One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was first learning how to read Tarot cards was to think that I had to memorize all of the Tarot card meanings in order to do a reading. Whew! I certainly saddled myself with a monumental task right there. Not many of us would be able to read Tarot cards if we had to memorize all that – upright meanings and reversed meanings – before we could read Tarot.
The art of Tarot has evolved over the centuries, and with good reason. Any spiritual practice needs to adapt to the needs of the current time if it’s going to stay useful and relevant. Looking at the meanings of the Tarot cards as they were originally written would leave most of us scratching our heads and trying to figure out how these things are relevant to our modern lives. So, yes, the Tarot card meanings have definitely changed over the centuries.
More importantly, the Tarot card meanings can even change depending on what deck you’re using. This is one of the reasons why it’s just crazy to think that you can read Tarot by memorizing all of the Tarot card meanings! Yes, some of the meanings of the cards stay the same regardless of the deck; the Major Arcana cards are the same no matter what deck you’re using.
When it comes to answering the question of whether or not the Tarot card meanings change, there are a couple of schools of thought. Some Tarot readers will tell you that the cards always mean the same thing, no matter what deck you’re using. There are those that are more traditional when it comes to Tarot readings, and they stick pretty close to the original meanings of the cards.
But some of the best Tarot readers that I’ve ever worked with have had a much looser interpretation of the energy behind the Tarot cards. For them, Tarot card meanings are really just a lens through which they can filter the energy of the questions being asked. They might sometimes get an answer or a piece of information that is relevant to the question, but has little to do with the original meaning of the Tarot card that represents it.
When I’m doing a Tarot card reading, I use a combination of these: I allow myself to be open to receive messages or energy from each card, regardless of the images on the card, but I also use some of the basic meanings of the cards to help me focus and refine those messages. Not only does this help keep my readings on track, it also helps me hone my intuitive skills.
Want to learn how to read Tarot cards in your own way? Use the Tarot card meanings to find your voice in my upcoming 6-week online course. Lesson #1 is ready to go, and if you sign up for my emails now, you’ll get access to that first lesson, plus you’ll be on the list to find out when the whole course is ready to go!
Hope you’re having a great week! What are your Tarot cards telling you today?