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Introduction to Tarot Readings

      Tarot readings are arrangements of cards drawn from a shuffled deck. The layout of the cards is known as a spread, and determines what each card refers to. For example, the Two Paths spread is used to understand an upcoming decision, and hence it uses cards to represent the different options and their outcomes.

Decks: Tarot decks consist of 78 cards. 22 of the cards are major arcana (trumps), such as The Lovers, The Fool, The Pope, and The World. The remaining 56 cards are minor arcana divided into 4 suites of 14 cards each. The suites are Swords, Cups, Wands (sometimes called Rods or Staves), and Pentacles (sometimes called Coins or Discs). Although the traditional meanings of the cards are the same regardless of the specific deck used, the imagery and language associated with each deck tends to make it particularly useful for some types of readings. For example, many of our visitors find the Renaissance Tarot particularly good at questions of passion, mastery, and reason.

Reversals: About half of the cards in a reading are drawn reversed (upside down), which either negates or inverts their meaning. For example, Death upright means "change", but Death reversed means "stagnation".

Golden Tarot

A modern celebration of late medieval artwork. This deck is the choice of scholars, for it evokes images of elegance amid barbarism, and the light of virtue in dark times.

Rider-Waite: Learning to Read the Tarot Intuitively

A popular video tape tutorial on Tarot reading, aimed at novices.

Dragon Tarot

A popular collectible, featuring some of the more striking fantasy artwork in the Tarot world.

Choice Centered Tarot

A different approach to readings, speaking more to inner and outer forces than to positive and negative forces, and covering numerology and symbolism as well.