Learning to read tarot cards may seem a bit overwhelming at first, if only because of the sheer number of meanings there are to know. With 78 cards, and the fact that many decks do employ reversals, this makes for 156 meanings to learn. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A great way for beginners to familiarize themselves with tarot card meanings is to limit themselves to reading just the cards in the Major Arcana until they are comfortable with the deck enough to take on the whole 78-card deck. With only 22 trumps, this drops the daunting number of 156 down to only 44.
Learning the trumps first serves other purposes as well. The Major Arcana are the most important section of the deck, and it is therefore most important to know these cards first. They tell the story of the Fool’s journey, as he progresses through the various stages of growth and understanding, both interacting with and becoming the other majors as he makes his way through life. Understanding the higher secrets of the deck is therefore crucial to any student of tarot.
Majors-only reading is certainly not just for beginners, though. Accomplished readers may wish to narrow their focus to just the majors for readings about higher, that is, more spiritual concerns. If you do not select a deck, readings default to the Oswald Wirth deck, which is only composed of trumps. Indeed, there have been many artists to create a deck of tarot trumps with no intention of completing a full deck.