Tarot is a form of divination that uses a set of 78 cards divided into 2 categories: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. These cards are used to gain insight into a person, situation, or idea.
The Major Arcana contains 22 cards that symbolize larger life lessons and situations. They include some of the most recognizable cards in the deck, such as The Fool, The Magician, Strength, The Lovers, Death, and The World.
The Minor Arcana contains 56 cards, each divided into 4 suits corresponding to the elements of earth, fire, water, and air, and each suit corresponds to a specific area of life. These suits are representative of different aspects, such as cups representing the emotional realm, coins representing the financial realm, and swords representing the intellectual realm. Each suit contains Ace (1) to 10, plus the court cards of page, knight, queen, and king.
The rules of tarot can vary depending on who you’re playing with. Generally, players use a system to shuffle and lay out the cards in a spread (arrangement of cards) that reveals the subject of the divination. Depending on the level of expertise, the cards can then be interpreted to gain a deeper understanding of the subject.
The most popular tarot spread is the Celtic Cross spread, which involves 10 cards laid out in a cross shape with additional cards added on the outside of the cross revealing more information the reader should consider. There is no ‘right way’ to read tarot, as there are many methods, and interpretations depend on the cards, the reader, and the person for whom the reading is done.