All of us wish that we knew more about what the future has in store for us. With a little foresight, we imagine we could avoid catastrophes, make better decisions and ultimately live happier lives. And even if that’s not your goal, knowing the future would just be incredibly fascinating. If you think back to ten years ago, chances are that your life was completely unrecognizable from what it is today. Chances are that you were completely unrecognizable. So the question then becomes: what could another ten years do to you and your lifestyle?
This is why people turn to Tarot cards and whatever your stance on psychic readings/divination, this remains a fascinating practice and one that many people swear on to get a little glimpse of things to come.
And the great thing is just how easy and accessible Tarot cards are for anyone who wants to give this a go. So with that in mind, read on and let’s take a look at what some of the most common cards mean so that you can start reading your own future and that of your friends!
The Major Arcana
Tarot cards can be split into various groups and one such group is the ‘Major Arcana’. This is what we’re going to be focussing on here, as these are the very most powerful cards. These cards are trumps and can most strongly influence the outcome of a reading.
The more Major Arcana there are in any reading, the more likely it is that the forces at work are very strong and won’t be easily overruled.
There are 21 of these cards in all, which include:
- The fool
- The magician
- The high priestess
- The empress
- The emperor
- The hierophant
- The lovers
- The chariot
- The hermit
- The wheel of fortune
- The hanged man
- The devil
- The tower
- The star
- The moon
- The sun
- The world
Those who know their Jung/Joseph Campbell might also notice some similarity here to the major archetypes (such as the sage, shadow and trickster)
Other than the Major Arcana, you also have your Minor Arcana. These represent more mundane factors and are represented by the four elements. Interestingly, the Minor Arcana are the historical precursors to modern playing cards.
Now, we don’t have time to go over all the Major Arcana here, let alone both the major and minor. Instead, let’s take a look at just a few of the Major Arcana so that you can start to get a feel for how this works and what a reading might mean.
The first card in the Major Arcana, this card is represented with the numerical value ‘0’. In that regard, the fool represents the ‘beginning’ and the start. For this reason, the fool represents ‘all that is’ – so it probably has a different interpretation to the one you might have expected.
Nevertheless, the Fool still represents the trickster aspect in God/nature and some describe it as ‘God’s sense of humor’.
If the Fool comes up in a reading, then the message is an optimistic one. Like the fool who is pictured on the edge of a cliff, you are encouraged to take the leap of faith and to work through your fears and doubts!
The second card in the Major Arcana is represented by the number one. In this case, ‘one’ represents each living being (whereas in some other practices ‘5’ represents humanity.
The Magician has mastered the power of the Tarot and has control over the elements. He has one hand pointing to the sky and one to the ground and he brings all that is physical and spiritual together.
The lesson in this case is awareness. The card is telling you to bring awareness to your own life and to give it to others. Think about what you’re saying and find ways to materialize your dreams and make them reality.
The lovers card does indeed represent relationships as you might expect and generally in a positive light. This is about ‘harmonious interaction’ both within and without. If the card is dealt, it suggests that love is currently playing a very important role in the direction of your life.
The lovers don’t necessarily only represent relationships and love however. Actually, they more broadly represent ‘balance’ and the three realms of the mind: the conscious, subconscious and superconscious. This is slightly different from Freud’s interpretation of the id, ego and superego of course!
The lovers are represented by the number 6.
One of the cards that people are most interested in when they’re first learning about Tarot readings is Death. Death is the fourteenth card, represented by the number 13 – unlucky for some!
But while Death isn’t something we like to think about, the card is actually misunderstood. Death doesn’t represent physical death necessarily but more broadly is a sign that change is coming. Death can be a rebirth or a second change, or it can mean the destruction and end of your way of life. What determines is how you react to the change. Do you accept it, expand and grow? Or do you resist and fight it?
Strength is the ninth card, represented by the number eight. This is a card that’s associated with the Zodiac sign LEO interestingly enough, which in turn is ruled by the sun. Eight is also the number of solar festivals celebrated by a number of religions.
But this has little to do with the meaning that Strength has in your own predictions. Rather, the Strength card is encouraging you to get over your anger and to look for misunderstandings in your life. It tells you to address the negative aspects of yourself and others and thereby allow life to move forward.
Finally, let’s take a look at the last card in the Major Arcana – The World. The World is a rather grand sounding card and indeed this is a card that deals in large, sweeping concepts. The World is a card of ‘unlimited potential’ and represents the opportunity of a lifetime. It is the embodiment of the expression ‘the sky is the limit’ and it tells you to act and take your chance.
In this way, The World mirrors the meaning of the Fool. Only this card represents self-actualization and fulfilment of that possibility!