Understanding the Tarot Card Deck, Part 2

Tarot card reading delves into an individuals psyche and thus
depends largely upon the energy that person generates, whether
consciously or subconsciously. And because human beings are
complex creatures with all kinds of major and minor issues not
only negative, but positive as well the Tarot must duly
address them all. So, although the Major Arcana bring to light
the larger issues in life, there also exists the Minor Arcana
which serve the purpose of illuminating the secret and closed
events, feelings, needs, and everyday details of our existence.

Fifty-six cards constitute the Minor Arcana within these suits:
Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. And just as with the Major
Arcana, the interpretation of these cards lies not only the
face-value meanings of the cards, but also in how they are laid
(the spread whether they are upside down, the positions they
take in your chosen pattern, etc.), the mindset and emotions of
the interpreter and of the person being read, and the very
questions themselves. Reading Tarot cards successfully takes
time, and with that comes experience the key to giving a good

But one must start at the beginning, learning the meanings of
each of the individual 56 Minor Arcana. As mentioned above,
these are divided into the four suits of Wands, Cups, Swords,
and Pentacles. And each suit encompasses the Ace, then 2-10
numeral cards, and finally the court cards: the Page, Knight,
Queen, and King very similar to an ordinary deck of playing
cards in some ways, yet powerfully different in others!

Each suit in the Minor Arcana represents distinctive
characteristics, and these combined qualities create an image of
our day-to-day lives. The suits and a very abbreviated listing
of some of their characteristics include:

Wands ingenuity, accomplishment, change Cups feelings,
spirituality Swords intelligence, contemplation, logic
Pentacles pragmatism, safety, physical and material needs

Cards within suits correspond to the theme of the particular
suit to which it belongs. An Ace declares the overall quality of
whatever suit it is in. For instance, the Ace of Cups represents
affections, feelings, intuitiveness, and personal familiarity
all the most positive aspects of the Cups characteristics. A
Ten of Cups may signify the fruition of those qualities with,
for example, the peace and joy one finds within the atmosphere
of a happy family. One by one, the meanings of each card must be
committed to memory. When the Tarot novice becomes comfortably
familiar with the 56 Minor Arcana representations, he or she
should then be ready for the next steps toward understanding the
subsequent and deeper aspects of the art of Tarot.

Learning the art of Tarot can be a challenging and rewarding
endeavor. But the student must realize Tarot is not easy, and
Tarot is not quick. As with all things in the secret and hidden
arts such as Tarot, one must be willing to persevere, to
continue resolutely down the path toward enlightenment and
rejoice as the mysteries of the journey unfold.

(c) All About Tarot
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