Beginners Lesson One

Basic Structure of a Tarot Deck

A Standard pack of Tarot cards will have 78 cards in it.

The deck is divided into two distinct parts.

The Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. (Arcana means secrets or mysteries)

The Major Arcana has 22 cards, numbered 0 to 21.

The Minor Arcana has 56 cards and is divided into 4 suits, commonly called Wands, Cups, Swords and Discs/Coins or Pentacles.

Each suit has an Ace and cards numbered 2 – 10, these are called Pips. The other 4 cards are commonly called Court cards or maybe People or Family cards. The traditional names for these cards are Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings. Although there are other names and they may be different in your deck. Eg: Daughters, Sons, Priestess, Shaman, or Princess, Prince, Queen, Knight, or Daughter, Son, Mother, Father.

An exercise to become familiar with the structure of your Tarot Deck.

Shuffle your deck of cards really well. Do this in what ever way is comfortable for you, there is no wrong or right way to shuffle. Experiment.

Then looking at each card, lay them out into 5 piles. One for Major Arcana, and one for each of the Suits of the Minor Arcana.

Check to make sure you don’t put Court/Family cards in the Major Arcana pile or some of the Major Arcana cards with people on them in suit piles as Court/People cards.

Take you time and look at each card carefully.

Do this a few times until you are confident you are totally familiar with the basic structure of you Tarot Deck.

© copy right 2011 by Bella Lori Gagnon
all rights reserved

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