tarot cards beginners guide

July 9, 2022

Tarot Cards: A Complete Guide for Beginners


Even though occultists have been drawing allegorical cards for ages, tarot cards or decks are suddenly appearing all over the place. Tarot is one of the most popular forms of divination. There has been a resurgence in interest in the tarot as a result of the inherent beauty of this ancient art form.

If you’ve been exposed to a significant number of tarot readings across a variety of social media platforms, you could be ready to begin your own practice. You may have even heard of a modern witch tarot deck. Your tarot card decks are deemed very important when it comes to your divination process.

You will even find that your tarot cards are all trying to tell you something, warn you about something you are unaware of. This is far more different than just simple playing cards. When you get or give yourself a tarot reading, you are communing with the divine (along with your tarot reader – unless you yourself are the tarot reader). Wish to know more?

We’ve got you covered! In this article, you’ll know about:

  • The History of Tarot Card Decks
  • Oracle Decks: Tarot Card Meanings
  • Tarot Decks: The Minor and Major Arcana
  • How to give yourself a proper tarot reading

What is the History of Tarot Cards?

In spite of the fact that tarot cards stretch back to the 1400s, the pictorial cards were initially utilized for playing rather than prediction. It wasn’t until 1785 that cartomancy, also known as telling one’s fortune through the use of playing cards, was actually developed. This was when a French occultist named Jean-Baptiste Alliette, also known by his pseudonym, Etteilla, which is an inversion of his surname, created thorough links between illustrated cards, astrology, and ancient Egyptian lore.

Mystics and philosophers during the course of the following century continued to broaden the use of tarot cards. In the late 1890s, a number of occultists living in London established the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This organization is recognized as being one of the primary forces behind the current magical renaissance. Book T was the name of a guidebook that was written by two of the organization’s founders, a married couple named MacGregor and Moina Maters.

This book explained the symbolic significance of the tarot. Pamela Colman Smith and Arthur Edward Waite collaborated in 1909 to design and publish a deck of tarot cards that was obliquely inspired by the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This tarot deck is popularly known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and it is still the most popular tarot variant for both beginner and professional card readers.

The Rider-Waite-Smith deck was created in the early 20th century. Aleister Crowley, an occultist and the self-proclaimed archenemy of Arthur Edward Waite, and Lady Frieda Harris, a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, published their own interpretation of the tarot in 1943. The divination method is connected to the universe through the use of particular astrological symbolism that is embedded inside each card of their Thoth deck. This deck was named after the Egyptian deity of alphabets.

What is the difference between Major Arcana cards to Minor Arcana cards?

According to tarot readers, the Major Arcana cards are symbolic representations of significant, ground-breaking forces. They serve as bookends for our travels, and each one can be interpreted on its own as a meaningful statement that exemplifies significant life transitions that mark the beginnings or endings of cycles.

The appearance of these dynamic cards during significant transitions denotes pivotal turning points in the game. The cards are ordered in chronological sequence, which illustrates the passage of time. Each card is numbered to signify a stage along the larger path that is our journey through life.

On the other hand, the Minor Arcana cards provide insight into more mundane aspects of life. These cards depict regular individuals going about their everyday lives, such as partying, drinking, sleeping, or arguing over nothing in particular. They imply an activity that is caused by human actions and manifests itself throughout smooth transitions that might only be momentary or have a marginal impact on the situation.

How many tarot cards are there for you?

The cards that make up the Minor Arcana are organized into four suits, with ten numbered cards and four court cards distributed across each suit. The number on a Minor Arcana card provides insight into the current phase of a process: The card that represents the beginning is the ace, while the card that represents the finish is the 10.

In a similar manner, the advancement of the court cards reflects our comprehension of events on an individual level. These court cards can represent actual persons or personality types. The Page (or Princess, in some decks), Knight, Queen, and King each interpret the situation with progressively higher levels of intelligence and wisdom as they progress through the suit.

Additionally, the four suits of the Tarot, which are Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups, each correspond to their own distinct spheres of existence and astrological elements.

  • Swords depict cerebral intrigues (as per the air element).
  • Wands reflect passion and inspiration (corresponding with the fire element).
  • Pentacles represent money and physical realities (related to the earth element).
  • Cups illustrate emotional matters (corresponding with the water element).

These suits disclose which spheres of influence are being triggered and provide direction on how to best manage any situation that may arise. It is important that you memorize these by heart.


How do you start “reading” your tarot cards?

A complete pictographic language is produced when the Major and Minor Arcana cards of the Tarot Deck are combined. It is essential to keep in mind that each card in the deck represents a different person, situation, or possible conclusion and that all of the answers we are looking for are already innately present in the deck.

Because there are no tricky riddles or covert objectives involved in tarot, the ability to decipher meaning is dependent on your own narrative interpretation. Always make sure to reshuffle (or “clean”) the deck before beginning any reading. This act of purposeful movement ought to turn into a meditation.

Imagine your query while imagining the materiality of the cards you are holding in your palm. If you are doing a reading for someone else, you should take advantage of this contemplative pause to help you get to the bottom of their predicament and come up with specific questions for them. Take as much time as you require.

The first step in reading tarot cards is called “clearing the deck,” and it is an essential one because it opens the doorway between different spiritual planes. When you are ready, divide the pile of cards into three piles and reshuffle them with their backs facing down. Prepare to pull cards for your tarot “spread” on your most cherished piece of cloth (remember to treat your tarot deck with the utmost care).

What are the different tarot spreads for you?

One of the most basic and effective tarot spreads is the “three-card spread.” You can change the categories to fit any occasion (past, present, future; yourself, the other person, the relationship; opportunities, challenges, outcomes; mind, body, spirit). The cards and their positions will effortlessly reveal bonds and dynamics. But, before you read the plain explanation for each card, take a moment to make up your own story based on your observations.

How do you feel about the cards you drew? What colors and symbols are there? Are the characters facing each other or away from each other? Do the illustrations appear unified or disjointed? There are, of course, many other tarot cards spread beside the three-card pull.

Professional tarot card readers frequently utilize the “Celtic cross spread,” which uses ten cards and, as the name implies, is shaped like a Celtic cross. The 10-card spread helps you to consider not only the past, present, and future, but also the obstacles, outside influences, and even outcomes.

A one-card-a-day pull will plenty to get you used to the technique for beginners (and honestly, even experienced tarot readers do this). Pick a time of day (typically in the morning) and simply ask the cards, “What do I need to know today?” or “How should I spend my energies today?” This system is efficient, simple to follow, and a terrific way to learn the cards.

Though each card has traditional meanings, your intuition is the most effective tool at your disposal. Take note of your initial emotional reaction. Your instincts will guide your research and increase your visual memory. You’ll eventually establish your own systems and patterns, and individual cards will have meanings unique to you. As a tarot card reader, you will know what comes next.

How do you choose a tarot deck?

There is no shortage of tarot cards that are both beautiful and vibrant. Since the middle of the twentieth century, there have been published hundreds, if not thousands, of decks that are stunningly gorgeous. The Motherpeace deck flawlessly depicts the ethereal atmosphere of the 1970s, and the Black Power deck highlights prominent Black luminaries.

The Tarot de Marseilles deck is a beautiful replica of a historic French deck. There are some people who read tarot who feel that you should be given your first deck as a gift. Also, there is nothing more valuable than treating yourself with the magic of divination, so I believe you should savor the opportunity to choose your first deck.

Although everyone enjoys receiving things, there is nothing more valuable than treating yourself with the magic of divination. A person’s personal connection to the cards is the most significant component to consider because there are so many different enchanting choices accessible.

Where can you buy tarot cards?

Whether you are doing your purchasing in person or online, pay attention to how your feelings change as you go through the various tarot decks. Is the option you’re considering giving you butterflies in your stomach? Wary? Confused? Put your faith in your instincts.  In the end, your interpretation of the cards will be determined by the careful study you give it.

Investigate the metaphors! Which kinds of representations, classical or modern, have the power to enchant you? Pay attention to the symbols. Are you interested in them? It is important to keep in mind that there is no particular order in which tarot cards should be ranked; therefore, you should select the deck that most entices your spirit.

Why should you purchase tarot cards?

Keep in mind, mighty warriors of the cosmos, that while the tarot does give a broad vocabulary, in the end, it is essentially the same as tossing a coin. We have the ability to imbue any action or item with an energy charge by harnessing the power of our own spirits and transferring it to the activity or object. This is especially applicable to each tarot card you possess, you’ll find that your energy and relationship with your deck are extremely important.


Even though it takes time, patience, and practice to understand how to read tarot cards, we already have all of the skills that are necessary to make honest and accurate divinations. The illuminated cards and their mystic readers are both distinguished by traits such as passion, logic, curiosity, and intuition, which are at the very heart of tarot reading. These characteristics are at the very center of tarot reading.

Finding the right Tarot Cards and Tarot Deck for you:

#1: The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck

Because so many subsequent decks are based on the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck’s now-iconic drawings, purchasing this deck as your first is a wise decision. In addition to this, helpful tarot textbooks like 78 Degrees of Wisdom make use of the deck as a reference tool.

Your collection should begin with the Rider-Waite card deck, and then you should add other decks that speak to you in some way. You can get it online, but if you want to see what speaks to you in person, you can definitely check out the occult store in your neighborhood as well.

#2: The Black Power Tarot Deck

One valid criticism that can be leveled against the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck and other decks of the same ilk is that every card in the deck is white. This is frustrating for obvious reasons, particularly when one considers the crucial role that people of color have played throughout the history of occultism.

The Black Power Tarot is a suitable option for anyone who is interested in acquiring a deck that is both more contemporary and more inclusive, as it features well-known figures such as Etta James and James Brown.

#3: Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck

Fans of occult history will want to get their hands on the notorious Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, which is known for being straightforward and honest in its interpretations of the cards. Lady Frieda Harris followed Crowley’s instructions to paint the art deco cards, which were designed by Crowley. If you are also interested in astrology, the Thoth deck is an excellent option for you because the cards contain kabbalistic indications and interpretations in addition to astrological ones.

#4: The Marseilles Tarot Deck

Try out the Marseille Tarot Professional Edition if you’re interested in the history of the occult or if you simply adore the beauty of French art. The Marseille Tarot is particularly useful as a gift because it is both one of the most influential and beautiful decks available and because it is an excellent deck to move on to once you have mastered the Rider-Waite. This is because the Marseille Tarot is one of the most impactful decks out there. At a professional reading, you shouldn’t be surprised if an experienced reader chooses to use this one.

#5: The Slutist Tarot Deck

Since the beginning of time whenever humans have cast spells, there has been an association between witchcraft and sexual positivity. Therefore, in order to be a witch or a student of the occult, one must be anti-racist, support sex workers, and have a positive attitude toward sexual minorities. Do not put your faith in anyone who tells you otherwise.

When The Slutist Tarot was released, it was only natural for members of the occult community to lose their minds. The stunning artwork was created by Morgan Claire Sirene, and it depicts famous people who are associated with the sex industry, as well as renowned sex workers, a wide variety of bodies, and even superstars like Prince and David Bowie.

Final Word:

It’s about time you gave yourself a tarot reading! You know it doesn’t have to be the 18th century for you to read tarot and know the tarot meanings.

Which of the aforementioned tarot decks caught your attention the most?

Tell us through the comments down below!

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