WHAT ARE TAROT CARDS?
Simply put, Tarot cards are a means of predicting events or receiving guidance in both our inner (spiritual) and outer (manifest) world.
Every Tarot deck consists of seventy-eight cards. Not all decks are alike but all decks have three basic principles in common, even though the cards, symbols, and interpretations may vary.
1. Each deck is illustrated with symbols that depict experiences we've all had or could have at one time or another.
2. Each deck has two main sections: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana (or Lesser Arcana, as some books refer to it). The Minor Arcana is further divided into numbered cards and what is commonly referred to as the Court Arcana.
3. Each deck contains four suits: Wands (or Batons), Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (or Coins).
Traditionally, the Major Arcana depicts the greater events in our lives while the Minor and Court Arcana depict the more mundane, everyday aspects. I've given a more detailed description of the Major, Minor, and Court Arcana as well as the suits in the section on Tarot Symbology for those of you who want to know more.
No one is exactly sure how Tarot cards originated, but it's widely believed that the ancient Egyptian Masons developed them as a means of charting their important metaphysical and transformational discoveries.
Think of them as stories conveyed in pictures. I have used the Rider-Waite deck to illustrate this book, but there are many other decks to choose from and they are all equally valid. The cards are not "magical," "occult," or "evil." They have no inherent powers of their own. Since Tarot decks and books are chosen because you identify with them or they strike a chord within you, you empower them with your beliefs, attitudes, and personality and by your level of growth or understanding at the time you choose them.
HOW DO TAROT CARDS WORK?
I can't tell you how they work nor can I tell you how I walk, think, or digest food. I also can't explain why I know who's on the phone before I pick it up or what causes ESP experiences. I know, however, that it happens and that Tarot cards do work.
I believe that there is a higher wisdom or universal truth that we can all tap in to and that there are many methods of accessing this information. One of the easiest ways (but by no means the only way) is through the Tarot. Since our minds think in symbols, it's only logical that cards that tell stories through symbols could enhance our intuition.
My esoteric opinion comes from the understanding that everything in the universe (you, me, and the things we touch or see) is composed of pure energy, and I believe that this vast ocean of energy substance is God and that everything within it is God too. It doesn't matter if you call it God, the Universe, the Source, or even "the Force" -- it's all the same. And, since you and I are also energy, we are the Ocean too, even if we're functioning as drops. This means that to the degree we expand our consciousness and encompass this awareness, we have the ability to draw from it. So, we can think of ourselves as limited drops separate from the Source or we can see ourselves as part of the Ocean, open our inner channels, and receive guidance.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
You don't have to know anything about the Tarot in order to use this book. Nor do you have to memorize the meaning of the cards or understand their "esoteric" significance. All you need is a deck of Tarot cards and a question. The rest is easy.
Other books give a brief and often vague or symbolic description of the meaning of the cards in the "upright" and "reversed" positions. You then have to wade through a lot of symbolism and try to figure out how it applies to your question. In this book I present a different, easy-to-understand approach to interpreting the cards. So that you can get answers that apply more directly to your questions, I've created thirty-two specific categories of everyday life experience, such as Work, Success, Romance, Finances, and Emotional State, and explained what each card indicates for each of these categories.
Each card begins with a Focus (or general atmosphere) and ends with an Outcome. There are no reversed interpretations because they are not necessary.
Even the most advanced Tarot enthusiast knows how frustrating it is when you want to know something and you get a card that has nothing to do with the question you asked -- like asking about love and reading: "Strength of will bringing ideas to pass. Firm rulership resulting in peace and justice," and so on. With this book, every card has a Romance category, so if you want to know about love, you will get an answer about love. All you have to do is ask a question, draw a card, then look up the card you drew in Part Four, Interpretation of the Cards, and read the category you're interested in. It's that simple, that specific! You can read as many or as few categories as you like -- the choice is up to you.
EXPLANATION OF THE THIRTY-TWO CATEGORIES
The focus category is a capsulized or nutshell version of the events or conditions coming up in your future. It's the crux of the matter, or the foundation on which the rest of the reading is based. The other categories emphasize specific areas of interest under the focus influence.
This category reveals that which you now want, or that which you will want in time to come or as your future begins to unfold.
This category reveals actual events as well as movements of mind in the area of love and romance.
4. THE UNEXPECTED:
This category covers anything that comes as a surprise (be it good or bad).
This covers the EFFECT of other people on you, or how another person will INFLUENCE your life.
6. THE HOME:
The home category relates to your home environment or place of residence, and the events or conditions within it. However, if you spend more time at work than home, it could represent that area.
This category is about short trips, long trips, comings and goings, and/or influences surrounding travel or travel plans.
This category covers anything that involves papers, be it forms, books, documents, legal matters, artwork, presentations, ledgers. Anything where something is transferred from thought to paper can be included in the papers category.
This category covers your place of business, career, or area in which you find yourself operating most frequently, be it at home or in the field. This could also include housework, hobbies, school, or projects. If you're looking for work or have a question concerning your work status, this category will show the influences, conditions, or atmosphere surrounding your query.
The unions category reveals "what will be so" about your unions with others, be it personal, business, or otherwise. If your question concerns personal unions, then it will answer in kind. If on the other hand it is about business partnerships or mergers, it will apply to that.
11. EMOTIONAL STATE:
This reveals how you feel as a result of the events that are transpiring in your life or affairs. It's a very important category in that it shows the emotional climate and, as a result, gives great insight into whether or not you're experiencing the events on the whole as being "good" or "bad."
The pleasure category defines the areas or avenues in which you will find the most enjoyment, fulfillment, or satisfaction. If, however, a negative disclosure should fall in this category, it's probably a good indication that you are not having very much fun during the period in question.
This category covers all forms of news, messages, or communications that will affect you, your future, or your state of mind.
This is an all-inclusive category. It relates to sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, wives, or husbands as well as distant relatives, aunts, uncles, and/or even friends that are so close either in heart or by proximity that they're considered family.
15. THE PHYSICAL BODY:
The physical body category reveals your health, and your mental, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being as well. It's important to note that other people may be experiencing a situation that is so strong that it affects you, or shows up in your reading as happening to you.
This category covers anything that relates to money or finances.
This category won't tell you when an event will happen (like "in November you will..."), but it's significant because it deals with the passage of time and how it will affect your wish or your affairs. It shows how or in what way the events of your life or things that concern you are shaping up.
This concerns the effect of your friends on you, or what will transpire as a result of a friend, and can include a relative or a lover.
This category is about situations regarding people that come to visit or call you on the phone, and/or the status of any query in that area.
This covers anything that arrives by or is sent through the mail, from letters, cards, or packages to messages in motion, such as United Parcel Service, Federal Express, etc.
In everyone's life there are problem areas, things that upset, trouble, or create anxiety. This category will define what those areas are or where your difficulties may lie.
This category describes what could let you down, hurt you, or upset you. It's about the things in life that go wrong, fall through, or discourage you. Most of the time it's a progression of the anxiety category, though not always.
The endings category covers situations or conditions that are being resolved or coming to an end.
24. NEW BEGINNINGS:
This category covers any new undertaking that will spring up and/or change the course of your experience. It can also include life-altering decisions and/or a new turn of mind.
Anything that comes to you as a result of another person, place, or thing (be it material or spiritual) will fall in this category. It's not limited to a legacy or contingent upon the death of another, unless it is specified as such.
This category covers anything that is given or that you yourself give. It's not limited just to material goods, as it also covers spiritual or inner gifts (like those gifts of the heart or spirit).
The success category is not limited to worldly or material success. It reveals what you consider to be your best achievement or greatest accomplishment at the time in question. It may also indicate where or from what direction your success will come.
This will disclose what you will be fortunate in or what will occur by chance, luck, or fate.
This can be a very revealing category because it foretells that which you'll be grateful or thankful for in times to come.
30. SPECIAL GUIDANCE:
In this section you'll find whatever it is you need to know or understand about your question, as it tells you the underlying, unforeseen, or unknown elements that will make the way easier. It's divided into two parts, the Mundane and the Esoteric. The mundane deals with the practical, down-to-earth aspect and the esoteric deals with the spiritual heart of the matter.
31. BEST COURSE OF ACTION:
This is a very important category because it tells you the best way to proceed or action to take in order to realize your desire, deal with the elements involved, or overcome the difficulties connected with it. It usually works hand-in-hand with the Special Guidance category.
This is the probable outcome, end result, or summation of the reading.
If you want to know more about Tarot symbology, read on. If you're anxious to start right out doing a reading, turn to Part Three.
Copyright © 1989 by Nancy Garen