The tarot is a fantastic tool for exercising your mind and helping you think critically about problems in your life. Like life, the tool is complex, with many different interpretations (hundreds and hundreds of decks) and many different approaches. I use the tool to create a synchronic moment so the querent (person asking the question) can experience a challenge or redirection of his/her current narrative with regard to a specific question, a general situation, or with openness to any possibility.
The word “tarot” refers to both the process of “reading the cards in a spread” (a system of critical thinking practice) and the actual deck of cards. The tarot deck consists of 78 cards, broken into 5 essential groups: the Major Arcana (22 Karma Cards) and the 4 suits of the Minor Arcana (consisting of 14 cards each for each element: air <the mind>, earth <the physical world>, fire <creativity>, and water <emotions>). A reading is done by placing the cards in a pattern called a “spread,” a predetermined outlay of the cards in a certain order with certain meanings. The spread is the narrative frame and the reading consists of weaving the cards in the narrative frame into a story for the reader’s reflection.
A reading focuses on select cards in a select order to help you think critically about a problem in your mind at the time you draw the cards. The process itself is quite easy to follow; the interpretations are much more difficult, which is why diligent study or the aid of a professional and practiced reader is necessary to glean the full benefit of the tool.