Tarot 101: Introduction to Tarot…

Consider this a crash course introduction to Tarot. Tarot is one of witchcraft’s more commonly portrayed aspects in modern media. Everyone knows of the crazy old woman reading Tarot cards and palms at her velvet-covered shop with a big ass crystal ball.

Tarot decks contain 78 cards. These cards are split into two main categories; Major arcana and Minor arcana. Major arcana makes up 22 cards of the deck and have the most famous cards, like The Lovers and Death. The Minor arcana cards make up the remaining 56 cards of the deck and is made of four suits.

However, the suits are different than a standard deck. Where a standard deck’s suits are made up of Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs, a Tarot deck’s suits are Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Tarot suits do coincide with regular suits, so if you’re trying to be sneaky or looking for a new Tarot challenge, you can use a regular deck just as you would a Tarot deck. Cups coincide with Hearts, Pentacles with Diamonds, Swords with Spades, and Wands with Clubs.

The Major arcana is numbered, starting at 0 instead of 1. We’ll go over more of the Major arcana later on.

Tarot is a form of divination magic, like reading tea leaves or casting oracle bones. Another form of card divination is oracle cards. Oracle cards can come in different kinds of deck sizes and content. Tarot is normally based on one set standard.

Most decks based their face illustrations off the Rider-Waite deck, which has been in print since 1910 and is considered the standard for  Tarot decks. Nowadays, there are many illustrators creating their own stylistic face illustrations for their own Tarot decks, drawing from the Rider-Waite deck as inspiration.

Many pros agree that to start learning with a deck based on the Rider-Waite deck since it is such a common and accessible deck. As well as being the most common deck available, the resources online are countless if you need help interpreting a card or learning a new spread.  Besides online, there are books upon books you can reference.

That’s just some of the basics involving Tarot. With a topic this old and rich, there’s always more to explore and discover and learn.

Check out more about tarot in some of these posts:


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