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The standard Tarot deck which is commonly in use
today consists of 78 cards. They are divided into 22 Major Arcana cards, 40 Minor Arcana and 16 Court Cards.
The Major Arcana cards represent the Higher parts of our consciousness. The Tarot can be used in several ways; as a
means of divination, as a tool for self discovery, as an aid to spiritual or esoteric study.
The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana represent our higher selves, the
spiritual and the outside forces that influence our lives. The Court Cards represent other people in our
lives or aspects of our own personality. The Minor Arcana are concerned with the everyday, affairs of day to
day living such as work, school, the home and relationships.
The Minor Arcana
There are 4 suits commonly found
in Tarot decks: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. While they sometimes have different names, the idea behind them
is usually the same. If you understand the meanings of the suits and have some knowledge of numbers, you can read
the Minor Arcana of any deck of Tarot cards.
The Tarot and Astrology.
Astrology and Tarot often complement each other. Tarot
readers will incorporate their knowledge of astrology into their interpretations and readings. Many people
who are interested in one are also interested in the other. Since a great many people have some knowledge of
Astrology, descriptions will be helpful in understanding the ideas behind the suits.
Wands: Wands can be described as the suit having to do
with energy, creativity, communication, action, passion, self improvement/self development, spirituality and
enterprise.This suit is associated with the element of fire,If you know a little of astrology, think of the
personality attributes of the fire signs, the forceful Aries, the flamboyant Leo and the honest and
Cups: Cups are associated with
the emotions, the subconscious, relationships and intuitive or psychic abilities. This suit is associated with the
element of water and like water can be calm and serene, or turbulent and rough. Astrologically, the nurturing
Cancer personality, the depth of the Scorpio and the intuitive, dreamy Pisces could be applied.
Swords: Swords are the suit of mental activity, rational
thinking, decisions, and intellectual pursuit. Because much of the turmoil in our lives can be attributed to
our thoughts, this suit often depicts conflict and struggle as well. Swords are usually associated with the
element of air. Astrologically one can think of the Libran desire for balance, the contradictions inherent in
the Aquarian personality, and the Gemini's thirst for intellectual stimulation.
Pentacles: Pentacles are the
suit associated with work, money, crafts, the home, the physical body. Pentacles are associated with the element
earth. Astrologically one can think of Taurean practicality and love of home, the Capricorn's financial and
business prowess and the Virgo's industry, skill and productivity.