image of the fool tarot cardTarot is composed of certain universal themes, patterns and elements. These are depicted in the form of imagery, symbols, numbers and names and even extended to correspondences with Astrology, Numerology, Esoteric paths such as Eastern and Western mysticism.

The Tarot Reading is simply the intentional allowing of symbols of the Tarot to furnish a signal from the cosmos through synchronicity. Synchronicity is based on the idea that there is more to reality than meets the eye. Call it Coincidence or Celestial Providence but the world is Picture Perfect. There is perfection in every piece of creation and synchronization in the machinery of existence. In the monotony of humdrum mundane issues of life, we fail to see the harmony of the Big Picture. The Tarot card pictures are like the pieces of the puzzle that reveal the Big Picture of the Universe.

The Tarot is based on the archetypes and iconography that arises from the ashes of the ancient wisdom, flows through the pool of collective unconscious, lifts the minds and ideas to a higher realm and charges up the energies for spiritual evolution.

A conventional deck of Tarot cards consists of 78 cards. The deck is composed of 2 groups of cards. One group is called Major Arcana (Literally meaning Greater Secrets) while the other is called Minor Arcana (meaning Lesser Secrets). An analogy for illustration of the Tarot structure is: consider the four suits as the 4 elements of the world i.e. Earth, Air, Fire, Water. The 4 elements in conjunction and through synergy create the 5th element i.e. Spirit. The Major Arcana can be considered the spirit of Tarot.

Major Arcana

The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards from Numbers 0 to 21. These cards are also known as Trumps and Keys. This is the most essential part of a Tarot Deck and the differentiating factor between an esoteric deck and a normal playing card deck. The images on these cards have inherent Symbolism and Icons that challenge our perceptions to discover them. Studying the Major Arcana can be a great exercise to test the waters of our psychic perceptions. The key words given below are merely an introduction to the cards. Tarot readers do not go by any set meaning or attributions.

Key Trump Key Word
0 Fool Innocence
1 Magician Initiative
2 High Priestess Intuition
3 Empress Abundance
4 Emperor Dominance
5 High Priest Influence
6 Lovers Choice
7 Chariot Focus
8 Strength Determination
9 Hermit Introspection
10 Wheel of Fortune Destiny
11 Justice Balance
12 Hanged Man Patience
13 Death Transformation
14 Temperance Harmony
15 Devil Temptation
16 Tower Destruction
17 Star Faith
18 Moon Disillusionment
19 Sun Regeneration
20 Judgement Resurrection
21 World Completion

Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards with 4 suits. Each suit has 10 numbered cards called Pips and 4 Court cards.

1 Suit = 10 Pip cards + 4 Court Cards = 14 cards
Therefore, 4 Suits = 40 Pip cards + 16 Court cards = 56 cards

A suit is a group of cards with a specific symbol. In tarot, the symbols are Cups, Swords, Pentacles and Wands.
This is like the 4 playing card suits with Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds respectively.

Suits :

Tarot Suit Playing Card Suit Element
Swords Spades Air
Cups Hearts Water
Wands Diamonds Fire
Pentacles Clubs Earth

The Rider Waite deck by A.E. Waite is a universally popular deck (painted by Pamela Colman Smith), which has become the model for the greatest number of other currently available decks.

image of the Temperance Tarot CardEach Tarot Element i.e card is complete and meaningful on its own. Yet each element can bond with others and produce Compounds and Mixtures.

Each Tarot Entity i.e card is like a cell, each having its own DNA structure that forms its core and identity. Yet each cell can combine with others in patterns and produce Tissues, Organs and eventually the Organism called a Tarot Deck.

Tarot keys can fit locks and open doors to unveil symbolic secrets. However, the Tarot structure is embroiled in complexities and subtleties that resist boundaries of definitions. Tarot is a living stream that flows from the higher source towards the ocean of the collective unconscious and carries with it the remnants of ancient wisdom while shaping and changing contemporary beliefs.
Tarot is a journey and the cards are the various paths that show us The Way. The cards when spread out in pattern or layout represent a map for this journey. Each path in this journey leads us to the next. It is up to us which trail we tread. We are the travellers.

Tarot is a puzzle. We need to see the big picture. Each card is a dot. It is up to us how we join the dots to form the big picture. We are the puzzle solvers.
Tarot is a book. Cards are the pages. Symbols are the language. We are the readers.
Tarot is a song. Cards are the notes. So let us listen to the tune of the tarot.
Tarot is a tale. Cards are the character and settings. SO TRY to tell the STORY.

Tarot Quotes

The tarot is a book disguised as a pack of cards
-Paul Foster Case

Tarot could easily have been a highly sophisticated pictorial memory system, tapping deep levels of consciousness, and is still used as a focus for contemplation today.
-Jane Lyle

Tarot is the instrument of our wisdom.
Tarot is a navigation tool for the soul.
Tarot is 78 images that are gateways to the imageless.
-Rachel Pollack

Through choice or chance, depending upon one’s viewpoint, the twenty-two Major Arcana cards from the seventy-eight card tarot deck are clearly interwoven into our daily lives.
-Stuart Kaplan

The Tarot provides the key to a whole new range of human ability that is not limited by the perceptions of the five physical senses. It is a way of cultivating the intuition.
-Gareth Knight