Tarot for the Modern Reader

Overview of the 78 Tarot Cards


Image of scattered tarot cards in a pileThe 78 Cards of the Tarot are a lot like Signposts throughout our lives. They tell us which Major Highway we are traveling, or should be traveling at the time, as well as the side roads we will inevitably take, and the people we will meet along the way to help us and give us direction.

The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana represents the Major themes in our lives. This is Universal Energy. Many times it is energy operating in our lives that we have very little control over, it is said to be Karmic or Destined. This is the highway we are currently traveling. When one or two Major cards show up in a reading of say 10 cards, it can be said that this is the Major theme or energy that the reading is about. However, with the remaining cards being a majority of minors or courts, you have a lot of choice in how you want the energy to manifest or which direction it can take. You have a lot of personal power in the outcome.


Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana represents energy that we DO have control over. These are the day to day little things that occur. We can choose how to handle them, how to respond to them, and whether or not to follow the advice or change course. These are the things that we are able to exert Free Will over. These are the side roads, and detours that we take in life.


Court Cards

The Court Cards are the people that we will encounter along the way in life's journey. These cards, which each depict a different type of person, can be representative of an actual person in our lives, one we will soon met, or it can represent an aspect of ourselves, either one we are currently embodying, or one that we are being asked to embody. At any point in our lives, male or female, we all have the capacity to embody the characteristics of each of the 16 court personalities.

Take it to the Stage...

Another way to look at the cards, would be to imagine they are the dimensions of a play. The Major Arcana card that appears in the spread is the name of the show. This is the theme that the entire production revolves around. All of the minors are like all of the acts in the play. There may be many and they all relate to the show in one way or another, and are the underlying currents that support the theme. Finally, the Court Cards are the actors in our play that make it come to life.


The Suits

The Suit of Wands gives us inspiration, action, ideas, fiery energy and spirituality
The Suit of Cups gives us emotion, including all matters of love and relationships
The Suit of Swords is strife, quick thinking mental energy as well as power
The Suit of Pentacles is physical, money, material possessions, health and body


The Numbers

The lower the number of the card, the situation is just beginning or is still in its early development. A reading with many two's and three's for example, will still be in its early stages, and will take some time to develop. However, a reading with many eight's, nine's or ten's for that matter, means that the situation is nearing fruition and a resolution or outcome is soon to come.
Aces represent the beginning of a situation, an idea or seed
Twos represent choice and duality, decisions to be made and partnerships
Threes represent creativity, expansion or teamwork, results of decisions, choices or partnerships
Fours represent stability, order and authority, evaluating and recharging
Fives bring change, upheaval, conflict, loss, defeat and despair
Sixes return the balance and represent peace, tranquility, kindness, love, victory and service
Sevens are spiritual and represent not giving up or letting go, plugging along, fruits of labor, just desserts
Eights are restructuring, re-evaluating and fine tuning, seeing things clearly, messages
Nines represent nearing the end of the cycle, fulfillment, culmination, usually success
Tens represent completion, the end of a cycle and the beginning again of a new one


The Court Members


Pages represent children of either gender or someone young at heart or childlike, or signify a message is on its way
Knights represent swift action, bold energy, forward movement or a journey of some sort
Queens represent mastery, and are introspective, mature women, mothers, leaders
Kings also represent mastery and manifest very outward characteristics, leaders, bosses, fathers or other dominant energy



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