When we first connect with a Tarot card deck, we might find ourselves a little bit overwhelmed by all those cards and their meanings. It may seem almost impossible to remember all meanings to master a reading. Today I want to give you a special easy to follow guide to help you remember the Tarot card meanings in an easy way without having to memorize all of them.
Familiarize yourself with your deck
Each deck is different, you need to connect with the deck you chose to get to know each card. What is the feeling coming from it and what does it mean?
Spending time with a deck is mandatory and an important foundation to start your Tarot card reading adventure. You don’t have to spend hours on your deck, of course, if you can that would be amazing, but if you don’t have the time to do this, it is ok. On the contrary, you should face it like a new experience, a moment of recollection and of relaxation, returning to the deck when you feel like it.
Why? because Tarot cards and the connection you have with them comes from your intuition and a place of peace and commitment.
Saying that it basically means you are better to spend 5 minutes of total immersion and being 100% committed and anchored in the present moment than spending 2 hours with your deck while scrolling through your smartphone and being distracted by other things.
Run through the deck and look at the pictures
This might sound silly but trust me, many people when choosing or connecting with their decks, don’t look at the picture properly. Each Tarot card tells a story and each card has a unique meaning and message, you just need to reveal.
Most of the time we check the cards, we see the name and we run to a Tarot card guide to learn the meaning to give us the most accurate reading possible.
This is the wrong approach and a big NO when it comes to getting started with your deck and won’t help you to remember Tarot cards meanings any sooner or better. Instead, take each card, take your time, and study everything. Not only the bigger picture but study all the details. Even the smallest detail can make a huge difference in the way you are going to interpret the cards.
Start with the Major Arcana cards and see the story they want to tell you
Major Arcana cards are all about karmic energies, life lessons, and life-changing situations. In all cultures, even if with different contexts and characters, the Tarot cards tell the “story of the hero”. Set the Fool card aside, and layout the other cards, arranged in three rows of seven cards. Lay down all your Major Arcana cards and see their story.
The Fool symbolizes the hero.
- Cards I-VII depict the earthly journey of the Fool in the material world.
- Cards VIII-XIV identify the second part of his journey, in the spiritual world.
- Cards XV-XXI are the last part of his journey, in the celestial world.
The story begins with an inexperienced young man, who sets off in search of fortune. His first meetings are with a series of terrestrial authorities. Starting with a street Wizard, a virginal High Priestess, a maternal Empress, a paternal Emperor, and an authoritarian Pope.
After finding true love (The Lovers), he becomes as powerful as a human (The Chariot) can become. His earthly journey is over.
At this point, the Fool confronts a greater authority (Justice). This leads him to reconsider his world and withdraws from society (The Hermit), only in this way can he learn about the process of life (The Wheel of Fortune) and the disciplines that consolidate his inner strength (The Strength).
He faces a difficult trial (The Hanged Man) and loses everything (Death), thus he discovers the meaning of life (Temperance) and this ends his spiritual journey.
Next, the celestial phase of the journey begins. After overcoming his fears (The Devil) and breaking his pride (The Tower), the Fool goes up to the sky (The Stars, The Moon, The Sun), and faces a final test (The Judgment) and becomes worthy of the bigger reward (The World).
History is a metaphor for growth, and through learning, overcoming suffering, then wisdom and knowledge are achieved. It is the story of every person, that is why people look for answers inside the Tarot card deck.
Connecting with the Minor Arcana cards
Minor Arcana cards tell you what you need to know about situations or events in your life, something not permanent but can be changed with the power of your free will and by you taking actions.
The Minor Arcana cards are divided into four suits, Cups, Swords, Pentacles (Crystals), and Wands.
The four Tarot card suits are connected to the four elements.
- Swords – Air – Active energy
- Cups – Water – Passive energy
- Pentacles – Earth – Passive energy
- Sticks – Fire – Active Energy
- Swords symbolize words, thoughts, ideas, mental processes, and intellectual energy.
- Cups represent emotions, creativity, and spirituality.
- Pentacles represent material needs, money, career.
- Wands represent creative and spiritual energy, action on the physical level, travel.
Each card has a number on it and these numbers go from I (Ace) to X (Ten).
The meaning behind the numbers:
- A brand new start, A beginning
- Change or challenge
- Harmonious growth
- Mastering skills, power and strength
The Court Cards
The other cards of each suit don’t have numbers, instead, they are called Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings. These cards are often linked to people in your life with similar characteristics. These are called Court cards.
- Pages – They ready to embark on a new adventure
- Knights – Someone on a mission
- Queens – Someone who is mature, smart and strong
- King – Someone who is mature, but also a born leader
Mixing the numbers and the suit you can easily understand the message the cards have for you. For example, with the Ace of Pentacles want you to know that a brand-new adventure you are about to embark on is a very good one, it will be successful for your career and for your income.
Journal about the cards
This is a great way to reference Tarot cards meanings. Instead of studying each card as you would in a traditional way, basically without a logic, try to journal about the cards you find in a reading.
It doesn’t matter if you go with a one card daily spread or with a wider card spread, but make sure you write it down in your journal and but think of what kind of message and vibe you get from the card.
Then, look for the meaning and try to interpret the entire message and suggestions the cards have for you.
Educate yourself on the topic
There are many different Tarot card reference e-books/books you can read to educate yourself on these amazing topics. Some books are about the card’s meanings. Some decks even come with a guide to interpret the meaning behind the spread. There is nothing wrong with that.
However, remember that when you do a reading, rely on your intuition because Tarot Cards are about unlocking what is hidden in your wisdom.