Learn to Read Tarot Cards
The trickiest aspect of reading Tarot Cards is remembering their meanings. Memorization can be easy if one uses simple steps. All the cards in the Major Arcana are numbered from zero to twenty-one, starting with the Fool and ending in the World, or Universe. The Major Arcana are, perhaps, the easiest cards to read because their titles bespeak their meanings. For example, the fool is usually regarded as one who doesn't think before they speak or are too confident for their own good. This is the fool's meaning.
However, when first learning the Tarot, always get a good book to help guide you to these meanings. The Lovers, for instance, may mean a choice one has to make instead of an affair or new romance. When first memorizing, only memorize the positive, or upright meaning of these cards. The reversed meanings can be learned at a later time.
In the Minor Arcana, the initial symbols will speak of the nature of the card. Swords represent problems, hearts symbolize love, pentacles speak of money, and wands represent your social life and your work environment. For example, if a Two of Hearts appears in your spread, the number two symbolizes that this card is under the High Priestess, which is numbered two in the Major Arcana. This card represents knowledge, wisdom, and a nurturing nature. The hearts, of course, means love.
So if you put these two aspects together, the Two of Hearts means that you have a loving and nurturing relationship in which both people reciprocate their feelings equally. Another example is if a Seven of Pentacles turns up in your spread. The number seven specifies that the card is under the Chariot and the pentacles symbolize money. Thus, the Seven of Pentacles means that one is going in the direction they need to take in order to make more money for oneself.
The Court Cards in the Minor Arcana can be confusing at times because most of them can either represent a person or a situation. It depends on where the card is in a particular spread and what cards surround it. Some readers narrow the meanings down to just representing people. This practice is fine, but one has a chance of misreading them as well. One example is the Knight of Swords. This Knight can represent a young person, usually in their early twenties who is rash and burdens others with his/her problems. The situation meaning is similar in that news won't be received about a particular event and the person will become frustrated with delayed plans.
The cards that only symbolizes people are the Kings. The King of Wands, symbolizes a man in his thirties or older, who is popular with his peers and is not sentimental. This man will help a person, but may not stay to finish a project. Some Tarot Readers link astrology with the court cards to help better find the person who the court cards signify.
The other important aspect of reading the cards is, of course, the way they are laid out to be read, or the Spread. The Celtic Cross is the most popular and is easy to interpret. Other spreads include the 21 Card, the Tree, and the Astrological Spread. Keep in mind that there is no right way to lay out a spread. Everyone has their own rules and habits of laying out the cards. Some readers spread the Cards face down on a surface for the other person to choose at random while other readers deal the cards from the top of the deck. The decision is up to the reader.
As one comes to be more practiced in the art of the Tarot, the memorization of the reversed cards can take place. Many of these cards mean the opposite of what they are when they fall upright. However, don't take that for granted. Memorize each and every one because the meanings can be very challenging.
With these very basic rules, one can begin to study and read Tarot Cards almost immediately. Always let your intuition and heart lead you in these readings and, if one's cards are very negative, always give encouragement. Remember, the Nine of Cups is the wish card, so make sure the one getting the reading makes a wish! Above else, have fun and a light-hearted attitude towards this ancient, beautiful practice.