Happy Mystic Monday!
For the next 4 weeks Mystic Mondays will be focusing on Tarot! I absolutely adore tarot and I think that it is one of the best ways to connect to the universe and one of the easiest practices to start studying. I started learning tarot when I was in high school just out of curiosity and now love to do readings as new moon rituals, for other people, or just when I need some advice.
This post is for the beginning tarot reader: a where to start so to speak . Throughout this series we will go into different decks, spreads, and rituals that you can do with your cards, but for now we will start with the basics.
Picking Out Your Deck
Tarot decks are 78 beautiful art pieces stacked together that arrange into messages, so when picking out your deck there are many stunning choices. It sounds simple, but just go with the one that you feel most drawn to, the more drawn to your deck you are the more you are going to practice and bond with them.
Tarot Decks can also range widely in pricing – my first deck was just about $10 off the clearance section and the most expensive deck that I have was just around $65 (it is absolutely gorgeous). I have some on my wish list that are over $100, so there really is a large range of pricing so you should be able to find a deck within your price range.
I would like to point out that there is an old belief that tarot decks should be gifts in order for them to work – some people believe this wholeheartedly, but I do not. The reason that I do not believe this is because I bought my first deck before I knew this rule, and this is the deck that I feel the most bonded to even though others have been given to me as gifts.
Bonding With Your Deck
It is important to develop a “bond” with the deck that you are using in order to connect to it better. Once you feel connected to the deck, it is easier to interpret and trust the deck when you are doing readings.
First 24 Hours with your Deck
- Put your deck in your bag and carry it everywhere you go for the first 24 hours.
- Shuffle and Rearrange your deck (I like to do this 3 or 4 times)
- Take the time to study the cards. Look at the design and appreciate the art work within them.
- Read the guide (most decks have guides that come with them, little books with the meaning of the cards)
- Sleep with them under your pillow.
- Shuffle and rearrange your deck
- Cleanse your deck with sage
- Give yourself a reading
Suits and Meanings
The meanings of cards are mostly the same in each deck, but depending on the creator meanings can vary. That being said the general referral of the suits usually is the same. There are 4 suits (wands,cups, swords, and pentacles) and the major arcana in a standard deck.
The Major Arcana
The major arcana are the first 22 in a deck and can be seen as separate entities or different parts of the same journey. These are inspired by both Greek and Roman mythology and Christianity. While they are grouped together, unlike the other suits they do not have a specific theme among all of them and should be looked at individually.
These cards can be associated with fire signs and the ‘spark’ in life. Wands often refer to passion, boldness, and risk taking.
The Cup suit is associated with water signs and social interaction. The cup suit can often refer to interpersonal relationships.
The Sword suit is associated with the air signs and logic. The sword suit will often appear referring to problems of the mind and strategy.
Pentacles (also referred to as coins) are associated with the earth signs and money. This suit usually appears to speak about business and finances.
There are endless options when it comes to spreads (or predetermined patterns) that you can use to conduct a reading. Ranging from one card readings to 10 card spreads like the celtic cross and the tree of life, what spread you use depends on the who and why you are consulting the tarot. My favorite spread is the one that I learned when I first got my cards, and it is a simple 4 card spread.
I hope that you found this post helpful to start your journey with tarot! If you are interested in learning more about tarot please subscribe as I will be continuing to dive into this topic for a few weeks!
If you are looking for a more comprehensive guide (as this is just a brief overview), I highly recommend Anthony Louis’ Complete Book of Tarot as a place to start and make sure to come back next week when I do a round up of different spreads!