How to Learn to Use Tarot Cards

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How to Learn to Use Tarot Cards

For centuries, tarot cards have been used as a divination tool to gain insight into the past, present, and future. This ancient practice has captivated people from all walks of life, from curious beginners to seasoned practitioners. Whether you’re looking to tap into your intuition, deepen your understanding of symbolism, or explore the hidden mysteries of the universe, learning to use tarot cards can be a transformative journey.

1. Get Familiar with the Deck

The first step in learning to use tarot cards is to familiarize yourself with the deck you’ll be working with. The most common tarot deck is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, which features 78 cards divided into the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. Take the time to examine each card, paying attention to the imagery, symbolism, and overall energy it conveys.

Create a personal connection with your tarot deck by shuffling the cards regularly, holding them in your hands, and infusing them with your intentions. This will help establish a bond between you and the cards, making it easier to interpret their messages.

2. Understand the Card Meanings

The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards that represent significant life lessons and personal growth. Each card tells a story and represents a specific archetype or universal theme. Familiarize yourself with the meanings of these cards, and consider how they relate to different aspects of life, such as relationships, career, and spirituality.

Here is a quick reference guide to the Major Arcana:

Card Keyword Meaning
The Fool Beginnings New beginnings, leap of faith
The Magician Manifestation Personal power, manifestation
The High Priestess Intuition Intuition, subconscious mind

The Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards divided into four suits: Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles (or Coins). Each suit has its own set of meanings, representing different aspects of life. Study the associations and interpretations of each suit, along with the individual card meanings within each suit.

Here is a quick reference guide to the meaning of each suit in the Minor Arcana:


  • Ace of Cups: New emotional beginnings
  • Two of Cups: Connection, partnership
  • Three of Cups: Celebration, friendship


  • Ace of Swords: Clarity, breakthrough
  • Two of Swords: Indecision, choices
  • Three of Swords: Heartbreak, grief


  • Ace of Wands: Creative potential, inspiration
  • Two of Wands: Planning, partnership
  • Three of Wands: Expansion, exploration


  • Ace of Pentacles: Manifestation, prosperity
  • Two of Pentacles: Balance, adaptability
  • Three of Pentacles: Collaboration, teamwork

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Learning to use tarot cards effectively requires consistent practice. Set aside regular time to work with your deck, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Start with simple spreads, such as a one-card draw, to gain confidence in your interpretations.

As you become more comfortable, explore more complex spreads, such as the Celtic Cross or the Tree of Life spread, to delve deeper into your questions and gain a broader perspective.

Additionally, journaling your experiences with each card and spread can be immensely helpful. Take note of the cards pulled, their positions in the spread, and your interpretation of their meanings. Over time, you will notice patterns, insights, and personal associations that will enrich your readings.

4. Seek Guidance and Study Resources

Learning tarot is an ongoing process, and it’s valuable to seek guidance from experienced readers and study reputable resources. Join online communities or local tarot groups where you can share insights, ask questions, and learn from others.

There are numerous books, online courses, and tutorials available that can expand your knowledge and understanding of tarot. Some recommended tarot books include “The Tarot Bible” by Sarah Bartlett, “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack, and “The Rider Tarot Deck” by Arthur Edward Waite.

5. Trust Your Intuition

While understanding the traditional meanings of tarot cards is essential, it’s equally important to trust your intuition. Tarot readings are a blend of both learned interpretations and your own inner guidance.

As you interpret each card, pay attention to the emotions, sensations, and thoughts that arise within you. Trust the insights and messages that come from your intuition, as these are often the most meaningful and relevant to your situation.

Remember, tarot is a tool that can unlock your innate wisdom and provide guidance. Approach it with an open heart and a willingness to explore the depths of your subconscious mind.


Learning to use tarot cards is a personal journey that encompasses knowledge, intuition, and practice. Take your time to develop a deep connection with your deck, study the card meanings, and explore various spreads. Seek guidance from experienced readers and reputable resources, but also trust your intuition to interpret the cards in a way that resonates with you.

As you embark on this enlightening path, remember that tarot is a tool for self-reflection, personal growth, and seeking guidance. Embrace the magic of the cards and allow them to serve as a gateway to your inner wisdom.

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How to Learn to Use Tarot Cards