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Waking into the world of tarot, it can be easy to get caught up in the lingo. There are some commonly used phrases that you should know whether it’s to incorporate into your daily tarot readings or to understand your readings a bit better.

Akasha-the essence of all things, similar to the universe in certain cultures

Altar– any table or flat surface you read tarot on

Cartomancy– the act of using tarot to tell the future as opposed to just giving advice

Consultant– another name for a tarot reader

Court Cards- The “royalty” of the Minor Arcana. i.e. Page, Queen, Knight, King

Dignified– Upright card

Divination– the act of seeking to uncover truth through tarot

Elements– each suit corresponds with a specific element: air, water, fire, and earth. The star signs fall under these elemental umbrellas as well.

Enlightenment– the path to enlightenment refers to not clinging to material things and building your character internally

Gypsies– a nomadic people that created and influenced the world of tarot we know today

Higher Purpose– refers to what will give you deep meaning and fulfillment in life i.e. destiny

Interpreter– the person giving meaning to a spread and translating what a particular spread is trying to say

Intuitive Reading– the practice of listening to a reader’s inner wisdom rather than the provided meanings

Jumper– refers to a card that falls out of the deck when shuffling. These are often set to the side and read outside of the particular spread.

Journey– refers to the overall journey of life or the journey hidden in the Major and Minor Arcana

LWB– (Little White Book) refers to the instruction book that comes in every tarot pack

Numerology– the symbolism of numbers in tarot

Path– this can refer to paths on the tree of life

Pip– Pip cards are #2-10 of any Minor Arcana suit

Querent– the person asking for a reading

Runes– symbols carved into wood or stone, used to help in divination

Significator– the card that represents the person receiving a reading

Spheres– speaks of the ten spheres on the tree of life

Smudging– cleansing the deck, often with sage, before or after a reading to remove any negative energy from previous readings

Symbology– studying of specific symbols and what they represent. This is often used when looking at the face of the tarot cards.

Tree of Life– A large symbol in tarot is the Tree of Life. The tree of life has twenty-two paths and is often thought to be represented by the tree in the Garden of Eden.

Trumps– another name for the Major Arcana

Yod– In some tarot readings, this is the first card drawn and represents the creator. This is done outside of the spread you are doing.

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