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TAROT: A Simple Break down

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

A standard deck consist of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana typically relate to matters of a high significance or a deep purpose whereas the Minor Arcana concerns itself with matters of mundane, every-day living. The Minor Arcana is made up of 56 cards which the average person will recognize as being similar to a standard poker deck. The 56 cards are comprised of four suits from Ace to 10 with a Page, Knight, Queen and King. The four suits of the Minor Arcana relate to the four elements and certain modes of magic associated with those elements. For example: Wands relate to fire and Candle Magic, "Hot" Herbs (cinnamon, ginger, etc...) Cups relate to water and the magic of bathing, spiritual waters, condition oils, and "Cool" Herbs (Mint, Chamomile, etc...) Swords relate to air and the magic of prayer and incense. Pentacles relate to the element of earth and the magic of dirts, amulets, and talismans (including mojo bags). So when you are doing a reading with the intent of prescribing a rite to an individual, if your "Future" or "Outcome" card is one of the Minor Arcana the first thing you should look at is the suit. This will give you an idea of what element the seeker should work with. Next, you would look at specific images in the card itself for ways in which to work with the element and this would obviously also depend on the seeker's question or issue. For example, let's say that your client feels that they are being jinxed by an enemy (and the cards indicate that this is so). Your "Future" card is the Nine of Wands. Looking at the card, you may notice that 8 of the wands seem to be forming a fence (or wall) around the central figure in the card. Knowing that the wands relate to fire you may instruct your client to load a human-figural candle with their personal concerns and surround this with 9 candles dressed with fiery wall of protection oil. You might also notice that the figture is wearing a white-bandage around his head and instruct the client to wear a white handkerchief or bandanna around their head to keep their enemy from getting in their head. Now let's say that instead of the Nine of Wands your "Future" Card was the Three of Pentacles. In this instance, you might instruct the client to gather dirt from three holy places and carry it in a mojo bag along with their written petition for protection and have a priest say a blessing over the bag. Why would you advise that based on this card? Pentacles relate to the element of earth, the three of pentacles shows an architect building a church or cathedral who is consulting with a nun and a monk. In addition, there are several minor arcana cards which have specific meanings that relate to the practice of Hoodoo in a direct manner. For example. Two of Swords- Cut and Clear (crossed swords resemble scissors).

Three of Swords- Piercing an animal heart with pins to cause pain for good or evil (may substitute a doll baby, or a waxen image of a heart for the animal's heart)

Queen of Wands- Black Cat Hair, Black Cat Bone (black cat in foreground)

7 of Cups- Working with Dream, dream visitation, etc...

Eight of Swords- Binding and blind folding a doll baby of an enemy and sealing it in a mirror box (central figure surrounded by shiny swords)

10 of Swords- Resembles a "pin-stuck" doll. Ace of Pentacles- Carrying a talisman such as a silver dime.

Four of Wands- Peaceful Home Products (Candle, Oil, etc...)

Four of Pentacles- Money Stay with Me, making a "money pot", lodestone attraction spells I'd like to pause here to say that just because you see a certain element in a card and think that it may be appropriate for the situation in question does not necessarily mean you have to use that specific curio. For example you draw the Queen of Wands and see the black cat and immediately think of the black cat bone. The problem is you don't have a black cat bone and are not cold-hearted enough obtain one by harming an innocent cat. In this case, you may wish to substitute another herbs, oil, or curio for the same purpose. Black cat bones are traditionally use for luck in gambling, invisibility, or to return a lost love. Therefore you may wish to substitute Lucky Hand Root (gambling), Fennel Seed (invisibility), or Damiana (return a lost love).

Meditations on the Major Arcana The Major Arcana is somewhat different from the Minor Arcana in that each card is not specifically associated with the four elements in a clear and / or direct manner. In those instances when you are prescribing rites based on Major Arcana cards you have to look at the card for specific elements in the card which you feel speaks to the nature of the clients issue or condition. Below is a list of the Major Arcana Cards and some of the associations I have made between them and popular Hoodoo Conditions and various modes of Magic. The Fool- Candle Magic (The Sun as Fire Symbol), Mojo Bags (the bundle), Herbs (the flower), Magnetic Scotty Dogs, Dog Hair (the white dog)

The Magician- Any Element (the four tools), Rose Petals (the Roses), Snake Sheds (the snake belt).

The High Priestess- Reversing Candles (the Pillars), Psalms & Seals (the Torah), Talismans (the Cross on her chest), Waxing Moon (the crescent at her feet).

The Empress- Herbs associated with Love, Attraction, Prosperity such as Queen Elizabeth, Damiana, etc...; Spiritual Baths/Water (the stream), Bread (the wheat), Mirrors and Mirror Boxes (the symbol of Venus. Doll Babies (the stuffed pillows).

The Emperor- Crown of Success (the Crown), Road Opener, Oranges, Orange Leaves (Orange Background), Commanding Oil, Commanding herbs (licorice root)

The Hierophant- The Power of Prayer, Sigils and Magic Gestures (blessing sign made by Pope), Unblocking, Working with St. Peter, Crossroads, Crossroads Dirt, (crossed keys)

The Lovers- Sex Magic, Working with Angels, Penis/Vagina Candles, Adam and Eve Root, Snake Sheds, Human Figure Candles, Marriage Candles, Apples, Sweeteners (apple is a natural sweetener)

The Chariot- Road Opener, Magnetic Scotty Dogs, Spell Boxes /Bottles (the square on the rider's chest), jewelry as talismans, bird's feathers (the winged symbol on the front of the chariot).

Strength- The Colors Yellow, Orange, and Green; Dandelion Root (the lion) Deer's Tongue, Cow Tongue (the lion's tongue)

The Hermit- Candle Magic, Magic Lamps (the lantern), Cooling Herbs (the cold); Meditation and Prayer.

Wheel of Fortune- Sigils, Seals, and Talismans (central symbol), Working with Angels, Snake Sheds (the snake), Familiar Spirits, Goetic Spirits (figures with books)

Justice- Crown of Success (figure's crown), Just Judge, Incense (the sword),

The Hanged Man- The Colors Blue and Red, Familiar Spirits, Reversing Rituals, Psychic Vision, Bound and Ties Doll Babies.

Death- Santa Muerte, Death Spells, Working with Ancestors, Spirits of the Dead, Skull Candles

Temperance- Baths, Spiritual Waters, Cooling Herbs, Angels

The Devil- Working with the Trickster, Devil at the Crossroads, Candle Magic, Divorce Candles, Butted Candles (the upside down torch), Human Figural Candles, Cursing, Blocking, Intranquil Spirit, Holly Herb, Bat's Blood, Bat's Heart, Devil Nut, Devil's Shoestring

The Tower- Blockbuster, Lightning Struck Wood (the lightning bolt), Candle Magic for destructive ends, Physically Breaking a candle.

The Star- Baths, Spiritual Waters, Cooling Herbs, Astrological / Planetary Energies ("Virgo" Oil, "Drops of Jupiter", Astrological Candles, etc...)

The Moon- Reversing Spells, Mirror Boxes (the moon reflects the light of the Sun), Spiritual Waters, Baths, Watery Herbs..., Dogwood, Wolf's Bane, Dog's Hair, Crab Shell Powder

The Sun- Candle Magic (the sun as Fire symbol), Sunflowers, Sunflower Seeds, Fiery "Hot" Herbs, etc...

Judgement- Spirits of the Dead, Ancestors, Angels, Goetic Spirits, Blood Magic, healing roots (the red cross), Spirit Communication (the horn as "spirit trumpet)

The World- Working with Angels, Familiar Spirits, Personal Concerns (emphasis of figure's hair at top left), binding with knots (cloth wound around female figure), working with two candles at the same time for opposite goals (for example drawing prosperity and banishing poverty) This list is, by no means, comprehensive but it will give you an idea of how one can use the vehicle of the tarot as a springboard for determining those types of magic, condition, oils, curios, etc.... needed to bring about one's desires.

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