Getting the most from a Tarot card reading relies on the reader’s ability to perceive not only the symbolic meaning from the spread, but also the mystical significance. Although every card of both the Major and the Minor Arcana possesses its own individual symbolism within the representative images on the cards, it is the deeper, spiritual enlightenment of the cards that leads to a greater understanding. Attaining this type of perception is the key to making Tarot a truly valid part of life.
The 76 cards of a Tarot deck each have a specific, external meaning. These are specified by the positive and negative characteristics governing the chief aspects of our lives (Major Arcana), as well as the day-to-day import reflected in the suits and by each card within the suits (Minor Arcana).
The representative images, however, go much deeper than what they portray at first glance. These images address the part of the psyche beyond our ability to control. They touch our inner selves, our subconscious, that part of ourselves that encompasses our innermost core. And this core provides the basis for all the influences that affect our character, that send both positive and negative energy, that govern the directional path in which our lives proceed – or stall.
With the Seven of Cups, for example, the surface meaning implies material wealth. However, when the theme of the card, which includes delusional thoughts of acquiring wealth, becomes known to the reader, the Seven of Cups represents something else altogether. If the asker wants to know, for instance, when he or she will when the lottery, this card – by itself – shows the futility of such a pursuit. However, depending upon the position of the card in the spread, other cards surrounding that Seven of Cups, the events that have previously occurred in the questioner’s life, and the very deepest driving forces within that person, the card could very well imply tremendous riches on the horizon.
The mystical and symbolic meanings of Tarot cards become intertwined as the practitioner of this “secret and closed” art becomes more adept at his or her readings. With experience and the earnest searching for the deeper meanings found in the spread of a Tarot deck, the reader eventually comes to understand how and why this art has persevered over the centuries as an indicator of the human condition – past, present, and with skill and patience, the future.
Our psyches reach out to instruct, warn, comfort, and console us in many ways. Throughout the history of mankind, people have striven to understand their deeper selves, and Tarot remains, after hundreds of years, as one more tool to do so. So whether one is just beginning the journey toward understanding or has been a voyager on the path for many years, the Tarot persists because it calls to searchers of enlightenment. Tarot beckons like a siren’s song to teach the secret things of the universe. Will you be one who answers that call?