A Beginners Guide to Tarot
Believed to have originated in the 1400s, tarot reading is a form of cartomancy that has been practiced across different historical and cultural contexts and continues to evolve today.
Tarot cards are a divination tool used to interpret the experiences and energy of a person’s past, present, or potential future. Learning tarot can be a rewarding yet daunting process. In this article, you can find tips on how to start reading tarot and information about the variety of products and services offered by Downtown Tarot Company.
Choosing Your Tarot Deck
What distinguishes tarot from other divination tools like oracle cards or Lenormand is that a standard tarot deck will feature the same 78 cards. The art and design of the cards may vary from deck to deck, but the 78 card meanings will be consistent. Essentially once you know the card meanings, this knowledge can be applied to any standard tarot deck. While a standard tarot deck will feature the traditional 78 cards, some nonstandard decks may feature extra cards created by the author.
An important aspect of learning tarot is to find a deck that resonates with you. Yes, you may be able to interpret the cards in any standard deck, but it can also be worthwhile to find a deck whose style, imagery, and theme you connect with. When you resonate with the unique details of your deck, your ability to do accurate and intuitive readings will likely improve as well.
Some people subscribe to the superstition that it is bad luck to buy your own tarot deck, and that instead someone must gift you one. Let’s dispel this myth: tarot, like any other metaphysical practice, is highly personal. There are no rules. There is no “right” and “wrong.” What is important is that you follow what feels right for you. If you feel called to learn tarot now, go out and buy yourself a deck.
Learning to Read Tarot Deck
There are a variety of strategies to learn tarot. Some people may prefer to study the meanings of the cards before they jump into reading. Most decks will include a guidebook that details the card meanings, but if not, there are also many online resources as well as books with this information. If you feel overwhelmed by learning the exact meanings of the card, I promise no one is going to give you a pop quiz! In fact, while each card may have a general meaning, the specific details of the interpretation will vary between references or across decks. Look at multiple references and choose the meanings that resonate with you. You may also find that you associate a card with a meaning beyond any of the references you looked at, and that’s okay too! Actually, it’s great; it means that you are connecting with your deck intuitively.
When read together, tarot cards can create a story or message. A common method of reading is by using tarot spreads. A spread is when the placement of the card positions is designated before shuffling and drawing any cards. For instance, a common spread is Past, Present, Future, where the first card you pull will correspond to your past, the second to your present, and the third to your future. One of the reasons people like to use spreads is because it breaks down the message in a very clear way. While you can find spreads for almost any topic, you can also create your own. Using spreads is not the only way to read tarot though, as some prefer to pull cards and intuitively interpret how they interact.
Tarot Products and Services
Tarot Decks: At Downtown Tarot Company we have a wide variety of tarot decks suitable for every level of experience. For beginners, two popular decks we sell at Downtown Tarot Company are the Apprentice Tarot Deck and the Light Seer’s Tarot. The Apprentice Tarot Deck features a traditional art style and includes key words at the top and bottom of the card face. These key words correspond to the upright and reversed meanings of the cards, so this deck is perfect for hands-on learners who want to jump into reading right away. If you have visited us in store, you may have noticed The Light Seer’s Tarot deck on display for customers to draw a card. The Light Seer’s Tarot is great for beginners who are drawn to vibrant colors and a more contemporary art style.
Books and Classes: For those seeking more information about tarot, Downtown Tarot offers a wide selection of books on the history of tarot, tarot spreads, and card interpretations. Our tarot classes also give students the opportunity to learn and practice tarot within a supportive community. You can learn about all our different tarot classes by visiting our class page.
Candles: Our Divinatio Collection features hand-poured Tarot Candles that are perfect for strengthening your meditations, rituals, spell work, or divination practice. Each candle is inspired by a tarot card from the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, and is intuitively curated with a crystal and fragrance to radiate each card’s unique energy. Tarot includes many powerful archetypes; using a tarot candle can help you embody the qualities represented by a card or manifest that energy into your life.
Professional Tarot Readings: If you are interested in receiving a tarot reading, DTC has a team of professional readers who are available for in-store appointments. Our wonderful readers each have their own unique skills and styles that allow them to serve the specific needs of their clients. Some of the specializations of our different readers include mediumship, astrology, paranormal investigation, past lives, and much more. You can look through our readers’ bios or book a reading on our Book A Service page.
Crystal Fact of the Week
The energy of certain crystals is thought to be good for strengthening intuition, psychic abilities, and divination practices. Some of these crystals include labradorite, lapis lazuli, fluorite, sodalite, clear quartz, moonstone, and amethyst.