Reading Tarot Cards
Fortune telling and clairvoyance
Each Tarot card has many different interpretations. The interpretation depends not only on the nature of the question (job, relationships or spiritual development), but also on what method of laying cards is used (eg Mystery of the High Priestess, The Celtic Cross, The Cross - see sidebar) or 'whichever card comes first or second'.
In this section we will mention some of the main meanings that we use for card readings and white magic. Of course, this is not the only possible interpretation. There are very different and sometimes quite contradictory perspectives which can result in the same picture or symbol having several different meanings. We recommend the books by Hajo Banzhaf (Gut beraten mit Tarot, Zwischen Himmel und Erde. Die Quintessenz aus Esoterik, Astrologie und Tarot) and Anna Franklin and Paul Mason.
The 22 Cards of Great Arkana
The fool accuses the child in us. It stands for a fresh start, a spontaneous and an unbiased openness. It is an expression of playful recklessness, carelessness and joy of life. It shows us that we are a new area of life and wonder without fixed expectations, and often without prior knowledge of having entered it. It can be thought of like a child's mind and is therefore frivolous, silly and shows naivety, playfulness, but also the simplicity. A Foolish or a wise and humble insight to which we can arrive at after a long and often arduous search. The fool is the rogue and the flail in the way Til Eulenspiegel embodied, as well as the only honest adviser in the court as the alter ego of the king. In any case, he lives entirely in the present, an expression of openness and honesty of spontaneity, standing ready to make new experiences. Whether this attitude stems from our refusal to be more grown up, or from worldly insight and spiritual maturity, it can only be judged outside of the card. The fool always indicates a refreshing experience, although sometimes chaotic, even if he falls he falls on his feet, which means he is in no real danger.
The Mage means wisdom, skill, confidence and an active lifestyle. It stands for a time in which, we masters, even encounter difficult problems and challenges and a sharpened sense of awareness, of life and of alert intelligence success arises. Although this card represents the strength of the conscious forces, it shows us not to neglect the sensitivity of the unconscious forces. On the contrary, the extraordinary power, influence, and effectiveness, which are indicated by the Mage, are based on the mystery of a profound harmony between the conscious and the unconscious. The resulting inner certainty can move mountains.
The High Priestess represents our unconscious forces, our finesse, our divination and often inexplicable but deeply rooted certainty. It is the key to the mysterious truth that eludes the grasp of the logically thinking mind. She knows that the truth that we can't see, the eternal truth. Her bright side is an expression of patience, understanding, forbearance, kindness and willingness to forgive, and is focused on helping, healing and how her power over the unconscious forces can help others. The dark side, however, the archetype of "dark sister "the witch uses her mental to seduce, paralyze or even damage others. Often in Tarot interpretation, their friendly and helpful side is stressed and is traditionally considered to be one of the three protection cards. Christian mythology corresponds with this in the same way as one is considered protected when under the watchful eye of the virgin.
The Empress represents the infinite power of nature with which she always brings forth new life. It thus stands for vitality, fertility, growth and birth of the new. It is the inexhaustible source of all life, which indicates our creative potential and our ability to absorb momentum and thus to draw up new life. That is on a physical level, growth and fertility, on a psychological level of understanding of ideas and inventiveness in the field of consciousness and increasing knowledge. The continual birth of the new means both the constant change in our life and the need to endure the pain of childbirth.
The Ruler represents the structuring element, for our desire for stability, security and continuity. He shows our desire for independence from the contingencies of nature in all its unpredictability. To match our urge to civilize the world with which we build homes, heating and air conditioning systems, to protect us against heat and cold and wet, cars and aircraft in order to overcome distances easier and faster than walking, and schools to ensure education. The ruler shows both our sense of order, sobriety, discipline, responsibility, and pragmatic course of action. He also shows exaggerations in the form of rigidity, deadness, perfectionism and ambition for power.
The High Priest stands for the world of faith and one of deep trust, In the old days he was considered one of the three cards of the Tarot protection, the course of an affair could be easily persuaded by him. This understanding has a lot to say for itself, because the trust forces expressed by him refer to our assurance as well as to trust in a deep sense of our personal life and in our future .This shows the way of ethics and virtue and stands for the personal intentions originating from our moral basic values.
This card combines two topics. It points to a great love experience which leads us but also the knowledge of the mind that is associated with this step, a necessary decision: the rejection of the existing living environment (The parents, the bachelor life, the many love affairs) and the clear commitment to the one love. This step leads to an overwhelming experience that shows "The Lovers". This card used to be, "The decision called". It may also indicate necessary decisions that have little or nothing to do with love. In such cases, it means that we are asked to choose with a full heart. The themes stressed by this card, can be determined in the context of the question. In any case, it means the big unconditional "yes."
The car stands for big jumps forward. He shows that we free ourselves from the closed sphere and go our own way. Because of, the desire for independence, ambition, the search for the lost paradise or simply our craving for recognition perhaps is the propelling force. The car is the only tarot card which shows the departure of full confidence and joy. In all other cases resigning to feelings of gravity and fear are marked. Here, is about pressing forward and risk taking. The card shows highly developed skills (driving the car), but also a lack of experience (entering an unknown world). Therefore, it must also be understood as a warning not to overestimate your own strength, not to be too confident and euphoric and a sign that we still have a lot to learn.
The card has a similar force a certain kinship, if you will, with the card of the Magician. As there is also a lot of emphasis based on the mystery of a deep inner strength and harmony. .The great influence is the magician in harmony with conscious and unconscious forces such as vitality, courage and passion which drives the expression of this card and of civilized people to reconcile with their animal nature. In the myth, this is described impressively in the friendships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu his previously angered opponents. This card shows that it can not hide our natural instinct behind a pale virtue, but rather respond to us in the living, sometimes terrifying archaic powers opened to them through loving acceptance and gentle violence. In this way We are not only these primitive forces but, also excess powers which we have used up to now to suppress these instincts.
The hermit is the map of the seclusion and the internal stop. He marks the introverted life phase in which we shelter ourselves from foreign influence, and steer away from the everyday bustle and focus on ourselves. The Hermit stands for significant experiences in which we can recognize who we are, what we want, and how to get there. He combines two valuable extremes in himself: the depth of experience and the height of knowledge. Wrongfully this card is feared by many people because his qualities are misunderstood, fear of loneliness and abandonment. Those who follow the call of the Hermit are enriched and find clarity, strength and the joyful experience of being their own.
Depending on the way we face out destiny, we experience the fate wheel either as an expression of our power and helplessness or as a tip to an experience of life in which we can grow and mature. On one level the card shows the situations in which we have at first no influence over. The downturn of the card shows that our plans simply do not want to succeed. The weather, road work, air strikes, the problems of an object or force 'destroy our plans'. The wheel of time show us that it is time to realize our plans. In this case the cards in the remaining places can give valuable tips, like how we can reach the other, climbing up the side of the wheel. Destiny stands for happy, pleasant and astonishing twists.
The Justice card includes a range of topics. It stands for clear, objective knowledge, for conscious and decided judgment, for incorruptibility, balance and fairness and shows us that we are right. At an ordinary level it shows that we experience the environment like our echo and are confronted in the good just like in the bad with the results of our own actions: They are recognized and rewarded accordingly, but when we try to achieve by questionable means we fail. This card pushes a high degree of self-responsibility. It shows that nothing will be withheld from us, but that we have to do it alone and even bear the responsibility.
The Hanged Man means that we are trapped and stuck in a spot. Through thorough examination however, lies an outer immobility, this enforced silence both necessary and opportunistic offers a profound grasp of what we now and a change of our view of the world and the way we experience it. The passiveness to which we are condemned in such phases can sometimes be a sign of disease and will be displayed by the card. The experience expressed by the hanged man say CG Jung: ' Can get stuck' or even be seen as a positive such as hanging on. Which signifies, on one hand an apparent difficulty but, on the other hand a unique situation which requires planning and sometimes a large strain.
Death signifies resignation, that big 'letting go', the end. He is also a pioneer for the new, what is to come, the card itself, however we see at first as the end. It may well be that this is the long awaited liberating in that we are looking for but, obviously with this card comes some of our most painful experiences. In contrast to the 10 swords that are arbitrary and also indicate a premature end, this cards always stands for the natural end and means that it is time to let go of something. Wrongfully Death is one of the most feared cards. Most people do not understand it, interpret it as the herald of the new and that it will bring us a deep experience of parting and of life related experiences. 'We have a separated life from death and the interval between both is fear' says Krishnamurti, 'You can not live without dying'.
The meaning of this card is more understandable if we call it 'the right measure'. It embodies the healthy contrast to the card following in the tarot game, the Devil, which is excess, harmony, balance, serenity and peace of mind are all signs of moderation. This card shows blissful experience, health and inner balance, to treat ourselves well and to stand in harmony with our environment. A corresponding matter to this card can also mean healing and recovery.
Of all the Tarot cards the Devil (due to its nature) can be grasped the most heavily, because he for each person he has an individual appearance. The common experience marked by him lie in dependence, lack of will, failure of good intentions and actions that violate our convictions. The Devil corresponds to the dark side of many Tarot cars: Compared with the Magician, he is the black magician, He is the dark side of the High Priestess, the hypocritical and the materialistic counterpart of the High Priest. The struggle for power and soullessness of the Lovers. The corrupt and self-righteous side of justice. He embodies unrestrained greed for strength, in contrast to Moderation. He is the ruler over large parts of the lunar landscape. The Devil appears to us, of course, mostly in an enticing form. The card show that we are playing with fire and hell! You must pay attention and not burn your fingers. At a deeper level it means that we have come into a sphere of question with our own dark side in reach.
The tower shows that we have walled ourselves in an alleged security which suddenly starts to stagger. Those are just structures and dimensions which are too small and close. It can affect our conviction and basic principles in life as well as safety thinking in aspects of job-related and financial issues, even friendships and other relationships. It is a concept of what we thought is security in life from that we outgrew/distanced ourselves from. In general, surprising experiences or a sudden inspiration is what breaks down the life concept. Because one may think these are basic principles, those changes feel like catastrophes. After that shock, one may realize that he is relieved to be free from all of the old ballast. That breakthrough can be activated by personal cognition or by an exterior event. The I Ging says: 'With thunder and lightning one can conquer the eagerness of nature'.
The star is the card of hope, wisdom and insight of higher coherence. It demonstrates that we start or plan prospective things in that we can put qualified hope, although in that early state we are not aware of its extensive effects. Just the review shows what kind of arbitrary crossings we have set in terms, which are shown by the star. Like a seed it needs some time before you are able to see the result. In the traditional meaning the star was seen as one of three guard cards.
The moon-card guides us into the mysterious areas of darkness, into the night and the facets of our soul, into our intuitiveness, desires, dreams, vivacious imaginations and intense self awareness. The card stands for fear, insecurity, nightmares, dark premonition and demonstrates the horror of the unseen and not-comprehensible. It is the same fear we have when walking through a lonely forest at night. It is the fear of ancestral demons which in our enlightened world have the following names: bacteria, virus, millirem, becquerel, lead-coated air and acid rain.
This card expresses pleasures and amenities of life, vitality, heartiness and reliance. It is the illuminating load of consciousness with that we can reach clearness and conquer worries, confusion and mysterious anxiety. Furthermore it is a synonym of adolescent virility and the feeling of being re-born. It marks the bright side of life. On a deeper level it challenges to conquer the darkness and to develop our cheerful nature, to redeem our darker brother or sister and bring them to light.
The court-card is easily misunderstood because of the name. Court, particularly the Last Judgment, is linked to punishment, perdition, fear and trepidation. The meaning of a card can only be extracted by the picture itself and the mental and mythological illustration. The shown resurrection describes the affecting event of salvation and liberation of what was buried or captured. It demonstrates truth and divinity coming out of the dungeon into the light. It demonstrates the determining step to self-valuation, the succeeded procedure of alchemist metamorphosis which made the lowest to the highest. In a more common level it means every kind of deliverance: deliverance of worries and affliction, ungrateful situations and bonding's, compunction and timidity. Furthermore it is a hint, that in this shown and upcoming intention there is our personal 'treasure'.
The world characterizes recovered unity, experiencing the highest harmony and delectable out coming of a development. To couch the beauteous of this card would mean to tell a happy-end tale. In a hero's journey it is the happy ending, the recovered paradise which implies that we reached our goal in life. Just in very rare cases this is meant to be the 'aim in life' rather an important inter station. In an exterior experience the card describes that we found the place we belong to. In an inner experience it means that we took the important step to self-valuation, real authenticity and entireness. On the experience-level this world-card demonstrates joyful times in which we enjoy with a lot of vitality ourselves, furthermore it can also mean cultivating international relationships and traveling.
Stick/baton/rod = Fire
Hot tempered, impatient, adventurous, strong
Ace of Wands
As the other ace cards, the ace of Wands stands for a chance in ourselves... More
Lacking dedication. Lip service. Spiritless indifference. Neutrality. Fatigue occurrence.
Confidence, sovereignty and assurance. Farsightedness and good expectations.
Being open minded. Heading for others. Zest of life. Affirmative.
Healthy competition, exciting power measurement. Athletic ambition. Having creative exchanges with another. Practicing.
Good expectations, success, victory, optimism, pleasant messages.
Being able to successfully enforce (something). Keeping successfully the own position. Repulsing an attack.
Good news are going to come. Vivid impulses and gratifying development. Being near goal-reaching. Inspirations.
Being cagey. Being hidden and feeling threatened. Vigilantly defend oneself against temptations.
Heavy burden. Growth crisis. Temporary overstraining. Anhedonia. Lack of perspectives. Seeing own limits.
Jack of Wands
Exciting advices. Bolstering support, invitation for an adventure or difficult, dangerous challenges.
Knight of Wands
High spirits, experience hungriness, impetuous, force and momentum, impatience, temperamental outbursts, enthusiasm.
Queen of Wands
The strong-minded queen. A prideful, temperamental person is important for the person who is asking and motivates themself.
King of Wands
The strong-minded king. A temperamental, dynamic person is important for the person who is asking and motivates him/her/it? or the asking person is in the position of the queen on its own.
Swords = Air
Cold, frosty, conflictual, intelligent
Ace of swords
Every ace embodies a chance that lies in us. More...
Two of Swords
Inner division. Rotating without finding a solution. Doubts and due to them increasing desperation.
Three of Swords
Disillusion, inner conflicts, smart but difficult decisions. Messages which strike right into the heart
Four of Swords
Being sedated. Faint, illness, stagnancy which can be used for inner comprehension.
Five of Swords
Defeat, humiliation, villainy, repulsiveness, despicableness.
Six of Swords
First step with feeling of insecurity, change, movement, vacation.
Seven of Swords
Guile and perfidy, cheating, imposture, stealing away.
Eight of Swords
Escapements, interdictions, abandonment, limitations, not being given complete expression.
Nine of Swords
Fear, worries, insomnia, nightmares, desperation, compunction.
Ten of Swords
Random end, final stroke, death, tabula rasa.
Jack of Swords
Chance to clarify, but most likely an arising conflict.
Knight of Swords
Sober, cold, frosty atmosphere, temperature decrease, aggressiveness, calculation (negative way).
Queen of Swords
A woman in the kind of air: cool to cold, intellectually stimulating, shrewd, independent, smart, charming, eloquent, clever, distanced, demure. The woman who could liberate herself from dependence by will power.
King of Swords
A man in the kind of air: cold and clear, rational, intellectually stimulating, entertaining, critical, clever, sober, distanced, volatile. The impartial, competent adviser.
Cup = Water
Loving, peaceable, harmonious, gentle
Ace of Cups
The Ace of Cups is one of Tarot's greatest luck cards. More...
Two of Cups
The loving meeting, being welcome, heading for each other.
Three of Cups
Success and gratitude, recovery, sharing happiness with another.
Four of Cups
Displeasure, being scathingly, missing a valuable chance due to apathy.
Five of Cups
Sorrow, loss, loneliness, worries, aborted hope.
Six of Cups
Happy and wistful retrospective. Remembering old pictures, wishes, plans, conceptions. Nostalgia.
Seven of Cups
Visions, but most likely enthusiasm, illusions, wishful thinking.
Eight of Cups
Hard-headed goodbye, taking a leap of faith, due to own decision.
Nine of Cups
Satisfaction, zest of life, folksyness/companionship, carefreeness, being relaxed.
Ten of Cups
Great luck, deep harmony, emotional certainty, happy family life.
Jack of Cups
A friendly gesture offered to the asking person, an opportunity that flatters him, makes him happy.
Knight of Cups
Friendly, loving, forgiving atmosphere, harmony, being in love.
Queen of Cups
A woman in the kind of water: empathetic, gentle, romantic, helpful, emotional.
King of Cups
A man in the kind of water: emotional, gentle, romantic, intuitive.
Coins = Earth
Trusting, dignified, resistant, sturdy
Ace of Coins
Like every other ace, the ace of Coins represents an inner chance. More...
Two of Coins
Flexibility, playful indecisiveness, going with the flow, instinctive trust.
Three of Coins
Progress, passing exams, showing off what you can, going into new (mysterious) levels.
Four of Coins
Penuriousness, questionable need for security, holding on, compulsiveness.
Five of Coins
Crisis, deprivation, bottleneck, thirst stretch, rough soil, poverty, taking risks.
Six of Coins
Generosity, blessing and being blessed, tolerance, helpfulness, wealth, philanthropy.
Seven of Coins
Patience, slow, but sustainable growth, time of maturing.
Eight of Coins
Beginning, new learning, assurance, creative joy, good skills.
Nine of Coins
Profit, pleasant surprise, surprising recovery, favorable turn of events.
Ten of Coins
prosperity, security, stability, success, solid fundament.
Jack of Coins
A good opportunity, tangible/solid advice, a valuable impulse for the questioner.
Knight of Coins
A solid, pure atmosphere of diligence and persistence, grown, recoverable basis.
Queen of Coins
A woman in the kind of soil: down to earth, reliable, realistic, diligent, amiable, patent, fertile and sensuous
King of Coins
A man in the kind of soil: business minded, pragmatic, reliable, down to earth, sensuous, self-indulgent.