By far the best way to learn the meanings of the tarot cards is to take one card a day, and spend some time meditating on it. The meaning of each card needs to become intuitive, then you are able to look for examples of that meaning or concept in everyday life.
For instance, in the seven of swords card, a thief is stealing 7 swords. Swords represent fire, which can also be seen as power, therefore the seven of swords could be viewed as the loss of power.
Below is a guideline of the minor arcana suits their elemental meaning and their general meanings:
- Wands (Element: Air) – Ideas, communication, thoughts, enlightenment, concepts
- Swords (Element: Fire) – Power, motivation, action, force, conflict
- Cups (Element: Water) – Emotions, feeling, compassion, language of Spirit
- Pentacles (Element: Earth) – Manifestation, physical expression in the world, physical creation
In order to become mentally prepared for a meditation you need to ready yourself as well as your environment. You need to create a pleasant surroundings for your meditation, I would suggest soft light, music, candles, incense, a comfortable chair or pillow to sit on. Begin by grounding yourself, reconnect with “you.” Let all the people and activities of the day just fade from your thoughts. Allow yourself to be in the moment and experience the smell of the incense, the flickering of the candlelight, the gentle sound of the music, and the peace and quiet of time alone.
As you feel yourself relaxing, look at the card, think about the images on it and what these suggest to you. Really study the card, the colours, the images, and the life experiences it represents, think about what the card symbolises to you. When you feel ready to move to the next step close your eyes while keeping your focus on the card, and open your mind to new insight and understanding.
When you have completed your meditation, you need to begin to write down your thoughts and feelings in your tarot journal. You need to write down everything that the card symbolised to you, your new insight and understanding. Keeping a tarot journal will prove to be a very valuable reference for future study of the cards.