Instant Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Reading the Cards

Instant Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Reading the Cards

by Monte Farber, Amy Zerner


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Read tarot card predictions within minutes with the Instant Tarot!

The authors unique Instant Tarot system is devised to enable beginners to read virtually every Tarot deck. The clearly organized Instant Tarot text interprets every card in each of the eleven meaning-specific positions of the celtic cross spread. With detailed instructions, sample questions, helpful diagrams, and a handy index, readers can easily navigate the book. The ingenious layout of Instant Tarot allows individuals to also ask any question using a one-card, three-card or full eleven card "Celtic Cross" spread to get revealing, inspiring answers to your burning questions about love, money, career...everything! It's great for parties, small groups of friends and especially by yourself where, undisturbed, you will often see subtle and formerly hidden meanings emerge from the text. You can set up and do tarot readings right away using the instructions provided. No memorization is required, because each card is interpreted according to the position it appears in -- the book tells you right where to look.

"Using tarot cards has helped us to improve our intuitive abilities which, when blended with our logical minds, has enabled us to make better decisions that have guided us to great success, especially our forty plus year loving marriage. The tarot adds spice to your life but you cannot live on spice alone. Your free will to make decisions is your "main course." Instant Tarot has been designed to help you properly access the tarot's ancient truths and put them to immediate use. It is our sincere desire that our book, the first and only one of its kind in the tarot's long history, will help you to better understand your own inner voice and its ability to direct you." -Monte Farber and Amy Zerner

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578636174
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 05/01/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 386,590
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Monte Farber is, with his wife, artist;fashion designer Amy Zerner, the author of a series of bestselling self-help books with more than two million copies in print in fourteen languages. Since 1988, the Brooklynborn Farber has used his friendly, humorous, downtoearth approach to what he calls "streetsmart spirituality" to train people around the world to improve their intuition and decisionmaking abilities. Says Farber, "The common denominator of all humancaused suffering is poor decision making and it is my mission to reduce that suffering as much as I can. I've already made a difference but Quantum Affirmations will help me make that quantum leap!" His websites are and

Amy Zerner and Monte Farber are a bestselling husband and wife team whose many projects have sold millions of copies worldwide. Their expertise and straightforward but lighthearted approach to oracular wisdom is highly sought after, and Amy's work is in the collections of numerous corporations and prominent individuals like Shirley MacLaine, Oprah, and Martha Stewart. Together they have been guests on morning shows like ABC TV's Eyewitness News Sunday, FOX TV's "Good Day" New York, L.A., Atlanta, and Detroit. Join them at

Read an Excerpt

Instant Tarot

Your Complete Guide to Reading the Cards

By Monte Farber, Amy Zerner

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2017 Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57863-617-4





Which question is the right one for you? Which one will tell you what you want to know? On pages 8 through 15, we have provided questions for a one-card reading, a three-card spread, and the Celtic Cross spread. Different questions require different spreads to properly answer them. Look at the list of suggested questions and select the one that is closest to the question you want answered. Then use that spread.

If you feel like you have too many questions, first ask the one that is the most important. Use the suggested questions to help you simplify and clarify your question.

If you do not have a specific question, just ask this first basic question: "Tell me what I need to know for my highest good." It has been our experience that after people have seen the tarot cards "lock on" to them and their current situation, we often find they do have a question.



Take a deep, luxurious breath and let it out slowly. Now, repeat your question to yourself as you shuffle your deck of tarot cards. If you can, try to visualize your question; see a picture of the situation you are asking about in your mind's eye as you shuffle. Stop shuffling when it feels right to do so. Relax. You are doing fine. If you don't know when to stop shuffling, try shuffling for as long as it takes to ask your question two times.

Next, put the deck down and spread out the cards. Then, one at a time, pick one, three, or eleven cards, according to which section your question falls under. Now lay the cards out face-up following the appropriate card placement diagram.

If your cards come out upside-down, just turn them right side up again. Professional and long-time tarot readers have had the experience necessary to attach their personal interpretation to reversed, or upside-down, cards. It is our strong suggestion that you use our book's interpretations as written and not attempt to read reversed cards as different in any way.



For this step, you should look up the meaning of the cards you selected in the order that you chose them.

In Instant Tarot, each of the seventy-eight cards of your tarot deck has been interpreted in all eleven positions of the Celtic Cross layout. We also use several of those interpretations to answer the one-card and three-card readings.

* To interpret a one-card reading, do the following: Go to page 8 and choose the question you want answered. Let's say you choose Question B, and you've chosen the Knight of Wands. The answer to question B lies in position number 2, What Surrounds You. You would go to page 125which discusses the Knight of Wands, and you will find all eleven position meanings listed. Find position 2; this corresponds to the answer to the type of question you asked.

Easy, yes? Instant, definitely!

* To interpret a three-card reading, use the exact same method. Find the correct meanings for each of the three cards, in the order that you picked them. Note that your question in a three-card spread will deal with triplets: past, present, future, or mind, body, spirit.

* To interpret the Celtic Cross reading, first turn to page 12 where a diagram is provided of this eleven card layout. You will be drawing cards, and laying them out in this order as you pick them. Now turn to the page where the meanings of the first card you picked are listed. Then read position number 1 for that card. Then turn to the page where the meanings of the second card you picked are listed and read position number 2 for that card. Do the same thing for the remaining nine cards of your reading, making sure that the position number you are reading for each card continues to be the same as the position number of the card in your Celtic Cross reading.

It is wise to focus on a specific time frame for most tarot readings, but it is crucial to put a time frame on your Celtic Cross reading. When you do a Celtic Cross reading, you will pick a card that describes conditions you can expect to encounter in the near future and another card to describe conditions you can expect to encounter in the more distant future. If the next three to six weeks is your time frame, then the last card of your Celtic Cross reading, position 11, THE OUTCOME, represents conditions you can expect to encounter in three to six weeks. The card in position 7, WHAT IS BEFORE YOU, will represent conditions you can expect to encounter in three to six days. If the time frame of your Celtic Cross question is three to six months, then Position 11, THE OUTCOME, represents conditions you can expect in three to six months and Position 7, WHAT IS BEFORE YOU, represents conditions you can expect in three to six weeks.


The questions you ask for this layout will come to you over time with practice as you become more familiar, more comfortable, and more in tune with the cards and their meanings. For now, we suggest simply asking the cards for guidance. As you use Instant Tarot to interpret the meanings of each card in each position, you may want to keep a journal of your question, the notes on the meanings of the cards for that particular reading.


Give me guidance about(my life path, my partner, my children, my love life, my work, my financial situation, my living conditions, achieving my goal, etc.)

and how conditions will progress over the next three to six(hours, days, weeks, or months).


For Position #1 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents your place in your situation and what you need to realize your innermost desires regarding the question you have asked.

For Position #2 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents the conditions surrounding you regarding the question you have asked. If the answer you have received is harmonious, then you are in a supportive atmosphere.

For Position #3 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents an imbalance that may prevent you from achieving the outcomes indicated in Positions #7 and #11 of your reading. It can also represent what is confusing to you.

For Position #4 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents a fundamental issue that can give you the strength and security necessary to accomplish your goal.

For Position #5 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents past actions and influences that have brought things to be the way they are now. It can also represent people, ideas, and conditions that are passing out of your life.

For Position #6 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents the spiritual goal you must work toward in order to attain what you desire. It contains a visualization exercise to help you do so.

For Position #7 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents the conditions you can expect to encounter in the near-term future, in either three to six hours, days, or weeks depending on the time frame you have chosen.

For Position #8 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents how you should conduct yourself in order to best achieve your goal. Do so knowing full well there is a risk that others may misinterpret your actions.

For Position #9 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents how people important to your situation see you in relation to the question you are asking. It may be very different from Position #8.

For Position #10 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents a deep-seated fear you have that you may not be aware of. It may also represent the hopes and fears you have about the way your life may change if you attain your goal.

For Position #11 of the Celtic Cross, read



This position represents the conditions you can expect to encounter in the long-term future, in either three to six days, weeks, or months, depending on the time frame you have chosen.



Give me guidance about my life path, and how my condition will progress over the next three to six weeks.


For Position #1, the Queen of Wands, read page 128



You need to inspire others. Be a charismatic, self-assured person who knows how things must be done. Behave like royalty. Parties and other gatherings will benefit you. Find a creative project that fully occupies you.

For Position #2, the Five of Cups, read page 188



You are surrounded by feelings of disappointment. You may feel rejection or the desire to walk away from something. Experiencing this kind of emotional pain can give valuable wisdom that can ensure future success.

For Position #3, of the Eight of Wands, read page 113



Communication problems block progress. Pay close attention. Revealing too much or too little is as bad as revealing it too soon or too late. Failure to make perfectly clear your intentions, romantic and otherwise, wastes time. Make sure signals do not get crossed.

For Position #4, the Hermit, read page 53



Crucial to this situation is your ability to avoid snares and distractions of all kinds. Though others may not understand and fault you for it, you must walk your own path. Dealing with the introspection of the aged is vital.

For Position #5, the Four of Pentacles, read page 227



In the past, you held onto what you had. You may have managed and protected it well, but selfishness on your part can now come back to haunt you. Put things in perspective. An executive's influence may be waning.

For Position #6,the Empress, read page 35



It would be good to have the blessings of a nurturing, unconditionally loving maternal figure. Visualize her giving you a life of love, peace, security, beauty, and creativity. Allow yourself to feel it envelop you.

For Position #7, the King of Pentacles, read page 257



You will soon encounter, or have to act like, a person who knows how to be pragmatic and play politics. Go by your basic instincts. You may be helped by an earthy, wealthy deal-maker, and learn how to become one yourself.

For Position #8, the Ace of Cups, read page 176



Present yourself as one who knows how to give and receive love unconditionally. Let the poignancy of life wash over you, cleansing your emotions and filling you with compassion. Everyone loves a lover.

For Position #9, Justice, read page 59



The wise see you as fair, impartial, devoted to finding truth and justice, and as one who may compromise if all are treated fairly. The ignorant may think you are a "straight arrow." You are seen by many as having good taste and judgement.

For Position #10, the Lovers, read page 44



You think you are dissatisfied with the way things are and hope you will make the right decisions to change them, but you fear losing the good parts of what you now have. You may fear the anguish of a love affair.

For Position #11, the Four of Swords, read page 143



You will evaluate seclusion, detachment, and retreat as methods for accomplishing great things. You will avoid pain, conflict, and distractions and lessen your stress and anxiety. Looking inward will recharge you.



We have designed Instant Tarot to provide quick, easy answers to your most common questions. But like all paths that lead to growth, personal strength, and self-awareness, the tarot can often raise more questions than answers as you dive deeper into its mysteries. Here are the most frequently asked questions we have heard during our many years of professional practice.

How does the tarot "work" when it seems to answers questions so directly?

The nearest thing to an explanation of why the tarot works is an ancient theory held by many peoples throughout the world and rediscovered in the twentieth century by the legendary psychologist Dr. Carl Jung. His theory of synchronicity (from the Greek syn meaning "together" and chronos meaning "time") proposed that events happening at the same moment had a relationship of significance.

In other words, when you ask your question with sincerity and you intend to get an answer, you will get an answer, possibly in many forms. It depends on how good you are at deciphering the events around you at the moment you ask the question. A flock of birds, a cloud formation, or the pattern the wind makes in the trees could hold an answer.

The tarot is a sort of sacred machine devised to respond to your question and freeze your answer as a picture in time so that you may decipher it. The trick is to know how to decipher meaning from your deck of tarot cards, and that is precisely what Amy and I have done for you in Instant Tarot.

What if I do not like the answer I receive?

When this happens, it is important to look inside yourself and see why you are troubled by the answer you have received. Do you think you would not be able to cope if things turned out the way the tarot cards are suggesting? Do you have the confidence in yourself to believe that you can cope with a wide range of experiences? If not, why not? Using the tarot to get in touch with your feelings is one of its most important uses.

The wonderful thing about the tarot is that if you get an unfavorable answer, you can ask the tarot for guidance about how to change things for the better. To do so, you can ask questions A, B, C, D, E, and J, using the one-card or three-card spreads, or use the Celtic Cross, phrasing your question so that you are asking how to change things so that they work out more to your liking.

What if I am not sure what my answer means?

The large majority of the answers you get using Instant Tarot will make it seem as though the cards picked from your tarot deck are speaking directly to your question. However, there may be times when the answer you receive does not seem to be specifically answering your question. These are the best times for developing your intuition and your ability to make decisions.

Let your mind "free associate." This term describes the powerful way your conscious mind communicates with your Higher Self, the source of your inner voice. It does so using symbols, the language of your subconscious mind, and your dreams. Your first impression upon seeing the image(s) of the card(s) you have picked can inspire your imagination to see a further series of images connected to, and directed by, your Higher Self. You may experience a flash of intuition that can reveal the meaning that was hidden from you only a moment ago. In the tarot, The High Priestess is the card symbolizing this process.

If you still do not understand the message of the cards, pick The High Priestess card out of the deck and look at it for a moment. Know that she is going to guide you as you place her back in the deck and shuffle it while asking for a clarification of the meaning of the reading reading you are puzzled by. Then pick one card and turn to the page listing its meaning. Read position 1: YOU, and find out what you need to know.

What is the origin of the tarot?

There is an old joke told about every kind of scholar: put two of them in a room and you will get three opinions. The origin of the tarot, and even its original purpose, is a subject upon which even the most learned scholars cannot seem to agree. Some say it started out as pasteboard pictures of various gods and goddesses that were used to teach their divine properties to the illiterate; subsequently, these picture "cards" were brought to Europe by travelers from the East. These travelers arrived in an era when everything Egyptian was all the rage, and these newly arrived travelers found it advantageous to be known as "Gyptees." Their descendants are now known as Gypsies.

That theory might account for many people believing the tarot originated in Egypt. However, there are those that claim tarot came from tenth century China, and there are advocates for Hebraic, Islamic, or Indian origins as well. One thing seems certain: the earliest and most complete deck of tarot cards dates from the early fifteenth century, and is said to have been made for the Duke of Milan.

Even the origin of the word "tarot" provokes argument. Egypt advocates say it derives from the words tar and ro, meaning the "Royal Road." Indian advocates remind everyone else that the word taru means "cards" in Hindu, and that Tara is the Aryan name for the Great Mother Goddess. Those voting for tarot being a product of the Hebrew culture point to the word Torah, the name of the first five books of the Bible. However, remember that one of the areas where the cards first appeared was Milan, in Northern Italy, where there is a river called the Taro. Hmm....


Excerpted from Instant Tarot by Monte Farber, Amy Zerner. Copyright © 2017 Monte Farber and Amy Zerner. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Quick Key to Card Meanings vi

Introduction 1

Instant Tarot in Three Easy Steps 5

One-Card Reading 8

Three-Card Spread 10

Celtic Cross Spread 12

A Sample Reading 16

Frequently Asked Questions About Tarot Reading 21

The Major Arcana 26

Wands 92

Swords 134

Caps 176

Pentacles 218

About the Authors 261

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Instant Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Reading the Cards 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NatoshaM More than 1 year ago
The book, Instant Tarot is terrific! the authors Monte Faber and Amy Zerner is not the typical tarot book! It's actually very well created to help a beginner or even those who dabbled into tarot and still doesn't understand how to read them. I always had a problem remembering what each card meant, tried to read the images to make up a story. However, short term memory and so much going on in my life, I really didn't have time to study and remember each one, especially all different cards being used and their positions! Therefore, I was attracted by this book because it said it would help guide you to read cards without memorizing and that it would be easy. So I began reading and let me say, this book doesn't lie! I think what really took the hard part about reading the cards was the different system they help introduce to you in the book. the system that actually breaks it down. The position of each card and what it represents, since every placement of each card, has a different meaning. I actually never knew that and would have given it the same meaning depending on what the card showed. Also, you have in this book some ideal questions you can ask to get started and different layout examples to use to get the answer to your question or another's. Honestly, it's quite a book, different from many others. Especially, this book is really nicely made for beginners and those who have an interest in Tarot. I love the actual images and helpful guidance and tips of positioning or even questions you can ask. It's guidance really is helpful. Here is one good example I got from reading the book. If I was to pull three cards to answer a question about the effect on the mind, body or spirit, the book will show you where each would be positioned and what meaning it would really mean, not focusing on the image of the card, but the position and the card together. Finally, I really feel this book is helping me understand something more than I never understood before! It's really a wonderful read and an excellent guide.