The TAROT is made up of 78 cards. The MAJOR ARCANA, or trumps, comprises 21 of the cards. They bear allegorical images and titles. They symbolize "the big picture". They are in numerical order as a journey through life starting with the fool and ending with the world. The rest of the deck is made up of the MMINOR ARCANA. They comprise four suits: the swords, wands (staves or batons), cups, and pentacles (coins). They are made up basically like a regular card deck. Each suit has four court cards: princess (traditionally page), prince (traditionally knight), queen, and king. The numbered cards are ACE (1) through 10. The minor arcana focuses on ourselves as we exist from day to day. They deal with our personal lives, our ambitions, hopes, fears, and relations to each other. The major arcana has implications of the individual and the minor focuses more on the world at large. The major and minor arcana both work together to form a whole, or a continuum. Below is a list of the traditional cards---both the major and minor arcana.
0 The fool, I The magician, II The priestess, III The Empress, IV The Emperor, V The hierophant, VI The lovers, VII The chariot, VIII Justice, IX The Hermit, X Wheel of Fortune, XI Strength, XII The Hanged Man, XIII Death, XIV Temperance, XV The Devil, XVI The Tower, XVII The Star, XVIII The Moon, XIX The Sun, XX Judgement, XXI The World.
Suit of wands:
Ace of wands, two of wands, three of wands, four of wands, five of wands, six of wands, seven of wands, eight of wands, nine of wands, ten of wands, princess, prince, queen, king.
Suit of cups:
Ace of cups, two of cups, three of cups, four of cups, five of cups, six of cups, seven of cups, eight of cups, nine of cups, ten of cups, princess, prince, queen, king.
Suit of Swords:
Ace of swords, two of swords, three of swords, four of swords, five of swords, six of swords, seven of swords, eight of swords, nine of swords, ten of swords, princess, prince, queen, king.
Suit of Pentacles (coins):
Ace of pentacles, two of pentacles, three of pentacles, four of pentacles, five of pentacles, six of pentacles, seven of pentacles, eight of pentacles, nine of pentacles, ten of pentacles, princess, prince, queen, king.
The way to do readings is through spreads. Spreads can be very easy, with one card, or can be very hard and complicated. I will go over some of the basic, easier spreads you can use. To prepare for the reading, make sure you are in a calm, relaxed state. Do not do a reading if you are depressed or hysterical. Pick a calm, quiet spot where you will not be disturbed. You may shuffle the cards anyway you want, and after a while, may find that you pick up a certain style in doing so. On all the spreads below, start by taking the first card off the deck and place it face up in order that you see the spreads laid out. In other words, do not take the first card and place it in the fourth card spot. To read the cards, either do it one at a time as the cards are turned over, or wait till all cards have been laid out and read the cards like a story.
The Time spread:
This spread is good for beginners because it only involves four cards. Before you start this spread, have a clear question in mind. It does not have to be a yes or no question, but it should be specific.
Card 1: The Past
This card will tell what has happened to lead up to the question being asked. It can refer to events in your childhood but will more likely refer to things directly related to the question.
Card 2: The Present
This card tells how your situation stands at the moment. It might refer to some feelings or something you have that you did not want to admit or show something that might have caused your particular question.
Card 3: The Future
This card will show how it expects things to work out in the near future.
Card 4: Action
This card will show what you may do to either encourage the outcome or change it.