A = Aces. I love the aces, they represent the pure energy of the suit. It can be interesting to get the 4 aces together and look for similarities and differences between them to get a sense of the suits and the deck creator’s views of them.
B = Blindfolded. I find the 8 of swords one of the most thought provoking cards. Generally it shows a bound, blindfolded woman who’s not as constrained as it initially appears. It’s one of the cards that frequently has me asking, “But why?” What’s going on for the seeker when this card is drawn?
C = Cups. The suit of feelings and emotions. Elemental association with water.
D = the Devil. There are certain cards in a deck that become the ones that make or break a deck for you. The Devil is one of mine. And also because tarot is more mainstream and less scary than it once was. It’s possible to read tarot cards without being possessed by demons (some elderly family used to fear to even say “tarot” in case they were struck down).
E = Everything and everywhere. Think of all the situations tarot is relevant to, and all the conversations that it can open up. With mini decks and phone apps there are few places where you wouldn’t have access to a deck.
F = Flavour, themes. So much variety. There are decks to suit everyone and even different shapes (eg round cards). Maybe even have a go designing your own! Whatever your interests there’ll be the perfect deck for you somewhere.
G = Guide. A tarot reading can be like talking with a trusted friend. The cards are ready with advice, insight, guidance and sometimes just to sit and reflect your thoughts back to you.
H = The Hermit. Turn your back on that which no longer serves you and take yourself off to some quiet contemplation as you head towards “I”.
I = Tarot is a useful personal development tool for self discovery and revealing your inner knowing. The answers are already within you and tarot can help you access them.
J = “Just one more deck”. I mentioned earlier about the vast quantity of decks available. There’s always a new deck on kickstarter that looks interesting, or a recommendation that you’d like to try out. How many decks is too many? Probably more than you already have, so just one more won’t hurt.
K = Kings. Where the aces are the beginning of the suit, the King can signify someone who has mastery over it, or perhaps someone who is too extreme in that area. The King is the last of the court cards, and those are the personalities of the deck, the 16 court cards (4 per suit) corresponding the 16 archetypes.
L = 50 in Roman numerals. Did you already know that? Some decks have Roman numerals on them, some have Arabic numerals, I imagine some don’t have numbers on at all. Tarot has so much to teach us so I’m going to say L is for learning. Reducing 50 gives us 5 + 0 = 5 which is the number of the Hierophant, a card which can signify traditional learning.
M = The Magician. From the aces as the 1st of each suit, to card 1 of the Major Arcana. The manifestor, with the suits as his tools, and as a conduit between heaven and earth, the magician is a powerful creator.
N = Numerology. Tarot cards are packed full of meaning and symbolism and can be combined with other systems such as astrology and numerology. There is always another layer than be explored, something new to explore in the cards.
O = the Fool. Ok, so technically card 0 rather than card O but does the Fool know that? Starting out with a fresh perspective and unhindered by preconceptions, I’d like to think that the Fool can appear in the middle of the Alphabet. Plus the Fool’s journey (the sequence of the Major Arcana) can be said to be cyclical.
P = Pentacles. The suit of resources and material items. It is also the most grounded of the suits. Elemental association with Earth.
Q = Quintessence. See L – by adding the digits of the card numbers together you can add another dimension into a card reading.
R = Ritual. Some readers have a ritual, a reading cloth they lay their cards on. A way to clear their mind and connect with the energies. A certain way of shuffling and maybe of cutting the deck. A way of cleansing the deck before and after a reading. There’s no right or wrong here, just what works for you.
S = Sword. The suit of ideas and thoughts, and logic. Elemental association with air.
T = The Tower, a catalyst of change. For some people this is the scariest (most off-putting) card in the deck). Never mind the Devil or the Death cards; the Tower is the real disaster card. Or is it?
U = Universal. There are decks to appeal to all sorts of people and anyone can learn to read the cards. Modern decks are increasingly diverse and inclusive.
V = Values. Decide on your ethics and guidelines prior to setting up as a reader. What’s important to you? What kind of service and readings will you provide, and not provide? Will you read gently with compassion or have a more direct approach?
W = Wands. The suit of passion and energy. Elemental association with fire.
X = X marks the spot! A spread is a way of giving meaning to card positions and can be an important part of the reading.
Y = You. The reader / seeker, it’s all about you.
Z = Zealots. There are lots of myths and so called rules around, and some people have firm views on what is and isn’t right. Tarot is versatile and there are as many ways to read as there are readers. Find your own way and don’t let anyone put you off. Enjoy your cards.