It’s my Sagittarian nature to be a student of life. That’s what draws me to astrology and tarot — I get to look inside myself and others. Whenever I do readings for people, I use the reading as an opportunity to teach them something about tarot. So many people seem to want to learn tarot. They want to understand the tarot card spreads and the meaning of the cards.

I realized that Black Moon Lilith needed some tarot posts, so I talked with Willow and told her I wanted to branch out a bit. She was all for it. She’s not much of a tarot card reader, but she is really good at it! I think the energy is just too much for her and I understand that. Casting astrology charts is a much more solitary pursuit.

So, you want to learn tarot? Let’s start with a few basics. There are 78 cards in the traditional tarot deck. All the four suits that you know from playing cards are present, just with slightly different names. There are Swords, Wands, Cups and Disks. Each suit corresponds to, well to more than one thing, but on a basic level they represent elements. Swords are air. Wands are fire. Cups are water and Disks are earth. We’ll get more in depth in later posts. So the extra cards are a princess card for each suit (the king, queen and jack [called the prince] are all there), plus trump cards or major arcana. The picture shows you some of the trump cards as named in my favorite tarot deck, the Crowley deck.

So, once you have a deck of tarot cards, you need a way to read them. These are called spreads. There are hundreds of of tarot card spreads. How you layout the cards is going to influence what you see. There are about a dozen tarot card layouts that I like. The one I use more than any other is called Four Crowns.

Here’s a photo from a recent reading (pay no attention to the wine glasses!) The middle cards are aspects of the questioner and the situation. The top two trios of cards are two possible futures. The bottom left is psychological aspects of the questioner/situation and the bottom right is karma.

When you lay out the cards, notice what suit seems to dominate. If none do, that is also significant. Are there lots of trump cards? How about court cards (king, queen, prince and princess)? Patterns begin to emerge and especially when you’re first learning, you’ll miss stuff or you’ll realize at the end of the reading something that should have stuck out at the beginning.

Tarot is a fascinating divination tool and one that is rewarding to learn. I look forward to writing more about the tarot. Please let me know what questions you have.