The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has been active in the American Tarot Association and has spoken at tarot conferences around the United States. Barbara’s articles on the tarot have appeared in several tarot publications and in Llewellyn Publications New Worlds of Mind and Spirit magazine. She has also sat on the Tarot Journal editorial board. Barbara’s own education in the tarot has been and continues to be broad and enlightening. She has studied under renowned tarot scholars Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack, and she has taught the tarot to all manner of would-be tarot readers.
Barbara enjoys the challenge of giving a voice to tarot cards and oracle decks. She has had the good fortune to write books for several decks, including A Guide to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot Companion, The Hip Witch Tarot, Enchanted Oracle and The Mystic Dreamer Tarot.
When people get to together to discuss tarot, one of the topics that often comes up is “do you read reversals?”
Reversals are cards that appear upside down relative to the orientation of the reading. Like this (The Lovers from the Llewellyn Tarot by Anna Marie Ferguson):
The topic of reversals includes several subtopics, such as do you use them (or ignore them if they show up), how to you make sure they appear in readings, and what exactly does it mean when a card is reversed?
1. Should You Use Reversals?
You need to decide for yourself. Because there are so many different ways to work with the cards, there isn’t a single rule that works for everyone.
There are two things
Many decks published today are identified, in part, as being based on the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (RWS) or as not being based on it. That identification only means something if you know what the RWS Tarot is. For seasoned tarot enthusiasts, it is ingrained, but for people new to tarot, it might be helpful to understand the importance of the RWS Tarot and its characteristics.
Arthur E. Waite was the creator of the deck, although some question to what extent he was involved with the design of the cards, particularly the Minor Arcana. He was mystic and occultist and member of the Golden Dawn. He invented (although he claims it is ancient) the Celtic Cross Spread, one of the most well-known
The Minor Arcana of the tarot is divided into four suits, much like a deck of playing cards.
The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. They are usually associated with elements, fire, water, air, and earth respectively, although some decks do reverse Wands and Air. Each suit contains the Ace - 10, Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
Each suit focuses on specific areas of life or human experience.
Wands are associated with fiery passion, will, determination, career, and projects. It is an active energy, fast-moving and hard to contain. If not handled properly, it can burn wildly out of control. At its best, it is inspiring and uplifting and fuels our efforts and
A tarot deck has 78 cards. The cards are divided into sections, which makes learning them easier because the section a card is in shapes its meaning.
The sections are:
Major Arcana (22 cards)
Minor Arcana (40 cards)
Court Cards (16 cards)
This article focuses on the Court Cards.
The Court Cards are technically part of the Minor Arcana because they are found in each of the four suits of the Minor Arcana.
In each of the suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles) there are four cards that are like the royalty cards in a playing deck. A playing deck has a Jack, Queen, and King. In a tarot deck, the Court Cards are: Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
These cards usually