Magic of Tarot
Look ahead with a heavenly touch.
Published: May 22, 2012
Gentle life affirmations from the angels.
Tarot is a divination tool that dates back to the 14th century, and possibly to ancient Egypt. The second t in tarot is silent, so the word is pronounced “tair [rhymes with hair] oh.” Interestingly, in North America, the first syllable of the word is emphasized, whereas in other regions, it’s the second syllable.
Tarot has touched the lives of countless individuals, giving them peace, comfort, and insight in times of joy as well as in times of challenge. It’s one of the most accurate ways to receive detailed guidance about your future and answers to your questions. Consulting tarot cards is like spending time with a dear wise relative who acknowledges both the shadows and the joys of life. However, many people are put off or frightened by the traditional images and phrases in tarot. So we created the Angel Tarot Cards to preserve the ancient divination methods, while using only positive, gentle, and life-affirming words and pictures.
We retained the full scope of human emotions and experiences from traditional tarot, but reinterpreted the fear-based images and words to enlighten, rather than to frighten, those who use the cards.
Our reinterpretation brings new and vibrant symbolism that may be unfamiliar to experienced tarot practitioners. However, whether you’re new to tarot or well versed in it, you’ll find that the messages in this deck are uplifting, refreshing, and accurate. We’ve endeavored to preserve tarot’s traditional detailed answers, while simultaneously simplifying the interpretations so you don’t have to wade through multiple pages to receive guidance.
Tarot was originally two sets of cards, the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. (Arcana is the plural of arcanum, meaning a deep or profound secret or mystery.) The two sets were later combined into the now-traditional 78 cards.
The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards that describe major events and turning points in our lives (such as marriage, pregnancy, relationship and career changes, and overcoming personal challenges). The Major Arcana can also represent the different phases from childhood to old age.
The Minor Arcana represents more ordinary day-to-day life events and are divided into four suits or elements: fire, water, air, and earth. The Minor Arcana cards are numbered 1 (Ace) through 10, plus the court cards—a Page (card 11), a Knight (card 12), a Queen (card 13), and a King (card 14)—for each suit.
It’s most common to treat the tarot as one deck of cards. However, some people, like me (Doreen), prefer to use the Major Arcana separately from the Minor Arcana. As you work with the Angel Tarot Cards, you’ll notice that each Major Arcana card features one of the 15 principal archangels! (A few archangels appear on more than one card, as they embody aspects of several cards.) These archangels provide strong protection and clear guidance as you travel along your spiritual path. The Major Arcana cards can also be mixed in with your other angel oracle decks to provide additional details in your readings.
The Minor Arcana consists of four suits or elements. We represent the earth element with paintings of fairies, air with unicorns, water with mermaids, and fire with friendly dragons. (Since air is traditionally represented by swords in tarot, we replaced the weapons with the gentler one of unicorns whose horns are swordlike.)
Court cards can represent either a situation or a person during a reading. When the reading shows the influence of another person in your life (such as a lover), Pages and Queens represent females (or feminine men), and Knights and Kings represent males (or masculine women).
On a historical note, the Major Arcana was originally created with Justice as the 8th card and Strength as the 11th card. However, at the turn of the 20th century, Arthur Edward Waite flipped the cards’ positions when he created his famous Rider-Waite deck. His reasons for doing so were obscure, and disruptive to the flow of the Major Arcana’s spiritual-path story. So we’ve restored them to their original positions in the Angel Tarot Cards.
Since each individual tarot card has multiple possible meanings, we recommend that you read each description in the guidebook and let your intuition lead you to the appropriate interpretation of the reading. Trust your angels and feelings to guide you. The cards in this deck are rich with symbolism and imagery, and the illustrations also provide answers and messages. Notice where your attention is drawn within each card’s painting, as the illustration can hold equally important messages. The guidebook, coupled with your intuition, will help you understand the answers to all of your questions.
Reversed or upside-down cards mean that you especially need to focus upon the issue connected to that particular card. Reversals can also mean that the energy around that particular card’s meaning is beginning to lessen.
Doreen Virtue is a spiritual doctor of psychology and a fourth-generation metaphysician who works with the angelic, elemental, and ascended-master realms in her writings and workshops.