Learning to live the Tarot – Part 4

By Ascarani

This is part 4 of a 4 part series on learning to read the tarot intuitively.

Welcome back to Learning to Live the Tarot.  Today we will look at the final cards in the deck, the Major Arcana Cards.

I have actually seen card decks made up of only the Major Arcana Cards.  These 22 cards can absolutely be all you need to tell the story of light and find out the answers to your questions. Just like the suits and the Minor Arcana, the best way to get acquainted with the Major Arcana is to write their story. Take these cards from your deck and put them in order from 0/The Fool all the way up to ending with XXI (21) The World.

 

Ivor_-_Tarot_Consultant_-_geograph.org.uk_-_879837
Ivor – Tarot Consultant. Closed, due to unforeseen circumstances.
I have read many stories that have been written to tell the story through the Major Arcana Cards.  This is the story I see as I look through them:

We start out in our youth alive and unaware of the problems and difficulties we may face in the world (Fool). We believe that anything can be accomplished just like a magician waving his wand in the air to create miracles (Magician). Sure, we look to others for advice (High Priestess). As we go along and grow, we learn more about the truths of life and we become wiser (Empress). Often those who influence us change and we look for other opportunities in life (Emperor). Sometimes we even change our philosophies as we grow (Hierophant).  We find love which changes our perspectives (Lovers).  We also start to understand that part of the beauty of life is the journey itself (Chariot). In times of strife we look inward for our strength (Strength).

Other times we find that it is better to be alone and take time out to ponder the meaning of situations (Hermit). We never lose hope though realizing that there are always a lot of other options for us if we are willing to take the risk (Wheel of Fortune). Life teaches us that there are rules and sometimes there is no winner (Justice). It is in these moments that we seek further answers, sometimes turning the problem upside down to find a solution (Hanged Man). It is then we figure out that we must rebirth everything we believed, in fact we must let the old die and wither away to be reborn anew (Death). These are the times we must find our place of balance (Temperance).  We also learn to watch out for those who pretend to have our best interest at heart but are only concerned with themselves (Devil).  This is a turning point, all things may seem to explode around us but it is life getting our attention (Tower).

From this point of madness, we are asked to believe and to hope to move forward (Star). We have made it through the valley and are now able to follow our own instincts and trust our intuition (Moon). When we trust ourselves, we are moving into a state of joy (Sun). Now we can stop passing judgement on ourselves and others (Judgement). In the end, we hold our world on a silver platter and we are complete (World).

By Ascarani
Leticia Díaz By Ascarani
What does your Major Arcana Story say?  Put the cards in front of you and write your story.

The following is my own quick keyword synopsis of these cards.

0 The Fool: Carelessly wandering through life, needing to focus more on what is in front of you.

1 The Magician: Has all the elements available to succeed, use them and the results is like a magic trick

2 The High Priestess: She holds the power and has the answers. All you seek is in front of you.

3 The Empress: Fertility and growth abound

4 The Emperor: Opportunities are knocking on the door.

5 The Hierophant: He sets the rules and enforces them.  Time to abide by the rules.

6 The Lovers: Beauty in a relationship.

7 The Chariot: Swift travel, change and movement.

8 Strength: Sometimes bold, sometimes quiet trust in your inner strength to get the job done.

9 The Hermit: Shining the light in the darkness, there is a beacon of hope.

10 Wheel of Fortune: Time to spin the wheel and make a deal, take a chance.

11 Justice: Balance in life.  Don’t tip the scales.

12 The Hanged Man: Asking the same question and not listening to the guidance given.

13 Death: Change is happening.  Not a physical death but a transformation is about to occur.

14 Temperance: You must balance your life.  Find that place of peace within.

15 The Devil: Someone around you is not whom they pretend they are, beware.

16 The Tower: Chaos and disorder abound, seek shelter and peace.

17 The Star: Hope, reach for the stars.

18 The Moon: time to trust your intuition and inner knowing. Get in tune with the cycles of the world.

19 The Sun: Joy and success.

20 Judgement: Feeling persecuted, being called back to your center and asked not to judge others.

21 The World: Everything is in the palm of your hand.  Success.

Divinazione con tarocchi: disposizione del tavolo di lavoro
Divinazione con tarocchi: disposizione del tavolo di lavoro

 

I hope you have enjoyed this series on the tarot and learned to interpret the cards intuitively.  Letting the images of the tarot guide you can open a new world for you.

Dru Ann Welch is an experienced Intuitive Counselor, Healer and Tarot Reader.  She is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a Certified H.E.A.L. Technique Practitioner and a Crystal Singing Bowl Practitioner. Additionally, she holds a degree in Education and teaches with passion.  Dru Ann is the author of 4 books , creator of 2 oracle decks and the performing artist on 3 cds.  Dru Ann’s musings in the form of quotes, blogs and articles have been featured on The Wellness Universe , Circle Magazine ( Imbolc Issue 119/pg 42) and The Spirit Ezine (May 2015).  Proudly, Dru Ann has been a featured speaker and presenter at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church, the UCSS Spiritual Centre, Autumn Meet, and the Florida Pagan Gathering.

Dru Ann was featured as one of 150+ thought leaders in Tedx Speaker Corey Poirier‘s recent book, Enlightened Becoming the Best Version of You in 5 Easy Steps (enter code bestyouever to get your free copy during the launch) at www.druannwelch.com.

Learning to live the Tarot Series – Part 3

This is part 3 of a 4 part series on learning to read the tarot intuitively.

Welcome back to Learning to Live the Tarot!

Today we are looking at the general meanings for the Minor Arcana cards. To me, the Minor Arcana cards tell us of the daily struggles and joys we face as we travel through life.  Sometimes the information you glean from a Minor Arcana card may be all you need to help you solve your problem.

Public Domain
The Gypsy Woman reads a fortune in the tarot cards to mother and daughter Mary and Tara Verdugo Friday during the Marine Corps Community Services annual Mardi Gras party at the Sonoran Pueblo.

My best suggestion for interpreting the minor arcana is to put the cards in order by suit, in 4 stacks. Put the King on the top, then Queen, Knight, and Page.  Follow with the number cards from 10 down to the Ace. Go through each stack, one by one.  Look at your card and write down what you see in it and what kind of story each card is telling you.  This is using your intuitive skills so there is no wrong or right answer.

Here is a my simple guide:

King: Usually a man your age or older

Queen: Usually a woman your age or older

Knight: May be male or female usually late teens to twenties

Page: A male or female child up to teen years.

(Note: the characteristics of the Knight and Page may indicate an older person who acts immaturely in one way or another. Also, these 2 cards are not gender specific and may represent either a male or female in the given situation.)

Ten: Success

Nine: Overwhelming situations coming to an end

Eight: Hard work, difficulties, possibly time to make a change

Seven: Taking care of what you have, protecting the prize, choices

Six: Promises of what can be, success in your endeavors

Five: Usually show us a sorrow, loss or shortcoming

Four: Focusing on the goal

The Empress from the Pierpont-Morgan tarot collection
The Empress from the Pierpont-Morgan tarot collection

Three: Looking at how things are coming together

Two: Partnerships

Aces: new beginnings

To take it one step further, put the cards with the suits and see the kinds of meanings you can get from

that.

Ace of Pentacles would be new material beginnings.

Ace of Cups would be new emotional beginnings, perhaps a new relationship or just things moving from a time of sadness to joy.

Ace of Swords would be a new beginning based on intellect or ideas.

Ace of Wands is being able to find your passion in life and start over again.

 

Now take your cards and start looking at each suit and each minor arcana card.  What story does the card tell you?  Next, place each of the 4 piles in front of you and compare the meanings you see from suit to suit.  Is there a story that you see forming?  This is intuitively getting to know your deck.  From this intuitive standpoint the cards are of more value as a divination tool because you have made their meanings personal.

If I were to draw a card and read that one card using this method, I would get a reading like this:

4 of Wands: In this card we see people celebrating, as though they are getting married or purchasing a new home.  It is a card that represents achieving the goal that has been set.  I would say that the situation will have a very positive resolution.

Next Time: The Major Arcana

 

Dru Ann Welch is an experienced Intuitive Counselor, Healer and Tarot Reader.  She is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a Certified H.E.A.L. Technique Practitioner and a Crystal Singing Bowl Practitioner. Additionally, she holds a degree in Education and teaches with passion.  Dru Ann is the author of 4 books , creator of 2 oracle decks and the performing artist on 3 cds.  Dru Ann’s musings in the form of quotes, blogs and articles have been featured on The Wellness Universe , Circle Magazine ( Imbolc Issue 119/pg 42) and The Spirit Ezine (May 2015).  Proudly, Dru Ann has been a featured speaker and presenter at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church, the UCSS Spiritual Centre, Autumn Meet, and the Florida Pagan Gathering.

Dru Ann was featured as one of 150+ thought leaders in Tedx Speaker Corey Poirier‘s recent book, Enlightened Becoming the Best Version of You in 5 Easy Steps (enter code bestyouever to get your free copy during the launch) at www.druannwelch.com.

Learning to live the Tarot – Part 2

by Dru Ann Welch

This is part 2 of a 4 part series on learning to read the tarot intuitively.

Welcome back to Learning to Live the Tarot.  Today we will learn a bit about the difference between tarot and oracle decks and venture into the stories of the tarot suits.

Basic Tarot:

It has been said that the tarot tells its own tale.  The 22 major arcana cards talk of the major shifts and changes we face in life.  The 56 minor arcana cards embellish on the story started by the major arcana.

The tarot itself is a means for guiding us in working through life’s everyday problems using pictorial archetypes that speak to our subconscious mind.  The tarot reassure us that guidance is available; all we have to do is to believe, ask and trust the answers.

The Gypsy Fortune Teller. trade card for Dr Jaynes expectorant.
The Gypsy Fortune Teller. trade card for Dr Jaynes expectorant.


Tarot or Oracle:

A traditional tarot card deck consists of 78 cards, 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana.  The minor arcana cards consist of 4 suits. Each suit has the cards Ace (1) through 10 and the face cards, King, Queen Knight and Page.  Some decks change the names used to describe the face cards but these are the basic 4. The pictures on the card may be in great detail or only show 4 symbols to represent the card.

An oracle deck may consist of any number of cards and does not stick to the major/minor arcana script.  Oracle decks may be geared to the angelic realm or to daily guidance.  Some offer simple affirmations which can be pulled to guide you through the day.  Some oracle decks may be geared to healing, herbs, essential oils or crystals.  There is no specific recipe for an oracle deck.  It is basically a subject offering guidance in card deck form.

How am I going to remember all these cards

First, I suggest you really shop around for your tarot deck.  Look at the cards both the major and minor arcana.  Draw a card and look at it, don’t grab the book, look at the card.  What can you discern from looking at the image you see in front of you?  If you look at the card and it tells you nothing, move to another deck until you find the archetypal images that speak to you.  I believe there is a deck for everyone out there if you just look around.  If you simply want the standard deck to begin reading with I suggest the Rider Waite Tarot.  This is an old deck and the basis of the pictorial key used for most tarot decks.

All standard tarot decks have basically the same make up consisting of 4 themes or suits with cards much like a regular deck of playing cards.  Each suit has a King, Queen, Knight, and a Page which represent people.  There are also 10  number cards ranging from Ace (1) to 10. As you will see when you begin your tarot journey a 2 in one suit will have a very different meaning from a 2 in another suit even though they are both 2’s.

Let’s start with the themes or suits

There are 4 basic tarot suits:  Pentacles/Coins, Cups/Chalices, Swords, and Wands/Staffs.   Each of these suits is associated with one of the 4 elements. Pentacles/Coins are associated with earth.  Cups/Chalices are associated with water. Swords are associated with air.  Wands/Staffs are associated with fire.

Each suit is also associated with the qualities of our lives.  Pentacles/Coins represent the material things in life while Cups/Chalices are associated with our emotions.  Swords represent intellect or more intellectual pursuits and Wands/Staffs teach us about the things that push our buttons, get us fired up or we feel passionate about in life.

 

From this, we can get a pretty handy chart:

 

Pentacles/Coins Earth Material pursuits
Cups/Chalices Water Emotional pursuits
Swords Air Intellectual pursuits
Wands/Staffs Fire Passionate pursuits

 

 

So what story do the tarot themes or suits tell as you walk through them? Here are the stories I create to understand each suit.

Pentacles tells a tale of prosperity.  Each card in this suit shows people enjoying the finer things in life.  In the Rider deck, there is an abundance of grapes throughout the Pentacle cards.  We see tales of people who are hard-working and reaping the fruits of their labors. There is a story about poverty which warns us that sometimes material things can be deceiving.  Finally we see that there is always balance and in the end, there is a gateway to cross through that may help you to a prosperous future.

In the tale of Cups we see the emotional roller coaster that is life.  There are tales of confidence and joy as well as making those difficult emotional choices.  We also see stories of despair, loneliness and boredom.  These are balanced with sharing and working together for a common goal.

Swords show us how the winds of change affect all that we do.  In this story we see more of the dark side of humanity portrayed.  There is betrayal and anguish.  There are tales of feeling imprisoned by your own beliefs. As well as the road that must be traveled when the battle is over yet there is no clear victor. We are urged to open our minds and see both sides of the story.

The Wands tell a tale of strength and passion in life.  We see a battle that rages within each of us between the will to be right and actually being in the right.  It gives us the perspective that there may actually be no winners in these types of games. The story reminds us that we are always willing to fight passionately for what we believe in and hold dear. It points us to a place to look out into the world and see that there is so much more for us out there.

Now don’t take my word for it, remember there are no books to look at, you are asked to use your own intuition.  So grab your deck, a pen and paper and write your story for each suit.  Set them up in piles from King down to the Ace and just look at the story that you see unfold.

By Andrew Kuznetsov (Flickr: Gypsy series)
By Andrew Kuznetsov (Flickr: Gypsy series)

Next time, we will venture into the story of The Minor Arcana.

Dru Ann Welch is an experienced Intuitive Counselor, Healer and Tarot Reader.  She is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a Certified H.E.A.L. Technique Practitioner and a Crystal Singing Bowl Practitioner. Additionally, she holds a degree in Education and teaches with passion.  Dru Ann is the author of 4 books , creator of 2 oracle decks and the performing artist on 3 cds.  Dru Ann’s musings in the form of quotes, blogs and articles have been featured on The Wellness Universe , Circle Magazine ( Imbolc Issue 119/pg 42) and The Spirit Ezine (May 2015).  Proudly, Dru Ann has been a featured speaker and presenter at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church, the UCSS Spiritual Centre, Autumn Meet, and the Florida Pagan Gathering.

Dru Ann was featured as one of 150+ thought leaders in Tedx Speaker Corey Poirier‘s recent book, Enlightened Becoming the Best Version of You in 5 Easy Steps (enter code bestyouever to get your free copy during the launch) at www.druannwelch.com.

Learning to live the Tarot Series- Part 1

Dru Ann Welch

This is part 1 of a 4 part series on learning to read the tarot intuitively.

I learned the tarot in 2002.  At first I attempted to take each card from the deck and read the page about it in the manual that comes with many decks.  How confusing!  Upright it means this, upside down it means this, next to this card the meaning changes to this and on and on.  No wonder some people really don’t take the time to learn this method of divination.  It was just too much.

Then I sat one day and simply pulled a card from the deck.  I looked at the color, the pictures and the suit.  No book for meaning just what was that card saying to me personally.  It was like a light bulb,  like someone had opened the curtains and the brightest sun ever was shining in on me and those cards and I was hooked!  I could suddenly see a meaning and gain insight from the picture on the card.  It was like it was talking to me.  I never opened another manual again!

By The artist is unknown. (Scanned from Michael Dummett's The Game of Tarot.)
By The artist is unknown. (Scanned from Michael Dummett’s The Game of Tarot.)

The tarot speaks to us through it’s pictures.  I always choose decks with images for each card, never ones that show just 3 cups for the 3 of cups.  It has to show me something.  You see our brains are wired to understand images.  The images in the tarot are archetypes for life itself.  When you let the pictures speak to you, you open an entire new world of information.

Let’s take it a step further, most books, manuals and tutorials show you a certain way to place the cards.  I personally like using 9 cards, 3 for past, 3 for present and 3 for where you are going or future.  I put them in 3 rows indicating past, present and future.

If there are any court cards like Queens or Kings that are pulled, I pull them to the side.  Then I look at the remaining cards to show me a pattern.  You will see cards that definitely fit what must have happened in the past, maybe there are 3, maybe 4.  Move them together so they tell you the story of the past on one row.

Now look at your remaining cards, which cards seem to show where you have moved from your past into something that relates to now, it may be 2 or 3 cards.  Move them to the second row again in a manner that tells you a story of the now.

Finally take the remaining cards and put them together to show where things are headed and what the outcome is.

To put it all together, look at any court cards you put to the side, these represent either the person you are doing the reading for or people involved in the situation you are reading about.  Place them in a column to the left of your 3 rows and see how they relate to what you saw in your placement of the cards.

Slovenščina: Smrekarjev tarok.

 

It’s an entirely intuitive way to read the tarot cards.  This method asks you to feel what you are seeing in the pictures and put them together in a small story to help the person you are reading for gain insight into the situation of their lives.  You are touching into the archetypes within yourself to give guidance.  If you use different decks, you may find the images don’t always give the exact same meaning for a card from deck to deck.  This is because of the artist’s interpretation of the meaning of the cards.  It encourages you to push the barriers of the intuitive envelope and really be aware of how you feel about the cards you are seeing.

By Bigbear213 Cosplayers (left) receiving steampunk tarot readings from the steampunk tarot readers (right) at the 2015 Salt City Steamfest in Salt Lake City, Utah.
By Bigbear213 Cosplayers (left) receiving steampunk tarot readings from the steampunk tarot readers (right) at the 2015 Salt City Steamfest in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This method can be used for reading any number of cards.  If you are doing a card a day reading, you look at your image and say what it says to you then see how it pans out through your day.

The tarot is a magnificent tool for guidance.  It can be used for daily guidance or to help you sort out various situations in your life.  The beauty of it is to open your own intuition to the use of imagery and how it affects you and what you see in life.  So grab a deck and take a look and have some fun with it but don’t read the book!

Dru Ann Welch is an experienced Intuitive Counselor, Healer and Tarot Reader.  She is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a Certified H.E.A.L. Technique Practitioner and a Crystal Singing Bowl Practitioner. Additionally, she holds a degree in Education and teaches with passion.  Dru Ann is the author of 4 books , creator of 2 oracle decks and the performing artist on 3 cds.  Dru Ann’s musings in the form of quotes, blogs and articles have been featured on The Wellness Universe , Circle Magazine ( Imbolc Issue 119/pg 42) and The Spirit Ezine (May 2015).  Proudly, Dru Ann has been a featured speaker and presenter at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church, the UCSS Spiritual Centre, Autumn Meet, and the Florida Pagan Gathering.

Dru Ann was featured as one of 150+ thought leaders in Tedx Speaker Corey Poirier‘s recent book, Enlightened Becoming the Best Version of You in 5 Easy Steps (enter code bestyouever to get your free copy during the launch) at www.druannwelch.com.