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What is Tarot, anyway?

Tarot is a deck of 78 cards that tells a story of symbolism and transformation. Tarot cards are mirrors to our soul that can be used to provide insight into our inner wisdom. The cards act as spiritual consults or guides that can enhance our intuition and sense of self. The card meanings allow you to identify parts of your subconscious that you may not always have direct access to. 

The deck is organized into two main sections: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The 22 Major Arcana cards represent karmic or spiritual lessons - generally, big-picture themes for life. The 56 Minor Arcana, which are further divided into 4 suits, represents trials and tribulations we experience in our everyday lives.

Let's backtrack for a second and look at the history of tarot. Research indicates that tarot cards date back to the 1400s, where they were originally used as a card game rather than as reading cards. The card game spread, and around the 1800s, the cards were used as a divination tool, and links were made between the cards, astrology, and Egyptian lore. It was then that occult writers began writing about the tarot, and the deck became part of occult philosophy.Interpretations of the tarot evolved over the next few centuries, and the current methodology started in the 1970s in conjunction with the growing interest in psychoanalysis. 

Tarot is not a fortune telling deck. Contrary to popular belief - a tarot spread is not used for specific fortune-telling. Instead, it used to provide insight into karmic, spiritual, and intuitive themes. Understanding these deeper, intangible ideas offers a foundation for visualization and personal development that then allows you to achieve your dreams and goals.

Tarot is about inner wisdom and self-awareness, allowing you to make positive changes towards reaching your dreams.

Ready to Tarot?

1. Choose a deck. This is a fun and exciting process! There is a massive volume of decks to choose from these days.

Each deck has it's own energy and artwork, and you can use your intuition and attraction to a deck as a guide to your decision. If you're entirely new to tarot, you may want to start with a classic - the Rider Waite tarot deck. Most of the card meanings of all tarot decks are based on this deck. You probably recognize some of the artwork already.

2. Familiarize yourself with the deck. When you get your deck in hand - look through each card, take note of the artwork, and use the companion book or tarot book to start identifying the meaning of the cards. It's a bit like learning a new language, so the more you practice, the more you'll start to recognize the cards and their meanings.

3. Bring in a good mindset & energy. As with all divination tools, it is important to approach the tarot with a clear mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical space. Before each reading, you may get in the practice of shuffling your deck a few times so that you physically touch all the cards, to allow your present energy to seep into the deck. Some suggest sleeping with the tarot under or near your pillow, however, there is no wrong way to tarot!

4. Do a reading! Start by drawing 1 card and asking the tarot a question such as, "What do I need to look at today?" When you pull the card, look at the image itself, and feel what comes up for you. Then, look to your booklet or tarot book to read more about what the card symbolizes. To what parts of your life is this card relevant? Avoid asking the tarot yes/no questions. Instead, ask questions that put the responsibility on you. What can I do? What is blocking my growth?

As you become more familiar with the cards, you will want learn to do readings with tarot spreads. Spreads are ways to layout multiple cards and gives more structure and meaning to their drawing and placement. One of the most popular spreads is the Celtic Cross Tarot spreads.

Another popular spread is a 3-card spread for past - present - and future. There are many spreads you can find in books and research - and you can even make your own spread that has meaning for you!

Tarot is an incredible journey of insight and wisdom. You will find much knowledge and growth with even a simple practice!

Of course - check out our tarot collection for inspiration!

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