Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. This week, we have a very special guest—not only did she guest author most of this week’s blog, but I got to interview her for this week’s video. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/NKZhpCHklCo
Please join me in welcoming to the sacred space that is Celestial Goodness—the Divine Woo, also known as one of my favorite people, Desiree! (Desi)
We will start off with what Desi calls “The Fool’s Journey: The What and the Why of Tarot.”
When Desi asked me for the opportunity to be a guest blogger on Celestial Goodness, I knew right away what I wanted her to talk about…The Tarot.
Q: Why is that Desi? Why would I want you to talk about this topic out of all the things that you know a lot about?
A: Tarot is one of my biggest passions, and when I decided that I wanted to read Tarot professionally, you (Heather) were my primary advocate, even more so than myself. I was scared. You pushed and supported me. As such, I have been reading Tarot professionally for several years. I have had some fantastic moments during my readings and one or two scary moments as well. Overall, it has been a great learning experience, and something fun for me to do that I am also passionate about.
Q: You started this discussion by sharing how you were initially scared to start readings professionally. Is there a reason that you begin with that story?
A: Yes, what better way to start the discussion about Tarot than to talk about the beginnings of my own tarot journey because the first card of the Rider–Waite–Smith Tarot deck (one of the most known decks) is the Fool Card. This is traditionally the first card of the Major Arcana cards. The very meaning of this card is starting a new journey. So in telling you about how I began my journey of reading Tarot professionally, you can see a parallel in the Fool’s journey and in my journey.
Q: That sounds good. How did you get into Tarot?
A: How did I get into Tarot? Years ago, I found a deck that I thought was interesting. So, I purchased it and I started trying to use it. I didn’t know what the deck was called at the time, but I enjoyed trying to remember what the cards meant and I enjoyed learning how to use the deck. Well, that deck turned out to be a Lenormand deck. That is a different divination system than Tarot. One day, I decided that divination was evil and would lead you down the path of sin, so I stopped using the deck and put it away.
Q: What brought you back to Tarot?
A: Years later, after my spiritual path changed, I no longer believed that divination was evil. So, I started having tarot readings done for me. I really enjoyed the accuracy and timeliness of my readings. I decided I wanted to see if I could do tarot readings for myself. So I purchased a basic Rider-Waite-Smith deck from Barnes and Nobles. From the purchase of that deck, I was hooked. I also found out what buying and reading tarot cards actually leads you. It doesn’t lead to evil, it leads you to buying more tarot decks.
Q: So share with us a brief history of tarot cards.
A: Tarot history traces back to playing cards that were used in Europe in the 1400s. The first “tarot” decks were commissioned and hand-painted by artisans to the specifications of their patrons.
The earliest tarot cards used for divination purposes (or cartomancy) have been traced back to 1780 in Paris. This is the Tarot of Marseilles, which was abandoned for the Tarot Nouveau around 1900. I primarily use the decks based on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck which was published in 1909.
Q: Tell us more about the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.
A: The Rider-Waite-Smith deck consists of 78 cards: The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards; The Minor Arcana makes up the remaining 56 Cards. The Minor Arcana cards similar to playing cards, are broken down into 4 suites: Pentacles, Cups, Wands, and Swords. Each of these suites consists of court cards, King, Queen, Knight, and Page, there are 16 total court cards, and then there are 40 numbered cards—ten per suit. This also includes the 4 Aces which are also very important to a reading.
Q: Introduce us to the Major Arcana. These are some of my favorite cards—and depending on the deck, the artwork for all the cards is usually amazing.
A: The Major Arcana cards are the energies that you have to deal with for your soul’s growth. These are major life events that will move you towards a higher spiritual connection. In contrast, the Minor Arcana cards represent a more day-to-day energy for experiences that you may have to deal with in your life.
Q: So let’s do a deeper dive into the Major Arcana cards. You are going to walk us through the storyline of the Major Arcana, and the fool’s journey through the Major Arcana. You will provide brief explanations of the cards and how they relate to the journey.
A: Yes, the Major Arcana cards start off with the Fool card. This is card 0. As the Fool begins his journey, he meets several people: Card #1. The Magician (the master of all the elements) 2. The High Priestess (who represents deep internal divine wisdom) 3. The Empress (the great mother – the divine feminine), 4. The Emperor (the great father – the divine masculine) and 5. The Hierophant (the Teacher).
Q: So all of those represent a person. Do you think they are representative of who the fools evolves into?
A: I think these are people he interacts with more so than who he evolves into.
Q: Please continue.
A: Next, he meets 6. The Lovers (representing love, lovers, or perfect harmony), and they take him to 7. The Chariot, where he has to make a choice and use his 8. Strength to follow through with his choice. As he moves forward, he meets 9. The Hermit (who represents time alone for cultivating wisdom); the Hermit who just wants to be left alone, directs the fool to 10. The Wheel of Fortune.
After spinning the wheel, the Fool must meet with 11. Justice before he can move forward. Justice (Karma) has determined whether the Fool has any debts to fulfill before he can move forward. The Fool runs away, but Justice follows. The Fool runs right into 12. The Hanged Man. The Fool looks to Justice fearfully. Justice explains that The Hanged Man wants a different perspective on 13. Death. The Fool realizes that death is standing nearby. The Fool takes off running again, but not from Justice; this time, he is running from Death.
Q: The death card is one that terrifies a lot of people, right? But it often doesn’t mean a physical death, sometimes it is representative of a symbolic death or an ending?
A: Yes, that is correct. And sometimes it does mean death—that is also a reality.
As the The Fool runs away from death, he trips at the feet of 14. Temperance. “Why do you run Fool?” Temperance asks this question? I saw Death, and I’m not ready to meet him. Temperance asks, “would you prefer to meet him?” and points to Card 15.,The Devil.
In this card, the Devil tempts a couple who have accepted his enticements, and the Fool watch’s as 16. The Tower on which they stand begins to crumble around them, throwing them to the ground.
Q: The Tower is one of the most powerful cards in the Major Arcana, right? It definitely indicates a major change. The traditional artwork also shows an implication of choice.
A: Yes, it does. As the Fool runs from the destruction, he does not notice that it is now night. 17. The Star has come out, and the sky is full of pinpricks of light. The Fool finds soft grass near a softly flowing stream, and falls asleep under the light of the 18. Moon. The moonlight is pale and beautiful, but the Fool is awoken from his slumber when he hears the howling of a dog and what sounds like a wolf. They represent the domesticated animal and the wild nature of humanity. A lobster crawls out of the stream’s water and snaps at the Fool. Waking up abruptly, the Fool realizes that the lobster, the dog, and the wolf were just a dream.
As he awakens, he sees Card 19. The Sun rising in the East. As the Fool looks to the sky, he hears the most beautiful-sounding horn in the West. An Angel is also descending from Heaven; the Angel has come to awaken the dead, and as they rise, they move towards the Angel. This is the image of the 20 card–Judgement. The Angel tells the Fool that this music is not for him; it is not his time. He who is not dead must keep moving on—keep moving forward.
Q: And we are almost at the end of this journey.
A: Indeed, as the fool turns and walks away from Judgment, he contemplates all that he has seen. He soon realizes the area he was in is starting to look familiar. The Fool then sees 21. The World. The World is at end of the path. Moving past The World, the Fool realizes he has made a complete journey. But as he looks back, then forward again, he realizes that the journey he had just completed was just the end of one journey and the beginning of a new one. He squares his shoulders and moves onto the path of his next journey.
Q: Wow, tell us now about the Minor Arcana
A: The Minor Arcana cards consist of four suits representing different aspects of daily life, and also different elements.
Pentacles: The Pentacles represent the element of Earth which corresponds to the material things of life. This includes the acquiring of things, finance, working for things, sharing, hoarding, and enjoying material possessions.
Swords: The Sword suit represents the element of air, which refers to ideas, thoughts, communication, and the initiation of action.
Wands: The Wand suit represents the element of fire, which corresponds with action, imagination, creativity, passion, and intuition.
Cups: The Cup suit represents the element of water which corresponds with emotions, love, feelings, and relationships.
Each suit consist of the Court cards, and the number cards, Ace – Ten of the suits. The Court Cards are the Page, the Knight, the Queen, and the King. These often represent a person in our life, or it can represent us as well.
Each non-court card of the Minor Arcana has a number on it. These numbers have a numerical means called Correspondence. Note that correspondence can depend on how you are trained. So what is listed next is just a small example of the correspondence for the numbered cards.
Ace: Potential, beginning
Two: Wisdom, choices
Three: Belief, foresight, heartbreak, joy
Four: Compassion, stability, going within, preparing
Five: Rules, strife, disagreements, discord
Six: Harmony, victory, goodwill, recovery
Seven: Aggression, options, running away
Eight: Quick Action, moving on, confusion
Nine: Defensiveness, Satisfaction, worry, or guilt
Ten: Endings, Overextending, joy
Q: Oh wow, tell us about spreads.
A: Yes, because you are probably like, what the heck does all this have to do with reading Tarot. How does this help me read the Cards… OK, OK… This is a very important concept to understand before you start reading.
A spread is the laying out of the cards so that the reader can “read,” and interpret the cards. There are so many Tarot spreads that there are books written on the topic. You could draw one card to answer a yes or no question. You can use a Three card spread, which can be broken down into: past, present, future. It can also be what you want, what you need, will you get what you want; Alternatively, it can represent, Mind, body, spirit; etc.
You can use a Four card spread which can be broken down into: Question, pros, cons, advice, or even potential, fears, hopes, and outcome.
Then you have multiple card spreads or spreads for specific times of the year. Some examples are spreads for the new moon, spreads for the full moon, spreads for the New Year, and so forth. One of the best-known multiple-card spreads is the Celtic cross.
The Celtic Cross Spread consists of 10 cards placed in the following position.
Each position in the Celtic Cross spread has a specific meaning, and each card added to the spread leads you to the outcome of the overall message.
Position 1: Represents you
Position 2: What crosses you or potential challenges?
Position 3: What to focus on?
Position 4: Near future?
Position 5: Possible outcomes?
Position 6: Recent past?
Position 7: Your attitude about the situation?
Position 8: What influences you?
Position 9: Your Hopes and Fears?
Position 10: Overall outcome.
Q: That can be a lot, so how does one actually read the tarot cards?
A: Well, I should mention that Tarot cards can be read upright only (as I do), or you can read the upright cards and the reversal cards. A reversal card comes out upside down, and the meaning is generally a reverse of the upright meaning.
As you can tell from what we have already spoken about, each card has a specific meaning.
When I do a reading, I start by asking the person if they have a particular question. If so, I ask them to hold the question in their mind. After that, I shuffle the cards, I lay the cards out, and then we discuss what I see and feel from the cards. We also discuss the position of the cards.
I read tarot cards as their general meanings are given, but I also read them intuitively. Over the years, I have read, researched, and studied the meanings of each card, but I also use my intuition to amplify the reading.
Q: So what would you say that you are actually doing?
A: What am I actually doing? Reading Tarot is not reading the future; it is reading the energy around the situation or the question being asked by the person being read for. Am I predicting the future? No, I’m interpreting what the results will be as of this moment in time. Also, I’m interpreting what could happen if the querent continues on the current path.
There is much more to reading Tarot than I can put into these few pages. Tarot cards have planetary (astrology) correspondences, Chakra correspondence, and much more. We didn’t even get into Oracle cards, which I sometimes pair with tarot cards in my readings.
Q: I know it is a big topic, and I appreciate all the information that you have given to us today.
A: Yes, I hope I’ve given you an exciting view of what Tarot is and isn’t and how it can be used to see where you stand in the here and now.
Q: If someone wants to get in touch with you, what is the best way to do so?
A: Someone can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Etsy shop which is: TheDivineWooBoutique.
And there you have it everyone, a glimpse into the life of a professional tarot reader. Thank you so much to the Divine Woo for being here with us, and sharing her knowledge. It is a huge topic, and if you are interested, consider getting a reading, or consider getting a deck and familiarizing yourself with it. The artwork within the decks also contain a lot of symbolism and meaning, and there are also themed decks.
I think this conversation highlights an important point. Life is a constant journey filled with endings and beginnings—however we have tools and resources to help us. Also, if you were waiting for a sign to begin something that you are interested in, just do it.
You got this. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a beautiful week indeed.