There are a number of tarot decks out there in the world, now. (There are Oracle
cards that are great for personal readings, and their meanings are all found within the
books that come with those decks. Choose one that feels right to you, or speaks to you.)
The traditional tarot decks are also available, with Major Arcana (The Fool, Magician,
High Priestess, etc), and Minor Arcana (4 suits, much like playing cards, but the suits
are different: Swords, Pentacles, Chalices, Wands)
Playing cards can replace the Minor Arcana cards, and can be read on their own if
that is what you have on hand. In this case, Aces are Power cards of Elemental
Influence, 2-10 of a suit are mundane cards of life experience, and Royal cards of people
or personal characteristics are the face cards (Jack = page/knight, Queen, King). If you
do use playing cards, choose one special deck for this and keep it aside for Divination.
The illustrations on your cards may influence your reading of them, and you will
find your interpretations vary by deck and reading. When looking at new cards, Ann
looks at the 10 of Swords, which can be nightmarish, and the Devil card, to judge
whether she can use it or not. 10 of Swords is often viewed as disaster, when it actually
means turning your back on a bad situation and moving on. The Devil card often
depicts the Christian Devil, rather than the Horned God, who stands for things taking
their natural course, or natural blessings. So choose your cards wisely, by their overall
meanings and by the images upon them.
Text pages 122-126 of Book 1 list the cards and their core meanings, but then, the
meaning might vary by the deck. If in doubt, trust your instinct, and the book that
comes with your chosen deck of cards. Becca’s note: I like using both the list in this
book as well as the card’s book, together- It adds a deeper view and more perspective.
When reading your cards, you might play them out and flip them all, then read
them. Or you might flip them one at a time and read them as they fall. Sometimes the
overall picture is clearest with the whole spread turned together, and sometimes it’s
better to focus on one area at a time. How you do this is up to you.
If you deal the cards out and they are upside down, reversed, that can have a
different meaning than the same card, when dealt reversed (upside down). Generally
the meaning when dealt upside down is opposite the meaning if you dealt the same card
upright. The reverse meanings are listed with the meanings, but Ann prefers to discard
them unless she senses it is pertinent. If a deck does not have reverse meanings for its
own cards in the book, don’t worry about figuring out the opposite of that card. Just
read it as if it was played right side up. Major Arcana cards (mystical archetypes) are
typically read right-side up. Power Cards of Elemental Influences (Aces) always are read
right-side up.
When interpreting regular playing cards, the suits need to change, and are more
generalized. Hearts are love and emotions. Diamonds are money and success. Clubs
are career and social matters. Spades are often related to difficulties, illness, and
The Jack combines the page and the knight, and is generally read as news, young
people,and thoughts taking direction or moving into action. Aces remain power cards.
Two aces imply a marriage, three or four show great success. Multiple queens may warn
of gossip or scandal, unless you see individuals in the cards and identify a connection
with the querent. Multiple kings suggest big business dealings. Multiple Jacks suggest
mischief or competition. 3 or more 10’s show something good on the horizon, possibly
more money. 3 or more 9’s suggest sudden good fortune. 9 of hearts is considered a
“wish” card- make a wish when you see it, and it will come true.
Beyond the cards themselves, there are many spreads; ways to lay them out and
read them. The different throws affect the interpretation, by their meanings: