All About Tarot

Making Sense of Your Past, Present and Future with Tarot Cards

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Cups/Chalices – Blond or light coloured hair/Water ruled signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
Wands/Staves/Batons/Rods – Red or Auburn coloured hair/Air ruled signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
Swords/Knives/Arrows/Spears – Brown coloured hair/Fire ruled signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
Pentacles/Coins/discs – Black or very dark coloured hair/Earth ruled signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)


Kings = Men over 30
Queens = Women over 30
Knights = Men under 30
Pages = Women under 30


If you are going to read the cards upright and reversed, you will need to take half the pack and turn it around so it will be upside down. Pick a Significator (See details above) Shuffle the cards. Break the pack into 3 piles (they don’t have to be equal) and then put them back again – in any order. Fan the cards out and pick out your cards. Remember to flip the cards over horizontally (from left to right or right to left) instead of vertically (Bottom to top or top to bottom) or you will change the inverted/upright cards.


3 Card Spread
Choose a card, and lay it on the table. Pick another and lay it to the right of the first card. Pick a final card and lay it on the right of the second card. This spread can be used for (among other things): Past-present-future, 3 aspects of a situation, 3 points to be aware of

Single card draw – Yes or No or theme of the day
Choose a single card and if the card is upright – it is a Yes, or positive outcome. If it is upside-down the outcome is no, or negative. Or interpret the meaning of the card to see if it offers insight into the situation.

Celtic Cross Spread

S = Significator.
1 = Influences on you.
2 = Obstacles in your path.
3 = Influences on your life.
4 = The influences on the Foundations of your life.
5 = Past influences that are relevant to the question/spread.
6 = Potential future influences/problems.
7 = Your current attitude and position in life.
8 = Influences and issues in your environment that are relevant to the question.
9 = Concerns/Worries/Fears.
10 = Final outcome/Last words.


Once you have set out the cards, you have to interpret them. Different decks may give different meanings which can be confusing for a beginner. The way I think of it is that if you have a specific meaning for a card (other than what a book says) when doing readings that card will come up for that meaning rather than another card that means the same thing according to a book. I suggest that you meditate on each card to find your own meanings for the cards rather than using just the meanings from books or these notes. However there is nothing wrong with using book meanings.

Wands = Months, Autumn, Career and Creative pursuits.
Cups = Days, Summer, Love and Emotions.
Pentacles = Years, Winter, The Material things in life, Job, money, possessions, stability etc.
Swords = Weeks, Spring, Communication.
Pages symbolize Optimism, believing in yourself.
Knights symbolize fighting for what you want.
Queens symbolize intuition, inner guidance and inner strength.
Kings symbolize physical strength, commanding, power, action.


0 - The Fool -Foolhardy, Head in the clouds, Living day by day, having no worries, innocence, trust, openness. Recklessness, Irresponsibility.
1 - The Magician – Skill, Learning, Gaining power from a higher power, ability, confidence, communication. Poor communication, lack of ability.
2 - High Priestess – Intuition, Mystery, Guidance, Spiritual wisdom, Dreams, Learning of a spiritual nature.
3 - The Empress – Feminine power, Security, nurturing, guidance, domestic bliss, Generosity, Kindness, Mothering role, fulfilment, contentment, motherhood. Insecurity, Discomfort, Hardship.
4 – The Emperor – Protecting, guiding, Masculine power, fatherly roles, Authority, responsibility. Inferiority, resentment, frustration.
5 – The Hierophant – Giving or receiving advice, seeking religious guidance, learning, teaching, learning of a physical nature. Misinformation, bad advice.
6 – The Lovers – Commitment (Not just in love), joining together 2 aspects of your life, decision, choice. Procrastination, bad decision.
7 – The chariot – The way in which we overcome obstacles, the need to overcome an obstacle, empowerment, drive, ambition. Conflict, Misdirection.
8 – Strength – The strength & courage of the lion combined with the gentle nature of the maiden, Balance, inner balance, control. Helplessness, imbalance.
9 – The Hermit – Taking a step back to review your life. Withdrawing, independence. Exclusion, self-pity.
10 – Wheel of Fortune – Fate and Destiny, chance, luck, optimism. Misfortune, pessimism.
11 - Justice – Justice, Legal Battles, Fairness, Equality, reason. Injustice, bias, unfairness.
12 – The Hanged man – The sacrifices we make for others. The need to explain why you do the things you do, Perseverance. Apathy, dissatisfaction.
13 – Death – Change, Renewal, rebirth. Delay, Indecision.
14 – Temperance – Balance, Harmony, Caution, arbitration. Clumsiness, uncertainty.
15 – The Devil – Unpleasant emotions, feeling helpless, Letting someone control you, anger, resentment. Suffering, despair.
16 – The Tower – Blow to ego, emotional damage, Don’t let ego stand in the way, don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong or that you can’t cope or deal with something on your own, misfortune, accident, humiliation. Procrastination, self-injury.
17 – The Star – Peace, Contentment, Tranquility, Calm, healing, renewal, recovery. Delay, prolonging.
18 - The Moon - Confusion, lack of direction, turmoil, deception. Fear, despair, helplessness.
19 - The Sun - Success, Happiness, Achievement, optimism, fun, ambition. Impatience, frustration.
20 - Judgement - Self assessment, feeling judged, progression. Regret, remorse, dissatisfaction.
21 - The world - The successful completion of a project/phase/situation, fulfilment. Delay, frustration.


Ace of Wands - Creativity, enthusiasm, Ambition, energy. Frustration, Apathy
Two of Wands - Waiting for something, Crossroads, Time to make a decision/assessment, planning. Self-doubt, anti-climax, conflict..
Three of Wands - Need for creative initiative, be optimistic about the future, [similar to 2], Beginnings, luck. Delay, indecision, procrastination.
Four of Wands - Artistic expression, Creative impulses, Change in environment, Need to acknowledge your successes, adventure. Frustration, resentment.
Five of Wands - Minor setbacks, Challenges, Excitement, growth, satisfaction. Setbacks, conflict, arguments.
Six of Wands - Successful completion of a task, rewards, Celebrating you successes, good fortune, reward, satisfaction. Delay, Misunderstanding.
Seven of Wands - Struggles, Battles, Personal ability, determination, test that calls for supreme effort, success, fulfilment. Failure, self-doubt.
Eight of Wands - Progress, feeling bombarded, break problem up into smaller more manageable pieces, completion, fulfilment. Confusion, misdirection.
Nine of Wands - Rewards and benefits from past deeds, address stubborn or defensive attitudes, letting things loom up on you, feeling overwhelmed, resilience. Reluctance, failure, conflict..
Ten of Wands - Over burdening, too much responsibility or commitments, Oppression, Too much pride to seek help. Exhaustion, confusion.
Page of Wands
Person - Good reliable friend, bearer of good news. Bearer of bad news, untrustworthy, unreliable.
Situation - New Challenges, Enthusiasm, confidence, commitment., energy, vigour, sensitivity, modesty. Apathy, mistrust, suspicion,dissatisfaction.

Knight of Wands
Person - attractive and adventurous personality, wild and unpredictable behaviour. Impatient, leaving things unfinished.
Situation - New challenging adventures, unpredictability, Holidays. Difficult and stressful time, unwise career move, recklessness.
Queen of Wands
Person - Confident, capable, open outlook, sociable, active, resourceful, Outgoing, generous. Someone who thinks they are efficient and organised but isn’t, One who likes to be in control.
Situation - energy, ability, purpose. Interference, arrogance.

King of Wands
Person - Alert, Capable, intelligent, fair-minded, good at giving advice and resolving disputes, affectionate, considerate, able to see other’s points of view. Intolerant, narrow minded, critical of others, patronising, closed to other’s points of view, insensitive, unsympathetic.
Situation - Intelligence, generosity. Narrow-mindedness, intolerance.


Ace of Cups - Fulfilment in a relationship, “The cup runneth over”, love, emotion, growth. Sadness, Loneliness, Disappointment.
Two of cups - Love affair, Marriage, Business partnership, Close friendship, Balance, Support, trust. Conflict, betrayal, separation.
Three of Cups - Optimism, Growth. Selfishness, exploitation.
Four of Cups - ‘Feeling in a rut’, Craving new experiences, waiting for something to be handed to you rather than working for it, boredom, apathy. Self-pity, indulgence.
Five of Cups - Remorse, Unhappiness, Missed opportunities, Dwelling on past, feeling as though you are missing something, regret, loss. Sadness.
Six of Cups - Reminiscing about the past, but don’t regret it, Reward for past efforts, reminiscing about the past will bring happiness. Delay.
Seven of Cups - lacking variety in life, choices, fantasising about future achievements, dreams, illusion. Delusion, fantasy.
Eight of Cups - Something missing from life, need for contentment, uncertainty in future plans, feeling lost, sacrifice, growth. Uncertainty, change.
Nine of Cups - Generosity, Well-being, contentment, unselfishness, Sharing happiness with those around you, happiness, optimism, generosity. Situation might not be as secure as it seems, complacency, superficiality.
Ten of Cups - Rejoicing, Fulfilment and contentment in family or group of close friends. Outward appearances might not be as it is on the inside, Someone or something is disrupting the harmony (this might not be through malice, but through emotional issues of the person, which may need your help to be worked through), unhappiness.
Page of Cups
Person - Charming, hardworking, studious, modest person. Lazy, dishonest.
Situation - Hidden talents, study, reflection,
Knight of Cups
Person - Sensitive, graceful, imaginative, well controlled, May indulge in fantasy rather than practical matters. Not as pleasant as first appears, untrustworthy.
Situation - Love, Romance, new relationships, idealism, originality, optimism, opportunities for artistic expression. Difficulties in a seemingly favorable situation, deception, concealment.
Queen of Cups
Person - Quiet, reserved, mysterious, attractive, friendly, kind, intuitive, sympathetic, psychic skills. Impractical, frivolous, self-deception, fantasizing, vain, self-absorbed, few friends.
Situation - Sensitivity, kindness. Vanity, Selfishness.
King of Cups
Person - Cultured, sophisticated, well educated, might fear intimacy and be slow to show affection. Untrustworthy, takes advantage of others, deceitful.
Situation - Sophistication, coldness. Deception, manipulation.


Ace of Swords - Justice, Force, Clarity of thought, Decisions, Rationality, intellect, reason, fairness. Injustice, bias, frustration.
Two of Swords - Balance, self-restraint. Power struggle, You are ‘caught in the middle’ of a situation, arguments, breakdown. Conflict, aggression
Three of Swords - Conflict, Communication that is needed might be painful but will bring needed change, change. Suffering, Frustration.
Four of Swords - A time of rest, Illness, unemployment, Period of contemplation, recovery, renewal. Loneliness, isolation.
Five of Swords - Humiliation, Defeat, Personal weakness revealed, Time to ‘lay down your guns’ and/or agree to disagree. Dishonesty, trickery.
Six of Swords- - Getting away from bad situations, Holiday, new job, co-operation needed, or change in roles, renewal, and rebirth. Delay, postponement.
Seven of Swords - Use intelligence to deal with situation, Cunning, an unusual or unorthodox approach will often pay off, need to change your tactics in communication - be less confronting. Timidity, conservatism, fear.
Eight of Swords - Desire to make changes and improve life - but do so in small bits at a time, feeling hemmed in or held back, feeling that you are not included/sheltered from things, delay, obstruction. Helplessness, Frustration.
Nine of Swords - Preoccupation with the past, Anxiety about what others think and say about you, Fear of Future, inability to let go and relax, worry, suspicion. Depression, Isolation.
Ten of Swords - Caution when getting involved in a new venture, conclusion of something that has caused pain, Things will improve from now on, Feeling that people are stabbing you in the back (not being truthful or including you), this might be real or just perceived, caution, progress. Conflict, difficulty.
Page of Swords
Person - Intelligent, capable, cautious, distrustful. Cunning, manipulative.
Situation - Clear thinking and caution are called for, tact, wariness. Mistrust, Suspicion.
Knight of Swords
Person - Determined, Intelligent, courageous, loyal, trustworthy, capable in demanding situations. Aggressive, Impatient, wastes energies and created problems.
Situation - Period of some difficulty although outcome will be favourable if a firm line is taken, courage, conviction, strength. Aggression, Impatience.
Queen of Swords
Person - Intelligent, independent, strong-willed, ambitious, Widow or someone living alone, loneliness and need for companionship. Cold, domineering, the hard exterior and coldness often conceals inner loneliness though.
Situation - Independence, ambition. Loneliness, coldness.
King of Swords
Person - Cold and efficient, Powerful, strong-willed, fiercely independent, likes new ideas and innovations, rational, ambitious. Unpleasant, Dangerous, Bully, cruel, Exploitive of those who are weaker.
Situation - Authority, power, innovation. Cruelty, Exploitation.


Ace of Pentacles - Fulfilment in material terms, Stability, Contentment, security. Instability, anxiety.
Two of Pentacles - Contentment, optimism. Balance, problems easily dealt with. Impatience, recklessness, Imbalance, mood swings, self-doubt, Immaturity.
Three of Pentacles - Creativity, Rewards after hard work, Recognition for work done, satisfaction. Frustration, criticism.
Four of Pentacles - Resistance to change, [holding onto things], security, predictability. Reluctance, resistance.
Five of pentacles - Unemployment, financial difficulties, absence of love or security, need to find support in others, difficulty, insecurity. Isolation, helplessness.
Six of Pentacles - Fairness, balance, Charitable feelings, feeling that you are not getting recognition for your charity, generosity. Unhappiness, carelessness, theft.
Seven of Pentacles - Sustained effort will bring results, ‘flogging a dead horse’, think of life as a garden, you have to put effort in to get flowers, and sometimes you just have to rip out the dead plants, perseverance, effort, luck. Defeat, acceptance.
Eight of Pentacles - Prosperity, personal satisfaction, achievement, rewards for efforts will come, progress, pride. Frustration, unhappiness.
Nine of Pentacles - Pursuit of a goal has been successful, achievement, enjoying solitude, serenity. Dependency, Serenity has turned into stagnation, Insecurity, fear that achievements will be undermined by past deeds, despondency, worry that another will take credit for your good work.
Ten of Pentacles - Family Support, Family connections, security, support. Interference, hindrance.
Page of Pentacles
Person - Steady and dependable, reliable, student or apprentice. Pompous or dull.
Situation - A working environment with fixed routine will become boring (may only be temporary), dependability, security. Frustration, unhappiness.
Knight of Pentacles
Person - Practical, dependable, hard working. Conservative, dull, stubborn.
Situation - Time to slow and relax, Steady progress, practicality, dependability. No progress being made, stagnation, boredom.
Queen of Pentacles
Person - Reflective, nurturing, loving, sensuous, open-hearted, likes beautiful things, loves animals and nature, sharing. Obsessed with material worth, suspicious, jealous, under the unpleasant exterior might be an insecure person who craves love and attention.
Situation - Openness, sensitivity, generosity. Materialism, insecurity.
King of Pentacles
Person - Relaxes, Confident, Good, honest, stable, may be skilled with hands, finds pleasure in material things (but not money-hungry), problem solving. Weak cannot find pleasure or satisfaction in material things, may take out frustrations on other people.
Situation - Honesty, practicality, security. Greed, Weakness.


Aces = Singularity or the unity of several components.
2 = Relationship between 2 entities
3 = Concept of creation and the product that results from some form of union. A link between opposing forces. Fate, Divinity.
4 = Material world, Stability, Order.
5 = Disorder, Confusion, difficult times.
6 = Completion, fulfilment, Reward for efforts, justice.
7 = Virtue, Wisdom.
8 = Success, Progress, Personal development.
9 = Creative forces, Final stages of creation, reaping the rewards.
10 = New stage in development, Completion, “just enough” as one more will bring in destruction or decadence.

Page - Optimism, Confidence.
Knight - Fight for what it is you want.
Queen - Use Inner strength and intuition to get you through
King - Use commanding or physical strength, Delegation, personal power.


You can use normal playing cards for tarot reading if you need to. As the Tarot has 4 suit cards and the playing card deck has only 3 you can either draw a knight card yourself, or simply not use the knight. The Jack is a Page, (Although you could use the Knight for a jack if that feels right for you), Wands = Clubs, Cups = Hearts, Swords = Spades, Pentacle = Diamonds.