The Ultimate Guide to Tarot is an easy-to-use, yet comprehensive reference that introduces the tarot, providing steps on how to begin reading and options for card layouts, followed by a detailed survey of every card of the major and minor arcana.

Uncover the facts, myth, history, and mystery of the spiritual art of tarot reading. Whether you want to learn to read the cards or deepen your tarot interpretation skills, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot honours the deep heritage of tarot, while guiding you through practical techniques.

Tarot expert Liz Dean offers an overview to all of the important elements of each card, from interpreting their symbols to their links with astrology, kabbala, and numerology. The Ultimate Guide to Tarot also includes all the classic tarot spreads: Celtic Cross, Horseshoe, Star, and Astrological Year Ahead; plus, a mini-layout to try for each of the 22 major arcana cards.

Learn how to combine the three essential ingredients of a great tarot reading: knowing the meaning of the cards, how to lay them out, and trusting the intuitive messages the images often spark within us during a reading. This synthesis is the true magic of tarot.

With the authority and confidence this book offers, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot is the must-have companion for beginner readers and tarot aficionados alike.


From the Publisher

An overview to all things tarot.

Includes all the classic tarot spreads–Celtic Cross, Horseshoe, Star and Astrological Year Ahead–plus, a mini-layout to try for each of the 22 major cards.

What About Reversals?

You will see that all the card interpretations in this book contain both upright and reversed card meanings. An upright card is just that—when you turn it over, it is upright. A card is known as reversed when it is upside down.

There are lots of books dealing solely with reversed meanings. With a few exceptions, a reversed card’s meaning is generally more negative than the positive, or upright, meaning. However, many tarot professionals ignore reversals in a reading and just turn the cards the right way up if they come out reversed; they use their intuition to interpret the card in a positive or negative light. Do whatever feels right for you.

Get Intuitive: Work with Images First

You will be guided to notice certain symbols on the cards. Each card is full of symbols—but you will find that you notice one or two features that really stand out in each picture. These are what I call your intuition hooks. Once you hone in on these, go deeper and connect with how they make you feel. Don’t worry about the written card meanings in this book just yet. Say whatever comes to your mind straight away—before you begin to think what the symbols mean—and imagine yourself telling a story.

To develop the reading, trying looking at the quick-reference meanings only and then go back to the card images. Staying with the image as long as you can stimulates your intuition, which is essential to a reading, whereas reading the words engages your logical left brain, which often becomes the judge, questioning if you’ve got it ‘right.’

There’s no right or wrong—just your interpretation. You can read the detailed card meanings when you’re not giving a reading to develop knowledge. But to begin with, look at the pictures first; this technique can help you read any deck of cards, not just Rider-Waite tarot.


Ace of Cups Five of Pentacles Ten of Swords Six of Wands
Element Water Earth Air Fire
Astrological Association The Water signs—Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces Mercury in Taurus Mercury in Virgo Jupiter in Leo
Tree of Life Position Kether, for divine light Geburah, the sphere of power Malkuth, the Kingdom, the sphere of experience Tiphareth, the sphere of beauty and rebirth
Key Meanings Love, relationships, and beginnings A test of resources Endings Victory


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