A Beginner's Guide to Tarot Card Readings

Tarot cards have always fascinated me, but I've never taken the time to really learn about them.

That is, until this past weekend when I attended a beginner's course on all things tarot taught by Victoria Vives Khuong, an international teacher who trains Shamanic practitioners, Reiki practitioners, crystal healers, sound healers and psychic readers.

Brown haired girl reading tarot cards laid out on a red table cloth

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The two-hour class focused on the significance of the 22 cards in the Major Arcana and how to properly read them once laid out.

To kick things off, let's take a look at what each card represents, shall we?

The Cards

Collectively, the cards represent the Hero's Journey. Before going into the definitions of the cards, Victoria explained that it's always best to find a personal connection to each card. Now that part is up to you, but below are the various meanings of the cards, courtesy of Victoria:

0. The Fool – Starting at 0, The Fool is the first card in the Major Arcana. It represents innocence. He's free and full of life, but a bit clumsy and careless. Though he may look like a fool, he does have some power, which is illustrated by the scepter he's holding.

The Fool tarot card

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1. The Magician – The Magician represents all things masculine. The items laid out on his table prove he has all the tools he needs to succeed in life. He's also an incredibly powerful being, as shown the infinity symbol above his head. He also represents outworldly power.

The Magician tarot card

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2. The High Priestess – The High Priestess represents all things feminine. She is the embodiment of the mysterious feminine nature. She is balanced, and—opposite of The Magician—represents inwardly power.

The High Priestess tarot card

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3. The Empress – The Empress is the mother. She represents fertility and she stands tall showing the gateway to power. She is a symbol of power and nourishment.

The Empress tarot card

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4. The Emperor – The Emperor is the father. He's more structured and is the ruler of rulers. He represents longevity and eternal life.

The Emperor tarot card

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5. The Hierophant – The Hierophant represents more of an organized religion. It's about learning new traditions and finding that you belong to something greater than yourself. This card shows someone who is secure in the wisdom they possess.

The Hierophant tarot card

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6. The Lovers – As you would expect, The Lovers represents falling in love and leaving something beautiful on Earth. It portrays a commitment two lovers can make with one another.

The Lovers tarot card

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7. The Chariot – The Chariot showcases an ability to conquer and manifest power. It's about going forth on the journey in a hopeful manner.

The Chariot tarot card

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8. Strength – Strength is represented by a woman to represent a more quiet and gentle courage that is powerful beyond words.

Strength tarot card

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9. The Hermit – The Hermit represents looking inward to discover what life is all about. It portrays a man attempting to find his own truth within himself.

The Hermit tarot card

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10. Wheel of Fortune – The Wheel of Fortune card is all about accepting the ups and downs of life. You must make peace and accept that certain things are beyond your control.

Wheel of Fortune tarot card

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11. Justice – The Justice card represents a sort of balance in life. Your actions have consequences, whether they be good or bad, and you must accept that. But this card also represents a time of growth and acceptance.

Justice tarot card

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12. The Hanged Man – Though it may not seem like it, the Hanged Man is accepting of his current position. He must make a sacrifice in his life, and he's okay with that. This card represents a time of necessary purging for whomever receives it.

The Hanged Man tarot card

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13. Death – It may seem tragic to receive the Death card, but it really isn't all that bad. It represents a new beginning and a time of rebirth. A change or transformation may currently be happening or will happen very soon.

Death tarot card

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14. Temperance – The Temperance card is about a balance of emotions, as represented by the water in the image. It's a time to gain more wisdom and knowledge about yourself.

Temperance tarot card

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15. The Devil – Death may not be a bad card to receive, but The Devil one is. It represents the materialistic mind and giving into mundane things.

The Devil tarot card

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16. The Tower – The Tower card represents a time of hardship and instability. The forces of nature wrecked this tower, which means it must be rebuilt with a true and honest foundation.

The Tower tarot card

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17. The Star – The Star signifies a healing process. After dealing with the destruction of the tower, you must find your own soul and purify both your spiritual and physical being.

The Star tarot card

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18. The Moon – If you receive The Moon card, it's because some kind of turmoil in your subconscious is still unresolved.

The Moon tarot card

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19. The Sun – This card is similar to The Fool, in that it's a coming back to innocence. It represents a positive energy and is a time to be inspired. You feel empowered by enthusiasm and vibrancy. This is one of the best cards in the deck.


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20. Judgement – Judgement is a card that represents all you've set forth to accomplish is finally coming into fruition. It's time to harvest those seeds you've planted.

Judgement tarot card

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21. The World – This is the best card in the deck. It represents victory and completion. You've gained this new wisdom, and all that was once unknown is now known. You are now ready for your next journey.

The World tarot card

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How to Read the Cards

You may be used to seeing a large amount of tarot cards laid out on a table, but for beginners, it's best to start with just three.

After shuffling the cards and placing your energy into them, it's time to pick out three. First, flip one card over and then lay it in the center. This represents the present. Flip another card over and place it to the left of the card in the center. This represents the past. Flip the final card over and place it to the right of the card in the center. This represents—you guessed it—the future.

Three tarot cards

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If you're reading for someone else, you want to make sure their energy is also in the deck before you choose their cards. The easiest way for this to happen is for you to let them cut the deck or have them blow on it three times.

As far as trying to understand what the cards are telling you, this is where it's critical to know the meanings of the cards. It will take some practice, but eventually you'll be able to read tarot cards without having to scroll through this list to find what a particular card represents.

Let's use the above three cards as an example. The Devil being in the past position shows this individual was caught up in materialistic pleasures. But the Hanged Man card in the present position proves this individual realized they need to sacrifice this lifestyle in favor of something more enlightening. And now we come to Death in the future position, showcasing this individual's ability to go through a rebirth and move on from their materialistic and mundane ways.

See, it isn't as difficult as you thought! Now go get yourself a tarot card deck and practice your readings.

If you're wondering which deck is best, Victoria recommends The Rider Tarot Deck. You can purchase it on Amazon for $16.62.

The Rider Tarot Card Deck from Amazon

(via Amazon)


To learn more about tarot cards or take a different class offered by Victoria, head over HERE to see her schedule.


Reading tarot cards isn't the only thing Victoria taught me, she also taught my co-worker Brittney and me how to connect with our power animal. She how you can connect with yours, too, HERE.