The tarot is full of answers to your deepest and most personal questions — on love, compatibility, financial success and almost any other area of your life. In fact, some people base their entire belief system on the archetypal images of tarot cards.
We′ll start with a few basics, for those of you who are new to the tarot. The deck of cards is divided into two main parts: the major arcana (sometimes called trumps), and the minor arcana. Traditionally, the major arcana cards have images on them, while the minor arcana only have ‘pips′, not unlike our modern-day playing cards. In fact, a deck of cards is pretty much the same as the minor arcana of the tarot, with just a few subtle changes.
Related: Get Your Free Daily Tarot Reading
There are four archangels in your tarot cards. They′re featured on the Lovers card, the Temperance card, the Devil card and the Judgement card. These powerful angelic presences have come to help guide you through the tarot — and through your life.
Raphael: The Healer
The first card in the major arcana with an angelic presence is card VI, The Lovers. It features the archangel Raphael (The Healer of God) watching over the two figures in the image as they join together in union. Raphael provides guidance for the blind, the sick, the healing arts, travellers, and of course, lovers.
While the Lovers card frequently points to romance, its main meaning is that of having a choice.
Call on Raphael when you′re dealing with some kind of life-changing decision, whether it is an evolution to something different, or a temptation in your life that needs to be avoided. He can provide the proper guidance.
Gabriel: The Mighty One
Next we come to Gabriel. This archangel is on tarot card number XIV, Temperance. Gabriel is called The Mighty one of God, and is the messenger of prophecy, dreams, resurrection and revelation.
The Temperance card draws your attention to bringing balance to things in your life, and to hear the messages that are being sent to you from the angels.
Gabriel was the messenger of God, and brings a message here too, reminding you that everything needs to be tempered and balanced.
Seek out Gabriel′s guidance when you need some patience during a trying period in your life, so that you don′t turn a manageable challenge into an unnecessary drama.
Uriel: The Fire
Then we come to a card that may not be particularly pleasant for you to look at, and it may even shock you when it shows up in your tarot reading. But when you understand it, you′ll find it′s not as scary as it might first appear.
Even though the main figure on card number XV, The Devil, looks pretty intense, the actual meaning of the card is all about breaking the chains that bind you in your everyday life. Uriel is the archangel here. Uriel is the Fire of God, and in this case he brings a cleansing fire to purge what is restricting you from your life, so you can once again move forward.
When you′re confronted with a frightening situation, call on Uriel. He′s here for you when you′re ready to face your fears, or you need to break free of a confining situation.
Michael: The Defender
The last card in the major arcana that has an angel on it is card XX, Judgement. Here the archangel is Michael — and he′s actually one of my favorites.
He′s the Defender of God, and the Angel of the Dead. It was his job to extend down his mighty sword so that the lost souls could find their way to heaven—and this resurrection is clearly indicated in the images on the Judgement card. When this card comes to you, it′s bringing to you a message that it′s time to forgive yourself and start over, time to embrace an evolution of some sort.
Ask Michael to send down his sword, and help you make the transformation out of what is old and stale, so that you can embrace the newness that is waiting for you.
There′s one final major arcana card that has all four of the archangels on it, and that′s card XXI: The World.
The tarot card representing The World features one angel in each corner, unlike the rest of the major arcana angel tarot cards.
However, if you take a closer look at your minor arcana cards, you′ll see hints of the angels there as well.
Sometimes they are disguised a bit, and you′ll have to look carefully for them, but they′re there, and they always represent divine messengers in every tarot reading.
The cards that picture angels on them are there to assure you that your guardian angels are there to help you through your challenges. The angels want you to succeed, and they′re sending you messages to guide you in the right direction. Just remember, when you start to feel your peace of mind slip, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and trust the angels.
The tarot is a series of 78 tarot cards used in fortune telling, psychic readings, and insight into past, present, and future events. These tarot card definitions help you understand how to interpret your tarot reading. Tarot cards are divided into 2 main sections—the major arcana and minor arcana—and further into 4 suits:
Before a tarot reading, the cards are usually arranged in a spread. A tarot spread is the pattern in which the cards are placed on the table to be interpreted by a tarot card reader. There are many different types of tarot spreads—entire books have even been written on the subject. Spreads can be as simple as a 1-card draw, or complex enough to use all 78 cards.
One of the most popular spreads is called the 3-card spread, which gives you answers to immediate questions about your relationships, career, and life in general.
No one knows for certain where or when the cards originated—some say the practice goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. What we do know is that reading the tarot cards gained notoriety sometime around the 18th century.
The tarot can be used for many different purposes. The archetypal images reflect your story back to you, and bring you insights on situations in the lives of those around you. Those same images make good meditation companions or provide you with a ‘thought for the day.’ You might even use the tarot as a writing prompt in a blog, or as inspiration in artwork. There is no limit to how these images can be used, you just need to decide what works for you and go for it.
Modern technology made it even easier to get daily readings, peruse different interpretations of the classical images, and connect with others who share your interest in the cards. Of course, before you can get really immersed in understanding the tarot, you have to know a few basics. They’re not difficult, and once you recognize them you can master the mysteries of the tarot.
The major arcana (trump cards) represent your journey through life, starting out as the innocent and carefree card representing The Fool (at number 0), and going through all your stages of life until you get to The World (at number 21). Each of the trump cards represents an important issue in your life and asks that you pay particular attention to this situation. As you get to know the Major Arcana, you’ll see that the first 11 cards represent your journey out into the world while the last 11 represent your journey into your own awareness.
The minor arcana is a grouping of 56 tarot cards that acts as a support system for the major arcana. It's divided into 4 suits, much like playing cards, and each suit has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards. Traditionally, these court cards are called page, knight, queen, and king.
Some decks may use different titles for these figures but their meanings and their positions in the hierarchy of the court cards remain the same. Each suit of the minor arcana corresponds with a specific area of life, and each card has a meaning within that area. The number 1 is the first in a sequence (representing beginnings).
The numbered minor cards may have images on them, or they may just have ‘pips’ on them like playing cards, depending on the deck you're using.
Each suit of the minor arcana is also associated with specific signs of the zodiac.
The tarot provides guidance that has stood the test of time. And as with any tool, the tarot needs to be used responsibly. The cards themselves are not good or evil—it’s how you use them that creates them a positive or a negative experience. After all, the tarot is just a collection of images and have no power on their own—it’s their mystery that allows them to endure. What wisdom do those images want to share with you today?