I have always been fascinated by things like this and so decided to study the meanings and ways to read Tarot cards and also the history behind them…
Tarot cards came about in Europe during the early 15th century and were used to play various types of card games, but by the 18th century were being used for Divination which is a way of figuring out a spiritual map of someones pathway in the world. Basically whatever cards you are dealt will be of relevance only to you and your life, things that have been and will be. Unlike years ago the practice of reading Tarot cards is no longer as popular or so well believed, often seen as some kind of foolish hokes just to gain the coins from our pockets, but for those of us who like to believe then here are the card meanings and readings.
The Fool – Normally depicted as brightly coloured and carefree with a bag on a staff, a dog at his side and the edge of a cliff in front of him. The fool is ready to take any pathway but is unaware that the dog by his feet is trying to warn him of the dangerous cliff ahead. This card tells us that we can expect new beginnings such as New home, Job or relationship, it signifies Energy, change and a fresh start, but also has a warning with it to always look ahead with caution and not to jump in ‘Foolishly’.
The Magician –Always depicted with a small staff (wand), a cup (chalice), a pentacle (an Amulet representing the Earth) a small sword and above his head floats a Lemniscate (symbol of Infinity). The Magician uses his powers to show that each item symbolizes a different path that can be taken in life. This card shows us the meaning of Willpower and Desire with the Lemniscate over the magicians head being the strength of mind we have. We are offered different pathways in life and it is up to us to see through Illusions and slight of hand that others may use to conceal the truth in helping us make the right choices. (Don’t be taken in by the Trickery and Magic of someones smooth talking and quick tongue).
Judgement –usually depicted with people rising out of graves, an ocean and an Angel with a Trumpet who is said to have spoken the words “There is no way to leave the past behind,” Each step wears down the shoe just a bit, and so shapes the next step you take, and the next and the next. Your past is always under your feet. You cannot hide from it, run from it, or rid yourself of it. But you can call it up, and come to terms with it.” This card is helping us to see that we cannot move forward with our life until we have completely dug up our past and come to terms with everything we or others have done. It is about understanding and forgiveness so that we may be mentally reborn and ready to move on.
The Emperor -Normally depicted with a great Emperor sitting upon a throne with a ram’s head, and an orb and scepter (staff/wand held only by the hand of a raining monarch as a symbol of true royalty and power). This card is all about defining who is the Boss in your life. This is very important to every person. YOU should be in control over your own body, your temper, your instincts, your love, your heart and your surroundings. no one should be trying to take over your life and push you in to a corner. If dealt this card then you must realise that it’s time to stand up, be noticed, be brave, bold and in command of what is yours.
The Moon -Usually depicted with a full moon that has a crescent moon within, twin pillars either side, two dogs or wolves howling up at the moon, a stream that runs to an ocean and a crayfish emerging from the water. This card symbolizes our darker side where madness and a little craziness lurks hidden most of the time in the back ground but now and again gets the better of us and we may do stupid things like go becoming immersed in a drunken or drug induced state or sink in to a depression that leaves us alienating our friends and loved ones with selfish behaviour and irrational mood swings. When dealt this card we must understand that things are about to take a turn for the worse and life will become a little hard for a while and send us on a mental roller coaster. We must choose to fight and rise above these hard times instead of wallowing in them.
The Ace Of Cups -Usually depicted with A gold, engraved chalice that sits on top of a silver rock in an vast ocean in varying shades of blue, A rainbow streaming down from the sky deep into the middle of the cup with droplets of water falling over the edges in to the ocean below and also two Dolphins one dark and one light. This card symbolizes the overflowing cup of life, The rock of wisdom, Water that sustains every living thing, light and shadow ( yang and yin) the circle of wholeness and unity that can be found in the joining of opposites. Basically put, this card is telling us that we have an open heart and mind with an endless capacity for love, learning and a positive attitude. It’s time in your life to be saying YES!!!.
The Star – Depicted with a variation of stars (usually seven or eight of them) and a naked woman kneeling in a pool of water with two urns. Symbolizing hope, healing and the offer of unexpected help through bad or unhappy times. This card tells us that there is help and assistance available to us when needed, it might only seem small to us at first…A kind word, a cuddle, an offer of a shoulder to lean on or an uplifting story or even a piece of music. But the little things help to heal the bigger things and in time life will return back to the way it should be or possibly even better. It’s all about Patience and going the distance to make things right again.
The Lovers -Normally depicted with an angel or cupid, a man and a woman together, two trees with apples and a snake in the tree. This card is not as simple as it seems, most people assume it means you are about to find true life and happiness…well yes and no, it actually means you have a choice. whilst your soul (heart) may cry out that you have found the other half to yourself, the true one that nobody else could replace. however this does not always mean a person, it can often refer to a home, a career, a new friend or simply an object you have desired. But the rational side of you must make a choice and decide if this thing (person or object) is worth any changes you might have to make or having to give something up or leave it behind.
The Sun -Usually depicted with the sun, a naked boy on a horse and a red banner or cloth. Whilst the moon symbolizes your inner darkness, the Sun is your inner light, the understanding, more respectful and rational side of you. This card is for all things fresh and new…throw open the curtains, wipe away the dust and cobwebs of your life and let the sun pour in. Everything becomes clear, jobs that were hard will become easier, people who were unkind will become nicer, that baby you were hoping for may now be a possibility. It’s all about things going your way and falling in to place at last.
Death -Usually depicted as a skeleton in either armor or black robes holding a scythe or a flag with a white rose symbol, a small child at it’s feet or to the side and a rising sun in the back ground. The Card that most people fear. When dealt this card it is easy to worry that it marks the end of your existence or that of someone close to you, although there is of course always the chance of that possibility it is most unlikely as this card simply represents ‘The End’ and that can be of anything, a relationship, your job, a holiday or journey, an illness, the year or just the end of an emotional week. This card is not just about endings, it’s also about preparing yourself for a fresh start, because as with everything in life where there is an end there is most certainly always a new begining.
Although I have not included all 78 cards from a full Tarot deck these are some of the most commonly used.