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The Four Aces of RWS

Learn Tarot – Introduction

On the many Facebook groups and forums you’ll regularly see people recommending the study of each individual card, using a mix of artwork interpretation and other references, over many, many months.  With 78 cards this is a considerable challenge;  if others learnt the hard way then you should too!  Right?

Wrong!  Let us show you not only the easy way – but the best way to learn the underlying associations.

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The Purpose of a Tarot Atmosphere

When learning how to read tarot, it is important to have the right mindset. You should be focused and relaxed, and building a good tarot atmosphere during your reading can help you achieve the mindset necessary to get the most out of your reading. This means choosing to include things like candles, incense, and dim lights in your atmosphere if you find it helpful. All of these things can serve as a reminder to your brain and subconscious that you are getting ready to do something important.

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tarot cards

Buying your first deck – Which deck should you chose?

One of the most glorious things about tarot, is the huge number of beautiful decks available and the wonderful artists that create them. If you’re not careful, you could spend an awful lot of money collecting all the ones you love best!

However, when you’ve just decided to learn tarot and your browsing for your first deck, the choice can seem truly overwhelming. It’s not unusual for people get analysis paralysis and put off buying a deck because they just don’t know which to choose. For some people, this means they never buy one at all.
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Learn Tarot – The Hermetic Qabalah (Tree of Life)

This is a difficult topic to cover as the terminology used can be unfamiliar and discouraging to newcomers. However, here I try to present this in an accessible form. If like me you struggle with the terminology, ignore the unfamiliar names and instead view the tree, numbers, associations and card positions. This will enable anyone to start drawing on the Hermetic Qabalah to deepen their understanding of Tarot.

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The Best Tarot Podcasts

Podcasts are incredibly popular nowadays. The ability to be heard has never been so accessible; anyone can become podcast star with little more than a mobile phone and an internet connection.

As a podcaster this accessibility is very welcome. However, as a listener it can be difficult to know where to begin and a challenge to find the gems amongst the sea of mediocrity.

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To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse

A question commonly asked online:-

“My tarot cards are no longer working.  I’ve been told I need to cleanse them – how do I do this?”

Answers typically range from smudging, to bathing in moonlight, covering in salt, covering in crystals, tapping (typically 3 times), ‘resetting’ (placing the cards back in original order) and even burying in the garden for several days.

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Tarot and the Planets

When Arthur Waite and Pamela Coleman-Smith designed the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) deck, between them they managed to include symbology from pretty much every esoteric system available. Therefore it should come as no surprise that astrology and the planets play a large part in the design of the RWS deck.

If you’ve been reading the other posts on this page, you should know by now that the minor arcana cards represent the astrological elements of air (Swords), Earth (Pentacles), fire (Wands) and water (Cups). The major arcana also has specific cards for each astrological sign and therefore, that signs ruling planet as well.

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Learn Tarot – Example Reading

I considered constructing a spread with chosen cards to demonstrate how a reading may work in practice.  However, I then had a question of my own and the resultant cards seem so perfect I thought it a great opportunity to not only perform a simple reading but relate the cards to the querent/question.

Ready?  First some personal background…

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Learn Tarot – Reversals

Reading reversals (when cards are drawn from the deck inverted) can be traced back as far as the earliest days of Tarot’s use as a divinatory system.  The earliest reference to reversals I can find is from Antoine Court de Gebelin in 1781.  Antoine’s writings formed the basis of Eliphas Levi’s system, later adopted with modification by the Golden Dawn which ultimately led to Waite’s re-interpretation with Pamela Coleman-Smith (the RWS deck).

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Learn Tarot – The Numbers (Revisited)

In a previous article we listed the basic number associations of the minor arcana.

To keep things simple we used the traditional RWS associations as reference.  It’s important to note that this is not the only system in use and it can be useful to cross reference the RWS and Tarot De Marseilles in order to gain further insight.   Additionally, the associated card from the major arcana is also worthy of study in reference to the minors.

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What the F*** is a Thoth Deck?

I have to admit to being a bit conflicted about writing this post. On the one hand, the idea was immensely exciting and I was really looking forward to writing this piece. On the other hand, I knew that I would only be able to scratch the surface of what is a very deep and convoluted rabbit hole. The more I read, the less I know, the less I know, the more there is to research and the bigger and windier the road becomes. Therefore, this is designed as an introduction to what I have learned so far. There are undoubtedly many people who know much more about this that I do and I’m sure as time goes on, there will be other posts from this blogging collective around the subject and the key concepts behind the creation of the tarot.
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My Experience of Learning Tarot

It’s funny how different people come to tarot. For some people it’s been something their family has always done, others are simply drawn to it, but for people like me who grew up in very ‘no nonsense’ households where anything esoteric was poo-pooed, it is something odd and mysterious that requires a ‘happening’ to be brought into your life.

Tarot was something I was aware of but never paid much attention to. After all, it was just a load of nonsense and woo wasn’t it? Just a bunch of generalisations that could be applied to any situation, a bit like cold reading. Until I learned that my good friend, Steve, reads the cards.

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From James Ricklef’s Blog

James Ricklef's Tarot Blog Explore and learn about the Tarot ... and yourself!

  • What does the World card mean?
    by jamesricklef on November 19, 2020 at 2:33 am

    Pithy Tarot card meanings are short, easy to remember meanings that may stimulate further insights when called to mind during a reading. They also make great "Card of the Day" messages. Here’s one for the World card.

  • What does the Three of Cups mean?
    by jamesricklef on October 31, 2020 at 1:49 am

    Pithy Tarot card meanings are short, easy to remember meanings that may stimulate further insights when called to mind during a reading. They also make great "Card of the Day" messages. Here’s one for the Three of Cups.

  • What does the Five of Cups mean?
    by jamesricklef on October 25, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Pithy Tarot card meanings are short, easy to remember meanings that may stimulate further insights when called to mind during a reading. They also make great "Card of the Day" messages. Here’s one for the Five of Cups.

  • What does the Moon card mean?
    by jamesricklef on October 17, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Pithy Tarot card meanings are short, easy to remember meanings that may stimulate further insights when called to mind during a reading. They also make great "Card of the Day" messages. Here’s one for the Moon card.

From Mary K Greer’s Blog

Mary K. Greer's Tarot Blog "Tarot helps you meet whatever comes in the best possible way."

  • Flying Ambulances for the Navajo Nation
    by Mary K. Greer on June 1, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    My friend, John Irving, is currently flying medical planes within the Navajo Nation that’s being devastated by COVID-19. I asked him to send me his story that I could post here to let people know what is actually going on. It’s just one story from the midst of this crisis. I want to add that

  • Write from your Heart with Tarot
    by Mary K. Greer on January 13, 2020 at 1:30 am

    How to write from your heart with tarot: – Breathe (ground/center if applicable). – Connect with your future reader (including if you will be your only reader). Try to get a specific image in mind and open your heart to that person(s)—real or imaginary. – Begin your writing with where you are right now at

  • Tarot Tour of Italy 2019
    by Mary K. Greer on December 4, 2019 at 1:22 am

    The best way to understand the historical roots of the tarot is to visit Northern Italy and see the actual sources for the imagery. There is no way I can duplicate the wonderful job Katrina Wynne did of telling the story of our Italy Tarot Trip this October so I’m sending you to her page.

  • An Analysis of BTS’s “Lights” as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
    by Mary K. Greer on August 6, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    “Lights” is the newest music video from the phenomenally popular South Korean K-pop group, BTS. Its main theme is the question “What is love?” to which there is a response: “your Light lights the way for me . . . no matter how far apart we are.” If you haven’t heard of BTS you are probably

From Round the Cauldron’s Blog

Round the Cauldron Everyday life as a modern witch!

  • Episode 92: Warding for Beginners || Protection Magick and Witchcraft 101
    by Megan Black on November 30, 2020 at 5:54 am

    Warding is a basic form of protection magick. There are many different kinds of wards and many different ways you can cast them. Here are my thoughts and advice! The post Episode 92: Warding for Beginners || Protection Magick and Witchcraft 101 appeared first on Round the Cauldron.

  • Episode 91: Make it Yours || Personal Correspondences for the Eclectic Witch
    by Megan Black on November 23, 2020 at 5:54 am

    As an eclectic witch, I find that most “common” correspondences don’t necessarily fit the way I practice witchcraft and the things I believe. If you’re an eclectic witch, many of your correspondences can be personalized and made to fit your practice. The post Episode 91: Make it Yours || Personal Correspondences for the Eclectic Witch appeared first on Round the Cauldron.

  • Episode 90: Witchcraft in Pop Culture || Favorites and Thoughts
    by Megan Black on November 16, 2020 at 5:54 am

    Witches are often portrayed in pop culture as evil, demonic, or ugly. I asked on Instagram who your favorite (and least favorite) pop culture witches were and the results were…expected. Let’s find out what you said as well as my thoughts on how witches are portrayed in the media. The post Episode 90: Witchcraft in Pop Culture || Favorites and Thoughts appeared first on Round the Cauldron.

  • Episode 89: Elements in Witchcraft || Common Correspondences and My Thoughts
    by Megan Black on November 9, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Elements in witchcraft are fairly common amongst research material for new and not-so-new witches. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit are the five “traditional” elements in witchcraft and they have common correspondences. So, what are they? And what are my thoughts? The post Episode 89: Elements in Witchcraft || Common Correspondences and My Thoughts appeared first on Round the Cauldron.

  • Episode 88: How to Be a Witch || Getting Started in Witchcraft and Paganism
    by Megan Black on November 2, 2020 at 5:54 am

    This is a question that comes up a lot for new seekers — how to be a witch! We often tell new seekers to read, read, and read some more, but there is more to it than that. The post Episode 88: How to Be a Witch || Getting Started in Witchcraft and Paganism appeared first on Round the Cauldron.

From the Unified Esoteric Tarot

Esoteric and Divinatory Tarot by Attila Kárpáthy

  • Personal counselling and mentoring
    by Admin on December 2, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Self-development is an on-going and transcending process. By working with the Tarot on daily bases, one can gain guidance and ‘peek behind the scene of life’. For only $999 per month, one will get 6 readings a week; one 10 … Continue reading →

  • The Law of Seven
    by Admin on December 2, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Life on Earth is divided into seven-year cycles: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63, 70, 77, 84, 91, 98, 105, 112, 119, 126, 133, 140, 147, and so on. The Law of Seven explain why nothing in … Continue reading →

  • General guidance and counselling
    by Admin on December 2, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Tarot is not a one-shot thing, but a process. A card reading will reveal the snapshot of that moment, but in the very next sequence of time one can step in the other direction, can change its feelings, thoughts, make … Continue reading →

  • Aquarian Hermetic Tarot Black Edition
    by Admin on November 22, 2020 at 9:38 am

    It is my pleasure to introduce you the Aquarian Hermetic Tarot, special Black Edition. Following the pattern of the Aquarian Hermetic Tarot, the Black Edition is a beautiful and classy version, a perfect combination of elegance and content. Each card … Continue reading →

From Theresa’s Tarot Lady Blog

The Tarot Lady The tarot cards tell a story...but you write the ending.

  • Talkin’ Tarot with Jahna of Twin Moon Tarot
    by Theresa Reed on December 2, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Talkin’ Tarot With is a monthly feature designed to introduce my readers to different tarot readers from our wonderfully diverse community!  Each month, I’ll be asking various tarot readers three questions about their tarot philosophy and style, plus pointing you to their websites and blogs so that you can learn more about them!  I like The post Talkin’ Tarot with Jahna of Twin Moon Tarot appeared first on The Tarot Lady.

  • Talking Shop: A Ripple in Time – Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction 2020
    by Theresa Reed on November 30, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    The biggest buzz of the year in astrological circles is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction 2020, also known as “the great conjunction.” This configuration happens once every twenty years – and sets the trends for the next two decades. So what the heck does that mean? And what might it portend for business? A lot. Think: technology, The post Talking Shop: A Ripple in Time – Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction 2020 appeared first on The Tarot Lady.

  • Tarot Bytes Episode 196: The Magic of Color and Tarot with Sarah Potter
    by Theresa Reed on November 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Tarot Bytes: The Podcast Bite-sized lessons for Tarot beginners Created by Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady Welcome to Tarot Bytes – the tarot podcast for people who want to learn tarot…but don’t have all day. Short, bite-sized tarot lessons. Episode 196: The Magic of Color and Tarot with Sarah Potter In our daily lives, colors The post Tarot Bytes Episode 196: The Magic of Color and Tarot with Sarah Potter appeared first on The Tarot Lady.

  • Lunar Eclipse in Gemini 2020 – and Tarot Readings for Each Zodiac Sign
    by Theresa Reed on November 28, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    The Lunar Eclipse in Gemini 2020 lights up the skies on November 30th at 4:30 AM EST. Eclipses are intense and catalysts for growth. This one promises to bring much-needed clarity…or endings. Maybe both. Gemini is an Air sign and associated with communication and thoughts. This eclipse has the potential to clear the air once The post Lunar Eclipse in Gemini 2020 – and Tarot Readings for Each Zodiac Sign appeared first on The Tarot Lady.

From Beth’s Little Red Tarot Blog

Little Red Tarot Alternative approaches to tarot, ritual, magic & more