How to Read Tarot Cards for Beginners

Tarot cards resemble early game-playing cards. They were found in Europe as early as the 14th century. The first use of tarot cards was to play a game called "tarocchi." The card deck consists of 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards that are organised in "suits." Each of the four "suits" of tarot cards has 14 cards compared to standard playing cards that have 13 cards per suit. The major arcana cards have been compared to the Kabala. Some people use tarot cards to provide "readings" about the future or to help their clients make decisions.

Choose a tarot card deck that you find pleasing. Use your intuition to select a deck design that holds some kind of symbolic meaning for you in the images on the cards. Examine the cards carefully before selecting your tarot cards.

Memorise the names of the 78 tarot cards. Arrange the cards by major and minor arcana cards. Arrange the minor arcana cards according to the suit and place each suit in the same order. Associate the image on the card with the name and suit of the card to help you remember its name.

Write down your feelings associated with each card. Repeat Step 2 until you remember the name and symbols associated with each card without hesitation. Associate one or two meaningful words with each card and write them down on your list.

Practice reading a simple five-card spread that is used to seek direction for a decision. Place the cards down own at a time, face up. Place the first card in the centre; the second card to the left of the centre card; the third card on the right; the fourth card below the centre card and the fifth card above the centre card. Practice "reading" the five-card spread until you feel prepared to move to more expansive card spreads for more in-depth readings.


5-card spread meaning for each card: Card 1: The present Card 2: The past and past influences Card 3: The future Card 4: The reason for the question Card 5: The potential


Do not rely on tarot card readings to help you make important life experiences.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarot cards
  • Pencil and paper
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About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.