Because the Tarot is such a powerful and flexible magical (or "magickal") tool, it deserves special attention.  Reading Tarot cards is both an art and a science - all procedures need to be duplicatable and produce reliable results.  At the same time, reading Tarot cards is a form that both requires and enhances the development of intuitive and psychic abilities.

The first thing most people want to find out is the meaning for Tarot cards.  Because there are so many decks out there, and so many different spreads (ways to throw and interpret the cards), it's useful to develop a strong working relationship with specific decks of cards so that the meaning for tarot cards in your specific deck(s) becomes very clear. When your work with a specific deck, the greater your connection with that deck will be - and the more accurate your readings will be.  In addition, the more you practice, the more you will be able to intuit the meaning for Tarot cards, regardless of the deck or spread.

There are so many different kinds of Tarot card spreads around that it can be difficult to decide which to learn and which to use.  There are two Tarot card spreads that we have found to be both effective and easy to use: Celtic Cross and 12 Card.

The Celtic Cross, also called the Gnostic Cross, is a type of Tarot reading that gives you a character sketch or personality profile of the person you are reading.  The Celtic Cross is like a photograph or stop action picture of a person, a cross section of their life.  This type of reading is useful for people, animals or any kind of animate beings.

While there are lots of books out there that give you the meaning of Tarot cards, one of the best and most personal ways to develop meanings for the cards is to actually study the cards themselves.  The cards were developed with symbols and pictures that represent the concept being expressed.

The underlying symbology and concepts found in the Tarot go back thousands of years.  For instance, in the early Christian Church, around 600 AD, the priests had little memo cards with pictures on them.  The gypsies also used similar cards.  The old emerald tablets in Egypt also had pictures of plates and discs.  These concepts are very old but they are at the root of modern day tarot card meanings.

Over time, the tarot cards have had their ups and downs, falling from popular interest only to be once more resurrected by those in search of the deeper meanings behind their complex symbolism. As the saying goes, "truth will always win out."

People for centuries have been amazed at how complex the tarot can be. The multiple layers of information contained within a reading are impressive. There are four basic elements to look at in a reading:

1. The layout: There are many types of layouts to choose from when planning a reading. I prefer the Celtic Cross Method, because it gives me the options of past, present and future, as well as an opportunity to look at relationships and divine intervention.

2. The position of the cards: When you are reviewing a reading, you need to be aware of what the cards mean unto themselves, and then add the aspect and determination of the place the card holds in the reading. The same card can have very different interpretations, depending on the position it falls in within the reading.

3. Major and Minor Arcana: Major arcana cards can have strong influence on the interpretation of a reading. If there are three or more major arcana cards in a reading, it indicates that there are many outside influences at work. And depending on the position of the major arcana cards in the reading, they can greatly influence the outcome of the reading. While minor arcana cards can indicate a return of control to the quadrant, they must also be assessed by the additional influences of their number and suit. So, not only do you have to be aware of the meaning of a particular card, you must also be aware of the meanings associated with their suits and numbers.

4. Aces and Court Cards: Court cards can be more difficult to interpret because they can represent a person, they can point to a career choice, they can indicate a time frame, and they can refer to a course of action or they can be interpreted as any or all combinations of the above. And while aces represent new beginnings and opportunities, they can also indicate time frames, and refer to the aspects of their suit.

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