Witchcraft 101: Tarot Cards

Lavana Hahs, Reporter

Tarot cards, probably one of the more well-known forms of divination, have 78 cards in total with 22 major arcana cards while the rest are minor arcana cards. The minor arcana are put into 4 suites: swords, wands, cups, and pentacles (these suit names can change depending on the deck or who you speak to). The major arcana tells a story, it tells the story of the human experience, tapping into the subconscious and the ‘universe’s subconscious’ as I would call it. The story begins with the fool’s journey, card zero. The fool represents us, and his journey through the lessons and experiences of the following major arcana to come. Their respective order is as follows; fool, the magician, the high priestess, the empress, the emperor, the hierophant, the lovers, the chariot, strength, the hermit, wheel of fortune, justice, the hanged man, death, temperance, the devil, the tower, the star, the moon, the sun, judgment, the world. 

When picking your tarot deck(s) it’s vital to choose the one you connect with. Trusting your instincts when searching will lead you in the direction of the proper deck. A common misconception is that you shouldn’t buy yourself your own tarot deck, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The cards work with your energy, so if you don’t connect with them they won’t work as accurately and you’ll have a hard time getting used to them. Think of them as their own entity, because they very much so are. They are windows and portals into another universe or dimension, you are seeing a scene that depicts the symbolism or meaning of the card. The cards speak to us through visuals as well as the overall meanings. When picking a deck you aren’t just looking for a pretty looking deck, you are in a way looking for cosmic friend(s). And if you are of the particular tastes and or think you won’t find a deck that catches your fancy then you are in luck because practically everything under the sun has a tarot form. It can take a lot of digging to find the deck for you, so don’t get discouraged if it takes some time and lots of searching. 

Some people have a higher natural ability to different forms of divination. Some might be amazing at tarot while others excel in runes or pendulums. So when you start working with your deck you might pick it up really easily or it might take some time and that’s okay. So how does one read tarot cards? An easy way to start is with tarot spreads, google tarot spreads and see what pops up! For beginners, it’s best to not do big spreads. You will ask the questions in the spread for the card being pulled, meditate on the question until you feel ready to pull the card. You can do this by either speaking the question or thinking about it while you shuffle your cards. There are many ways to shuffle and if you need help finding ways how, YouTube can help. When pulling a card you can pull it in many different ways as well, play with your deck to see what works best for your readings. Soon enough you will start to get a feel for how your cards like to be handled and what works best. Some decks will work differently than others if you have more than one, some like to be shuffled in certain ways or have cards picked and pulled out differently so figuring that out is important. 

There are also oracle cards, similar to tarot but different. Oracle doesn’t have major or minor arcana, it doesn’t tell a story, and it doesn’t have 78 cards. In an oracle deck, you can find cards like romance, archangel michael, meditation, soul, etc. They have themes like the tarot but their themes are more than looks, they are also tied to card meanings. However, they are used the same as tarot. You could think of oracle as the overarching theme of a story while the tarot are the gritty details in the story. That’s why they can be used together in a reading for more accuracy or for help understanding cards. 

There are many reasons to use this form of divination. It’s your journey and they are extremely helpful tools in self-discovery, acceptance, healing, and a great way to understand emotions, situations, and ways to help guide us going forward. When you perform a reading or any type of divination you are performing an act of magic, taking your energy and connecting to something bigger than yourself to gain knowledge, guidance, or help. Have fun and don’t be afraid to start your own fool’s journey.

Sites to visit for more information:

For the story of the fools journey in more detail- https://destinysspiritualjourney.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/tarot-102-the-fools-journey-the-tarots-major-arcana/ 

For overall meanings of the tarot cards-

 https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/ 

Websites to look for decks- 

 http://www.namastebookshop.com/oracle-cards/ 

https://tarotarts.com/collections/all-decks 

https://www.tarotfellow.com/product-category/tarot-decks-divination/tarot-decks/