Introduction to Tarot Cards

Your birth sign and your birth date number are also associated with specific Tarot cards.

Although the true origins of Tarot cards are unknown and may date back to ancient Egypt, the Tarot cards that we know today were created in Italy during the fifteenth century. The Tarot deck consists of seventy-eight cards in total, comprising the twenty-two major arcana cards which the nineteenth-century French occultist Eliphas Levi saw as having symbolic links to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the fifty-six minor arcana cards which are divided into four suits: wands, representing the element of fire; swords, the element of air; cups, the element of water; and pentacles, the element of earth. Many versions of the Tarot deck are in use today but most are based on the Rider—Waite deck designed by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith in 1910.

Although each minor arcana card has a divinatory meaning, the major arcana cards are of greater significance in this book because they represent both archetypal symbols and the quest for self-knowledge. Their meanings are briefly summarized below:

The Fool: represents the divine child, one who is completely trusting of God. The Fool is beginning a journey and has no idea where it will lead, but is peaceful and content, and is living from his heart.

The Magician: represents creative power and having many options. Called the Magus in other Tarot decks, the Magician has access to all four elements of the Tarot to manifest the divine work he has come to earth to achieve.

The High Priestess: represents the psychic self, intuition, dreams and developing one’s inner spiritual intuition.

The Empress: represents the ability to adapt and flow according to the needs of the moment.

The Emperor: is the balance to the Empress and represents work, money, grounding, and the ability to fully manifest on the material plane.

The Hierophant: a symbol of one’s own inner spiritual authority, also known as your Higher Self. It’s also a compilation of the previous four cards, synthesizing these initial stages of spiritual growth on a new level.

The Lovers: represent the awareness of opposites, the relationship between opposites, and the ability to balance what appear to be different aspects of the self.

The Chariot: represents an alignment of your personal will with the divine will, and the transformation of the personal self toward a more planetary consciousness.

Justice: represents a karmic rebalancing process, so what has been out of harmony within your consciousness will be brought into a proper relationship with God’s love.

The Hermit: represents a time when the soul must learn to walk alone through darkness, guided by God and the inner light of spirit.

The Wheel of Fortune: represents a time of awakening to the awareness of one’s own destiny and soul purpose.

Strength: represents the integration between the higher and lower self. This card is sometimes interpreted as the learning process of seeing yourself as capable of having what you want.

The Hanged Man: this card represents a deep spiritual surrender where all is given to God. The process of surrender turns the soul “upside down,” so that life and God can be experienced from a new perspective.

Death: represents a letting-go process related to old emotional patterns, especially in relationships.

Temperance: a card of integration, transformation and alchemy, representing the transformation of opposites into a new element.

The Devil: represents the awareness of one’s own negativity and darkness, and can also represent an encounter with negative energies.

The Tower: represents the shattering of illusion and the shattering of an old structure, which can be either a personality structure or a physical one.

The Star: represents divine spiritual healing and an opening to the higher dimension of light. This was made possible through the previous lessons which released the soul from illusion.

The Moon: symbolizes creativity, nurturing, family, and the emergence of subconscious negativity that has come to the surface to be healed and transformed.

The Sun: represents confidence and the emergence of one’s true self, stepping out into visibility in its full spiritual and physical embodiment.

Judgment: represents resurrection and rebirth, and is a symbol of this time we are living in, the time of total transformation.

The World: represents a celebration of dance of life, and a time of completion of a major cycle. The World card includes all the previous cards, just as we are all a total of all the steps we have taken on our path. It is a time of fulfillment and joy.

Many astrologers and numerologists believe that the major arcana cards are related to astrological and numerological personality tendencies; for example, the Emperor card is ruled by the planet Mars, the astrological sign of Aries and the symbolic power of the number 5. As such these arcana cards present a powerful means of promoting self-awareness, especially when their implications are considered in conjunction with those indicated by astrology and numerology.