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Get Started Learning Tarot

Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

I began my first steps along the witches path when I was very young. My earliest experiences with the supernatural happened well before age 10, and my interest in the occult, witchcraft, spirituality, and divination was piqued! I asked for spellbooks and crystal balls as Christmas presents, so…. yeah… learning to read tarot was just a matter of time.

In this article, I will touch on some the basics for getting started learning the art of reading tarot. It’s important to note that these are guidelines, and you will naturally develop your own style and flair once you get more comfortable and trust your intuition. I have included some affiliate links that, if you make a purchase using, I will earn a small commission to keep tea in my kettle.

The Basics

Tarot is a form of divination that uses a deck of 78 cards to gain insight and guidance. The cards can be used to help people make decisions, solve problems, and find meaning in their lives. Tarot has been around for hundreds of years and is still a popular form of divination today, whether or not you identify as a witch, pagan, or spiritualist.

Tips for Getting Started

Some people believe that it’s bad luck to buy your first tarot deck, but this superstition comes from the initial secrecy of the practice and having decks passed down from older readers to newbies. However if you don’t want to wait and would like to buy a deck to begin reading- you should do it! I have bought every deck I’ve ever owned because I want to connect with the deck personally.

If you’re interested in learning tarot, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the tarot deck: The first step in learning tarot is getting to know the deck. Pick a deck that is interesting to you, whether it’s the artwork that speaks to you or the theme of the deck. Each card in the tarot has a specific meaning, and it’s important to understand what these meanings are. There are many books, websites, and online courses that can help you learn the meanings of the tarot cards. A fantastic deck is the classic Rider-Waite featuring iconic art by Pamela Colman Smith.
  2. Learn the card spreads: Once you have a good understanding of the tarot deck, you can begin to learn the different spreads that you can use. A spread is a layout of cards that you use to answer a specific question or to gain insight into a particular situation. There are many different spreads that you can use, each with its own purpose. Choose a “signature spread” that feels natural to you and is easy for you to remember.
  3. Practice, practice, practice: The best way to become proficient at tarot is to practice. You can start by doing readings for yourself and for others. As you get more comfortable with the tarot, you will be more in tune with your own intuition and can start to explore different spreads and techniques.
  4. Keep a tarot journal: Keeping a tarot journal can help you keep track of your readings and the insights you gain from them. You can write down your thoughts and observations, as well as any questions you have about the tarot. It is also helpful when you are reading for clients to have a record of your sessions. Here’s some journals that I’ve found helpful: Blank Journals
  5. Study the symbolism: The tarot is full of symbolism, and understanding this symbolism is key to interpreting the cards. You can learn about the symbolism of the tarot by studying books, websites, and online courses. The more you get to know the different symbols, the more natural your readings will flow.
  6. Connect with other tarot enthusiasts: Joining a tarot community can be a great way to learn and connect with others who are interested in tarot. You can attend tarot workshops, attend tarot meetups, or join online tarot communities. Every reader is unique!

Whether you keep a very personal practice, or become a professional reader who helps others, learning tarot can be a tremendously rewarding and empowering experience where you can gain valuable insights into your life and the world around you.

Major Arcana

The Major Arcana is a set of 22 cards in the Tarot deck that are considered the most important and significant cards.

The Major Arcana cards represent the major life events and experiences that a person may go through and provide insight into the soul’s journey. Unlike the Minor Arcana, which is made up of 56 cards and focuses on everyday life, the Major Arcana is used to explore deeper and more meaningful topics as well as archetypal energies.

Here is a brief overview of the Major Arcana cards:

  1. The Fool: The Fool is usually numbered as card 0 and is considered the beginning of the Major Arcana. The Fool represents innocence, new beginnings, and a sense of adventure. It also signifies taking risks and stepping out of one’s comfort zone.
  2. The Magician: The Magician represents creativity, resourcefulness, and the power of transformation. It symbolizes the ability to turn dreams into reality and the power to manifest one’s desires.
  3. The High Priestess: The High Priestess represents intuition, mystery, and the unconscious mind. She is a symbol of the feminine and represents the power of the feminine energy to access the mysteries of life.
  4. The Empress: The Empress represents motherhood, abundance, and fertility. She symbolizes the power of nature and the nurturing aspects of life.
  5. The Emperor: The Emperor represents authority, stability, and structure. He symbolizes the power of the masculine and the ability to bring order to chaos.
  6. The Hierophant: The Hierophant represents religion, spirituality, and tradition. He symbolizes the importance of connecting with a higher power and the power of community.
  7. The Lovers: The Lovers represents love, passion, and the power of choice. It symbolizes the importance of making the right decisions when it comes to relationships and love.
  8. The Chariot: The Chariot represents determination, willpower, and the ability to conquer obstacles. It symbolizes the importance of having a clear direction in life and the power to make things happen.
  9. Strength: Strength represents courage, determination, and the power of the inner spirit. It symbolizes the ability to overcome challenges and to remain steadfast in the face of adversity.
  10. The Hermit: The Hermit represents solitude, introspection, and the search for truth. He symbolizes the importance of taking time for oneself and the power of self-discovery.
  11. The Wheel of Fortune: The Wheel of Fortune represents the cyclical nature of life and the inevitability of change. It symbolizes the power of fate and the importance of adapting to the changes that life brings.
  12. Justice: Justice represents balance, fairness, and the power of making decisions based on reason. It symbolizes the importance of being impartial and making decisions that are just and fair.
  13. The Hanged Man: The Hanged Man represents sacrifice, patience, and the power of letting go. It symbolizes the importance of letting go of old patterns and perspectives to make room for new growth.
  14. Death: Death represents transformation, endings, and the power of rebirth. It symbolizes the end of old patterns and the beginning of new growth.
  15. Temperance: Temperance represents balance, moderation, and the power of self-control. It symbolizes the importance of finding balance and harmony in all aspects of life.
  16. The Devil: The Devil represents temptation, addiction, and the power of material desires. It symbolizes the importance of resisting temptation and freeing oneself from negative patterns and behaviors.
  17. The Tower: The Tower represents crisis, upheaval, and the power of sudden change. It symbolizes the importance of being prepared for unexpected events and the power of facing challenges head-on.
  18. The Star: The Star represents hope, inspiration, and renewal. It symbolizes the power of having a positive outlook and the importance of holding onto hope even in difficult times. The Star is often associated with the power of creativity, self-expression, and the ability to bring light to dark places.
  19. The Moon: The Moon represents emotions, subconscious fears, and the power of the imagination. It symbolizes the importance of embracing and understanding one’s emotions and the power of the unconscious mind to shape our experiences. The Moon is often associated with intuition, mystery, and the power of dreams.
  20. The Sun: The Sun represents joy, vitality, and growth. It symbolizes the power of positivity and the importance of basking in the light of the sun to bring about growth and renewal. The Sun is often associated with happiness, success, and the power of optimism.
  21. Judgment: Judgment represents rebirth, renewal, transition and the power of self-reflection. It symbolizes the importance of evaluating one’s past experiences and making the necessary changes to move forward. Judgment is often associated with the power of forgiveness, redemption, and the ability to start fresh.
  22. The World: The World represents completion, fulfillment, and the power of interconnectedness. It symbolizes the importance of embracing the world and all of its wonders and the power of finding one’s place within it. The World is often associated with travel, adventure, and the power of experiencing new things.

These are just the basics of the Major Arcana cards, and it’s important to note that there are additional meanings when a card appears “reversed” or upside down in a reading. Depending on what type of spread you are using, there can also be significant meanings based on where the card is placed.

When reading the Tarot, the Major Arcana cards can provide a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the situation or question being explored.

Understanding the symbolism and meanings of the Major Arcana cards can greatly enhance the accuracy and depth of Tarot readings.

Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana is a set of 56 cards in the Tarot deck that complements the Major Arcana. Unlike the Major Arcana, which represents major life events and experiences, the Minor Arcana focuses on everyday life and the small, but significant, events and experiences. When reading the Tarot, the Minor Arcana cards can provide specific information and insight into the everyday events and experiences that make up a person’s journey.

The Minor Arcana is divided into four suits, each with its own symbolism:

  1. Wands: The Wand suit represents creativity, inspiration, and passion. It is associated with the element of fire and symbolizes action, ambition, and drive.
  2. Cups: The Cup suit represents emotions, feelings, and relationships. It is associated with the element of water and symbolizes love, compassion, and emotional fulfillment.
  3. Swords: The Sword suit represents thoughts, communication, and conflict. It is associated with the element of air and symbolizes mental clarity, honesty, and conflict resolution.
  4. Pentacles: The Pentacle suit represents material wealth, physical health, and stability. It is associated with the element of earth and symbolizes prosperity, stability, and hard work.

The Court Cards

Each suit in the Minor Arcana has court cards, which represent people or events in the querent’s life, and numbered cards, which represent events or experiences. The numbered cards in each suit range from Ace to 10, and the court cards include the Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

The court cards in a tarot deck are some of the most complex and multi-faceted cards. The meaning of the court cards can vary depending on the position in a spread, the context of the reading, and the individual reader’s interpretation. Here are some general interpretations of the court cards in tarot:

  1. Page: The Page is often seen as a messenger or a symbol of new beginnings. They can represent a child or young person, or a situation that is just starting to unfold. In a reading, the Page can indicate a new opportunity, a message that needs to be delivered, or a call to action.
  2. Knight: The Knight is associated with action, movement, and adventure. They are brave and bold, and represent taking risks and pursuing one’s passions. In a reading, the Knight can indicate a change in direction, a journey, or a call to action.
  3. Queen: The Queen is associated with nurturing, wisdom, and creativity. They represent the feminine aspect of the suit, and can indicate a strong and confident woman, a mother figure, or an expert in a particular field. In a reading, the Queen can indicate the need for emotional support, a creative project, or a situation that requires wisdom and insight.
  4. King: The King is associated with authority, leadership, and stability. They represent the aspect of the suit, and can indicate a powerful and confident man, a father figure, or an expert in a particular field. In a reading, the King can indicate the need for clear direction, a situation that requires leadership, or a situation that requires stability and stability.

It is important to keep in mind that these are general interpretations, and that the court cards can have many different meanings depending on the context of the reading. Additionally, the court cards can represent people in the querent’s life, or aspects of their own personality, as well as situations and events.

Get Started!

There’s a lot to learn, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Take your time and remember that you don’t have to know EVERYTHING before you get started. Now that you have the basics, you can begin to build your skills and develop an exciting, powerful relationship with the Tarot.

Do you have questions, or is there something you want to know more about tarot? Let me know!

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly