The tarot is a tool which has been used for divination and personal exploration purposes for more than two hundred years. Physically, a tarot deck comprises 78 cards, each bearing a unique image. When used for divination purposes, the use of the tarot cards is sometimes referred to as taromancy.
The Major Arcana, which consists of 22 cards, features many archetypes that will be instantly recognisable by anyone who has seen the tarot being used in movies or on television, or who has ever received a reading. It is in the Major Arcana that you will find The Magician, The Fool, Death, The Hanged Man and the High Priestess.
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The remaining 56 cards make up the Minor Arcana, and this is split into four suits, which are usually referred to as the swords, cups, wands (or rods) and coins.
There are hundreds of different tarot decks currently available, and that is because different people resonate more easily with different styles and images. The Original Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is perhaps the most famous of them all, and is a good choice for those who wish to begin exploring the tarot for personal exploration and taromancy purposes, but there are many other decks which feature angels, animals and more, so if you feel drawn to any of those more modern alternatives, you should follow your intuition.
Whilst is it very easy to obtain a deck of tarot cards, learning to use them properly is something that takes some study and practice. There are dozens of layouts that can be used to give yourself or others a tarot reading, and just as many ways of using the cards to get in touch with your subconscious wisdom, so any effort to teach those things here would be wasted. Instead, you would do well to obtain a complete tarot kit which also includes a book that teaches the art in an accessible and practical manner.
One of our favourite and most highly recommended kits is The Complete Tarot Kit, which includes two tarot decks (a Special Edition Rider-Waite and a Special Edition Crowley Thoth deck) as well as handsome 250-page hardcover book which has been described as ‘a perfect introduction to reading tarot cards’.
Other kits which are well worth considering are:
The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook
The Fountain Tarot: Illustrated Deck and Guidebook
The Essential Tarot Kit
Whichever kit you choose to get started with, your experience with tarot cards will be as rich and rewarding as the time you spend with them. Tarot cards are as popular today as they ever have been, and for good reason – they work. Whether you want to divine the future or explore your own spiritual nature in depth, the tarot is a tool that will serve you well for a lifetime.