The term Arcana means: “Secrets or mysteries; A great secret of nature that the alchemists sought to discover; A secret and powerful remedy.”
A standard Tarot deck has Twenty-Two trump cards, otherwise known as the Major Arcana. These cards include: The Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgement, and The World. There may be variations to some of the names in different style decks, but generally speaking these are what are considered standard titles.
Each of these Major Arcana cards holds it’s own aspect and meaning. These cards depict a story. They indicate the higher universal forces at play in our lives, and point out events that we may need to focus our attention on. They allow us to either heed their warnings, or to use their message in order to engage in an activity further.
The remainder of the Tarot deck consists of Fifty-Six Minor Arcana cards. These cards are divided into the four suits, which in Tarot are Swords, Pentacles, Wands, and Cups. Each suit has fourteen cards, Ace through Ten, plus the Court Cards, Page, Knight, Queen, and King. Again, sometimes depending on the deck, these places may hold slightly different titles, but in all decks, they will reflect the same universal concepts of Tarot.
Along with a standard 78-card Tarot deck, we can sometimes incorporate Oracle cards in order to access a deeper insight into a question. Oracle cards can vary widely, and usually follow their own prescribed genre. I do not always use them, but they are useful in certain circumstances where they can offer additional clarity in a reading, by pointing at a specific aspect.
Learning the deeper characteristics of Tarot and Oracles, and how to interpret the various card combinations is very exciting. I have learned so much about myself simply by looking internally, and truly listening to the messages I have been given. I found my own gifts hiding within myself; My studies have led me here, and I am most grateful.