How to Read Tarot Without a Book
You can’t read your cards without consulting a book? Putting an end to your frustration is easier than you think…
When you are first starting out with your tarot deck, it may look daunting to try and learn the meanings and inter-relationships of all seventy eight cards. But rest assured, you don’t have to put aside the next few months just to study and memorize. The only thing you really need to get started immediately is a good grasp of the basics (explained below!), and by listening to your intuition you will be able to read the tarot completely by yourself.
The Role of Major Arcana
The Major Arcana are the heart of the deck. There are twenty two cards that represent the big lessons in life. Consider the Major Arcana to be like the checkpoints that everyone comes to throughout their life as they grow their personality.
The Role of Minor Arcana
Minor Arcana are more about our everyday worries. There are four suits. In order to read them, you need to understand what each suit represents. For example, cups stand for emotions and intuition, usually telling you about relationships with others and about your internal feelings; while swords stand for cold intellect, bringing brilliance but also ego and conflict.
For cards one through ten, you need to understand the card progression. With basic numerology you can relate the number of the card to the qualities of the suit. Consider the one (Ace) as the beginning of the cycle, or promise. Then the ten would be the successful conclusion of that cycle, or success and being ready for the next cycle. Another example would be the two, which represents balance. This can mean a forging of a connection or in the opposite context, a choice to be made.
There are also four “court” cards: Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings. You need to understand the function of each card and be able to relate this to what its suit represents. Pages, for example, are like children – carefree and thirsty for experience. Kings, on the other hand, are experienced, mature and controlled.
Turn Your Attention to the Cards Themselves
The above are basic concepts when it comes to tarot reading. When you can get a grasp on them, you need to turn your attention to the cards themselves. Tarot cards often show beautiful images that are 1.) rich with symbols and 2.) often have people in them. The people on cards show their emotions clearly, pay attention to them. You should also notice where the focus is on the people depicted in the cards.
The symbolism of the cards is deeply rooted in your subconscious, as every single culture has given thought to the deeper meaning of the things that surround them. You’ll be able to recognize what the symbols imply without always being aware of it. For example, the star represents hope and guidance, while children and family represent harmony and happiness. The tarot suits themselves are symbols. The cups represent water, and how water flows. The wands represent wood, which can easily be turned into a burning flame. The people on the cards can also be symbols. A male figure stands for direct action, and a person turning his or her back must be contemplating something. The key to remember here is don’t work so hard to learn the symbols, just let the associations flow freely and you may be surprised at how much you already know.
Pay Attention to Your Intuition
You’re going to have a certain reaction to a card when you pick it up. Remember that this is your intuition trying to make you pay attention to something important based on the symbols of the card and your personal knowledge of that card, regardless of what your personal level of knowledge may be. Don’t think too much about it, and don’t analyze the individual card meanings. Let your intuition guide you, telling you what is important, and turning your reading into a story.
Just remember that you don’t have to spend months trying to learn all the cards’ meanings or all their possible nuances. Just get a good grasp on the basic concepts and then let your intuition take over for the rest.