Tarot cards: what are they and how do they work?


Starting as a card game in the 15th century, the use of tarot cards for divination only became popular in the 18th century. Most of us have heard of these cards before, usually through a friend of a friend or family member who went for a reading once upon a time. This kind of stories is met mostly with eye rolls and quick change of topic. Indeed, a lot of people perceive tarot cards to be some way of telling your fortune, and therefore, a hoax.

Today, we dig a little bit deeper and learn about what these intriguing cards are and how they work.

The deck

The tarot deck consists of 78 pictured cards. Each card has its own story and symbolism. There are 22 Major Arcana cards. These represent life’s spiritual lessons. The remaining 56 cards are the Minor Arcana, and although these 56 cards represent our everyday life and challenges, they are further broken down into two subcategories. Firstly, the 16 Tarot Court cards. These represent 16 personality characteristics. Secondly, there are numbered cards. These 40 cards are organized into four sets of ten cards and represent various day-to-day situations.

Tarot cards: what are they and how do they work?

What are the cards used for?

The cards tell us the story of our lives. They are the key to our deepest inner wisdom and allow us to find the answers that are already within. Tarot will show us the lessons we need to learn and overcome by tapping into our subconscious minds and bringing what lies within into the light. They can help us to make decisions, plan, realize our goals, and so much more.

How is the reading done?

Let’s be clear here. Tarot cards do not tell the future. They do not tell of an individual’s fortunes or make any predictions. Tarot cards are all about intuition and will help to create an individual’s ideal future. Intuition makes use of inner wisdom, which is the most powerful way to read the cards. The person who’s having the reading done must have their questions ready. The questions must be focused, but broad (not too detailed), and must be referring to the person having the reading. Bring forward one question at a time and concentrate on it.

The reader deals the cards into the chosen spread. There are many types of spreads for different types of questions. The interpretation of the cards is done by the reader, who bases the reading on the face of the cards and where they’re positioned in the spread. The reader will talk to their subject throughout the session and ask the necessary questions to gain a deeper insight into what the cards are saying. The cards help bring certain things to light and offer guidance towards fulfillment.

Tarot cards: what are they and how do they work?

Tarot reading takes years of practice to master. It’s not simply a matter of picking up the cards, dishing them out, and reading up on what each one means. Reading the cards is not only for psychics and those with supernatural abilities, either. We are all equipped with inner wisdom and intuition, we just need to learn how to trust it.