Tarot cards are playing cards often used for the purposes of divination, for predicting the future or for gaining a deeper, spiritual understanding of a situation. Tarot readers use Tarot cards to help find answers or advice for people. Some believe that the Tarot cards act as a passage to the spirit world, conveying messages to the Tarot reader who is able to receive them due to their psychic abilities; others believe that the tarot cards simply allow the Tarot reader to focus their mind in order for spiritual understanding to take place.
During a Tarot reading, the Tarot reader will turn up one or more Tarot cards, sometimes in a particular formation. A deck of Tarot cards consists of 78 cards, with four suits as well as trump cards. Each card has a pictogram on it and the pictograms and suits all represent different things. Each suit has numbered cards from ace to ten as well as four face cards.
The trump cards, also called Major Arcana cards, represent important life events and messages of great significance. The Minor Arcana cards are the cards which make up the four suits: cups, wands, swords and pentacles. Each suit contains fourteen cards from ace to king and each suit represents a different theme. Cups symbolise emotions, wands symbolise action, swords represent challenges and pentacles represent the physical world.
Although it is possible to get meaning from one particular Tarot card, an experienced reader will be able to read several cards at once to gain deeper meaning and understanding. How the cards are laid out is important when it comes to the reading, and the layout of the cards is called the spread. Where the cards are in the spread affects their meaning and there are numerous different spreads, with new ones being created even to this day by psychic experts in order to find new ways to decipher the cards.