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 Fool - Number 0
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
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 &
The High Priestess - Number 2
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
& 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
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
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
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
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
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
The Devil - Number 15
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.