Shuffle Tarot Cards, Not Tarot Books | 5 Simple Steps to Reading the Major Arcana

Leanne Margaret teaches Tarot in the Yarra Valley. Contact Seville Community House on 5964 3987
The Sun from The Mythic Tarot
Have you ever drawn a blank when it comes to reading the Major Arcana of the Tarot? Would you like to connect with their meaning in a way that doesn't rely on your memory?

Forget Memory!

This article outlines a step by step method to help you gain access to the wisdom of the Tarot, minus busting the mood by shuffling through books.

If you're new to using Tarot, the Major Arcana are the cards that are usually marked 0 - 21. (Except the Mythic Tarot, pictured. You can recognise those by their lack of numbering.) The Major Arcana cards begin with The Fool and end with The World. They are distinct from the suit cards that are numbered Ace - Ten in each minor arcana set of Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords. Other variations include Staves, Rods, Knives, Chalices, Coins, etc. depending on which deck you choose.

The Major Arcana represent overarching archetypal stories playing out in our lives.

In other words, if the minor arcana is the story, the Major Arcana represents the themes running through that story.

Those themes describe human initiations/lessons in things like choice, cause & effect, surrender, trust, discipline, nurturing, letting go and mastering energetic forces.

You Will Need a Full 78 Card Tarot Deck

So, let me show you how to tune into a theme or archetypal lesson running through your life at the moment. Just grab your full 78 card Tarot deck and do one of two things:

  • Separate the Major Arcana cards from the minor arcana and set the minor arcana aside - you won't be using them for this reading. Shuffle the Major Arcana cards and cut the deck, revealing your card. 
  • Shuffle the cards, cut the deck, and flip a card. If it's a Major Arcana Card, then great, you have your card. If not, keep flipping until you get one. Don't worry, it won't take long, but make sure you read the first Major Arcana card that appears - No Tarot cheating!
Now, grab a pen and a notebook. It doesn't need to be large. My own reading notes are provided in italics as an example of how simple this exercise can be. Remember, Tarot isn't some spooky force that has more power and insight than you do. Tarot is a mirror; It shows you nothing, except what is already there reflected from your own life and the impressions it's making.

Ok. Let's read Tarot:

1. Name the Card

Write down your card name and free associate the word. This means writing down whatever words come to mind associated with the card name.
The Sun: Warmth, growth, light, awareness, courage, clarity, the end of the night, hope. 
Classical Tarot: a 'Yes' card.

2.  See the Card

Look at the picture on the card. Write down any colours that stand out. What is the general mood or feeling around the setting pictured? Who or what is pictured? Are there any noticeable features about this person or in this place? Are there any plants, animals, or extra people in the background? What stands out to you? 
All is sunny, bright, fertile and fresh. All is Golden. A tall, strong man dressed in white, with massive golden wings. He stands in front of two golden columns, supporting a cornice and frieze displaying images of various people. Behind the columns, a lush, green field and a pair of pine trees. The man is holding a musical instrument and a bow.

3. Feel the Card

Feel the card by placing it over your navel. Pay attention to how your stomach feels and describe it in a word or a sentence. Pay attention to any thoughts, impressions, images or colours that appear in your mind. No matter how basic.

Then, do the same with the heart. Pay attention to the feeling, as well as any faces or stories that might suddenly appear in your mind. Record impressions from any sense, any sensation, any thought. Nothing is too random at this stage of free association. Don't judge it now. There's time for all that at the end of your reading. For now, just get it all down.
Stomach: A pulling sensation, like my belly is pulling the fire in. It's giving me 'fire in the belly.' 
Heart: I feel a smile in my heart and an image of a smiley emoji flashes through my mind.😀

4. Meet and Immerse

Relax your body and perform a 'purposeful exhale' or sigh to release tension. Close your eyes and imagine yourself inside the card. Imagine you have opened your eyes and found yourself inside the setting of the card. Feel the ground beneath your feet and sense the mood of where you find yourself.

Don't worry, you are only using your imagination. It's a pathway toward intuition, which is a normal human function leading to insight, invention, and creativity.

If any people are present, say hi and ask them why they think you might have found yourself in their image. Record any impressions that come to you, noting your responses to the information too. How we respond to things can reveal a lot.
The grass feels soft and warm beneath my feet. I feel energised in this place. 
I am told: 'Do the things you contemplate. Go on and be bright in your life. Move onto the field with purpose.' 😎

5. Review and Summarise

Now, read over your notes, marking anything that attracts or repels you. Anything that creates an emotional response of any nature shows you where the most energy is. That's how you hone down your message into something that you can take-away with you and remember later. Write your underlined words into a story that makes sense in the context of your life in that moment. The card will read differently in a different moment. You gain the advantage of personal specificity by surrendering the book meanings and trusting your own impressions.
All is Golden. The Sun has come out to mark the end of the Dark Night of the Soul. It's time to come into the light with courage and purpose. A fertile and replenishing time awaits if I can open my wings. 

They're Not So Scary - They're Metaphors

Well, I couldn't be more delighted with my reading. I hope yours is as friendly. Remember, none of the cards are scary. They are metaphors. For example don't take The Death card literally. We endure little deaths on a daily basis. The end of a Netflix series could easily show up as The Death card. So don't freak out about any of them. The messages are usually MUCH more mundane than we think. Hollywood has trained us to expect dramatic or even scary Tarot/Psychic experiences, but most of our lives aren't that dramatic. So keep your reactions moderate. But if you do have a reaction such as 'OMG What if...!' Just ask yourself, 'what else could this mean?'

If you really want to learn in a practical way, at the end of each day, ask the Tarot: show me the day I had today. Then, turn over a card and think about how that card mirrors something that happened. Look for your day's story/mood/colour/person in your chosen card. 

May you be a clear channel. X

Leanne Margaret © 2019

Where to find your next deck of tarot cards:

102 Railway Avenue
Ringwood East, Vic, 3135
0414 964 155
Phone first.

Shop 2, 91 Brice Avenue
Mooroolbark, Vic, 3138
03 9726 8924

126 Russell Street
Melbourne, Vic, 3000
03 9650 3955


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