Tarot cards are a great resource for self-discovery. Many people shy away from them because the cards are associated with divination and fortunate telling, but they don’t have to be used that way. Personally, I use them to spark creativity and visual intelligence. Let me explain what I mean.
Many ancient cultures were able to accomplish the seemingly impossible in terms of engineering, astronomy, and mathematics. What these cultures often shared is an alphabet that consisted of images—hieroglyphics–rather than letters. Thinking in images sparks right brain creativity which often happens when using tarot cards. Since the images on tarot cards are archetypal, the cards stimulate the subconscious mind in a way that leads to creative problem solving.
I find that laying out the cards, then considering the imagery on the cards and relating it to the problem at hand helps me to solve problems. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychotherapist, supported the use of tarot for this purpose. He coined the term synchronicity to describe the coincidences that are actually signs from the universe to help us make decisions once we learn to recognize them.
Origins of Tarot Cards
Tarot cards first made an appearance during the 1400s in Italy. Historical records indicate they weren’t used for divination until the 18th century. Initially, they were used as regular playing cards. In those times, people from the upper classes would commission an artist to create a deck of cards. The oldest surviving cards date back to the 15th century and were owned by the ruling family of Milan.
How to Read Tarot Cards
A tarot card deck contains 78 cards. Like regular playing cards, they are ordered into 4 sets. Twenty-two are known as the major arcana using Roman numerals 0 – XXI. These cards concern the higher matters of life. The remaining 56 cards are known as the minor arcana and relate to matters of daily life.
The minor arcana is divided into four suits–wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Each suit includes an ace through a ten as well as 4 court cards—a page, knight, queen, and king. A suit represents one of the four elements:
- Wands – Fire
- Cups – Water
- Swords – Air
- Pentacles – Earth
You don’t need to be psychic or hire a psychic medium to benefit from the use of tarot. All you need is an open mind and a deck of cards. As I’ve said, the images are archetypal and simply handling them regularly will stimulate right brain thinking and creative problem solving. However, if you do want to learn the meanings of the cards and start laying spreads for yourself, there are multiple ways to learn.
Obviously, you can go buy a book and begin learning that way. Initially, that’s what I did, but I found it to be a bit boring. I wasn’t learning as quickly as I wanted to. I settled on an online course that actually helps me remember the meanings of all 78 cards. Nothing beats having an actual teacher with an interesting personality and teaching style to walk you through the concepts. It includes some extras that are helpful such as downloadable binaural beats to help get you in the right frame of mind as well as worksheets and videos you can watch over and over again. Click here to check out the course.
Now if you’re really put off by the idea of tarot, but you are keen on improving your intuitive abilities, consider angel cards. They were developed by Doreen Virtue who also teaches a certified angel card reader online video course.
Whichever route you choose, remember tarot will not solve your problems, but help you see options and opportunities.