What is Tarot? Tarot is more than just a pack of fancy colored cards that someone shuffles and lays out on a table. Those who uses tarot frequently will tell you that tarot is you. Tarot is whoever happens to be asking the cards to divine their lives and even their future. Though this answer may seem a bit ambiguous or confusing, it is important to understand the nature of tarot and what it is a tarot reader will be divining about you and your life when they read the Tarot spread.

A tarot deck is made up of 78 cards but each reading is done with an arrangement of those cards. The two most commonly used are the Three Fates and the Celtic Cross. The Three Fates requires the reader to place three cards out on the table, while the Celtic Cross requires ten. With the Three Fates reading the three cards represent the past, present and future, while the Celtic Cross cards represent past, future, influences, hopes and conflicts.

Each deck has both major and minor arcana. Minor Arcana are much like regular playing cards and come in four suits with cards from one to ten and four face cards with the page, knight, queen and king. Major Arcana are unique, stand-alone cards. The most commonly known Major Arcana are the Devil, Strength, Temperance, the Hanged Man, the Fool and Death. Whether or not the decks themselves have power is up to the individual readers. Some believe it’s not the cards but the reader that has the power and the cards merely act as visual cues to help the reader understand the energy they are feeling. Other readers believe that their deck is attuned to them and holds their power and will only use the deck that they have worked with.

Regardless, most readers will tell you that the cards are taping into a universal mind or understanding, some may refer to this as an almighty being. Many believe that we are all collectively together and that the tarot cards take something like a snapshot of the energies around the person that the reading is being done for. This is why using tarot as a definitive guide to the future is somewhat frowned upon and a good reader will warn you ahead of time that the future is always fluid. The future seen in the cards is not definite, but merely a suggested path that can be altered or changed depending on our choices.

While many assume that tarot is used to divine the future, it is important to understand that it more shows you potentials based on your past and your present. The cards show nothing hard and fast, just what you need to see and know. It helps you understand your problems and how best to solve them. Remember that a tarot reading should not be used to make decisions for you, but it should be used to help you highlight what issues you should consider.

When going into a Tarot reading in which you intend to ask questions there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, don’t make your questions too specific, but not too general either. For example, if you’re wondering how a move will affect your life, ask if you will make friends quickly when you make your move. Don’t go with answers already in your mind, try to keep your mind and heart open to the possibilities in the cards.