Tag Archives: intuition

Tarot 101: An Intro to Tarot (Part 1)


I’ve talked a couple of times on the blog about card meanings, how to read tarot, and what it means when a deck doesn’t feel right, but I realized that I’ve never talked about the basics. I just assumed that anyone finding my blog would A.) already know or B.) be able to find the basics elsewhere since there are so many websites out there now that cover this topic.

But I’m about to add one more.

I realized if I’m going to talk about the more advanced stuff, I should probably also cover the basics as well. Not only does this help add more information to the topic, but it also gives my readers a basis of where I’m coming from and how I work. Which seems like a pretty good idea to me.

Please keep in mind, not every tarot reader works the same way. I’m quite certain there are other readers out there who do things very differently. And that’s OK! That’s awesome! One of the great things about reading cards is that there are so many different ways of doing it and each reader is free to find the way that works best for them.

So, to begin . . .

What is Tarot?

Tarot is a tool. The cards can be used to gain insight and perspective into the self and situations. Tarot cards aren’t inherently bad or “evil”, though there are some negative stereotypes that persist about the cards and readers. Anyone can read the cards, though in my experience, some of the best readers are those who have spent some time studying the symbolism and meanings of the cards.

Tarot has been around since at least the 15th century and was originally a card game. At some point, they became a tool for divination. Probably the most well-known deck, the Rider-Waite, was designed by Arthur Edward White and published in 1910. Depending on how you’re taught, some say that the tarot cards are the journey of the Fool, the first card of the Major Arcana, and that the Fool travels through the deck to experience each card.

How are Tarot Cards Different From Angel and Oracle Cards?

For the most part, tarot cards are set up as a specific system and angel and oracle cards aren’t. The primary purpose of most angel and oracle cards is to be read intuitively and with very little or no study of the cards needed. With tarot, the reader often benefits from studying the cards as well as reading intuitively. There is a specific number of cards in any tarot deck (78), and they generally stick to a system of four suits plus the Major Arcana. Angel cards tend to be a deck of cards of any number with images of angelic beings. Oracle cards tend to be a deck of any number and usually with custom artwork or images of any variety. There are some varieties of tarot that deviate from the typical 78-card system and don’t stick to the popular Rider-Waite imagery, but they still tend to be divided into the suits and the Arcanas.

What are Tarot Deck Basics?

A typical tarot deck consists of 58 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana is divided into four suits: pentacles, swords, wands/rods, and cups. The names of these may be different depending on author, but they tend to be relatively interchangeable. For example, I’ve seen the pentacles suit called the coins suit.

Each suit consists of fourteen cards: ace through ten, page, knight, queen, king. Again, the names of the royal cards may be different depending on deck, but they tend to follow a hierarchy. For example, I’ve seen the page also called the princess and the knight called the prince. It depends on the author of the deck. The Minor cards tend to be symbolic of everyday life and indicate everyday issues.

The Major Arcana is 22 cards going from the Fool to the World. These cards tend to reflect archetypes or overall lessons. Some say that the Major cards indicate karma or karmic rules, but not everyone agrees on this.

How Can I Learn What the Cards Mean?

There are many different ways of doing this. Some people take years to study and read up on the cards. Others don’t. I have a couple of suggestions for those who want to learn what the cards mean:

  • Keep a tarot journal. Record your impressions of each card as you come across it. You can even photocopy the card you want to work on a tape or paste it into the journal. Then study the card and write down any impressions you get. What does it mean to you? What to the symbols tell you? Listen to your intuition. Then, once you’ve recorded what the card means to you at the time, look up what it means to other people and see if there’s anything you want to add. A good website I’ve used before for card meanings is http://learntarot.com/cards.htm.
  • Pull a card a day. Every morning, shuffle and ask the deck what your day will be like. Pull only one card, study it for a few minutes, write down initial impressions, and then leave it alone. Come back at the end of the day and see how you did.

The suggestions above are more for those who want to learn what the cards mean to them on an intuitive level. I usually say that the cards have different meanings for different people. You can certainly look up what the cards tend to mean, and I encourage you to do so, as studying the symbolism can really help understand the nature of the deck. But I also contend that there’s an intuitive element to reading and the usual meanings will not always apply in every situation. This is why I encourage a mixed approach–practice the intuitive while also studying the symbolic.

That’s all for Part 1 of Tarot 101. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!

name2

Advertisements

When a Reading Isn’t Right


So many people take tarot card, oracle card, aura, and palm readings as absolute truth.  Somehow, it seems that when someone goes in for a reading, they are more likely to blindly accept what is told to them by the reader rather than think it over or question anything in the reading even when it isn’t really right.  I’m not the only one who’s noticed this tendency, either, and thank goodness for that, because otherwise I might have thought I were going crazy.

But no, other readers have noticed this as well.  Once you realize this, as a reader, you tend to become hyper aware of what you say to the client/questioner.  You realize that they could very well take you completely at your word, not question anything you say, and go off and do something stupid because they think you told them to.  And that’s fine, they can do that, and it’s their choice.  They chose to believe you without thinking over what they had been told.  However, that doesn’t mean the reader should just say anything that comes to mind and expect to be absolved of responsibility if the client does something stupid as a result.

Nor does it mean the questioner will or should take everything said in a reading to heart.  When you receive a reading–whether tarot, aura, or palm–oftentimes there is an element of intuition at play on the part of the reader.  There is an element of study as well, as I would expect that any serious reader would practice and study their craft a lot.  But for many, especially in tarot readings, the intuition plays a role for the reader in interpreting the results for the questioner.  That means that the results of the reading are fluid and open for interpretation.  Sometimes a lot of interpretation.

I recently had a tarot reading from someone I’d never met before.  She was very nice, and has been practicing readings for a while now, so I figured I would get a decent reading.  However, when the cards came up, I was very confused.  None of the cards made much sense to me for the placement they were in.  One or two cards didn’t seem to fit me at all.  I pointed out my confusion to the reader, and we worked to find the interpretation that fit–but in a reading like this one, if you have to work that hard to find meaning in the results, you’re better off starting over, clearing the deck, and scrapping the previous results.

When a reading doesn’t feel right, or doesn’t seem to fit you or the situation you asked about, then make sure you bring it up to the reader.  It may be that you’re misunderstanding the card, in which case, it’s easy to correct.  But it could also be that the reading wasn’t right to begin with.  If it’s a tarot reading and the reader had other clients beforehand, then perhaps they didn’t clear the deck well enough before reading you.  Or they put too much of their own energy into it and muddled the results.  Or, if in a gallery situation, perhaps the reader picked up on someone else’s energy and the reading was meant more for the other person than for you.  Whatever the reason, when a reading doesn’t feel right, then speak up and tell the reading that you think it doesn’t apply or that you’re confused about something.

Not only does that help clear up confusion for you, but it also helps the reader improve their skills.  Feedback is important in that kind of setting.  In my case from the reading I just had, the reading wasn’t really meant for me.  Thus my extreme confusion and why it didn’t seem to fit.  I believe the reading was actually intended for the person sitting next to me, and her energy and need overrode mine, unknown to me and the reader both.

And I usually tell people to take most readings with a hint of skepticism.  Not everything will turn out as the reader says it will.  Not all readings will be 100% correct, or even 50% correct.  Some readings will just not fit, and when they don’t fit, don’t just accept what the reader says and try to make their results mesh with your life.  Ask questions.  Find your own interpretation.  Listen to your own instincts.

In the News: Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling


Found an interesting article on Yahoo! today called “Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling.”

They have an interesting premise.  It seems like they’re saying that analytical people, or those who are more reasonable, are less likely to believe in God/deity.  Which I find kind of funny.  I’m a highly analytical person, myself, and very reasonable, yet I believe in deity.  How would I fit into this analysis they have going?

Sure enough, people who went with their intuition on the math test were found to be one-and-a-half times more likely to believe in God than those who got all the answers right. The results held even when taking factors such as education and income into account.

In a second study, 373 participants were told to write a paragraph about either successfully using their intuition or successfully reasoning their way to an answer. Those who wrote about the intuitive experience were more likely to say they were convinced of God’s existence after the experiment, suggesting that triggering intuitive thinking boosts belief.

They basically boil this down to how you answer a math question.  So apparently they can predict whether I’m more likely to believe in God/deity based on how I answer a simple math problem.  Unfortunately, while I don’t particularly care for the tone of the article, I seem to have proven their theory with my answer.

I can see how intuition would link with belief, as long as you’re somewhat in tune with that intuition.  But I find it a little hard to believe that a belief in God/deity is dependent on whether you are more intuitive.  There are some people I know who are not very intuitive at all (I say “not very” because everyone has intuition, it’s just that some people are more tuned in than others) yet still believe in a deity of some kind.  So I can’t make that leap that they’re trying to prove in this study, that belief in God boils down to a gut feeling or intuition.

What do you all think, my lovely readers?