What is Tarot?

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Podcast, Tarot

Tarot cards are a divination system that has been used for centuries to help people gain insight into their lives and the future. Each tarot card has a meaning, and by reading the cards in combination, it is possible to gain an understanding of what might happen in the future. 

While on the surface tarot cards can look like a fun parlour game, tarot readings can also be used for self-growth and spiritual development as tarot helps you unlock your divine truth.

Where do Tarot cards come from?

The artist is unknown. - Beinecke Library. Public domain.

Although we’ve been enchanted by tarot cards for centuries, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding them. Who created them? What were they used for originally? How did the symbols originate?

Unfortunately, much of the origins of tarot have been lost to the sands of time. It’s thought that tarot cards have their roots in ancient times, but we have very little documentation to that effect.

What is widely documented is that tarot cards were popularised during the Renaissance. 

Even when their appearance was first noted in 1367, it remains unclear what form the cards took and from where exactly they hailed, as details are absent from documents that reference their existence. Documents reference, mostly, the cards being banned.

It is often stated that the earliest forms of tarot were not used for divination, but that tarot was, in fact, a parlour game. If you look back through history, however, divinatory systems were banned with much more fervor than that which was allocated to a mere card game. 

Is it possible the ruling classes decided to ban a card game? Yes. But it’s more likely they banned a divinatory system. Divination is frowned upon in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10), and Europeans of the time were in closer alignment with the Church than we are today.

We may never know how the mystical tarot cards came to be, or what their original purpose was, but here’s one thing we do know; without tarot and its special brand of wisdom life would be far less juicy.

What makes up a tarot deck?

Tarot is a deck comprised of 78 cards. These cards are broken down into the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana is composed of 22 cards, each representing one of life’s major themes.

The Minor Arcana is composed of 4 suits, each with 14 cards: 10 numbered cards, and 4 face cards.

Each suit in the minor arcana represents a different area of life, and each card within the suit represents challenges, lessons, morals, questions, and alternative viewpoints.

78 cards. 78. That’s a lot to memorise, and if you’re new to tarot, you’re likely feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted already.

I get it. 78 cards is a lot, especially when there’s so much nuance involved.

But with a few simple tips and tricks that I’m going to teach you here at Inner Truth Tarot, you’ll be reading tarot cards almost on autopilot.

How do tarot cards work?

While many people believe tarot is a tool used to communicate with spirits, channel messages from a higher being, or even receive communications from others, tarot is much more powerful than that.

While there is certainly power to be gained in communicating with spirits, deities, and other beings, tarot,  in its purest form, is used to unlock the answers that are already residing within you.

You, me, everyone has a divine spark within that contains all the knowledge and wisdom of the universe.

This knowledge is hidden, covered up, and forgotten as we age and become more programmed by society. Our parents, our teachers, our friends, the media, social media, our colleagues, everything we come into contact with programs our minds just a little bit more — whether we want it to, or not; whether we are aware of it, or not.

Divinatory systems like tarot allow you to get to the core of the divine spark.

Tarot allows you to wipe away all the schmutz covering up your wisdom so the pure radiant truth can shine through and illuminate your path.

Are tarot card readings accurate?

Yes, wildly! I began reading tarot when I was a child with my mother, and it still – thirty plus years later – amazes me at how accurate tarot readings are. I have experience with many other divinatory systems, and tarot is the one that continues to amaze me with its accuracy in answering complex questions. 

That said, tarot readings may not seem accurate under a few circumstances:

1. You are, or are working with, an inexperienced reader.

If you go to a tarot card reader or work with a coach who uses tarot cards in their practice, and they are not experienced with the cards, your reading will not be accurate. That isn’t to say the spread of cards is inaccurate, but rather the way the cards are being interpreted and vocalised to you may be inaccurate. 

This is why it’s important to work with an experienced tarot reader, and not someone who just uses their intuition to provide your reading. While intuition definitely has its place in a tarot reading, in order to be accurate, the reader also must know what the meanings of the cards are, and how those meanings morph in relation to other cards. 

2. You can’t see the full picture. 

The other reason a tarot reading may seem inaccurate is because you don’t yet see the full picture. 

While they’re a tool to tap into your divine wisdom, they can only guide you. They cannot literally jump up and down in your face and say, “look, this all makes sense. You’re just blocking out like three important details.” 

It is incumbent upon you, the person who is getting the reading, or using the cards, to realise that your flawed human brain’s number one priority is protecting you from harm. That means you block out a lot of unpleasant information. Many details go missing from memory. You may also have blinders on to the realities of a situation. 

To get an accurate tarot reading, you must, must, must set your ego to the side and be willing to look at the situation objectively. This is difficult. It takes practice, but as you explore tarot, as you work with a spiritual coach and facilitator, you become more skilled at recognising when your ego and your brain are getting in your way.


  1. Skeptical

    If I’m Christian, isn’t divination blasphemous?

  2. Piper

    Just finished my first ever reading with Tarot cards and all I have to say is, whoa.


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