Open any new Tarot deck and you will find 78 shiny new cards that at first glance seem indistinguishable from each other. Apart from differing artwork, the names upon the cards and perhaps some keywords too, at first look, you could be forgiven for thinking that those 78 cards are just simply 78 cards with no obvious structure or order.
On closer inspection though, it becomes apparent that there is at least a numerical order to the first 22 cards. These are called the Major Arcana, or Trumps, and it’s here that you would normally begin your explanation of those 78 cards. But not at Tarot Elements!
Our exploration of the Tarot will actually begin with the Elements and Aces. It is here we will explore the different elements and their relationship to the Aces, and then of course, the Aces in their own right.
Looking at the Numerology of the Minor Arcana first, and how the numbers themselves can be seen as universal, we will then progress onto the individual suits: the fiery Wands, the watery Cups, the airy Swords and of course the earthy Pentacles.
Moving onto the Tarot Court Cards, I feel it’s important to display them in a peer group setting for ease of comparison. Using the two main decks to illustrate the different characters that can be found at Court, the Radiant Rider Waite-Smith and the Thoth, we will begin with the youngest members at Court, the Pages and Princesses; we will then be moving onto the dashing Knights and Princes. After spending some time with the gracious Queens, we will finalise our exploration at Court by meeting the Kings and Knights.
It’s at this point where we move onto the Major Arcana, and also where we will complete our exploration of the Tarot.
Why Only Keywords?
Why indeed. Quite simply because it’s the best way to learn the divinatory definitions of the cards; and it also allows room in your mind for development of your own tarot card meanings. What’s important to remember about keywords & definitions, is that they have been developed by many people over many many years. They are in effect, a collective library of ideas and experiences. Now, while it’s necessary to keep the core definitions intact throughout the cards and across the board, I feel it’s equally necessary and important for you to develop your own take on your tarot cards.
Keeping things slim lined and free from other people’s definitions allows you to layer your readings too. Tarot cards can have different meanings in different situations, so without tying up your tarot cards with specific divinatory definitions, you are allowing your tarot cards to really speak to you many times within the same reading and providing you with a rich and deep layering of interpretation. This is also the perfect way to allow your intuition and clairvoyance to develop.
The keywords I have given to the cards are mainly my own. They have been developed from the established definitions widely accessible to all. You may not agree with all of them, but they are as I see them and how I read them personally. You can use these keywords as the basis of your own, or you may simply add them to your own ever growing repertoire of Tarot card meanings vocabulary.
This post is an introduction to the tarot card keywords originally posted on the the blog and refers to the keywords of the cards in the groups of their suits. For a more comprehensive and extensive look at the cards individually, please visit the Tarot Card Meanings section.