card meanings & reading

By Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction.
About me
I'm a Swedish author. In addition to fiction, I've written books about the Tarot, Taoism, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website: stenudd.com

Tarot Online Reading
Free Celtic Cross card reading.

Major Arcana
The 22 Tarot trump cards and their meanings.

Minor Arcana
The 56 suited Tarot cards and their meanings.

The Celtic Cross
The most famous and used Tarot card divination spread explained.

Tarot Card Decks
Some of the Tarot designs through the centuries.

The Rider-Waite Tarot
The most famous Tarot card deck.

Tarot vs. Playing Cards
The same ancestry but evolving for different purposes.

What to Make of It
Is Tarot divination accurate, and if so - how?

Tarot Archetypes
The symbolic ingredients in the cards.

Tarot Speaks to You
The cards mean what they mean to you.

Tarot Copyright
The Tarot in the public domain.

Tarot Unfolded
My book on the Tarot and its symbolic imagery.

How to get in touch with me.

Major Arcana
Click the image to get the card reading.

The Fool Tarot Card The Magician Tarot Card The High Priestess Tarot Card The Empress Tarot Card The Emperor Tarot Card The Hierophant Tarot Card The Lovers Tarot Card The Chariot Tarot Card Strength Tarot Card The Hermit Tarot Card Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Justice Tarot Card The Hanged Man Tarot Card Death Tarot Card Temperance Tarot Card The Devil Tarot Card The Tower Tarot Card The Star Tarot Card The Moon Tarot Card The Sun Tarot Card Judgement Tarot Card The World Tarot Card

Complete Horoscope
How predictions are done by classical astrology and the full horoscope chart, with many examples.

I Ching Online
The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.

Taoism, the old Chinese philosophy of life, based on Tao, the Way. Also, the complete Tao Te Ching translated and explained.

Book by Stefan Stenudd:

Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Your Health in Your Horoscope
What your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. You learn what the planets, the Zodiac signs and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.

Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia
Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Tarot Card Copyright

Tarot copyright.

The Tarot and the Public Domain

The Tarot cards have their European origin in the Renaissance, so they are as such part of the public domain. But what about the Rider-Waite Tarot cards that I allow myself to use on this website? Well, from the year 2012, they're free as well.

     On this website I use both the images and the texts of the Rider-Waite Tarot card deck, which is by far the most popular one. It's my favorite, too - at least until I find the time to make my own version.

     It was published in 1909 and has been reprinted countless times since. The deck was designed by the occult writer A. E. Waite (1857-1942) and the artist Pamela Colman Smith (1878-1951). Rider was the name of the original publisher.

Arthur Edward Waite      European copyright laws stipulate that an artistic work becomes part of the public domain 70 years after the death of the author. So, for Waite (see the photo) it's the case the very year I write this: 2012. For the illustrator Colman Smith it happens in another nine years, but she is not accredited as an author. She was an illustrator who received a fee on delivery and that was it.

     Therefore, from this year on, both the text and the images of the Rider-Waite Tarot card deck are copyright free. In other parts of the world, for example the USA, the copyright period is even shorter. To my knowledge, there is no country where it's longer than 70 years.

     Therefore, we can expect to see a lot of use of the Rider-Waite Tarot in different media, from now on. My website is an example of it, although I started working on it before I knew of this circumstance. Just pure luck, I guess.

Post-mortem Copyright

I'm a writer, myself, so I agree with the copyright principle, at least during the lifetime of the artist: If money is made on his or her art, then of course a substantial part of it should go to the artist and any such business must have the approval of the artist.

     About prolonging that copyright 50 or even 70 years after the author's death, though, I'm not equally convinced.

     Very often it leads to problems, when relatives start to have a say about the art in question. Either they gladly sell it to circumstances the artist would never have associated with, or they suddenly censor the art in some sort of misguided care for the reuptation of the artist. Very often they fight among themselves about the control of the inherited copyright and its revenue.

     Usually, the ones profiting the most on the prolonged copyright are the lawyers.

     Anyway, regarding the Rider- Waite Tarot card deck, this dilemma is over. Probably, it will result in the work of Waite and Colman Smith continuing to spread and receive appreciation for many years to come. I'm sure they wouldn't mind that.

     More on the Tarot copyright issue at Sacred-texts.com.

The Book

Tarot Unfolded. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Tarot Unfolded

This book by Stefan Stenudd presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, i.e. focusing on what impressions the images and their symbols give. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Also, it gives many examples of symbolic and allegorical imagery within and beyond the Tarot. This book will help you find your own intuitive way of making inspired Tarot card readings. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.