Tarot Cards
Tarot cards can help you get through the day to day, even if you're not an expert. (Illustration by Jessica Shaklee, University of Georgia)
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Tarot Cards

You don’t have to be a fortune teller or psychic to use a deck either.

It appears everyone has stumbled upon a fortune teller sign advertising for you to come in and get your tarot cards read. Even at local festivals and carnivals, tarot card readings pop up in the most obscure of places; this might suggest that tarot cards are strictly reserved for those who claim to be fortune tellers, witches or psychics.

This misrepresents the universal availability tarot cards can offer to virtually anyone, if you make it your mission to learn the power of the decks. Tarot cards can replace your daily horoscope in the mornings  — instead reach for you deck in order to get more meaningful and personal insights into the day that awaits you.

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One of the first steps toward learning to implement tarot cards into your everyday life is to learn what a deck is composed of and what the various images on each individual card symbolize. Now, this isn’t to say that you need to cram all the information in your head as if you’re studying for an exam, or that you must have every card memorized by heart. Instead, it’s more about getting a general idea of the themes that each card represents so that you can implement your own intuition and emotional state into your reading for the day.

To start, there are thousands of different types of tarot card decks to choose from. However, most decks are differentiated from one another in the types of images being displayed. For example, the angel oracle deck is a popular one that is used to seek out expertise from divine angelic forms.

Some decks might be more specialized to fit a certain theme you feel called to explore, such as the lover’s decks to receive guidance in your relationships. It’s important to remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many options, that each deck essentially has the power to grant counsel and wisdom no matter what type of deck it is.

Every tarot card deck has 78 cards that are broken down into two sets, the major and minor arcana. The major arcana is there to provide clarification as to the past, present and future of any given life. Major arcana cards are also supposed to give warning as to any challenges, transformations and future prospects on the horizon.

Twenty-two cards out of the deck are major arcana; some common ones are the fool, the empress, the lovers and the wheel of fortune. Each card symbolizes certain thematic explorations that are accompanied and evoked by the essence of the cards. The empress card, for example, represents feminism, nurturing and generousness.

The minor arcana might be the most practical and the easiest transition toward the everyday trials and tribulations of life. There are 56 minor arcana cards and they are used to complement and assist the major arcana.

The minor arcana is meant to provide guidance in the adversity of day-to-day struggles. Out of the 56 cards that are minor arcana, they are divided further into four sets consisting of 14 cards. For example, the two of cups is slightly different from the six of cups card. Most minor arcana cards correspond to various numbers.

I know what you’re thinking: How do I go about choosing which card to pick and what am I supposed to let draw me into a certain card? Once you figure out which tarot card deck you would like to use and you learn the basic general symbols of each card, then you can really get started. There are many rituals recommended to assist your mind in becoming open to the interpretation of the cards.

Burning sage, incense or candles are often used to accompany a reading. Clutching different crystals and then shuffling the cards is a way to transfer your own energy into the deck. Lay out the cards like a fan and make every movement intentional. Close your eyes then meditate as to what you are searching for in the cards. Let your thoughts drift until certain questions, themes or dreams appear. Tarot card readings rely on your trust in your intuition.

Picking which card to pull is all about the capacity of the mind, tuning into what your energy is channeling you toward. Try not to overthink it; it’s all about faith in the cards and, more importantly, faith in yourself. You can pull as many cards as you want, but pay attention to which cards you draw in relation to one another.

Essentially, the cards can give you clues as to what your day might hold and how to go about moving through it. The cards are a means of communication between the soul and the mind that can trickle down into a physical form, forcing you to be drawn to certain auras like a magnet.

You can also use the tarot cards to unwind at the end of the day — a time set aside with the intent for reflection. People often get caught up in the hoopla that is surrounding tarot cards today. It’s become so magical and fun that it can be seen as something that is reserved for special occasions only. In a way, the accessibility of the many powers tarot cards have to offer have become so mainstream that some people view it as a joke.

Don’t underestimate the inner strength you have to look inward and to seek the answers within you and those that lie in the cards. The cards are a means to discovery, spiritual enlightenment and a way to deeply connect with your psyche. It’s an amazing tool that can be implemented  once you start practicing  — in finding direction in the mundane everyday problems of your life.

Once you look inward, you will be able to evoke the resilience and answers that the tarot cards have to offer.

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