Get Spiritual with an Introduction to Tarot
I’ve been fascinated by Tarot since I had my first reading as a teenager. There’s something very intriguing about using the Tarot as a resource for spiritual guidance when it comes to making choices in life – big or small!
When I was younger, I thought that you had to have a certain gift to be able to connect with the Tarot, but once I started to familiarize myself with resources online, I learned that the community is very encouraging of anyone picking up a deck, learning to find ways of connecting with the cards and interpreting the meaning of each one for yourself.
So, I picked up my very first Tarot deck earlier this year and have been getting to know each card with the help of a couple of resources – my favourite being Biddy Tarot.
If you’re not familiar with The Tarot, it’s a deck of 78 cards, each one with its own symbolism and name. Within the deck, there’s two different types of cards – you’ve got the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. According to the experts at Biddy Tarot, the 22 Major Arcana cards represent life’s karmic and spiritual lessons, and the 56 Minor Arcana cards reflect the trials and tribulations that we experience on a daily basis.
Within the Minor Arcana cards there are four suits: Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands. Here’s a breakdown of what those suits signify, according to Biddy Tarot:
- The Suit of Cups represents your feelings, emotions, intuition and creativity. The Cups cards often appear in Tarot readings about relationships and your emotional connection with yourself and others.
- The Suit of Pentacles represents your finances, work and material possessions. The Pentacles cards often appear in Tarot readings about career and financial wealth.
- The Suit of Swords represents your thoughts, words and actions. The Swords cards often appear in Tarot readings about communicating your ideas, making decisions, and asserting your power.
- The Suit of Wands represents your energy, motivation and passion. The Wands cards often appear in Tarot readings about life purpose, spirituality and new ideas.
In my experience, some people dismiss Tarot because they’re put off by the thought that it’s supposed to be some sort of magic. Or, they are looking for whoever is interpreting the Tarot for them to reveal a personal detail they haven’t shared in order to validate that the cards are “real.” But Tarot isn’t supposed to be about that at all. Rather, it’s about using the cards to tap into the answers that we already have inside of us. Biddy Tarot explains it like this: it’s like holding up a mirror to yourself so that you can access your subconscious mind and tap into the wisdom (and answers) that lives in us all. Sounds awesome, right?
Fall always feels like a new beginning, making it a great time of year to consult the Tarot. So today’s #SundayFunday adventure was exploring the Tarot deck, with Alyssa and Rachel helping me to better learn and interpret the cards.
If you’re interested in doing the same, we’ve broken down some suggestions below for how to get started.
- Tarot deck: a good one for beginners is the Rider Waite, which is what we used and can be purchased here, but there’s also a great guide for determining how to choose the right Tarot deck for you, as there are a ton out there.
- A resource: our favourite is Biddy Tarot, as they have loads of information, including a detailed description for each card in the deck, but there are a ton out there. If you end up picking up the Rider Waite deck, there’s a great introductory book that goes along with it, which you can pick up here.
One of the best ways to learn the deck as a beginner is to draw a Tarot card each day. Simply ask a question (is there an area in your life that you feel you need guidance – maybe it’s your career, love life, a personal goal, etc.) and pull a card.
A person who isn’t choosing the card should lay out the deck, and the person selecting the card should choose one they feel calls out to them and turn it over. It may be facing upside down, but don’t turn it over as the direction it’s facing impacts the interpretation of the card.
We each took a turn picking a card from the deck. There’s so much symbolism in each card that we studied it first and discussed the imagery together. Then, we looked up the meaning of the card on Biddy Tarot.
Rachel selected The Tower. According to Biddy Tarot, when this card appears in a Tarot reading, expect the unexpected – massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos. Thankfully, the Tower doesn’t always have to be associated with pain and turmoil. If you are highly aware and in tune with your inner guidance system, this Tarot card can indicate a spiritual awakening or revelation of some kind. In its most positive form, the Tower card is your opportunity to break free from the old ways of thinking that have been holding you back. The Tower reversed suggests that you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval. This is different to the experience of the upright Tower, where the change is often as a result of external circumstances and may even feel forced upon you. Instead, with the reversal of the Tower card, you are instigating the change and calling into question your fundamental belief systems, values, purpose and meaning
Alyssa selected the Empress. According to Biddy Tarot, upright, the Empress signifies abundance in all its forms. You are surrounded by life’s pleasures and luxuries and have everything you need to live a comfortable lifestyle. You are in a period of growth, where everything you have dreamed of is now coming to fruition. Reversed, the Empress encourages you to make self-love and self-care a priority. Now is the time to bring your loving energy and focus to yourself, especially if you have been giving away your personal power by placing too much emphasis on another person’s emotional or material needs, thus neglecting your own.
I selected the Queen of Pentacles. According to Biddy Tarot, upright, the Queen of Pentacles suggests that it is important to you that you are able to live independently, with a stable income and with enough time and space to also nurture your family and loved ones. You may be trying to create a better balance between your home and work lives, giving it your all in both domains and trying not to compensate one for the other. At the same time, you are also able to find time to invest in yourself and ensure that you have enough ‘me’ time in between all of your other commitments. Reversed, the Queen of Pentacles can suggest that you are feeling worried about whether you can be financially independent, while also still maintaining your family connections. You may be concerned that if you invest in your career or financial well-being, you might not have enough energy to invest in your family. Sometimes, you just cannot do everything and you will need to make some choices.
We found the perfect beverage to pair with our Tarot exploration. The Inner Eye Pale Ale from our friends at Blood Brother’s Brewery in Toronto make a stellar beer. Needless to say, we’re picking up what they’re putting down.
This playlist captures the perfect vibe for your spiritual awakening.