By Katherine Heiden
Tarot card interpretations can be tricky, but with practice and sensitivity we can turn readings into fun, informative undertakings. It is important to remember, though, that the meaning of a specific trump changes according to where it can be found within the layout. Knowledge of the deck is crucial when making Tarot card interpretations. If you don't have a firm grasp of what each trump's basic meaning is, you might try reading one of the many fine books on the subject. In fact, Tarot card interpretations will be much easier if such a reference is at hand during your learning period.
In the Major Arcana alone, there are 44 basic meanings. Not including those interpretations based on their position within a spread, each card carries one definition when it appears upright, and a second when it is reversed. In the suits, the basic 56 cards, again, have dual meanings, bringing the number of basic Tarot card interpretations to 156. And that's only the start, because each realm in the spread contains variations depending on what is drawn to hold that position. Possible interpretations number into the thousands, and become even more complex when applied to the many different layouts available. Without adequate reference material, novice readers are in danger of being overwhelmed by the sheer number of interactions.
The good news is that Tarot card interpretations become intuitive once an understanding of the basic meanings has been achieved. Experienced Tarot dealers agree that the more often they perform readings, the better they are able to "feel" the true meaning of each spread . It is an amazing feeling of enlightenment when one realizes that the spread suddenly makes perfect sense, and their meanings have become natural and flowing. When the deck has come alive for the reader, each trump played almost seems to announce how it fits into the puzzle of divination, and the questioner is able to feel the sheer power which emanates from their personal reading.
The path to such forceful Tarot card interpretations requires patience. Avid study and deep concentration are required, as well as a totally focused concentration. There are no shortcuts to successful Tarot card interpretations. One must study the deck, ponder subtle meanings, practice spreads, and concentrate on the interpretations. The pay-off is a sense of accomplish and power, and the complete amazement when the mystical deck reveals the road to success and fruitfulness.
The best way to learn tarot card interpretations is to begin your study of the tarot with a good book. If you need a good guide to tarot for beginners, I would recommend this book. I started off with this as a resource, and it has been indispensable to me throughout my career as a professional tarot card reader.