Curious About Divination? Gain Insight With This Tarot Cards Beginner Guide
by Lauren Sanchez
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This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Lauren Sanchez. Find her on Instagram at @lauren.sanchezz. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
When it comes to finding answers to life’s biggest questions or seeking advice to make a hard decision, we often look for ways to guide us through the process. Whether it’d be reaching out to a friend on how they would address your situation, looking for signs that point you in the right direction or even vigorously shaking a magic eight ball for a simple “Yes” or “Nope, try again” answer, there are countless ways to seek guidance. And one of them can be through tarot cards!
On TikTok, you may find yourself scrolling upon a tarot reading and often they are meant to try and help you solve a problem in your relationships or maybe even find out why your friend has been distancing themselves from you. Contrary to popular belief, tarot cards are not used to predict or tell the future. Tarot cards are often used for spiritual guidance and each of the 78 unique cards in a deck is meant to symbolize and tell a unique story that you can use to apply to the questions you need answering.
Tarot cards can be intimidating especially with trying to memorize each card’s meaning, trying to understand divination and learning to trust your intuition. So, if you’re looking for some well-need guidance, if you’re a tarot cards beginner looking into the divination arts or if you’re simply curious about what tarot cards are all about, we got you covered!
Brief History Of Tarot Cards
Before you start getting into tarot cards, it is certainly important to know how they originated! Tarot cards were used as playing cards back in 15th century Europe in a game called Tarocchi. As it spread to other European countries, it got the name “tarot” from the southern part of France. And as conspiracies of the supernatural and magic began to grow, French occultists began using them for divination purposes.
It wasn’t until 1909 that the tarot card had a standardized deck for others to recreate. Known as the Rider-Waite format, it was created by British occultists Arthur Waite and Pamela Colman Smith. Their format and art of tarot cards are what we commonly see in all types of different decks today.
Yet despite the popularity of tarot cards growing, it wasn’t too long ago that there was still a negative stigma towards them. Oftentimes, people associated them with evil spirits and demonic energy. But as people became more secular in their views and focused more on the benefits of using tarot cards that negativity towards them has gradually shifted.
What’s In Your Deck
For you to answer all the questions you may have about your life, you’ll need to know what the cards stand for. While I’m not going to dive deep into ALL 78 cards and their meanings, it’s important to at least know the basics!
Within a deck, there are two big categories– the major arcana and the minor arcana. The major arcana consists of 22 cards within the deck that depict a different part of human life. Divided into three subcategories, there is the realm of the physical world, the realm of the intuitive mind and the realm of transformation. These cards typically refer to major significant life events and/or figures in a person’s life.
The minor arcana are the other 56 cards and they usually reflect the everyday matters we face in our lives. Within these 56 cards, there are four suits (almost like a regular deck of cards) that represent a different fact of life: wands, swords, pentacles and cups. Traditionally, the pentacles represent work, money and the materialistic part of life. The wands symbolize creativity, passion and drive. The cups represent emotions and mindfulness, whereas the swords symbolize intellect and truth.
How To Do A Tarot Card Reading
When it comes to tarot cards, it is all about trusting your intuition and building a connection with your deck. Establishing trust with the universe and accessing your inner wisdom will help you get the answers you need. Going into a reading with a closed mindset or an attitude of “Oh, this is dumb!” will not help you, and besides doing a reading is supposed to be a fun activity. Now is not the time to be a nonbeliever and/or a skeptic!
The first step to doing a tarot card reading is by cleansing your deck of all negative energy and giving your deck a fresh slate. To help cleanse the deck, you can use certain crystals like clear quartz and selenite, salt, moonlight and herbal incense. Cleansing the deck of bad vibes and energy can help you establish a more connected relationship between you and your cards, and provide assurance to more accurate readings.
Once they are cleansed and you are in a good mental and physical space to do the reading, you are now ready to ask the cards your question. Be sure to ask the right question– and what I mean by that is don’t go straight into asking an incredibly open-ended question that won’t give you a solid, straightforward answer. For example, instead of asking “Should I take this job?” to get answers for choosing a new career path, ask “What can I expect if I do decide to take this job?” It’s a simple redirection, but with this type of question, you are getting a more concise answer.
For beginners, I recommend choosing a simple 3-card tarot spread. This means to lay out three random cards in front of you and those three cards can either indicate a “past, present and future” scenario-type of answer or a “situation, action and outcome” one. I highly recommend shuffling your cards before you create your spread! Shuffling your cards before the reading can help channel the energy between you and the deck, and allows them to concentrate on picking the “right” cards that you need to hear.
Once they are shuffled and energized, the cards are ready to be placed down. If in the middle of shuffling a card or two falls out, definitely take that as a sign to use them in your spread. It could very well be a message from the universe that those cards are meant for you to use. From left to right, go through each card and its meaning and apply their meanings to your situation. Just remember that good intuition and open-mindedness are key to these readings! You shouldn’t expect complete and total accuracy – these cards are just tools to help guide you through your decisions. While some cards can be scary to have in your spread like the devil or even death, I promise the meanings aren’t! Those specific cards in general are meant to represent the “death” of a project and potential new beginnings.
Some of my favorite cards are the star and the moon! Not just because they are the most aesthetically pleasing to look at (in my opinion), but I love what they say about the human soul, freedom and dreams.
Where To Buy Cute Tarot Card Decks
Etsy, Target and local crystal shops sell extremely cute and beautiful kinds of tarot card decks. This unique neon deck and this adorable black and pink deck from Etsy are perfect for beginners who love a bit of color and whose personalities are energetic. And for those who like to stick to the traditional aspect of tarot cards, this mini tarot deck from Target even comes with a mini booklet on what each of the 78 cards means. Additionally, be sure to check out your local crystal shops– I guarantee you that they have books and professionally written guides on how to accurately do tarot readings, and you can even pick up some crystals to help charge up your deck!
To all my beginner tarot card readers, remember that having good energy and intuition are extremely important when it comes to these readings. If you think about it, you are literally connecting with the universe and how cool is that to receive a message from the universe? Even if you may not find the answer you are looking for directly, tarot is all about getting in touch with your higher self, manifesting your goals and diving deep into your soul. So, good luck with your readings and may the cards be ever in your favor!
How do you feel about tarot cards? Do you feel like a tarot cards beginner? What questions are you planning on asking during your tarot reading? Let us know in the comments below!
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