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Tarot cards are a powerful tool for self-discovery, spiritual growth, and divination. Each card in the deck has a unique meaning and symbolism, and can offer valuable insights into different aspects of life. However, for beginners, learning the meanings of all the cards can be overwhelming. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down the basics of what tarot cards really mean.

Understanding the Structure of Tarot Decks

Before diving into the meanings of individual cards, it’s important to understand the structure of tarot decks. Most tarot decks consist of 78 cards, divided into two main groups: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, each of which represents a major life lesson or spiritual theme. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles), each with 14 cards. The Minor Arcana represents the day-to-day challenges and experiences of life.

The Major Arcana Cards

The Major Arcana cards are often seen as the most important and powerful cards in the deck. They represent major life lessons, archetypes, and spiritual themes that we all encounter on our journey through life. Here are the meanings of the 22 Major Arcana cards:

0 – The Fool: New beginnings, taking a leap of faith

1 – The Magician: Manifestation, creativity, self-confidence

2 – The High Priestess: Intuition, inner wisdom, feminine power

3 – The Empress: Motherhood, nurturing, abundance

4 – The Emperor: Authority, structure, discipline

5 – The Hierophant: Tradition, religion, spirituality

6 – The Lovers: Love, relationships, harmony

7 – The Chariot: Victory, willpower, determination

8 – Strength: Inner strength, courage, resilience

9 – The Hermit: Solitude, introspection, wisdom

10 – The Wheel of Fortune: Change, cycles, destiny

11 – Justice: Balance, fairness, legal matters

12 – The Hanged Man: Surrender, sacrifice, letting go

13 – Death: Transformation, endings, new beginnings

14 – Temperance: Moderation, balance, harmony

15 – The Devil: Materialism, addiction, negative patterns

16 – The Tower: Change, upheaval, unexpected events

17 – The Star: Hope, inspiration, spirituality

18 – The Moon: Intuition, emotions, subconscious

19 – The Sun: Happiness, success, vitality

20 – Judgement: Rebirth, forgiveness, redemption

21 – The World: Completion, wholeness, fulfilment

The Minor Arcana Cards

The Minor Arcana cards represent the day-to-day challenges and experiences of life. They are divided into four suits, each with 14 cards representing different aspects of life:

Wands: Creativity, passion, energy

Cups: Emotions, relationships, intuition

Swords: Intellect, communication, conflict

Pentacles: Material possessions, career, finances

Each suit has four Court Cards (King, Queen, Knight, and Page) and ten Number Cards (Ace through 10), each with its own meaning and symbolism.

Interpreting Tarot Cards

While it’s helpful to know the basic meanings of each card, it’s important to remember that tarot readings are highly subjective and interpretive. A skilled tarot reader will be able to read the energy of the cards in relation to the person receiving the reading, and offer guidance and insight based on their unique situation and circumstances.

Using Tarot Cards for Self-Discovery and Personal Growth

One of the most powerful ways to use tarot cards is for self-discovery and personal growth. By using the cards to reflect on different aspects of your life, you can gain insight, clarity, and guidance. Some helpful practices for using tarot for self-discovery include journaling, meditation, and visualisation.

Choosing the Right Tarot Deck

There are countless tarot decks available on the market, each with its own unique artwork, symbolism, and energy. When choosing a deck, it’s important to find one that resonates with you and your personal style. You may want to consider the artwork, the theme of the deck, and the creator’s intentions when choosing a deck.

Learning to Read Tarot Cards

Learning to read tarot cards takes time, patience, and practice. While there are many books and online resources available to help you learn the meanings of the cards, the most important aspect of learning to read tarot is developing your intuition and trusting your instincts. Some helpful tips for learning to read tarot include practising regularly, keeping a tarot journal, and finding a community of other tarot readers to share your experiences with.

Common Misconceptions about Tarot Cards

There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about tarot cards and tarot card readers. Some people may believe that tarot readings are a form of fortune-telling or that they are associated with dark or negative energies. However, tarot is a tool for self-exploration and empowerment, and can be used to gain insights and clarity on a wide range of issues.

Ethics in Tarot Readings

Ethics are an important consideration for tarot readers, as they are offering guidance and advice to people who may be seeking help or direction. Some important ethical considerations include maintaining confidentiality, offering non-judgmental guidance, and being transparent about the limitations of tarot readings.

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