The Adventurer's Guide to Tarot

An action-packed 32 pager that you can read + fill out digitally. ❤  No more boring memorizations and definitions! Learn tarot the FUN and EXCITING way - with lots of exercises, tools and printables to jumpstart your epic tarot journey!  

    Fables Den
     

    WELCOME TO

    The Tarot Kingdom

    are you ready to level up your tarot skills
    and embark on an life-altering adventure?


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    Attention!
    Brave Adventurers

    Welcome to the Tarot Kingdom.

    You are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Tarot will be learned, and fun will be had. Every step you take will unlock new abilities, new insights, new trajectories, new terrains, and new horizons.

    Tarot isn’t merely a deck of cards. If you let it, it will transform you.

     
     

     
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    Why study tarot through creative storytelling?

    Because it’s fun! And effective. Because when you are having fun + enjoying being creative, learning becomes super easy. And plus, If you think about it, doing a tarot reading is more or less an act of storytelling. You engage with the image in front of you, you decode and interpret the symbolism, and you put everything together into a coherent narrative for yourself or for your querent.

    In other words, you tell a story. The realm of tarot encompasses the never-ending stories of humanity. Fairy tales, myths and folklore around the world share universal themes about the human experience. Tarot, through its symbolism and archetypes, conveys the experiences, psychological episodes and emotional scenes that we collectively share as human beings.  

    In short, a deck of tarot cards is basically a bunch of dynamic story and character cards that we can pull from a box - that tells us about ourselves and the life we live. And when we have more knowledge about who we are and how we live, we are able to make better choices that will in turn better our lives. How awesome is that!? 

    Indeed, the World of Tarot is full of magical characters that have wonderful wisdom to impart and fantastical tales to share, so why not explore and learn about this world through their myths and lores?

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    Pack up your traveler’s bags: what you need for the journey

    All you need to bring is your very awesome self. Other than that, though - to be honest, you don’t need to bring much.

    I will say that the one thing you do need, however, is curiosity. Be curious and open about what you will see and who you will meet in the Tarot Kingdom. Be a little bold and courageous. Dare to know something you didn’t know before. Be inquisitive. Ask questions about yourself. Ask questions about how you learn and how you can learn better. Ask questions about what brings you joy and what doesn’t. Ask what it is about tarot that you love. What works for you and what doesn’t. Discover who you are and what you’re good at and what you love.

    See yourself anew and step into yourself like you have never done before.

    Let tarot discover you. Let every single card of a tarot deck impact you in some way. Let it challenge you. Let it shake you a little bit. See if the truths that you once knew would stand or crumble. Let it inspire you to come in touch with new perspectives, new inspirations, new ways to look at the world and work the magic that is already within you.

    Make it yours. There are no rules in the tarot kingdom. Your path is unique just like everybody who has embarked on the road to the Kingdom of Tarot. Do what makes you happy. Do what you love. Do it your way.

     

     
     
     

    Once Upon a Tarot Kingdom

    A practical field-guide to the Amazing World of Tarot.

     
     
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    who lives in the tarot kingdom: the system of tarot

    The Tarot Realm is a place populated by Gods, Royalties, and the Common Folk. The Deities of the Tarot Realm are known as the Major Arcana. They are godly personalities or consciousness that are the energies, wisdom and identities of the collective unconsciousness and are able to embody, connect, and impart wisdom on a godly level (excerpt from Tarot Beginnings).

    There are 22 gods (or 22 cards from The Fool - The World) in the Tarot Kingdom.

    Of course, the Gods are not the sole existences in this special world. There are Four Elemental Kingdoms in the Realm of Tarot, and the Gods exist to watch over them and provide guidance for all their inhabitants. The four kingdoms are: The Fire Kingdom (Wands), the Air Kingdom (Swords), the Water Kingdom (Cups) and the Earth Kingdom (Pentacles). These are the 4 suits of tarot and each suit contains 14 cards - 10 numbered cards from Ace to 10 as well as 4 court cards (pages, knights, queens & kings).

    How did the Elemental Kingdoms come about? Each Kingdom has their own unique Origin Story, but they all share the common trajectory as they develop into fullness and maturity (they all had to face and overcome the same 10 levels, or lessons - that have been thrown at them!) There are 10 Chapters in the History of Elemental Kingdoms, and each is a fascinating story that tells of each Kingdom's becoming and destiny. These would be the numbered cards from the Minor Arcana, from Ace to 10, and each number contains a lesson that the Kingdoms have had to learn so that they may flourish as a people. The Common Folks of the Elemental Kingdoms continue to learn these lessons everyday.

    Last but not least, each Elemental Kingdom of course is governed by rulers that represent the people's interests and sentiments. The Royalties, a.k.a. the Court Cards, are figureheads of their Elemental Kingdom, representative of their people's interests, various attitudes and sentiments. They are the Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages of each Kingdom.

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    The major arcana: the archetypal deities - the gods and guardians of the tarot kingdom

    The Major Arcana are the powerful guardians of the Tarot Kingdom. Each of them has unique perspectives and opinions on how power can be accessed - because of this, they each teach differently and will how up at different times in their people’s lives. For example, The Chariot believes in action, conquest and victory - while The Star believes in hope, rejuvenation and inspiration.

    While they may differ in their approaches, their energies and their philosophies - they are united by their common purpose - which is to ensure the welfare and enlightenment of the Tarot Kingdom. They work together to empower the inhabitants of the Tarot Kingdom, and those who traverses it.

    On your journey to the Tarot Kingdom, you will be meeting the guardians one by one. They don’t normally do this (lining themselves one by one) but for you, they will make an exception. You will be embarking on The Fool’s Journey, with The Fool as your trusted guide. He’s a bit enthusiastic especially when he’s around cliffs, so you shouldn’t follow everything he says. Always follow your heart and you will be alright.

    During the Fool's Journey, the Fool will lead you to encounter the Gods of the Tarot Realm, each with a unique lesson, challenge, and task to test your courage and to help you cultivate your Spirit. Starting with The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress...and all the way to the last card of the Major Arcana, The World, the Fool will journey with you to find your truths and the essence of your being, and to create the life that you wants to live.

    Or you know, if you just want to get the definitions down. The Fool will be happy to make arrangements for that should you need it - but he doubts that if you will ever need it. The gods themselves are quite memorable and impressive…he’s pretty sure that you won’t be able to forget The Tower.

     

     
     

    The Major Arcana

    The Fool’s Journey - the journey you make
    to meet the Guardians & Gods of the Tarot Kingdom.

     
     

    If you’re having trouble memorizing the definitions of the cards - The Fool’s Journey is a useful study framework that strings together the 22 cards of the Major Arcana into a story so when you recall the story, you will remember what the cards mean. Amazing right? our brains are hardwired for storytelling. As soon as we wear “once upon a…”, we perk up our ears and stand on out tippy toes like meerkats to listen.

    The Fool's Journey is also metaphorical narrative of life with each Major Arcana representing an experience, an energy, or a transition that a person goes through in order to reach self-actualization and completion. Kind of like leveling up. Each major arcana is a challenge or a “stage” that you have to beat and learn your lessons from - and when you complete that stage and learn your lessons, you move on to the next one.

    If you're a big fan of Joseph Campbell or have heard of his Hero's Journey, then you'll probably have an idea of how this narrative reflects the rise and fall of the main character--in which the hero receives a new purpose or power, learns about the rules and laws of society, and ventures into the unknown on a quest to right a wrong or bring balance to the world.

    Similarly, the Fool embarks on a journey of expansion and growth, venturing into the unknown--outside of her comfort zone--to learn about who she is as a person, who she is capable of becoming, and what her ultimate destiny is in life. He learns more about himself and is confronted by obstacles that challenge him to grow...and as he sets out to bring balance to the world, he brings balance to himself as well.


     
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    The Minor Arcana

    Enter The Four Elemental Kingdoms

     
     
     
     

    Note: My perspective and understanding have slightly shifted since the video was published. In the video, I described the Four Kingdoms as "clans", which is basically the same idea but I decided to switch from "clans" to "kingdoms" because...well, it sounds cooler and truer to the arhceyptal scopes of tarot elements. :) Also, I described the Wands as highly idealistic, a personality trait that I eventually attributed to the Swords after having an epiphany with the Wands.

    The four groups of people in the Tarot Kingdom each has their own ideologies, priorities, attitudes and temperaments based on their elemental affiliation. Each Elemental Kingdom has their unique culture and values that set them apart from the other kingdoms.

    Ruled by the element of Fire, the Fire Kingdom people (Suit of Wands) are creative, passionate, and driven by their desires. One of the most important things for them in life is freedom--the freedom to do whatever they want and whenever they want. They are defined by their unapologetic attitude, their confidence, their restless and robust energy as well as their passion for life.

    Ruled by the element of Air, the Air Kingdom people (Suit of Swords) are rational, academic, and clear-cut in their logic. They are a group of mental powerhouses that value ideas, communication and order. Once they are settled into their perspectives and worldviews, they will not hesitate to defend the things that they consider to be the rightful truths of the world. Because of this, they tend to be very meticulous and highly detail-oriented, and they are very assertive when it comes to their own opinions.

    Ruled by the element of Water, the Water Kingdom people (Suit of Cups) are social, sensitive, and deeply intuitive. They are empathetic, considerate and naturally grateful, and they value the relationships and bonds that they forms with others. The Water people are motivated by the things that make them feel; they value the experience and connection that they can make when they undergo events in life. You can say that they are not particularly goal-oriented, nor are they motivated by a "righteous cause". All they want is to be happy in life.

    Ruled by the element of Earth, the Earth Kingdom people (suit of Earth) are practical, dedicated, productive, and extremely goal-oriented. They care about sustainability and securing their position in the world. This is why they value community, tradition, health, economy and reputation so much: these are the things that they consider to be the :"true" currencies in life--currencies that they can physically makes use of. The Earth People will do whatever it takes to create lasting resources and legacies for themselves. Slow and steady wins the race.

     

     
     

    Ace to Ten

    The numbered cards in Minor Arcana -
    or the history of each kingdom’s becoming

    Curious about the kingdoms you are visiting and how they came to be? In this section, you will find out about just exactly how the elemental kingdoms have come to be where they are today. You will witness how they started, how the first group of people came together to make a kingdom, and the trials and triumphs that they went through, as well as the lessons that they learned.

    The numbered cards from Minor Arcana are presented as chapters in each Elemental Kingdom History. There are 10 chapters in each Kingdom History, and each chapter is aligned with the numerological associations of tarot and represents a lesson that the Kingdoms have to learn in order to move forward.

    So for example, Chapter 1 is the Aces of all tarot suits, and is aligned with the numerological associations of number 1. This means that all the Aces in the Minor Arcana will share these attributes from a numerological perspective because they all have the same number. E.g. all Aces share the common theme of beginnings, and all 2's share the common theme of duality.

    What Each Chapter/Number represents in the Minor Arcana

    • Chapter 1 represents the identity and the core aspirations of each elemental kingdom

    • Chapter 2  represents the dual considerations of each kingdom and where they wish to go to realize their elemental destiny

    • Chapter 3 represents the synergy of multiple perspectives and personalities within each elemental kingdom and its consequence

    • Chapter 4 represents the foundation that each elemental kingdom has reached after all the hard work they have put in

    • Chapter 5 represents the anomaly, conflict or challenge each elemental kingdom faces and what they must overcome in order to expand and grow

    • Chapter 6 represents the victory and community that the elemental kingdoms have established after overcoming the challenge in Chapter 5

    • Chapter 7 represents the curiosity and conscious desire for growth and expansion

    • Chapter 8 represents manifestation and the active pursuit of that new aspiration

    • Chapter 9 represents the positive or negative result from their efforts in chapter 8, as well as the abundance and maturation of their elemental energies

    • Chapter 10 represents the ultimate destiny of each elemental kingdom and marks the end of their trajectory and story cycle

    Each Kingdom has a different elemental energy and each elemental energy can manifest in either positive or negative ways under the numerological influences. (Just take a look at the Air Kingdom, or the Suit of Swords--they are an intense group of people!)

    For example, 3 of Wands (Chapter 3 in Fire Kingdom History) is all about optimism, visioneering, and looking forward to the future. This is because when 3 Fire Individuals all come together because they all want the same things, they can make some incredible magic together because their visions are in alignment with each other's. This is a positive manifestation under the influence of numerology.

    Compare this to the 3 of Swords. (Chapter 3 in Air Kingdom History), a negative manifestation under the influence of numerology. Swords carry the polarizing Air energy. Their world is very black and white. I mean, they've had enough trouble already in 2 of Swords, and that's only the second chapter in their story! In 3 of Swords, their "it's either you or me" attitude does not allow a third perspective to emerge. They simply cannot co-exist, and therefore, their ideas attack and seize at each other and before you know it...3 swords stuck in a fleshly beating heart. Nobody wins because nobody wants to "lose".


    Kingdom Stories

    How did the four kingdoms come together as people? What are their victories? Their challenges? Their lessons? What did they go through and what is their ultimate destiny?


     
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    The Fire Kingdom: suit of wands

    The Fire people come together because they are ignited by a desire, a single passion that they all share and have discovered in each other. They choose the Wands as their banner because Wands represent the power and creativity that they wield, and their grandiose sense of magic. Their narrative is highly optimistic, energizing, and inspirational, punctuated by great leadership and momentum. Conflicts arise when factions form within the larger group because people start to want to pursue different things. That's not really a problem for them, however. The Fire Folks are generally confident enough to focus on what they want to pursue.

    As their desires and their identity as a people develop, their story culminates to an overwhelming pressure and need to realize all the potential within them.

     
     
     

     
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    the air kingdom: the suit of swords

    The Air people come together because they share the same belief and views about the world. In short, they are in agreement with each other. They choose the Swords as their banner because they believe in the power of ideas. When ideas are communicated in the right way, they serve as powerful weapons that can both attack and defend, cutting away all doubts and those who oppose them. The story of the Air People is that of conflict and strife, as their disagreements often lead to various levels of war (from a heated debate or argument to full-on warfare.)

    Because the People of Air don't easily forgive nor compromise, their destiny as a kingdom is a dystopian nightmare and tragedy--should they fail to learn their lessons.

     
     
     

     
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    the water kingdom: the suit of cups

    The Water people come together because they, you've guessed it--they love each other! They are a group of people that are together for no other reason than it feels good to be together. They value each other's company and the love and space they hold for each other. They choose Cups as their banner because they are a group of people that welcome friendship, and anybody who is willing to share cup and break bread with them is welcome in their kingdom.

    The Water Kingdom's narrative is a tale of the heart and speaks of love, friendship, family, and belonging. It is also a story about healing, gratitude, and dreams coming true.

     
     

     
     
     

    the earth kingdom: the Suit of Pentacles

    Being the practical bunch, the Earth people come together knowing that they cannot accomplish anything without each other. They believe in the power of the group and the strength in a well-managed, well-supported community. They choose the Pentacles or Coins as their banner because it shows exactly what they value: physical currency. Things they can touch, feel, and hold in their hands or physically experience--objects of value that they can use to add to their own wealth, invest in the wealth of others, and add to the overall wealth of their people. Occasionally, they experience lack consciousness when they are not meeting their own standards, but generally, they don't dwell on their feelings for long because feelings aren't very useful for them. They'd rather be doing something that will take them one step closer to their goals.

    Their narrative is that of productivity, management, business, generosity and growth. It is a story of hard-work, mutual support, mutual growth and legacy.

     

     
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    Court Cards

    Royalties from the Tarot Kingdom

     
     

    Court cards are a bit trickier than the other cards. They’re more like personalities - less descriptive, more dynamic and harder to contextualize - and each one with a specific attitude and worldview to challenge you. If you’re still trying to memorize the rest of the deck, court cards can be especially cold indeed.

    True to their royal status, they are glamorous to look at and you feel like you know them - you can admire them from afar but, they just seem kind of distant, don’t they?

    Fear not. Instead of thinking of court cards as anal - I mean, difficult personas to understand and read, think of them as individuals or characters from each elemental kingdom. Each elemental kingdom is going to have their elemental “culture” and elemental “sentiment”. Think of the differences in culture in real life - if you’re North American, you’re more likely to care about individuality and the pursuit of personal freedom. If you’re Asian, you’re more likely to place emphasis on social harmony, family and conversing traditions.

    These are broad generalizations, of course - culture varies from country to country and even region from region, but from this example - you can see that there are certain values that are deemed as more important depending on where you’re from and what culture you grow up in. Court cards are exactly the same!

    For example, the knight from Air Kingdom (Knight of Swords) may care more about pursuing justice because justice is one of the core values of the Air Kingdom, or the Suit of Swords. The knight from Earth Kingdom (Knight of Pentacles) may care more about pursuing sustainable resources and productivity, since those are important values from the Earth Kingdom, or Suit of Pentacles.

    If you understand where each court card comes from, and then you look at what their values are + how they will behave and think based on their role and their kingdom culture, you will be able to understand them easily.

    To learn more about court cards
    as “characters” in a story,
    check out the blog posts & videos below!

     
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