Story by Hannah Morey, Reporter
Tarot is the art of fortune-telling using a specialized deck of cards. Created around the 1430s in Italy, tarot cards were an experimental addition to regular decks of cards. Unlike a standard 52-card deck with four suits, tarot decks contain 78 cards and five suits. The extra suit is called the “major arcana,” consisting of 22 named cards, each with anecdotal significance. Their use as a fortune-telling instrument started in France around the 1780s.
Tarot readings have become increasingly popular in recent years. Like many others during quarantine, I chose to try my hand with the mystical cards, buying a set in September 2020. Contained in the box was the 78-card deck, along with a guidebook on what each card means. Not only do the major arcana have significance, but every card in the deck means something. A card in reverse also has meaning. Therefore, there are 156 different interpretations in the entire tarot deck, much of which are up to the reader and client. Depending on the tarot deck one owns, pictures may also give away details on the meaning of cards. So how come every tarot reading is accurate in my eyes? Because the mind always falls back on its ability to tell stories.
Though giving a client a simple “yes” or “no” answer is not the best way to go about tarot readings, it is also not wrong. Tarot cards are broad and interpretable, not grounded in any singular meaning. The one-word answer of “Yes” comes with lots of baggage attached. Even after receiving that answer, people yearn to know more about the next step. The psychological process of the human mind thirsts for knowledge, especially .
As a tarot reader, it is my job to read the cards and help assuage the worries of the person in front of me. The interpretation of the cards is fully up to the client, as they alone understand their circumstances. When asking me a question, regardless of what cards fall out, you know the answer. Whatever interpretation you think of first, be it a meaningful coincidence or a harsh reality, tarot cards push forth what is already at the back of your mind. A deck of 78 cards will never have those capabilities, but you and I do. Tarot readings will always be accurate because the emotions brought up throughout the reading are real, even if the pictures are symbolic.