ASALI'S tarot journal

My tarot notes over the years.


The Tarot

We all come to the system of Tarot for many reasons, ranging from curiosity to desperation.

Unfortunately, the interest often starts to wane when they do manage to pick out their first deck and suddenly there's 78 cards with weird imagery before them and too often a LWB that's just the most basic of keyword meanings. They know there's more, especially knowing me who tends to wax poetic about some of the cards and tarot as a practice. It's just very hard to get there from just the information the deck comes with.

As with most things worthwhile, it takes a little work. And we've got options! There is no one specific route to mastering the tarot- any anyone who implies there is should be met with disbelief and a handwave. In the end, tarot is a personal journey and the only thing that can be promised is that continued practice builds skill. How you learn and practice, is your choice!


You should probably have a tarot deck.... or not. Maybe you want to start out with an oracle deck, or even lenormand or playing cards. Decide which route you want to go. The tips here are primarily for tarot learners, but it's worth a look to see which might apply to other forms of cartomancy.


If you do go with a tarot deck, it's best practice to understand what tradition the deck creators were working with. The most common are Rider-Waite-Smith (often abbreviated RWS), Thoth, and Marseilles. Most decks out there will likely be RWS and this is the most recommended tradition for those just starting out with tarot. Not that it's better or necessarily easier, I believe it's a matter of information availability. There's just a ton on the RWS tradition out there. If you are looking for decks that speak to a multiplicity of experiences, I recommend browsing my Tarot of the QTPOC list for some fabulous candidates.

Major Arcana

About the major arcana

Minor Arcana

About the minor arcana

Suit of Swords

ruled by air; realm of logic and communication

Suit of Wands

ruled by fire; realm of spirit and creation

Suit of Cups

ruled by water; realm of connection and emotion.

Suit of Pentacles

ruled by earth; realm of practicality and material need