Tarot is a tool that is greatly misunderstood and mostly associated with divination, but its true purpose moves far beyond the realm of fortune telling; personal development, spiritual growth and enlightenment are some of the true benefits one can gain from the personal use of Tarot. Being conscious of our health and wellness (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is the undeniable essence which will empower us to make a difference in this world.
“Tarot is a bridge between the conscious and subconscious minds, the ego and the Higher Self, the soul and the Divine, and therefore symbols are necessary to facilitate this communication.” -Barbara Moore
Tarot: A Basic Understanding
If you are interested in learning how to incorporate Tarot into your meditation practice, read the following post: Meditation Techniques: Tarot.
The Major Arcana - Structure Of Human Consciousness & The Three Areas Of Experience
The 22 Major Arcana Cards represent the individual qualities that make us human; they carry deep meanings and powerful influences.
The preparation for the great descent into darkness (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII)
THE BODY - CONSCIOUSNESS - THE MIDDLE WORLD
Body and consciousness, powers and potencies, how we perceive life and society:
- Love, social authority, education, success, the process of maturity, life lessons;
- Creation of the Ego (dealing victoriously with Life);
- Working with the powers of the self;
- The development of consciousness and awareness - the building of character, competence and maturity.
- I The Magician - Creativity, Manifestation, Divine Energy;
- II The High Priestess - Intuition, Divination, Spiritual Knowledge;
- III The Empress - Unconditional Love, Nurturance, Selflessness;
- IV The Emperor - Power, Control, Structure;
- V The Hierophant - Guidance, Teachings, Eternal Wisdom;
- VI The Lovers - Relationships, Opportunities, Pleasure, Choices (the Light Path or the Dark Path);
- VII The Chariot - Success, Pure Righteous Will, Determination, Personal Boundaries.
The liberation of light (VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV)
THE MIND - SUBCONSCIOUSNESS - THE UNDERWORLD
Mind and subconsciousness, laws or agencies, searching inward to find out who we truly are:
- Modern depth psychology, symbolic Death & Rebirth, the mask of the Ego must die;
- A preparation and a clearing away of obstacles so that we can return to the ordinary world renewed;
- Freedom of the Ego (string of habit, artificial personality);
- Exploring the underworld and the mysteries of Time and Nature;
- The reward for our patience is Death - the experience of initiation and transformation;
- A harmony between the subconscious and conscious minds.
- VIII Strength - Inner Strength, Higher Consciousness, Great Courage;
- IX The Hermit - Contemplation, Personal Development, Soul-Searching;
- X Wheel Of Fortune - Change, Luck, Preparedness;
- XI Justice - Truth, Peace, Consequences;
- XII The Hanged Man - Discipline, Perspective, Enlightenment;
- XIII Death - Growth, Purification, Transformation;
- XIV Temperance - Health, Focus, Patience.
The return of that light to the sunlit world of consciousness (XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI)
THE SOUL - SUPERCONSCIOUSNESS - THE UPPER WORLD
Spirit and superconscious, conditions or effects, developing our spiritual awareness:
- A confrontation and finally a unity with the great forces of life itself;
- A process of renewal that results in an even deeper experience of inner union;
- The path to illumination; the search for enlightenment; an experience of Rebirth.
- XV The Devil - Obsessions, Temptations, Deceptions - the products of our inner-demons;
- XVI The Tower - Chaos, Destruction, New Opportunities;
- XVII The Star - Hope, Faith, Confidence;
- XVIII The Moon - Fears, Mysteries, Subconsciousness;
- XIX The Sun - Joy, Happiness, Bliss;
- XX Judgement - Realization, Awakening, Spiritual Calling;
- XXI The World - Accomplishment, Fulfillment, Celebration.
INVOLUTION: The descent of the Spirit into Matter.
EVOLUTION: The gradual return of the emanated forces to their common principle.
- XXII The Fool - Divinity, Eternity, Our Infinite Soul - Crossing the gates of heaven and returning home after successfully completing our physical experience of darkness.
The Suits - The Elements
- Wands (WHAT I DO) - FIRE - The Spiritual Body:
Creativity, Passion, Inspiration, Action, Willpower, Intuition;
- Cups (WHO I AM) - WATER - The Emotional Body:
Relationships, Feelings, Love, Nurturance, Imagination;
- Swords (WHAT I THINK) - AIR - The Mental Body:
Intellect, Thoughts, Logic, Ideas, Concepts;
- Pentacles (WHAT I SENSE) - EARTH - The Physical Body:
Finances, Skills, Security, Stability.
THE TETRAMORPHS/The Four Great Beasts (the four powers that the soul needs to achieve mastery):
- Lion of Fire (Wands);
- Eagle of Water (Cups);
- Winged Angel of Air (Swords);
- Bull of Earth (Pentacles).
THE SPHINX (combines these four beasts into one):
- The head of a woman carries the intellect;
- The body of a lion carries the fiery life force;
- The wings of an eagle allow it to soar to the spirit;
- The feet of a bull feet connects it with earth.
POLAR OPPOSITES (one function will be well-developed at the expense of its opposite):
- Pentacles & Wands;
- Swords & Cups.
Cards of the same element strengthen each other greatly (the experience is stronger or intensified, whether positive or negative):
- Wands (fire) and Swords (air) are both considered active and support each other;
- Cups (water) and Pentacles (earth) are both considered passive and support each other;
- Wands (fire) and Cups (water) are opposites and weaken each other;
- Swords (air) and Pentacles (earth) are opposites and weaken each other;
- Wands (fire) and Pentacles (earth) have little effect on each other;
- Swords (air) and Cups (water) have little effect on each other.
Active: Making things happen - and happen quickly.
Passive: Waits for something to happen and then reacts.
The Court Cards
The 16 Court Cards represent the roles, masks, and personalities we present to the world, as well as stages of development.
- King - Master of the Element: Commanding (something you need to take control of), social responsibility, power, success, accomplishment;
- Queen - Full Expression of the Element: Supporting (something you need to nurture), compassion, awareness;
- Knight - Adventurous with the Element: Action (something you should do pretty quickly), movement, impulse, journeys, responsibility to others;
- Page - Inexperienced with the Element: Studying (something new you should start learning), beginnings, potential, exploration, hope.
The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana Cards (ACE - 10) represent the life situations we use to develop the inner characteristics described by the Major Arcana cards. Journey through time and space - Events, circumstances, challenges, experiences of being in the world.