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How to Read Tarot Cards

Sheetal Mandora
Do you sometimes wish you could know how to read tarot cards? Then take your first steps here.
When you think of tarot cards, what comes to your mind? Gypsy women and crystal balls, right? You're not the only one. On the contrary, tarot cards are more than extravagant hocus pocus. For some believers, they are considered as a powerful tool that can explore an individual's life's inner workings.
There aren't any rules or regulations that guide what you find while reading the cards. However, the idea is that every time you spread the cards, it shows you the hidden meanings behind life's tough questions. Learning to read tarot cards may seem like a difficult task for beginners, but it isn't an impossible thing to do.
The history of tarot cards dates back to mid 15th century. And, if you are interested in giving tarot cards a chance, in finding answers to your questions, this article is the perfect place to begin. Learn the mysteries behind the tarot cards and how you can change the way you view life. By the end of this article, you will know how tarot cards can be read and interpreted.

Tarot Card Reading Instructions

Today, there are different types of tarot cards used by psychic readers. The two most important factors to learn while reading the cards are the numerological and the elemental suits (Ace to King). In the following article, we will take a detailed look at how these factors affect the overall tarot card spreads and make them readable.

The Effects of Numerology in Tarot Reading

To help you understand how numbers can affect tarot reading, let's go over them one by one. This will provide you greater knowledge about Minor Arcana tarot cards and numbers as well.
  • Corresponds with #1; beginning of an idea, action, or venture.
  • The number consists of raw energy and power; the moment of new conceptions, new beginnings.
  • The energy of #1 is powerful, critical and dynamic, yet uncontrolled and unstable.
  • Corresponds with color red for passion, immediateness and rage.
  • Hence, Aces are raw expressions of the element which they represent.
  • Aces are rulers of the element suit which they represent.
  • Aces relate to great power and force.
  • An Ace in the spread indicates sudden change and/or disruption, however promising hope and progress.
  • When all 4 Aces appear, they tend to overwhelm a large spread (due to their power).
  • Twos in the Minor Arcana is friendly and loves to make peace.
  • The idea of the one becomes two; joining with another, being involved, intimate and partnership.
  • The concept of working in groups, negotiation, compromise, sharing warmth and feelings with another.
  • The egotistic behavior of "1" gets transformed into a shared experience.
  • Twos are cooperators, rather than being leaders; being part of a team.
  • Twos spread experience and loving feelings.
  • The cards represent harmony, healed rifts, reconciliation and being allies.
  • Corresponds with color orange for non-judgmental, instilling peace, harmony and overall balance.
  • Threes represent completion, reaching the end of a phase.
  • They also bring in the necessity of beginning a new stage in life; movement and progress.
  • Threes provide rational progress from 1 and 2.
  • Symbolic connotations: the Father, Son and Holy Ghost trinity of Christianity.
  • Similar principle used in Isis, Osiris, Horus mystery of Egyptian tradition.
  • For pagan mythology: 3 faces of Goddess - virgin, mother and hag.
  • Threes indicate the ability to enjoy life, intellectual growth, outgoing, social and like to have a good time.
  • Corresponds with color yellow for stimulating the mentality and intellect; think logically.
  • Fours represent material completion.
  • Other connotations: 4 suits and 4 elements of material existence.
  • Pyramids built on a "4 square" base; each side allotted to 1 element.
  • Elements: North-Earth (bull), South-Fire (lion), East-Air (man), West-Water (eagle).
  • Fours link with the concept of intellect, emotion, spirit and material life.
  • In astrology, a squared is considered as tough to manage, yet it can bring huge rewards (for those who get things in balance).
  • Fours indicate progress and achievement, but you have to strive for it with careful nurturing.
  • Corresponds with color green for relief from mental unrest and grief.
  • The number "5" is connected with planet Mars.
  • Hence, fives represent drive, courage, daring and ambition; yet also discord, fear, turmoil and uncertainty.
  • Fives represent constructive use of one's freedom, a person's struggle to adjust with demands and responsibilities and bring balance.
  • Fives bring freedom from restriction, routine in life and convention.
  • Although with influence, fives can turn dramatic.
  • Fives bring concerns about dealing with freedom, handling it and leading to conflict.
  • Corresponds with color blue for bringing calm and peace to frayed nerves, settling disquiet.
  • In numerology, sixes refer to individuals who help others, can be trusted and has affection in his/her heart.
  • Warm, compassionate and responsive to others.
  • Sixes indicate enjoyment of life, harmony with the surrounding and recognizing beauty within.
  • As "3" is the completion stage, six is the middle point, halfway to ultimate completion (9 being the ultimate completion stage).
  • Sixes bring harmony to situations, people, plans and surroundings.
  • Sixes connects material and spiritual life together in harmonious balance.
  • Sixes functions as healing, recovery and reconciliation from third party.
  • Corresponds to color indigo for meditation, wisdom, contemplation and intuition.
  • Sevens refers to as a magical number: lucky seven, seven spectrum colors of rainbow, seven veils of existence and seven original planets.
  • According to Buddhism, #7 represents the seven steps of ascension into Godhead.
  • The creation of world was completed in 7 days; we have 7 days in a week.
  • Sevens represent new self-image, self-confidence, innate abilities and proceeding to the journey.
  • Corresponds to color violet for wisdom, experience and knowledge.
  • Eights suggest wholeness and completion.
  • Eights help develop business skills, organizational skills and executive qualities.
  • Practically applying ideas and concepts; working additions to our life's expectations.
  • Eights relates to work, ambitions, jobs and business.
  • Corresponds to color rose pink for encouragement, team-leading and moving forward.
  • The ultimate completion stage is represented by #9.
  • Nines show rewards of labors and selfless giving.
  • Nines indicate a sense of harmony, balance, love, strength and energy.
  • People influenced by nines are idealistic, moralistic, set standards and hold strong beliefs.
  • Corresponds to color gold for wealth and riches.
  • Last of the pip cards; 1+0 = 1, beginning.
  • Doesn't necessarily mean positive results in the end.
  • Tens recognize a completion of stage in life.
  • The #10 sums up everything; the new point of realization, next idea or concept.
  • Ten is the beginning and the end.

The Effects of Elements in Tarot Reading

The tarot cards are made up of Major Arcana cards (no suits) and Minor Arcana cards (4 suits). These suits are Wands, Cups, Plates, and Swords that make up for the 4 elements mentioned below. As for Major Arcana cards, they are the other cards present in the deck but are not associated with the suits.
To understand the Minor and Major Arcana cards in detail, read more on tarot cards and their meanings. Getting thorough knowledge about both the Arcana cards will deepen your understanding in learning and reading tarot cards easily.
Element of Earth
  • Physical expression in world
  • Physical creation
  • Demonstration
Element of Water
  • Language of Spirit
  • Compassion
  • Emotions/feelings
Element of Fire
  • Motivation
  • Conflict
  • Force
  • Action
  • Power
Element of Air
  • Communication
  • Enlightenment
  • Concepts/thoughts
  • Ideas

The Actual Methods of Tarot Reading

Now that we have seen the two factors which guide the fundamentals on reading tarot cards correctly, let's go over the guidelines on how beginners can tarot cards. Remember, the tarot cards, by themselves, are rather benign. They only possess so much power due to our individual belief in them.
Materials Required
  • Tarot cards software
  • Tarot cards
  • Card tables
  • Journal and pen
Step #1: Sit at your desk with a new deck of tarot cards. Since this is a tarot spread for beginners, select the Rider-Waite deck. You can easily find them at bookstores.
Step #2: Place a clean cloth over the desk or table and place the deck over it. This will ensure that your cards stay safe and clean for a long time. Also, find a clean, organized area to keep the deck wrapped properly in the same cloth when you're not using it.
Step #3: Concentrate on the question you want to ask. Now shuffle the deck carefully or mix them with both hands. Hold all the cards properly after shuffling.
Step #4: Now cut the deck (as in, divide the deck evenly, in 2 stacks). As you're cutting the deck, ask the question out loud. Looking at the tarot cards software, you can choose any kind of card spread. You can choose from the five card spread, the ellipse spread, the Celtic spread, the mirror spread, the mandala spread, and the relationship spread. The simplest spread you can choose is the 4 cards diamond spread.
Step #5: Take a look at the design on each of the cards. The ones which are looking towards the right side up of you are indicating a positive position. And the ones which are looking upside down of you are the reverse cards. Generally, reversed tarot cards indicate conflict or blocked energy.
Step #6: Now that you have the spread in front of you, go over the cards one by one and look up their meanings. Just follow your instincts and use the software as your guide.
Once you have learned the meaning of the tarot cards, you can easily incorporate them in your everyday life. Learning how to read tarot cards is really fun when you can see them transforming into your life. And once they do, you won't forget how to read or interpret them.