What Are Tarot Cards and What Do They Mean?

what are tarot cards

Many spiritual practices and tools that don’t fall into the norm are often misunderstood by the general public. Methods of reaching a deeper meaning like psychic readings offer powerful benefits and aren’t as ethereal or far out as you would originally think.

It might seem strange to put so much weight into a deck of cards, but we’ll answer the question “what are tarot cards” today, hopefully clearing up any confusion might have.

We’re going to take a look at what these cards are and how they operate for those who want to pull meaning from them. Let’s get started.

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards are rooted somewhere in 14th century Europe. Modern decks contain 78 cards, and each one presents a particular symbol and the interpretive meaning that come from those symbols.

The images don’t have to be the same in every deck, and there are actually thousands of decks with different images for you to explore. The original tarot cards, though, weren’t used as divination tools or held up with any true meaning.

They were just cards used to play games for a couple of hundred years until the 17th and 18th centuries when the practice became spiritually rooted. Now, the practice of reading and interpreting tarot cards is a global practice that helps give a lot of people some direction.

An interesting thing to remember is that tarot cards aren’t necessarily related to any spiritual practice. It’s definitely possible to mix tarot and your religious beliefs, but the fundamental mechanism of the cards doesn’t require you to be worshipping anyone or anything.

How Are They Supposed to Work?

There are a few differing opinions on how tarot cards actually work. All of those opinions meet together in some cases, so the way that you interpret the deck is really up to you.

One dominant idea is that the cards serve as a window into our subconscious. It’s almost as if they are a reason to allow the things in our unconscious mind to come forward.

Let’s say that you sit down to do a tarot reading with a question in mind. You’re wondering how to help your sister who is struggling with addiction. You’re at a loss for what to do next, and you look at the set of cards that you’ve pulled.

As you look at the cards, the images or the names might strike you with an unusual feeling. It might feel like the cards are too closely related to your situation to be random. That striking experience can snap you into closer contact with your mind’s fundamental thoughts about your issue.

In many cases, those deep thoughts are heavily-laden with emotion and direct understanding. They’re the sort of thoughts we don’t allow to the forefront of our minds. Your own deep-seated wisdom about the issue is in you already, and the tarot reading can help unlodge it from your subconscious.

Another idea is that there is actually some order to the way that tarot cards shuffle out. While it seems like a random process, some people believe that the cards get pulled for a reason.

The perspective you get from the cards will certainly change with every reading you receive. The thoughts and beliefs of the person doing the reading will affect the process and the result.

What to Expect

If you’re interested in tarot cards and have some inkling that they will work, the only thing you can do is give it a shot.

There’s no harm in getting a reading and finding out that it’s not for you. That said, be prepared to experience something that you weren’t expecting. A direct experience with tarot can be startling, and something that you didn’t know was possible.

The results of a reading can give you guidance in any area of life, and the emotional impact of a striking reading can solidify that guidance.

Whether there is true, spiritual order to the cards or they simply tap directly into your subconscious, they can be very effective. You might open up your knowledge of yourself to yourself. You could also get your intuitive answer to a problem you’ve been having for a long time.

More likely at first is that you’ll have to work a little bit to decipher the meaning. Tarot is complex, and it can take a little while to get the hang of things.

How is The Deck Arranged?

There are 78 cards in the deck, and the primary separations are the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana categories.

The Major Arcana contains 22 cards are symbols that represent ethereal and spiritual struggles or situations. They’re broader struck of spiritual relevance which can evoke very strong emotions.

These cards can help give you guidance when it comes to matters of the soul, life path, destiny, and other important narratives in everyone’s lives.

The remaining 56 cards are Minor Arcana cards. The Minor Arcana section is meant to reflect the more practical, every-day situations in life. They’re more tuned to specific situations and can help give you guidance in your daily life.

A subcategory of the Minor Arcana is a section of court cards. These are 16 cards that represent distinct personality features that anyone could express. The other 40 cards are divided into 4 sections of 10.

Each section holds a particular meaning or value or holds whatever value you assign to it. It’s important to understand what each card is meant to represent, but it’s more important that each card has meaning to you.

If you’re using tarot cards at home, for example, the essential thing is that the deck is full of imagery that speaks to you. The more meaning you infuse to the cards, as well as your understanding, the more powerful the experience, will be for you.

Want to Try It Out?

What are tarot cards going to do for you if you don’t give them a shot? If you’re interested in finding out more about tarot or getting a reading, we’re here to help.

Explore our site to get in touch with professionals who can give you a deeper understanding of the practice.

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