Reading the tarot
A tarot deck comprises of 22 major Arcana cards, and 56 minor Arcana cards. The minor Arcana then split into four suits. These include court cards for each suit as well as numbered cards from 1 to 10.
The court cards are generally but not exclusively, King, Queen, Knight, and Page. Decks do vary but these are basically what they are formed around.
The numbered cards in each suit are from the Ace through to card number 10.
The four suits of the tarot are generally, but again not exclusively, Wands, cups, swords, pentacles. These are then broken down once again into representing an element.
Wands equals the element of Fire
Cups equals the element of Water
Swords equals the element of Air
Pentacles equals the element of Earth
There has long been a superstition that it is unlucky to buy tarot cards for yourself. But this is not true! If you do not get the chance to look at the decks and choose which one you would like how are you going to know that you can relate to the images and be happy with them? There is such a huge selection on the market these days, and often on the Internet you get to see the new decks that are either just about to be released or have just been released. There is some thing for everyone, from traditional decks to fantasy art decks, decks that are very modern like the Faulkner tarot, which are excellent, and ones with more childlike images, fairies and the like. You really need to choose something that you can relate to and understand easily. At a later date you can always move on to something that is more steeped with traditional imagery.
The cards generally come with a small white book, these give you an outline of the meanings of the cards but are often the interpretation of the artist. The more traditional ones will show you more about the symbols within the cards, and sometimes the meanings are less flexible. The best way to deal with your cards is to just get to know them, handle them, and then say what you see. My preferred method of reading is the intuitive one rather than the rigid outlines that some books can give. And if you lay them out and practice on yourself to start with you can quite often read them like a story and this is where you will find you build up your own meanings and interpretations.