The best way to learn to read Tarot is to familiarize yourself with the cards themselves. A tarot deck is comprised of seventy-eight cards. These cards are divided into two arcanas. The word "arcana" is related to the word arcane, meaning containing esoteric information—information available to those knowledgeable enough to decode the secret language of symbolism.
The first arcana is known as the Major Arcana. It's comprised of twenty-two cards numbered 0 through XXI. These cards explore the archetypes and universal questions experienced as we journey through life.
The second one is known as the Minor Arcana. It takes the great themes explored in the Major Arcana and brings them down to earth. The Minor Arcana is divided into four suits—cups, wands, swords, and pentacles—but more about this later.
More information about tarot cards: The Tarot has been used for many years by people striving to better understand their life journey. It provides us with an experience of synchronicity, a term coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe a series of seemingly random events that are interpreted as a whole for greater meaning, helping us see the forest for the trees.
For those who fear the Tarot, or invest it with predictive powers outside theirselves, rest easy. At Tarot Goddess, we believe the Tarot cannot tell you what you do not already know deep inside. It's an adventure into truth seeking rather than soothsaying—though the cards can often reveal unexpected news! The beauty of Tarot is that it presents this information in a new form, like an opinion without a vested interest.
It's easiest to learn the Tarot if you have a deck of your own to work with. Tarot decks come in every theme imaginable—from vampires to gummy bears. For the purpose of these lessons, we'll be using the most popular tarot deck in the world, the Rider-Waite Tarot. On Tarot Goddess, we're proud to also feature the Goddess Tarot and the Lover's Path Tarot, decks whose symbolism is based on the Rider-Waite Tarot.
The popular Rider-Waite Tarot.
Some consider the Tarot to hold all the world's wisdom distilled into images as potent as any dream. But, as with a dream, the information ascribed to these cards should be made pertinent to your life experiences—look upon the information in this online course as a guide to spark your personal journey.
Advice to help you learn the Tarot:
1. Approach each course lesson sequentially, and take your time. Each lesson is designed to build upon each other.
2. Keep a journal for notes and questions that may arise as you work through each lesson. Later, when you begin to read Tarot, this journal can also be used to record your readings.
3. We've included meanings for each card, but please consider these descriptions only a starting point. We recommend you use a journal to write whatever memories or associations the cards inspire.
4. Finally, you're welcome to print out these lessons* for your personal use. (In other words, xnay on sharing or selling this content in any form. Anyway, you'd never do that, right?)
In closing, we hope this Learn Tarot course will empower your life. We also hope they'll add another level of understanding to your online Tarot Goddess readings.
And with this, let's begin our first lesson!
*The Learn Tarot online course was adapted by permission from The Goddess Tarot Workbook by Kris Waldherr, published by US Games Systems, © 2000, all rights reserved, and The Lover's Path Tarot. (The Goddess Tarot is available as an app here.)