How to read the Tarot of Marseilles, the meaning and the divination


The origins of the Tarot are not certain. Seems that originated in the Middle Ages in northern Italy, and yes spread across Europe with great speed. They were 78-card decks destined to play in the courts, a refined and intellectual pastime. The wealthiest they commissioned the painting of their papers to more or less famous painters; who he could not afford it instead he bought decks of cards printed in series, created with wooden matrices and colored with mattes. The "divinatory" reading does not was still known, it would become prevalent only with the French school of the eighteenth century.

Others say they derive from hieroglyphs of the Book of Thoth, are a synthesis of Egyptian knowledge and religion. Others argue that their birth is Chinese, due to the different similarities with the I Ching, the guardian book of ancient Chinese ancient wisdom more than three thousand years. Still others argue that the origin is all Italian, placing them in the court of the Duke of Milan at the beginning of the fifteenth century.

Sure is that the Tarot cards are very hermetic cards, with symbols other than tradition to tradition, and different methods of use and divination.


The Tarot of Marseilles or "THE MAJOR ARCANA":

1) The fortune teller can divine to others present, or to himself. They must be ask questions as clear as possible. The Tarot does not give specific answers, but they address the moral, psychological or distinctive characteristics of what they want to show us.
2) The Consultant officially exposes the question aloud, and fixes it in the his mind. The Fortuneteller mixes the 22 Arcana and invites the Consultant to cut the deck and choose a number from 1 to 22 inclusive.
3) The Fortuneteller counts from the covered deck the number expressed by the Consultant up to arrive at the corresponding card, and uncover it, noting the number in Roman letters present in the upper part of the image (The Magician is 1, The Popess is 2, etcetera; The Fool is marked with zero and is worth 22; The death is worth 13. This first card that will come out will represent the Affirmation, and will indicate the favorable elements of the present situation, the quality or the behavior that should be maintained. For example, if the number chosen is 18, the Fortuneteller will choose the eighteenth card from the deck, for example it could be The Force, which is numbered 11, and will therefore come noted the number 11.
4) The card is reinserted into the deck, shuffled again, another is chosen number (even the same) and the chosen card is revealed. The one that will come out represents the Negation: it will indicate the elements unfavorable to present situation, behavior or quality that you are opposed to those of the statement.

5) The deck is shuffled again and the operations repeated. The card that will come out this time he represents the Mediator: he will indicate the behavior or the quality that must intervene between affirmation and denial in order to get what you asked for.
6) The last card to be discovered will be the Solution, and will give the answer of the Tarot on the situation for which, until now, the cards have been limited to Give advices. It is linked to the first three cards through an operation mathematics instead of the method used so far: the numbers of images of the three cards chosen previously. If the sum is greater than 22 the two digits of the number obtained must be added.
For example: The Force 11 + The Wheel 10 + The Empress 3 = 24, so 2 + 4 = 6
To look which card corresponds to the number obtained (for example 6 = The Lovers), e consider it as the general opinion on the whole situation.

Example: How to overcome the current moment of crisis at work? Affirmation: The Emperor (IV), Denial: The Hanged Man
(XII), Mediator: The Wheel of Fortune (X). Operation 4 + 12 + 10 = 26, 2 + 6 = 8, number of Justice. Response: use calculation and tenacity, do not wait passively the change of events, but still have faith in provisional nature of the situation, which can lead to a fruitful future. There Justice suggests that you always remain righteous and just in your actions you will undertake.


You there are many ways of divining with the Tarot, some of which include that the cards can come out upside down, acquiring different, opposite readings.

0 - The Fool (the value to be noted for divination is 22): it is the incitement to let ourselves go, to live freely, freeing ourselves from the excess of logic, of rationality. It is inspiration and genius (often misunderstood). If it comes out upside down, yes highlight all the negative aspects: irresponsibility, irrationality, obsession, immaturity, lack of logic, acting instinctively in the wrong way, lack of guiding values. Or also: little respect for oneself; break up passively lead from events.

I - 1 - The Magician: it is the imagination applied rationally, certainty of self, willpower, ability to choose the right action. Represents activity, he who is the creator of his own fortune, enterprising, who it acts and gets results. Reversed it can mean acting for evil, without thinking, being in too much haste, careerism, mistrust of one's own abilities that there are, obsession with material results by neglecting true values.

II - 2 - The Popess: Intelligence, discernment, perspicacity, generosity e sweetness in romantic relationships, clarity in business. If overturned represents being pedantic and presumptuous, using information for purposes questionable, or pitfall from a very intelligent woman.

III - 3 - The Empress: Stability, inner strength, willpower, government some things. In love, fruitfulness, fertility, marriage, fidelity. A figure strong external that helps us in a situation, a support, a point of stability and strength. If reversed, it is moral rigidity and in acting, an excess of drastic measures, excessive protective instinct towards another person.

IIII - 4 - The Emperor: Male correspondent of the Empress, he is energy, authority, power, firmness, tenacity. Strong character, reagin capacity to every situation and to dominate passions with intelligence. In love it is fidelity, protection, sweetness. In business it is security, intelligent calculation, loyalty. On the contrary, rigidity, arrogance, severity, drasticity, excessive use of strength.

V - 5 - The Pope: Faith, meditation, discernment of the mystery, resignation, pity, selfless good advice, faithful and loyal person you can rely on. To the opposite is to seek too much approval from others, not to make decisions on your own, take sides where the wind blows, not have the strength to support our positions.

VI - 6 - The Lovers: Pure affections, deep feelings, sometimes temptations. To leave the past, safety, tradition to go towards the unknown, tension or doubt about two opposites, even for business. Upside down can be too much love that is oppressive, non-positive union, separation and breakup.

VII - 7 - The Chariot: Victory, success, ability to triumph, tendency to travel and big business, especially triumphs when diplomacy is needed. Reversed emphasizes how success must be managed and guided, to have satisfaction and no negative effects.

VIII - 8 - Justice: Impartiality, independence of spirit, respect for hierarchies, ability to overcome temptations not to commit evil, fairness and righteousness. It is also a reckoning, verification, test passed, virtue. Self upside down is a break in the balance, injustice, excessive severity, unfavorable evaluation.

VIIII - 9 - The Hermit: Wisdom, prudence, silence, confidentiality, recollection. Reversed it is excess of prudence, of isolation from others, of reflection and scarce Act. Imprudence, bad orientation on what you are doing, not having still understood how things really are, and who to trust.

X - 10 - Wheel of Fortune: Success as for The Chariot, but obtained for luck and not for personal merit. Remember the precariousness of situations destined to evolve and change, with the possibility of a fruitful opportunity. On the contrary it represents the changes in the situation for the worse, fate adverse, lack of readiness to exploit change as an opportunity.

XI - 11 - The Force: encourages the use of one's intelligence to solve the situations, without drastic measures, to hasty solutions, or to force. Reversed denotes poor results due to excessive use of force or reactions impulsive, without thinking.

XII - 12 - The Hanged Man: the situation of those who are not deep in efforts that would be useless, and awaits the change of events knowing that the situation
unfavorable is only temporary. It symbolizes a sacrifice, a condition unfavorable to endure, to achieve a goal. Upside down is a bad one reaction in the face of a temporary difficulty, useless efforts to modify a situation for which instead there is only to wait.

XIII - 13 - Death: symbolizes a traumatic phase in the cycle of life that it precedes a new birth, it is change. It can also relate to the end of a negative cycle and consequent renewal. Associated with other cards unfavorable, it helps to outline a negative picture. Upside down can to denote only the bad ending of a situation, or misfortunes.

XIIII - 14 - Temperance: An invitation to moderation, self-control, al relaxation, to avoid excesses. Or also: you are taking one situation with the right balance, and must be maintained. On the contrary, it is lack of moderation, excesses, not taking the situation with the right balance, making mistakes the attitude.

XV - 15 - The Devil: The devil card is the most negative card of the tarot. It can symbolize evil or danger. Immorality, degeneration, wickedness, and various vices. On the contrary it is pure evil, or unbridled passion, or even the end of a dangerous situation.

XVI - 16 - The Tower: It is an unfavorable card, the punishment of pride, foretells a failure due to our lack of humility. Calls not to flaunt too much one's success, not to be too presumptuous or arrogant with others. Reversed is an excess of pride, ostentation, or ambition, enmity strong of someone who will try in every way to put a spoke in the wheel, however it indicates losses.

XVII - 17 - The Stars: encourages us to be optimistic because the stars are with us and they are emanating their beneficial influences, fertility of ideas and circumstances favorable. We will find joy, good humor, that we will be satisfied and happy. Reversed it is a favorable situation that has not been seized, opportunities not exploited. Excessive pessimism.

XVIII - 18 - The Moon: pay attention since the external circumstances are unfavorable, tempting and deceptive. Hidden pitfalls, deceptions, people deceitful, enemies disguised as friends. Upside down you are undergoing a deception, or short-term pitfalls.

XVIIII - 19 - The Sun: period of serenity and good humor. Great satisfaction personal after less fortunate moments. Upside down is a negative situation that
slows to turn to the best. It is hard to get joy and carefree from situations that are positive.

XX - 20 - The Judgment: renewal of a situation, moment of the surrender of the accounts. Do not procrastinate or postpone, but face the showdown and the related consequences. Knots that come to a head, closure of a situation, final judgement. Reversal is unfavorable showdown, punishment suffered, operated incorrect that is discovered and sanctioned.

XXI - 21 - The World: purity and harmony, creation and human knowledge. The objectives they will be achieved, you will be successful in what you are doing, it will be achieved inner serenity. Reversing is achieving success by acting incorrectly, but despite this everything will be fine.



Federico Jeantet is our trusted Tarology and Numerology Consultant, the right person to turn to if you are looking for a moment of reflection, looking for advice, and want to find a point of contact with yourself.


It is not easy to find reading consultants who are honest and knowledgeable. We need thoughtful, sensitive, passionate and kind people. In Florence you can find Federico Jeantet, consultant in Tarology and Numerology, who offers splendid individual consultations as a way to a better understanding of oneself.

The Tarot supports us in our evolution and personal growth, therefore it is recommended to request a reading whenever you want to clarify an aspect of us or a situation that we have difficulty managing or facing with serenity.
When we decide to receive a Tarot reading we must be aware that it is not a game, but rather a means of personal growth that exploits our needs, or desires, to show us new points of view that will help us find a new well-being. You should not expect the Tarot to predict a hypothetical future or tell you what needs to be done, precise indications will be given on how to welcome a change within yourself and the various opportunities that may arise from this change will be shown.