A Simple Guide to Tarot Cards

Tarot Simplified

Tarot is an ancient game of cards used as a tool of divination.

Tarot decks contain 78 cards, divided into: 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The word ‘Arcana’ means ‘Secret’ in Latin. Playing with the Tarot is unveiling secrets of our past, present and future.


How to Do a Reading:

  1. Clear the Deck.

  2. Shuffle the Deck.

  3. Choose a Spread. We recommend either the Three Card Spread, the Nine Card Spread or the Celtic Cross Spread.

  4. See how many Major Arcana cards are in the spread.
    This will show if the enquirer’s life journey is at a major turning point.

  5. See which suit is dominant: Cups, Wands, Swords or Pentacles. This will show in which area is at the forefront.

  6. Categorise the cards into: Happy, Sad, Bright, Dark.

  7. Try to get the Overall feeling of the reading: Happy, Sad.

  8. Categorize the cards into: Moving Cards and Standing Still Cards.

  9. Identify if the people in the cards are ‘Looking to the Past’ or ‘Towards the Future’.

  10. Get Impressions from the cards and use your intuition on the story they are telling.


Most Common Spreads:

Three Card Spread – Shuffle the cards & ask the enquirer to choose three cards from a fanned deck.

    Past: Context, Present: Focus, Future: Outcome

Nine Card Spread  Shuffle the cards and ask the enquirer to choose 9 cards from a fanned deck.

    Past: Context, Present: Focus, Future: Outcome

Celtic Cross Spread – Shuffle the cards & ask the enquirer to choose 10 from a fanned deck.

    Card 1: Where you are right now

    Card 2: Potential/Challenges

    Card 3: What to focus on

    Card 4: Your past

    Card 5: Your Strengths

    Card 6: Near future

    Card 7: Suggested approach

    Card 8: What you need to know

    Card 9: Hopes and fears

    Card 10: Your potential future


The Cards: Tarot decks contain 78 cards: 22 Major Arcana Cards, 56 Minor Arcana Cards.

Major Arcana Cards – There are 22 Major Arcana Cards. The Major Arcana cards give us an instant insight into the Major events or issues in the enquirer’s life. Therefore, the first thing to do when reading Tarot is to see how many Major Arcana Cards there are in the spread.

The Fool: New Beginnings Take Leap of Faith

The Magician: Wisdom & Power to do what seems impossible

The High Priestess: Divine Guidance Supported by The Universe

The Chariot: Victory & Triumph Positive Changes

The Hanged Man: Stuck in a Situation Need for Patience

The Star: Wishes Granted Healing, Restoration

The Empress: Mother Figure, Love Prosperity, Fertility

Strength: Divine Strength & Willpower

Death: Significant Change The End of Something

The Moon: End of a Difficult Time Messages through Dreams

The Emperor: Father Figure, Discipline Person in Authority

The Hermit: Making No Move Until Others Are Ready

Temperance: Confidence & Strength when Making Major Decisions

The Sun: Clarity, Enlightenment Happiness, Moving Forward

The Hierophant: Spiritual Leader, Guidance Possibly Marriage

Wheel of Fortune: Period of Change & Growth Abundance & Prosperity

The Devil: Temptation Enslaving Situation

Judgement: Great Change that affects Everyone

The Lovers: Loving Relationships Partnerships

Justice: Just Outcome Making Just Decisions

The Tower: Sudden Change to Allow for Growth


The World: Victory, Wondrous Possibilities Success, All Things are Possible

 Minor Arcana Cards – There are 40 Minor Arcana Cards. These cards provide the context for the Major Arcana Cards. The Minor Arcana Cards are divided into 4 Suits: Wands, Cups, Swords & Pentacles. Each suit contains 10 cards, ranging from 1 (Ace) to 14; 4 of them are people’s cards: King, Queen, Knight and Page.


Wands: The Self, Desires

Cups: Relationships, Feelings

Swords: Challenges, Decisions

Pentacles: Money, Career


Aces: Beginnings

Two: Choices

Three: Growth

Four: Stability

Five: Challenge

Six: Harmony

Seven: Decisions

Eight: Reorganising

Nine: Culmination

Ten: Completion

Page: Young Female

Knight: Young Male

Queen: Mature Woman

King: Mature Male


Wands: Represent the Self, Personal Goals, Inspirations & Desires.

Ace of Wands: The Self, Beginnings, New Idea or Project Emerges, Success, Go for It

Two of Wands: The Self, Choices, Choosing between two interests, Deciding on a New Life

Three of Wands: The Self, Growth, Success with New Ventures, New Path, Self-employment

Four of Wands: The Self, Stability, Celebration with family, Sharing happiness w/others

Five of Wands: The Self, Challenge Competing ideas & plans, Opportunity to do new things

Six of Wands: The Self, Harmony, Triumph, Leadership, Trust & Loyalty from Others

Seven of Wands: The Self, Decisions, Ability to Overcome Obstacles, Courage to Pursue Goals

Eight of Wands: The Self, Reorganising, Action, Movement, Group Work

Nine of Wands: The Self, Culmination Time to Stand Firm, Stand your Ground 

Ten of Wands: The Self – Completion Concentration of all Effort to Bring Project to Fruition

Page of Wands: The Self, Young Female, Outgoing, Self-Motivated, Be Ready to Begin Something

Knight of Wands: The Self, Young Male Passionate, a Fighter, Sees Challenges as Opportunities

Queen of Wands: The Self, Mature Woman Strong willed, Loves Life

King of Wands: The Self, Mature Male A Leader, Energetic, Accepts Responsibility

Cups – Represent relationships, family, feelings & love

Ace of Cups: Relationships, Beginnings Fresh Start for the Better, Physical & Spiritual Healing

Two of Cups: Relationship, Choices Powerful Partnership Balanced & Equal

Three of Cups: Relationships, Growth Celebration, Joy Good Time with Friends

Four of Cups: Relationships – Stability Consider Options Carefully Don’t Rush Decisions

Five of Cups: Relationships – Challenge Sorrow at Something Lost Letting Go of the Past

Six of Cups: Relationship, Harmony Nostalgia, Looking Backwards, Rosy Memories

Seven of Cups: Relationship-Decisions Fantasize on Possibilities before Taking Action

Eight of Cups: Relationships, Reorganising Leaving Something Behind A Quest for what is Missing

Nine of Cups: Relationships, Culmination A Wish Granted, Self-Satisfaction

Ten of Cups: Relationships-Completion Happiness, Fulfilment Family & Community

Page of Cups: Relationships, Young Female Trusting, Patient, Wishes Granted, Mysteries Revealed

Knight of Cups: Relationships, Young Male Dreamy, yet Sensible Bringer of Healing

Queen of Cups: Relationships, Mature Woman Strong, yet Caring, A Healer, A Visionary

King of Cups: Relationships, Mature Male Strong & Powerful, especially when Partnered with a Powerful Woman

Swords  Represent Challenges, decisions, information, conflict

Ace of Swords: Challenges, Beginnings, Strong Force, Decision made with determination

Two of Swords: Challenges, Choices Turning Awareness Inwards before Making Decision

Three of Swords: Challenges, Growth Emotional Distress Growth after Grieving

Four of Swords: Challenges, Stability Retreat from Stressful Situation Time for Rest & Healing

Five of Swords: Challenges, Challenge Something Can’t Be Overcome Accept Defeat & Walk Away

Six of Swords: Challenge, Harmony Time to Protect Others, To Travel with Them if Necessary

Seven of Swords: Challenge, Decisions Need for Subtle Action Need for Creative Thinking

Eight of Swords: Challenge, Reorganising, Take Small Steps towards Seeing beyond Self-limitations

Nine of Swords: Challenge, Culmination Facing Something Painful, Face Reality & Move Forward

Ten of Swords: Challenge, Completion, An Extreme Situation Clears the Way for Something New

Page of Swords: Challenge-Young Female Communicative, Ambitious Move Forward with Caution

Knight of Swords: Challenge-Young Male Versatile, Committed Courage, Don’t Hesitate

Queen of Swords: Challenge-Mature Woman Logical, Sharp Wisdom, Clear Vision

King of Swords: Challenge-Mature Man with Principals, Practical, Authority, Decision-making

Pentacles  Represent money, work, career, success & health

Ace of Pentacles: Money, Beginnings A Good Start to a Project Offers of Money or Work

Two of Pentacles: Money, Choices Juggling various tasks, Deciding between projects

Three of Pentacles: Money, Growth, Time to Cooperate w/Others in Work at the Highest Level

Four of Pentacles: Money, Stability, Working towards Material Stability

Five of Pentacles: Money, Challenge Supporting Each Other during Hard Times

Six of Pentacles: Money, Harmony Shared Resources, Kindness

Seven of Pentacles: Money, Decisions Hard Work that makes something grow

Eight of Pentacles: Money – Reorganising Learning New Skills, Work, Dedication

Nine of Pentacles: Money, Culmination Success, Achievement Financial Rewards

Ten of Pentacles: Money, Completion Wealth, Stability, Security, Fulfilment

Give or Accept Something of Value

Page of Pentacles: Money, Young Female, Loyal, trustworthy, Hope, Restoration, Magic

Knight of Pentacles: Money, Young Male Dependable, Responsible, Protective, Hard-working

Queen of Pentacles: Money, Mature Woman Practical, Earthy, A Visionary

King of Pentacles: Money, Mature Man Businessman, Benevolent Boss Wealth, Stability


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