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....  This article covers the most Universal deck at present, The Rider Waite Deck; and is most suggested for the beginning reader... Once basic knowledge is attained, one can then further their knowledge with the deck of their choice.  
 
 

THE TAROT

The origin of the Tarot is unknown. Some legends say that the cards originated in ancient Egypt derived from mystery religions. The Tarot is also said to embody the esoteric origins of India, Persia, Hebrew Cabalistic and early Christian beliefs. The tarot card symbolism is a key to opening up the psyche to new feelings, ideas, concepts and spiritual opportunities.

The first qualification necessary to become a good reader of the Tarot cards is “the desire to do so.” With study of the individual meanings of the cards and an intuitive linking together of the these we can quickly learn to build up a depth to the overall message. Working with the cards actually develops your psychic, sensitive and spiritual nature. Practice makes perfect.
 

The Major Arcana

The Tarot consists of 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana cards. The major arcana is more concerned with the reasons behind events. It can be described like a man on a journey, he starts on the road as the Fool and encounters all manner of people and events along the way and through these experiences he learns life’s lessons and becomes more enlightened and fulfilled by the time he reaches the 22 card the World. It is a physical as well as a spiritual journey. Wherever the major cards falls there is a stronger influence in that area of the inquirers life, than if it were a minor card. Minor cards represent probable events while the major cards represent the reasons behind the events.

The Fool - Number 0
New beginnings. Represents spontaneous action. A time to enjoy the day for what it is. Living in the present moment and feeling connected with life as a result. We cannot change the past and an absolutely certain future eludes us, but we can change the present. What we feel and believe at this moment is something over which we have control. The Fool is the unconscious, a seed that has not yet germinated. He is beginning his path towards enlightenment. Trust that life will support you.
 
 


 
 The Magician - Number 1
The time is right to begin new things. Opportunities arise and it is time to initiate action and carry out plans. Success will be achieved through a clear sense of purpose and applying willpower. Be open to new ideas. Choice & action.


 
 
 
 

The High Priestess - Number 2
Inner wisdom. A time of withdrawal making time for meditation and inner renewal. A time to rest in order to absorb the lessons that life is teaching us. Reflecting on life’s problems. Can indicate an intuitive person with heightened psychic powers or a time of psychic and spiritual development. Let your intuition be your guide as from where you are at this time you cannot see the whole picture.
 
 
 
 
 

The Empress - Number 3
Receiving, abundance and fertility. Harmony and stability on the home front. A time when you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Moving closer to a goal. A reminder to get back to nature ie spend time out in the country or near the seashore. Can also represent pregnancy especially if it appears in the same spread with the 3 of Cups, 9 of Pentacles or any of the Pages.
 
 
 
 
 

The Emperor - Number 4
Represents authority, leadership and knowledge. Suggests stability and order. Self discipline and practical efforts brings success. Reliable and devoted. Represents the father figure.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Hierophant - Number 5
Represents mystery, psychic awareness, inner wisdom and the spiritual quest. You are looking for answers within and most likely have already started or will be looking to differing philosophies for your answers. The Hierophant is the kind, generous teacher and confidant. He could be a person dealing with the psyche ie a priest, counsellor or even a spiritual guide. Be patient.
 
 
 
 
 

The Lovers - Number 6
Choice, harmony and relationships. It can mean just what it looks like ie that love and romance are coming to the inquirer. Depending on where it falls it could be that the relationship is in the future or one which the inquirer is already in will bloom and deepen. On a lesser note this card could mean friendship and harmony. So if it showed up in a question related to career it would suggest that relationships with work colleagues will be happy and productive. If there has been a parting it can indicate that the partners will be reunited. Another aspect of the Lovers card is choice ie choosing between two people, two courses of action, two jobs or two of anything, and that the action of choosing is going to be important in its outcome.
 
 

The Chariot - Number 7
A time of major effort and hard work which could be associated with a struggle and accompanied by the view that it will all pay off in the end. Need for hard work, patience and endurance but the outcome will be good. The winged disc symbol of Isis depicts the spirit being able to soar above emotional trials. The ability to keep a clear mind on emotional matters. Possible travel in relation to work. Forge ahead. Don’t give up.
 
 
 
 

Strength - Number 8
Courage and inner strength and hope. The ability to overcome future obstacles and have the courage and resolution to cope. Strength is also about confronting one’s own ego and pride, and having the courage, strength and discipline to do so. Recognising that spiritual help is at hand.
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Hermit - Number 9
Guidance & wisdom. A time of withdrawal and stillness to meditate and reflect. The Hermits knowledge is of both this world and the next. He is the enlightened teacher who patiently waits for those students who are ready to seek him out. He is the sage to whom others look for advice. He realises that he can never possibly know all there is to know. What he knows is but a drop of water in the vast sea of universal knowledge. It is a time of maturity and sorting out what really matters in your life. The Hermit can be seen as your higher self.
 
 
 
 

The Wheel of Fortune - Number 10
Definite change a turning point. The wheel of Fortune is a reminder that nothing and no one stays on top forever. Destiny that is played out in what appears to us as endings and beginnings, as one door closes, another opens. Starting a new cycle of events the unfolding future looks good.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Justice - Number 11
Represents justice, fairness and balance. Taking responsibility for your life. Your decision will be right. If there are legal matters to be dealt with, on the whole it can be taken to mean that the outcome will be good.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Hanged Man - Number 12
Success with a sacrifice. A suspension of affairs followed by a turning point, however the changes are more likely to be in the mental/spiritual rather than a physical event. A growth in character as a result of dealing with problems. There maybe something very good which results from difficult circumstances. Try to rise above the problems and look at them from another angle. No use struggling, be still, this is only a temporary situation, so you may as well use the time wisely. This card can sometimes frighten people, but put simply it shows the need to adapt to changes in order to find inner peace.
 
 

 

Death - Number 13
Surrender to change and allow it to take place. A situation is coming to an end which will clear the way for a fresh start.  It suggests that the events which cause the changes are not going to be pleasant to begin with, there may be the loss of a friendship or a relationship; or there may be financial losses. The changes may be hard to cope with but in the long run will clear away a certain amount of rubbish from the past and leave the inquirer free to make a new start. There is always a chance to make good.  Death can symbolize a new life, like marriage or birth. Women and men can sometimes be depressed after the birth of a child, as they realise that they have to let go of a phase of their life forever. This card can have a frightening effect when it appears in a reading, but it should not be seen as an actual death but as the death of a situation, sudden change or the resolution of problems.
 
 
 

Temperance - Number 14
Patience, self control and calm. Foretells peace & harmony. If you have been going through rocky times of late, you will soon be feeling calmer and coping better. Harmony in all aspects of life. Don’t overdo things. Concentrate on the basics at work and play, do things in moderation. Put your feet up and have a rest. Ability to combine spiritual knowledge and understanding to temper behaviour. Renewal of a relationship. Can signify travel, learning or teaching.
 
 
 
 
 

The Devil - Number 15
Entangled in obligations to other people and by your own beliefs and thoughts. Feeling a need to control life, limited view, feeling stuck or powerless over life. If things are not falling into place, then we should look within for the answer. Be careful of any physical excesses of any kind, excessive materialism and overindulgence. More money may be at your disposal and must be careful how this is being used. If any business partnerships are made think carefully before making a decision, as this partnership could be very restrictive.  When we live in the present moment we are able to move ahead. When we stop recreating the past with our actions and thoughts, we set ourselves free.  Look within for the answers.