How to Read Regular Cards as Tarot: Unlocking the Hidden Meanings

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How to Read Regular Cards as Tarot: Unlocking the Hidden Meanings

When it comes to divination, tarot cards are often the go-to tool for gaining insight and understanding. The rich symbolism and archetypal imagery of traditional tarot decks can provide deep insights into various aspects of life. However, you don’t necessarily need a traditional tarot deck to tap into the power of divination. Regular playing cards can also be used effectively as a tarot substitute, providing you with a new perspective and opening doors to hidden meanings. In this guide, we’ll explore how to read regular cards as tarot, allowing you to delve into the depths of your subconscious and gain clarity on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

Understanding the Basics: Mapping Regular Cards to the Tarot

Before diving into the intricacies of reading regular cards as tarot, it’s important to understand how each card corresponds to the traditional tarot deck. By mapping the regular playing cards to their tarot counterparts, you can unlock the symbolism and interpret the messages they hold.

Here is a basic mapping of the regular playing cards to the tarot:

Card Suit Meaning Tarot Equivalent
Hearts Emotions, love, relationships Cups
Diamonds Material wealth, abundance, finances Pentacles/Coins
Clubs Creativity, ambition, action Wands
Spades Challenges, difficulties, transformation Swords
Ace Beginnings, new opportunities Ace
King Authority, leadership King
Queen Intuition, femininity Queen
Jack Messages, youthful energy Page

Note that the Major Arcana cards (such as The Fool, The Magician, etc.) are not directly represented in a standard playing card deck.

Creating Your Tarot Spread with Regular Cards

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the mapping, the next step is to create your own tarot spread using regular cards. Tarot spreads provide a structured framework for interpreting the cards and gaining insight into specific areas of your life.

Here’s a simple three-card spread to get you started:

  1. The Past: This card represents the events and influences that have shaped the current situation.
  2. The Present: This card reflects the current state of affairs and provides insight into the energy surrounding you.
  3. The Future: This card unveils the potential outcomes and future developments related to your question or situation.

While this is just one example, feel free to experiment and create your own spreads. You can draw inspiration from traditional tarot spreads or design unique ones that align with your specific needs and intentions.

Interpreting Regular Cards as Tarot

When it’s time to interpret the regular cards as tarot, it’s essential to tap into your intuition, as well as the traditional meanings associated with the mapped tarot cards. Here are some pointers to help you on your divination journey:

  • Pay attention to the suit: Each suit represents different aspects of life. Hearts correspond to emotions, love, and relationships; diamonds to finances and material wealth; clubs to creativity, ambition, and action; and spades to challenges, difficulties, and transformation. Consider the suit’s meaning as you interpret each card.
  • Explore the numerology: The numbers on the playing cards also hold significance. In tarot, each number has its own meaning and energy. Apply the traditional interpretations of the tarot numbers to the regular cards to gain additional insights.
  • Invoke symbolism: While regular playing cards don’t possess the intricate illustrations found on tarot cards, they still contain symbols that can deepen your reading. Look for patterns, colors, or any other symbols that catch your attention and consider their meaning in conjunction with the corresponding tarot card.
  • Trust your intuition: Ultimately, the power of divination lies within you. Learn to trust your instincts and intuition as you interpret the regular cards as tarot. The cards are merely a tool for unlocking your inner wisdom.


Reading regular cards as tarot offers a unique and accessible way to delve into the world of divination. By understanding the mapping, creating personalized spreads, and honing your interpretation skills, you can unlock the hidden meanings within the regular cards and gain valuable insights into your life’s journey. Remember, the key to successful readings lies in the combination of traditional tarot meanings and your intuitive interpretation. So grab a deck of regular cards, shuffle them with intention, and embark on a divination experience unlike any other.

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How to Read Regular Cards as Tarot: Unlocking the Hidden Meanings