The Art of Tarot

Elizabeth Alaniz, staff writer

Tarot cards are a tool that the majority of people are extremely skeptical about. Not only due to the bad light religious people tend to shed on Tarot, but also because very few people believe in the validity of it.   Though, Tarot reading isn’t demonic nor future-telling in any way. However, to those who feel interested in the art of Tarot, here is an introduction to Tarot cards and what they entail.

 While the origin of the appearance of the cards remains obscure, Dr. Arthur Edward Waite, a genuine scholar of occultism, published The Key to the Tarot, first published in England in 1910. In that issue, he explores the entire deck, utilizing symbolism as his main belief to explain the cards. In The Key to the Tarot, he writes: “The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.” Ever since then, Tarot users use those messages that Dr. Arthur explains, which is why the most famous Tarot deck is named the Rider Waite Tarot deck. Now, let’s move on to the actual deck.

“Tarot Reading is an art based on intuition, interpretation, and perception.”Nikita Dudani

 The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards. The names and appearances of the cards have changed over the many years, but the meanings have stayed relatively the same. In the 78 cards, there are 2 categories, and 4 suits. The Major Arcana represents life’s karmic and spiritual lessons. Across the pond, the Minor Arcana signifies trials experienced on a daily basis. Within the Minor Arcana, there are 4 suits and 16 Tarot court cards. 

The Major Arcana (also referred to as Trump Cards) cards will often set the scene when performing a reading. When a Tarot reading is predominantly made up of Major Arcana, you are going through life changing events that have long-term side effects. If many of the cards are reversed (upside-down), however, it may be a sign that you aren’t paying enough attention. As previously stated, the Minor Arcana contains 4 suits. The Suit of Cups represents your feelings, emotions, and creative intuition. The Suit of Pentacles represents your finances, work, and material possessions. The Suit of Swords signifies your thoughts, words, and actions. The Suit of Wands signals your energy, motivation, and passion. Each of the suits has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards. The Suits also correlate to the zodiac signs. The Cups are water signs (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio), the Pentacles are earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), the Swords represent air signs (Aquarius, Libra, Gemini), and Wands are fire signs (Aries, Sagittarius, Leo). Tarot reading, while seeming complicated, has very little rules. Tarot reveals hidden truths. Learning the message conveyed through the card(s) may take a while, but it’s all usually very, for lack of better word, chill. 

“Fear is dangerous, not the tarot. The tarot represents the spectrum of the human condition, the good, the evil, the light, and the dark. Do not fear the darker aspects of the human condition. Understand them. The tarot is a storybook about life, about the greatness of human accomplishment, and also the ugliness we are each capable of.” 

Benebell Wen

 When doing a reading, Tarot cards may come out upright or reversed. Depending on the stance, they have different meanings. It also depends on how you interpret the card, and the picture itself. For example, the Death card; it seems like it would be a horrible card to pull. In reality, if it comes out upright, it just means something is ending in your life, or rebirth. A new chapter, if you will. Cards can also affect each other if they come out together. For example, if pairs (Queen and King of whatever suit) come out during a relationship reading, it means those two people are each other’s other half. If the Page of Wands reversed comes out next to the Justice upright card, it means false leadership. With Tarot, it’s something that takes time to do it swiftly, but anyone can do. Practice makes perfect, you know.

“Remember that the Tarot is a great and sacred arcanum – its abuse is an obscenity in the inner and a folly in the outer. It is intended for quite other purposes than to determine when the tall dark man will meet the fair rich widow.

Jack Parsons

 Tarot means guidance; interpretation. Tarot is not demonic, nor future telling. Depending on you and what you believe in (Wiccan, Pagan), Tarot (or Spirit, in that case) could be your best friend. For those who aren’t spiritual, Tarot reading could also be fun, considering the way the times are currently. It could also be very gratifying, or relieving. Don’t be scared, or hesitant to purchase a Tarot deck.