The Tarot is one of the world’s longstanding divinatory traditions. Its beginnings are something of a mystery, though more and more, people are discovering the real story of this divination system.
It used to be that there were only a handful of different decks, but now there is such a wide variety that it can be a bit challenging for a beginner to choose which deck they will learn from the best.
If you don’t yet have a deck, you can find one easily at the online shop at zenspiritual.com, where there are lots of other Zen products to aid you not just on your Tarot journey, but your overall spiritual path, whatever it may be.
Now, let’s start simply and discuss the actual deck first.
The Cards of the Tarot & ‘The Fool’s Journey’
There are two sections to a standard 78-card Tarot deck: The Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana cards are numbered from 0-22, starting with The Fool, and ending with The World. It is within the Major Arcana that most Tarot practitioners see the pattern of life lessons known as ‘The Fool’s Journey.’
The Fool’s Journey starts with the Fool going out into the world to learn all he or she can, not just about the world, but about themselves. The Fool is chiefly about beginnings of cycles, both large and small. The World represents ends of cycles, lessons learned and beginnings of new lessons. In those new lessons, the cycle of the Fool’s Journey begins again.
The Minor Arcana cards are the second part of the deck, numbering 56 in total, and are arranged according to the four elements:
- Wands (Fire)
- Cups (Water)
- Swords (Air)
- Pentacles (Earth; this suit is also known as ‘disks’ or ‘coins.’)
Each suit is also arranged somewhat similarly to that of a regular deck of playing cards, from the Aces to the court cards, with one major difference. In playing cards, there is simply the Jack, Queen and King. In the Tarot, these three cards exist, but there is a Page, referred to also as a ‘Princess’ or ‘Daughter’ depending on the philosophy and world view of a deck’s creator.
While the Major cards show you overarching life themes and cycles, the Minor cards show you the more day-to-day issues in which these themes and cycles manifest themselves, and learning how each card pairs with, or contradicts, other cards is fascinating.
How The Tarot Can Help Improve Your Life
Now that you have the basic information, let’s get into how the Tarot can help you improve your life. There is a lot to be said about this specific topic, so we’ll keep it brief, and let you do your own research after you finish reading.
The Tarot can be an important key to unlocking your intuition, and helping you pay attention to those subtle-but-strong nudges from Spirit. You can think of each image like a scene from a movie, with characters, objects and colours that can trigger relevant associations with other things in your life.
So, in all truth, your intuition is the locked door to your inner soul-knowledge, and the Tarot can be a very effective key, especially if you are willing to go within and listen, and shove aside the conscious ego, which can plague you with doubt if you let it.
In fact, let’s use the example of too much self-doubt. If you are tired of this pattern, you can use the Tarot to help resolve the issue. Start with one card for the time being, to get going on the path to the level of confidence you wish to have. Meditate on what it means to you, personally. Don’t try to think too analytically about the usual meanings, though they can usually help.
Let’s say you pull a card daily, and you use your intuition about the advice the card is giving you. You keep following that path, and over time, you realize that your self-doubt is decreasing, and your confidence is increasing. This is a best-case scenario, of course, as some life traumas can really shatter one’s belief in oneself, and this may require professional therapy. But the Tarot, alongside any required professional help, can assist with cracking open certain issues that keep reinforcing the lack of self-belief, and allow you to heal.
Working with your Tarot deck on a regular basis, be it daily, weekly or otherwise, will help you get a feel for not just what the cards mean, or how the system works, but ultimately, you will truly start to understand how the Tarot can help you improve your life.