A short overview of my method for reading the Tarot cards: By Johanne Bibeau
The Tarot interpretation, like any other technique, becomes more interesting with practice. Like studying a new language, perseverance is essential, and the Tarot symbols are nothing more than the language of our unconscious spirit.
The Tarot is an instrument that allows us to access the knowledge stored in our subconscious. It is the words of our intuition, premonitions or dreams.
How many times have we heard people say, “I knew it; I had the feeling”? How many times have you known who was calling before you picked up the phone? Most of us have had strong déjà vu experiences, intuitive knowledge, and/or simultaneous thoughts in utterance with others. Where does this come from? One day a friend told me, "I can't explain why, but before answering the telephone, I already know who is calling." Another said, "Through my dreams I know my future. Before falling asleep I ask my unconscious what will happen with this or that situation. I get my answer the day after and remarkably, I live exactly what my dream has predicted."
All of us have had an intuition, feeling or precognitive dream that has come to pass. There are no coincidences, weird happenings or accidents. Our future lies in our deepest selves. The synchronized access to this as yet obscured future (the knowledge stored in our subconscious) is revealed as unexpectedly and as fleetingly as seeing a shooting star. It would appear to be neither imagination nor the power of reason. Rather it is simply the future, taking place in the conscious mind, here and now.
Albeit ‘unknown’ to us, the future seems to be prearranged, planned and structured. The Tarot can show us what the future holds through its images and allows us to make adjustments. The Tarot constitutes a system of symbolic information through which the subconscious is allowed access.
Our future lies in our deepest self. When we consult the Tarot, it tells us about our feelings and worries and gives us answers in these areas as well as to our ambitions.
The Tarot is a kind, friendly, useful guide and can be consulted for ourselves or others at anytime and as many times as we desire. However, it is essential to concentrate or invite your seeker to do so.
During the beginning, pay special attention to the results obtained. This will enable you to double- check their materialization.
Often these events happen very rapidly, or they may take a few months to occur. In the Tarot it is extremely difficult to give a time frame. For an active person, events will unfold faster than for another with a more sedentary life style.
Experience has proven to me that time does not exist in the Tarot.At first, choose a set of Tarot cards that you like. There is a large variety on the market. I personally use Oswald Wirth's Tarot. They are identical to the Marseille Tarot, except for their colors.The Tarot is composed of seventy-eight cards of which twenty-two are the major arcana and fifty-six are trumps or the minor arcana.The major arcana represent a person or a symbolic scene. They are as follows:
The Magician I The Hanged Man XII
The High Priestess II The Death XIII
The Empress III The Temperance XIIII
The Emperor IIII The Devil XV
The Pope V The Broken House XVI
The Lovers VI The Star XVII
The Chariot VII The Moon XVIII
The Justice VIII The Sun XVIIII
The Hermit VIIII The Judgment XX
The Wheel of Fortune X The World XXI
The Strength XI The Fool (has no number)
The Magician: The first card in the major arcana represents a young man. This young man is standing in front of a table holding a stick in his left hand and a penny in the right hand. You will also notice a sword and a glass. These are the four symbols of the Tarot minor arcana.
The Magician symbolizes: beginning, work, creativity, determination, effort, willingness, a step, a venture, the beginning of an action, movement.
For the teenager: Their study, sports, etc.
For the adult: Their work, their profession.
For the elderly: An activity, an effort to be made.
The High Priestess: The second card in the major arcana represents a female person. This woman holds a book on her lap. This open book shows the truth, in full view.
The High Priestess symbolizes: knowledge, discoveries, important documents, contracts, culture, diplomacy, meditation, persuasion, consideration, the power of decision and judgment, the verdict, responsibilities, projects, ambitions, diploma.
For the teenager: The mother, the feminine authority, the finals.
For the adult: Business, contracts, important documents, the projects.
For the elderly: Contracts, the verdict, documents.
The Empress: The third card in the major arcana represents a young girl. This young girl is sitting with a serene and passive gaze. She is receptive, ready to create and procreate. She is patient and hopeful.
The Empress symbolizes: anticipation, submission, naiveté, purity, beliefs, satisfaction, correspondences, fertility, communications and mail.
For the teenager: A young girl, steps, correspondences.
For the adult: Anticipation, communication, letters, submission.
For the elderly: Satisfaction, acceptance, news, mail.
The Emperor: The fourth card in the major arcana represents a mature man. This man is sitting on a throne and holds a scepter in his right hand.
The Emperor symbolizes: royalty, authority, decision, commandment, a judge, a boss, a professional man, a man of power.
For the teenager: The father, authority.
For the adult: A superior, a male influence, a man of power,
For the elderly: A man of power, a doctor, an attorney, etc.
The Pope: The fifth card in the major arcana represents a man, as a priest. The Pope is facing two people. He is blessing them and giving the sacrament.
The Pope symbolizes: religion, sacrament, marriage, protection, partnerships, family, home, ownership, real estate property/matters.
For the teenager: One's home, one's family
For the adult: Union, marriage, home, family, material assets, partnerships
For the elderly: One's family, union, marriage, material assets.
The Lovers: The sixth card in the major arcana represents three people and Cupid. This young man is being solicited by two women who are enticing him to follow them. Cupid is ready to shoot its arrow! This man is indecisive, but will follow one of them.
The Lovers symbolizes: duality, choices, propositions, decisions, opportunities, negotiations, hesitation regarding a fact or desire, doubt, sensation, love, two possibilities.
For the teenager: Sentimental life, love.
For the adult: Negotiations, opportunities, love encounter, children.
For the elderly: Children, choices, invitations, joys.
The Chariot: The seventh card in the major arcana and is symbolized by movement and a vehicle. This man is sitting in his chariot and is moving.
The Chariot symbolizes: short and long distance travel, domestic and foreign countries, dissemination of information, all modes of transportation, expansion, publicity (written, verbal or multi- media), progress, advancement, success, triumph.
For the teenager: Trips, cars, success.
For the adult: Travels, foreign countries, expansion.
For the elderly: Travels, trips
The Justice: The eighth card in the major arcana represents the symbol of justice as a woman with scales. The Justice is not for or against anything. She merely renders justice.
The Justice symbolizes: judging power, the law, clarity, justice, anything related to legality, consequences of your past and present actions, settlements, trials, regulations, stability, balance, reports, sentencing. She has no sentiment. She executes and delivers a verdict.
For the teenager: Authority, law, established rules.
For the adult: Trials, regulations, law, sentences, settlements.
For the elderly: A verdict, balance, stability, settlements.
The Hermit: The ninth card in the major arcana represents an older person. The Hermit is wearing a long robe and his right hand is holding a lantern to light his path.
The Hermit symbolizes: time, patience, news, research, information, knowledge, loneliness, delay, carefulness. The Hermit is neither favorable or unfavorable. He gives you information and carries news that you are looking for.
For the teenager: Moderation, waiting, steps.
For the adult: News, research, something coming from the past, information.
For the elderly: Loneliness, wisdom, news, information.
The Wheel of Fortune: The tenth card in the major arcana represents the symbol of a wheel. The wheel of Fortune, a wheel and a cycle, has a sense of fortune added to it showing us a material element.
The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes: finances, wealth, luck at play, lottery, material assets, gifts, rewards, inheritances, rapid and immediate events.
For the teenager: Finances, luck.
For the adult: Finances, material assets, luck.
For the elderly: Finances, material assets.
The Hanged Man: The twelfth card in the major arcana represents a young man with his hands tied behind his back. Hanged to a gallows by one foot, the man is powerless and cannot move. The head down position shows that the individual is deprived of a clear vision.
The Hanged Man symbolizes: mandatory sacrifice, slavery, affliction, deception, loss, abandonment, setbacks, end, betrayal, illusion, defeat, cheating, failure, sickness . It is the most negative card of the deck.
For the teenager: Emotional problem.
For the adult: Loss, setbacks, trauma.
For the elderly: Health problems, sacrifice, trauma.
The Death: The thirteenth card in the major arcana represents a skeleton walking on the ground with a sickle in his hands. He is chopping things, consolidating, and clearing them away.
The Death card symbolizes: the end of a cycle and the beginning of another (which is unknown for now, or invisible). Like life after death, it means a change, a renewal, a rebirth, the passage from one plane of existence to another. The death card's effects are instantaneous and cause a complete ending. The result is a total transformation and a new life. This result is generally beneficial, but painful.
For the teenager: A change, renewal, end.
For the adult: A transformation, change, renewal.
For the elderly: End of a situation, death, an important change.
The Temperance: The fourteenth card in the major arcana represents an angel.
This arcana shows an angel who is pouring water from one vase to another, back and forth.
The Temperance card symbolizes: moderation, negotiations, improvement, evolution, slow but sure movement. The Temperance card straightens a situation or allows a soft settlement. She adapts to circumstances in a positive manner. She stabilizes a situation with continuous motion toward an outcome.
For the teenager: Continuity, improvement.
For the adult: Negotiation, improvement.
For the elderly: Stability, adaptation.
The Devil: The Devil: The fifteenth card in the major arcana is depicted by its very name. It is the devil as taught in the Bible. This arcana shows a half-man, half-serpent controlling two forms or creatures (one male, one female), by tying them to himself with ropes.
The Devil symbolizes: an influence, a malevolent spirit, the desire to possess, an uncontrollable influence, passion, power, control, jealousy, drugs, alcohol, blind passion, senses, frauds, thievery, vices, sexuality, lies, calamities, destruction. We cannot foresee or be aware of this negative spirit. This is a destructive and evil arcana.
For the teenager: Tendency toward drugs, alcohol and lies.
For the adult: Tendency or desire to possess, control, commit fraud, lies.
For the elderly: Unexpected or uncontrollable sickness, hidden annoyances.
The Broken House: The sixteenth card in the major arcana represents a structure with a break in it. The Broken House shows a lightening bolt coming from the sky, splitting a tower, with two people falling down on the ground and getting hurt.
The Broken House symbolizes: fire, accidents, lightening, aggressiveness, fights, conflicts, surgeries, breaks, losses, injuries, radical changes, unexpected events, destruction.
For the teenager: Conflict, rupture, accident.
For the adult: Accidents, losses, sudden changes.
For the elderly: Surgeries, sudden changes.
The Star: The seventeenth card in the major arcana represents a female.
The Star shows a nude woman under a starry sky, with two vases. One vase is in each hand, and she is pouring water in a pond and on the ground.
The Star symbolizes: hope, love, truth. The star always represents the female seeker (if a male seeker, his mate). For a single man: a new relationship or love encounter. For others: she represents a sincere friend.
For a teenager: The female seeker (for the male seeker, his mate or a new relationship).
For an adult: The female seeker (for the male seeker, his mate or a new relationship).
For an elderly: The female seeker (for the male seeker, his mate or a new relationship).
The Moon: The eighteenth card in the major arcana represents the image of the moon as a nocturnal symbol. This arcana shows the moon in the middle of the night with the goddess of fertility inside. Also shown is a pond with a swimming crab. It feels danger and is afraid to climb out because of the two wolves. You can observe the two towers and the possibility of someone hiding behind the towers.
The Moon symbolizes: dreams, illusion, fertility, mirages, water, imagination, unconscious, subconscious, sickness, psychic, hospitals, prison, another woman or women in general.
For the teenager: A young girl, a sister, sometimes the mother, fertility.
For the adult: A woman, dangers, a female child.
For the elderly: Female children, a woman, hospitals, evolving sickness.
The Sun: The nineteenth card in the major arcana represents its very name, the celestial body in the sky. This arcana is represented by the sun and a couple giving the illusion of love and harmony. A short stone wall is behind them.
The Sun symbolizes: love, warmth, radiance, luck, shining with success and triumph. The sun is always the male seeker, (if a female seeker, her mate).
For a single woman: a new relationship or love encounter. For the others: a true friend.
For a teenager: The male seeker (for the female seeker her mate or a new relationship).
For an adult: The male seeker (for the female seeker her mate or a new relationship).
For an elderly: The male seeker (for the female seeker her mate or a new relationship)
The Judgment: The twentieth card in the major arcana represents an angel.
This arcana shows an angel in the sky blowing a horn towards people whose attitude is one of waiting, expectation and faith. We should think of the final judgment, here. Also from the sky comes a thunderbolt, fast and unexpected.
The Judgment card symbolizes: judgment, settlement, other peoples' decisions, an unexpected event, surprise, change, revelations, an upcoming event which requires a decision, the unknown.
For the teenager: A decision from other people, an unexpected event.
For the adult: A judgment, settlement, revelation.
For the elderly: A revelation, an unexpected event.
The World: The twenty-first card in the major arcana represents a wheel. It is a symbolic card. This arcana shows the four fixed zodiac signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. In the center, a nude woman is dancing.
The World symbolizes: the world, people, the masses, friends, your surroundings, clientele, crowds, strangers. The world is the tarot's second most beneficial trump. With this card and The Strength in your spread, you couldn't ask for better! The world is luck on a large scale, huge success, big popularity and all that is grandiose!
For the teenager: Friends, surroundings, popularity.
For the adult: The world in general (clients, etc.), huge luck, great success.
For the elderly: Meetings, parties, friends, family from afar.
The Fool: The last card of the major arcana represents a person. It has no number.
The Fool is wearing multi-colored clothes. He is an aimless man with a bundle on his shoulder and is armed with a stick. In this image, a small animal is biting him.
The Fool symbolizes: impulsivity, hasty departure, voluntary abandonment, broken promises, craziness, mistakes, lack of judgment, split personality, instability, unrealistic goals, wandering, susceptibility to outside influence.
For the teenager: Impulsive acts, mistakes.
For the adult: Mistakes, instability.
For the elderly: Concern, uncertainty.