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Is there more than one way to interpret tarot cards?

Do people interpret the same cards differently? I wasn’t sure if there was just one straight meaning behind the cards, or is it more like what something might mean to you. I got a different interpretation then a few people on a spread I did. But those other people both had different view points. So I guess I’m not sure how this works

8 COMMENTS

  1. yes, depending on who is doing the reading & who the receiver is. however there is a long tradition as well as i learned from three friends in my past who are experts in tarot.

  2. Yes, they originate from and belong to the Devil, that very one that told a vicious lie at the garden and still telling lies today. Run away from those cards, burn if you have them. Why invite the Devil into anyone’s life?

  3. Most tarot decks have a book that gives the basic interpretation. After practicing, you may pick up on other nuances though.

  4. Cards do indeed have different meanings to different people. I can translate a card in a different way than you, or than a friend but that doesn’t mean that any of us are actually wrong.
    I know there are people who do like to go by the book definitions though and I’ve heard of people who think you’re wrong if you don’t use the definition from the book that they’re familiar with.
    I guess that then comes down to the fact that truth tends to be relative as well. If you don’t believe me look at the comment above the one above mine. -eyeroll-

  5. Hello darling
    Yes all readers can interpret differently during traditional readings, after time we all build our own relationship with them.
    But the cards themselves when looked at from a traditional angle pretty much mean what they mean.
    Maybe it is time for you to study them yourself, that way it is you building the relationship with them & you who will be able to interpret them, but to be able to do that you need to be able to be detached from your questions.
    Sadhara

  6. The little booklets that come with the decks vary in their interp of the cards, as do the books written.
    If you’re doing personal spreads, keep the books handy. Eventually, you won’t need them. Intuition will take over, and you’ll get some really good readings. Some of the cards may take on meanings that have nothing to do with the interp. For instance, one of the major arcana cards may represent a close friend from whom you are separated by distance. When you do a spread, and that card shows up, you’ll be hearing from or seeing him soon.
    Good luck

  7. If each Tarot card had an immutable and unequivocal meaning, then a computer program would make the ideal Tarot reader. But that’s not the way they work.
    My opinion is that anyone interested in using the Tarot for either divination or meditation should throw away any booklet that comes with the deck which supposedly tells you the meaning of each card.
    If you’re using them for divination, it’s a hopeless task trying to look up each card to understand it’s meaning in isolation, then trying to apply that to it’s position in the spread and _then_ trying to relate the meanings of each card in its position to every other card so that you can make sense of what’s being said in the spread.
    Instead, I suggest you spend enough time studying each card closely — meditating on it, if you will — for you to fully understand the meaning of that card FOR YOU and for this knowledge to be truly internalised. For many cards, most people will see the same meanings because the imagery is fairly obvious, but if you truly get to know each card, it’s likely you will discover your own shadings and subtleties of meaning for them.
    So the answer to your question is yes, there is more than one way to interpret Tarot cards, but the only way that should really matter to you is the way that YOU interpret the cards.

  8. People do indeed interpret cards differently, in part because different people attribute different meanings to the cards. The reason for this lies in the cards’ history. Tarot cards do not have an occult origin, instead they were invented in 15th century Italy for use in a card game. They were created by adding a fifth suit to the then standard pack of playing cards, this extra cards took as their theme a Christian triumph procession, hence they were called trionfi, meaning triumphs, and from which we get our word trump. It was the invention of tarot that marked the invention of trumps in card games.
    It was not until the very late 17th century that people began to use tarot for divination and the meanings attributed to the cards were the product of invention based upon erroneous beliefs about the cards’ origins. For example, The Hanged Man is often described as self sacrifice – well no one in France or the English speaking world quite knew what else to make of a man suspended by one foot! However, in the cards’ native Italy, this card was known as The Traitor – because that’s how they killed their traitors, suspending them upside down and leaving them to die slowly and publically.
    In the 19th century, French occultists began to attribute new origins to the cards and with them new meanings – the most important was the belief that they were Cabbalistic. Over time, new occultists interpreted the cards according to their various occult systems, be they of The Golden Dawn or the OTO to name just a couple. However, gradually, the design of the occult cards became rather more post-modern, with little regard to strict systems and a greater emphasis on personal interpretation. These days, anything goes, which, given their real origin, is more fitting. Just look at the picture and go with whatever feels right to you.
    Personally, I do not believe that fortune telling is possible – however, were it so, it is hard to believe that some card with ink on has any special powers, so any foretelling of the future is coming from the reader, not the cards. The long and the short of it is this, whatever you believe about the possibility of knowing the future, the books on tarot meanings are meaningless.
    On a side note, I will point out that tarot games are not a thing of the past but are still played throughout much of continental Europe and those of us who play them think that they are the best card games in the world – so if you tire of fortune telling, do check out the games!

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