Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins/Pentacles (very similar to a regular playing deck of cards with Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds) and contain the "Pips" (those are the cards with numbers Ace/1-10 on them) and the "Courts" (the Page, Knight, Queen & King).
Whew - got some of that scary tarot lingo right out of the way now didn't we. Arcana = secret, Pip = numbered, Court = Royalty
The 4 suits relate to the 4 elements and represent the following:
Wands - symbolize fire and represent creativity and enterprise
- Our Halloween Imps - little red devils meant to "spark" our creativity
Cups - symbolize water and represent emotions and the subconscious mind
- Our Halloween Ghosts - who better to represent things we can't see but feel!
Swords - symbolize air and represent thoughts/intellect also conflict/combat
- Our Halloween Bats - clever little mammals with sharp teeth who fly through the air and are not afraid to confront even in the dark!
Pentacles - symbolize earth and represent our physical, tangible resources and material success
- Our Halloween Pumpkins - hmm, from the earth, very tangible and edible - oh my I'd say we have a physical resource in pumpkins!
The numbers 1 (Ace) through 10 represent a cycle from beginning to end.
OK - now you've got the basic lay of the land along with some of the unique aspects of the Halloween Tarot deck. How about we start taking a look at the images on the cards and see what they could mean. I say "could" mean because there is no one single meaning for each card. Each card is influenced by the reader, the cards around it and the question asked.
VERY IMPORTANT Note to Self: The messages you receive are "right"! Please give yourself credit for every thought, sight, sound, feeling that arises when you see the art on the card. THIS is the "secret" to uncovering the messages within. Trust that the Universe is one genius energy that knows how to create synchronicities on a GRAND scale so, most certainly it can figure out how to send you messages that are meant for you through these delicious images. Successful tarot readings are based upon what you DO see. Trust that the Universe is sending you something to see.
And with that note - you now know the power of the images in tarot! It's all about what you see, what you notice, what's going on in that image for you in the moment that you see it in response to the question you have asked. Isn't that cool?
Now... if you haven't already, please sign up for Glinda's Weekly Guidance so that you'll receive all the updates on this series AND you'll get my free ebook "How To Open Divine Conversations With Tarot & Oracle Cards" - that will give you the basics you need to understand more about deck selection, how to prepare, how to shuffle, etc. I'm not going to go over that in this particular series. The Tarot Tutorial Spooktacular is intended to simply introduce you to the artwork of tarot so that you can see how fun, approachable and simple it can be.
Let's jump right in and take a look at some art shall we?
We can begin with the Aces. Imagine you are the black cat in the corner, take a look at the images - what do you see? What's going on in the picture?
You might notice that the hand is offering you something. It's not yours yet but, it could be if you take action to reach out and grab it. So, then the Aces all have potential in common - new beginnings.
Now let's break them down by their suits:
Ace of Imps - notice the red leaves falling around him... could he be an ignited spark with little sparks flying off? YES! So, this could mean that I have great potential to create something, say a bonfire? Sure could.
Do you see how I combined number + element + story. The 1 - new beginnings with the element Fire (represented here by the suit of Imps and in the traditional tarot as Wands) and then told a story about what I was seeing in the picture? This is how you read tarot! Isn't it fun? Let's move on...
Ace of Pumpkins - ooh that looks really yummy, it has my attention for sure. That's a VERY full pumpkin of candy - that could nourish me for quite some time. Have to say this one feels like a jackpot to me! I want to reach out and grab it!
If I were asking a question about my finances I'd be pretty excited to receive the message that I was on a potential jackpot! (1 + material resources/pumpkin + story/what I see)
Ace of Bats - ok, I'm feeling a bit cautious, I'm not sure about bats, they're a little ookey to me. But, this one seems friendly - like he'd be kind to me and I know they are really good in dark situations so, this one will probably fly to get me food when I can't see in the dark and he could scare away others in the process. That's a good thing! Now I'm feeling like this is a victory for me! I mean, it's not without its challenges as I still have to befriend the bat but... worth it if he brings me a mouse!
Ace of Cups - now this one is lovely, I feel peaceful already. Look at the wonderful stream and the pretty lotus flowers and the cup is running over, this ghost has more than enough to give! So nice, I'm all welled up with emotions... "my cup runneth over!"
So this one could be a new love or even a wellspring of joy for me. (1 + emotions + story/what I see)
Are you feeling more empowered? Ready to explore the rest of the tarot? I hope so. I'll continue the tarot tutorial spooktacular throughout the month and would love to have you join me!
Please feel free to leave a comment here on the blog with your own interpretations or ask any questions you may have.
'Til next time... I hope you're inspired to explore the magnificent possibilities in all areas of your life!
Ready to move on with the Pips? Continue the tutorial with the pips part 1.