Tarot is a fascinating magic study that can give you a powerful tool to gather information and use for divination. When you first begin to learn tarot, you must of course understand the meaning of each of the cards. A good way to do this is to become personally involved with them instead of just memorizing descriptions. The meaning of the card can vary according to the reading you are doing, so developing a personal relationship and understanding of the cards can help them come alive for you in readings thus giving you the meaning in that reading in that situation. Before you can become personally involved with the cards however, you first need to key your deck. This ties the deck into your own energies and the energies from the Universe itself.
The first step to keying the Tarot deck is putting the deck in natural order. Following is the order the cards need to be put in for natural order. These should be placed with the first card listed face down on the top of the deck.
- 2-10, Page, Knight, Queen, King, Ace of Wands
- 2-10, Page, Knight, Queen, King, Ace of Swords
- 2-10, Page, Knight, Queen, King, Ace of Cups
- 2-10, Page, Knight, Queen, King, Ace of Discs
- 1-21 of the Major Arcana with the Fool being the last card
Keying The Deck
Sit in the South facing North with your keyed Plate (Earth tool) and Tarot deck arranged in natural order in front of you.
Put two candles that are either Sun Yellow, White, or Sky Blue on either side of the Plate. The candle on the right is the Wisdom candle and the one on the left is the Protection candle. Light the Wisdom candle with a wooden match, then keeping the match lit, sweep it down in an arc over the Plate to the Protection candle and light it. Finish up by moving the lit match in a sweeping arc back over the Plate to touch the flame of the Wisdom candle that is already lit. This process creates a connection between the two candles.
Now take your Tarot deck and put the first card on top of the deck, which should be the 2 of Wands, face up on your Plate.
Look at the card noticing the color, flatness, dimensions of it without focusing on any particular detail. Continue looking at the card, not with a hard stare but rather a soft gaze and start asking questions such as “What time of day is it?” or “Is that a town in the background?” or “Is that an ocean or a lake?” You aren’t looking for answers to these questions; they are simply to create curiosity about the card. Continue asking questions until the card “windows”. When the card “windows” it will become clearer, more alive, three dimensional, more colorful or brighter. It will feel like you are looking through a window at the scene on the card.
The card is now keyed and you can take it off the Plate and put it face down to start a pile next to the Plate. Then do the process with the next card.
Since this process takes a while, you don’t have to do it all at once. You can do a few at a time. If you have a card that you can’t get to “window”, just put it to the side and try again later. This can happen if you have some type of issue about that card.
Wearing Tarot Cards
After keying all your Tarot cards you are ready to learn Tarot card meanings. Wearing a different card each day will help you gain personal knowledge about the cards. You will experience how the card feels and get messages from the Universe about the card that you put on for the day. Here’s how you “wear” a Tarot card:
Pick one of the Tarot cards from the deck and spend several minutes just really looking at it. Look at the symbols on the card, the pictures on it and the number of each. Think about what you know about the 4 elements in relation to the symbols. For example, if the card has cups in it then you know it is associated with the Water element since the magical tool for this element is the Chalice. The Water element deals with emotions and feelings so you’ll also know that the card deals with these areas. Focus all your intention on the card and listen for it to “speak” to you. This might happen by you seeing or feeling it come alive by seeing movement in it, hearing words in your mind associated with it or that you notice changes in the brightness of the colors. Absorb the energies you feel from the card and take this energy with you the rest of the day. At the end of the day make notes about what you observed and how your thoughts, feelings, behaviors and interactions were affected that day.
Really getting to know the cards and creating a personal experience with them and what they mean will help you develop a deeper understanding of them. That way when you do readings you don’t just have a memorized definition that you have to try to fit into the reading, you’ll have a whole new perspective on the card meaning and the relationship with it to understand what it is saying in any particular Tarot reading you do. If you’re ready to move on and develop a deeper understanding of the Tarot and how to work with it, check out our online Tarot Course.