Exploring the Power of Tarot Cards: A Beginner's Handbook

Kristen Lagos

The art of tarot reading is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Many believe that these cards hold the secrets of the universe and can tap into the inner world of our subconscious minds. Each card represents a different aspect of life's journey, from love and relationships to career and spirituality.

Through careful interpretation, tarot readers can provide guidance and insight into various situations. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, there is no denying the powerful impact that tarot cards can have.

In this article, we will delve into the history of tarot cards, the meaning behind each card, and how you can harness their power in your own life.


A Brief History of Tarot

The origins of the first deck of tarot can be traced back to Europe in the 14th century. The earliest known deck was created in Italy for the Visconti family, with hand-painted cards featuring intricate designs and symbols. This tarot spread was not used for divination purposes, but rather as a form of entertainment.

It wasn't until the 18th century that tarot began to be associated with divination and mysticism. French occultists popularized the idea of using tarot as a tool for inner guidance and self-discovery. Since then, tarot has evolved into a widely recognized form of divination, with countless variations and interpretations.

Unleashing the Power of Tarot

Many people turn to tarot readings for guidance, clarity, and a new perspective. But how exactly do these cards hold such power? Some believe that it is our subconscious mind at work during a reading. By choosing certain cards and interpreting their meanings, we are tapping into our inner wisdom and intuition. Others believe that tarot cards are a tool for connecting with your cosmic self.

Whatever your beliefs may be, there is no doubt that tarot can offer insight and guidance in our lives and serve as a powerful manifesting tool. It is important to remember that tarot readings should not be taken as absolute truth, but rather as a means of self-reflection and personal growth.

By using tarot as a tool for self-exploration and introspection, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our life paths.

Different Types of Tarot Decks

As tarot reading gained popularity, many different decks were created, each with its own unique style and interpretation.

Some of the most popular are the Rider-Waite deck, the Marseille deck, and the Thoth deck.

  • The Rider-Waite deck is one of the oldest and most widely used decks today. It features detailed illustrations that make it easy for beginners to understand the meanings of each card.
  • The Marseille deck is known for its simplicity and was traditionally used as playing cards rather than divination.
  • The Thoth deck, designed by occultist Aleister Crowley, incorporates elements from various spiritual traditions and can be challenging to interpret.


Each deck offers unique cards from a different perspective and can be used for different purposes, making them valuable tools for tarot readers.

The Major Arcana

The standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards, divided into two main categories: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana is made up of 22 cards that represent major life events and archetypes.

These cards carry the most weight in a reading and often indicate important turning points or lessons in one's life. Some of the most well-known Major Arcana cards include The Fool, The Magician, and The High Priestess.

The Minor Arcana

The remaining 56 cards make up the Minor Arcana, which is further divided into four suits: Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. These cards represent more mundane aspects of life, such as emotions, practical matters, thoughts, and actions.

Each suit contains ten numbered cards (Ace to Ten) and four court cards (Page, Knight, Queen, King). The court cards often represent people in one's life or different aspects of the self.

Understanding the Symbols & Meanings

The beauty of tarot lies in its symbolism. Each card is rich with imagery and meaning, offering insight into different aspects of our lives. While there are traditional interpretations for each card, the true power of tarot lies in personal interpretation and intuition.

As you become more familiar with what each tarot card means, you may discover that certain symbols or images hold different significance for you (similar to understanding your moon sign). Trust in your own intuition and allow yourself to be open to new interpretations.

Tarot Card Meanings List

  • The Fool: Represents new beginnings, taking risks, and being open to possibilities.

  • The Magician: Signifies manifestation, creativity, and mastery of skills.

  • The High Priestess: Symbolizes intuition, inner wisdom, and hidden knowledge.

  • The Lovers: Represents love, partnership, and difficult decisions.

  • The Wheel of Fortune: Signifies cycles and changes in life, both positive and negative.

  • Death: Symbolizes transformation and endings, rather than literal death.

  • The Star: Represents hope, inspiration, and spirituality.

  • The Tower: Signifies sudden change, upheaval, and a breaking down of old structures.

Importance of Intuition in Reading Tarot Cards

Intuition is an integral part of interpreting tarot cards. While understanding the traditional meanings of each card is important, it is equally important to trust your own intuition and personal connection to the cards.

Each tarot reader has their unique style and way of interpreting the cards, and this is what makes each reading special and meaningful. By listening to your inner voice and allowing yourself to be guided by the cards, you can tap into a deeper level of understanding and meaning in your readings.

Benefits of Tarot Cards

A Tool for Self-Discovery

Tarot cards are not just a means of divination, but also a tool for self-discovery. The archetypes and symbols depicted on the cards can help us understand ourselves better and gain insight into our thoughts, feelings, and actions (much like Jungian Archetypes help us understand personality).

By exploring different interpretations of each tarot card's meanings, we can uncover hidden aspects of ourselves and gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious desires and fears. Tarot readings can be an empowering experience because they can help you take your power back and allow you to choose how you want to perceive your situations, and nobody else.


Connecting with the Universe

Many people believe that tarot cards have a direct connection to the universe, and through them, we can tap into a higher consciousness. The act of shuffling the deck and pulling out cards creates an energy flow that connects us to the divine. By opening ourselves up to this energy, we can gain valuable insights and guidance from the universe.

In this way, tarot card readings can be seen as a form of meditation or mindfulness practice. They help us focus our thoughts and intentions, allowing us to connect with the universe on a deeper level.

Finding Meaning in Chaos

In today's fast-paced world, it can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. Tarot cards offer us a sense of structure and meaning in the chaos. Through their symbolic images and archetypes, we can make sense of our experiences and find direction in our lives.

Even when faced with difficult situations, tarot readings can provide comfort and reassurance that everything happens for a reason. They remind us that even in chaos, there is always purpose and meaning to be found.

Common Misconceptions About Tarot

Despite the growing popularity of tarot, there are still many misconceptions and myths surrounding these cards. Some believe that tarot readings predict bad luck or a predetermined future or that they are associated with dark magic. However, these beliefs could not be further from the truth.

Tarot cards are simply a tool for self-reflection and guidance, not a means of fortune-telling. The future is not set in stone, and the purpose of tarot is to provide insight and perspective into our current situations, allowing us to make informed decisions.

Furthermore, there is no inherent negative energy or dark magic associated with tarot. It is up to the reader's intentions and practice to create a safe and positive space for readings.

"So What Is the Difference Between Tarot Readings and Fortune Telling?"

Fortune telling involves predicting a predetermined future, whereas tarot readings offer guidance and insight into our current situations. Tarot is not about providing definite answers, but rather helping us uncover our own truths and empowering us to make decisions that align with our highest good.

Instead of relying on a psychic or fortune teller for answers, tarot encourages us to look within ourselves for understanding and direction moving forward. It is ultimately up to the individual to use tarot as a tool for self-discovery and personal growth.

Embracing the Journey

As you embark on your journey into the world of tarot, remember to approach it with an open mind and a sense of wonder. Don't be afraid to explore different interpretations and connect with your inner self. Whether you choose to use tarot cards for divination or as a tool for self-discovery, their power is undeniable.

So embrace this mystical practice and let the universe guide you towards greater understanding and enlightenment. The journey may be long, but it will undoubtedly be filled with incredible discoveries and insights that will change your life forever. So take a deep breath, shuffle those cards, and let the magic unfold.

If you’re looking to find an extensive collection of tarot cards, look no further than Shaman Market’s exclusive tarot collection. We have a wide variety of tarot decks, from classic to modern, that are suitable for both beginners and seasoned readers.

Our selection also includes tarot card sets with guidebooks, which are perfect for those who are just starting out and want to learn how to read tarot cards.