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The Meanings of the Tarot Cards

How Tarot Cards Work

Our subconscious mind thinks in symbols. It's in communication with the Spiritual Universe along with everybody else's subconscious mind. Our conscious mind thinks in words. It's in tune with the physical world along with most other people on this planet. Tarot cards are composed of a group of symbols which we define in words. Therefore, tarot cards can be a tool to help our subconscious mind communicate with our conscious mind. Since our subconscious mind is in communication with every other subconscious mind, we can actually use tarot cards to help other people learn about themselves.

At least that's one theory about how tarot cards work. It's the theory I accept because it proves itself to me over and over every day of my life. I can't ever remember when the cards lied to me about anything. I've done my share of misinterpreting the cards, but that's my problem. But as far as I know, the cards have always been honest and forthright with me about everything.

My suggestion is to accept the theory being proposed and give it a try. If it works for you, keep on believing and reading. If it doesn't work for you, try something else, some other theory. My guess is it'll work just fine for you but sometimes guesses can be wrong.

What Tarot Symbols Mean

Has it ever bothered you that several authors, all looking at the same symbols in the same cards, give several different meanings for those symbols? That used to bother me. In fact, I used to agree with some authors and think the other authors were all wrong. I even remember correcting tarot readers for misinterpreting a card or telling them what a particular card really meant. In this way I announced my own ignorance. I'm sure the readers weren't all that happy about doing a reading for me.

The truth is all those authors were correct. Those symbols mean exactly what they say the symbols mean - at least to them. When they're reading the symbols their meaning is the one that counts. When I'm reading the symbols, my meaning is the one that counts. When you're reading the symbols, your meaning is the one that counts. Each of us interprets different symbols in different ways because of who we are, what we know, what we think we know, and what we've experienced in our life.

Today when somebody does a reading for me, I listen to what they say about the cards. I listen to the meanings they attach to the symbols. I don't judge them or any meanings they assign to any symbols. I listen and strive to understand. I can't begin to tell you how much more I get out of a tarot reading today. I'm sure the readers appreciate not being told the right way to do it.

The Meanings of the Tarot Cards

Tarot cards mean to us exactly what they mean, no more and no less. When you look at a card and get a feeling about what a certain symbol means, my suggestion is to write it down and remember that. Keep a book of notes about the cards, one page for each card. Review these notes on a regular basis until both your conscious and subconscious mind know and understand what each card means to you, what each symbol on each card means to you. That's my suggestion.

Good tarot readers are good because they know what each card means and they know what the major symbols in each card means. Their subconscious mind chooses the right card at the right time to communicate precisely what needs to be communicated then. Their subconscious mind will draw their eyes to the correct symbol within each card to communicate the message that needs to be received now.

Every tarot author has his or her own opinions about what each card means. You can use these meanings if you want to use them. You can use another author's opinion for any deck you choose to use. You can also make up your own meanings.

One way to decide what each tarot card means is to keep a notebook and write down every meaning given by every author in every tarot book you read. Another way to decide is to write down only those meanings you like for each card. You can also select meanings that are easy to remember when you look at the card. The secret is that the tarot cards mean exactly what you decide they mean. Of course, you can always memorize the meanings given by the author of your choice. That may sound like the easy way out, but in my experience it's a more difficult task -- unless the key words are printed on the cards.

You'll either make this decision consciously or unconsciously. If you make a conscious decision, you'll better understand the process and probably become a talented tarot reader. If you do it unconsciously, you'll always be in the dark wondering if you're doing it right or not.

Here's the process I suggest:

  1. Keep a tarot notebook with one page dedicated to each card
  2. Write down all the meanings you select for each card
  3. Choose one meaning, one key word or phrase for each card
  4. Read this meaning over and over so your subconscious mind knows too
  5. Make up a cheat sheet and do practice readings
  6. When you know the meanings for most of the cards most of the time join a free tarot reading group and start doing readings
  7. When you know and understand your cards, start reading for money
  8. Change the meaning you use for any card anytime
  9. Just be certain your subconscious mind knows about the change too

The meanings of the tarot cards are exactly those meanings you and your subconscious mind agree upon. You make the decision and tell your subconscious mind this is the definition for this card. Once you've done this, the responsibility for choosing the correct card for any reading is up to your subconscious mind. Since your subconscious mind is infallible, it'll always choose the right card. Then it's your responsibility to remember what that card means and interpret it in the reading. That's what the meaning of the tarot cards is all about.

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