Tarot Dictionary

Check out the tarot dictionary if you are confused about tarot terms. Significator, archetype, reversals, querent, arcana, are you getting lost in tarot lingo? Find a definition of these words in our basic tarot dictionary.







Tarot Dictionary - Common Terms in Alphabetical Order


Archetypes 

In Jungian psychology archetypes are defined as a primitive mental image inherited from our ancestors and shared  in the collective unconscious.


Cartomancy

Using cards for fortune telling. The cards used for fortune telling can be of any kind: tarot, playing cards, angel cards. 


Court Cards

The pages, knights, queens and kings of a tarot deck. They often represent people or aspects of a personality.


Crowley, Aleister

Controversial member of the hermetic order of the Golden Dawn. He designed the Thoth tarot with the help of artist Frieda Harris.


Cups

The tarot suits related to emotions, intuition and creativity.


Divination

The practice of seeking knowledge of future events. Understanding of the present helps predict the possible outcomes.


Esoteric

Intended to be understood by a limited number of people with a specialized knowledge.


Intuition

The ability to understand something immediately, without   conscious reasoning.


Layout

Cards arranged in a predetermined pattern for a tarot reading. The nature of the question defines the appropriate layout.


Marseille, Tarot de

The most popular tarot deck, originally produced in the Marseille area and still used for playing.






Major Arcana

The twenty-two trump cards typical of the tarot deck. They represent main events and archetypal energies at work.


Minor Arcana

The fifty-six tarot cards divided in four suits. They describe situations of everyday life.


Pentacles

One of the four suits of the tarot deck, corresponding in other decks to the coins. This suit is associated with the material world, money and resources.


Pip Cards

Numerical cards that go in the tarot deck from one to ten.


Querent

Whoever is asking a question to the tarot cards.


Question

Formulate the appropriate question to receive a satisfying answer.


Reading

The act of interpreting the card symbols. 


Reader 

Someone who interprets the tarot symbols. With intuition and a little practice, anyone can be a tarot reader.


Reversals

Cards that show upside down in a spread. Some readers give them a special meaning and some don’t.


Rider Waite

The most popular of the illustrated tarot decks. First published in 1909 by Rider. Illustrated by artist Pamela Coleman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite.


Significator

A card that represents the querent in a tarot layout. It can be chosen or picked randomly.


Spread

Pattern in which the tarot cards are arranged for a reading.


Suit

A set of cards distinguished by the same pictorial symbols. In the tarot deck the suits are cups, wands, swords and pentacles. 


Symbol

Something that represents something else, often a material object that stands for an abstract concept and embodies its essence.


Syncronicity

A coincidence of various events that appear to be meaningfully related.


Swords

The suit related to the intellect, challenges and rational mind.


Trumps

A card suit that ranks above the others, in the tarot deck the Major Arcana are the trumps.


Waite, Arthur Edward

Member of the Golden Dawn, creator of the famous Rider-Waite tarot deck-


Wands

A stick or a club as in the suit of wands. This symbol is related to inspiration, projects, activity.








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