Tarot: An Introduction by W1tchsbrew
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What is Tarot?
Tarot cards and their symbolic meanings have intrigued people for centuries. Tarot reading is the practice of divining wisdom and guidance through a specific spread (or layout) of Tarot cards. However, contrary to popular belief, the cards do not simply tell your fortune. The cards are meant to give insight into the innermost truths of your higher self. In other words, the cards provide an evolved awareness of what you already know deep within. Tarot is a system of archetypes, a picture-book of the human condition, reflecting our states of mind and stages of life.
Archetypes are symbols to which we all can relate. They represent significant aspects of life, people around us as well as events. According to Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, we are all pre-programmed to look for archetypes in our everyday lives because they serve as a framework for our understanding of the world. Each of the 78 Tarot cards is a type of archetype. These powerful archetypes enable us to examine the forces that live deep within us and invoke a mood, a need, or a greater understanding of our personality or soul life.
From its uptake as an instrument of divination in 18th century France, the tarot went on to be used in hermeneutic, magical, semiotic and psychological practices.
The word “tarot” and German Tarock derive from the Italian “Tarocchi”, the origin of which is uncertain but taroch was used as a synonym for foolishness in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
Every card in the 78-card Tarot deck has a different meaning. When you put cards together and read them as a story, you can draw conclusions about your life. In order to see dimensions, the deck is divided into two sections:
There are 22 cards of the Major Arcana, which divulge greater secrets, and 56 cards of the Minor Arcana, which divulge lesser secrets and are further divided into four suits. The suits of the Minor Arcana include: Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles.
The fourteen cards in each suit are numbered Ace through Ten, plus the Court Cards which consist of the Page (Princess), Knight (Prince), Queen, and King.
The Major Arcana cards consist of: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement and The World.
Decks can vary some in naming. And while the suits and individual cards are not always called the same thing, their core meanings are fairly universal.
Tarot card illustrations are generally a single image in an upright position, unlike common playing cards that display a dual image facing both right-side-up and upside-down.
When Tarot cards are collected and shuffled or moved about, they can show up upside-down in a reading. The reversed Tarot card can be interpreted in various ways.
The three-card spread is the easiest spread for a beginner and ideal for a quick basic Tarot reading. Although there are multiple types of “spreads” which can be used, some more in depth than others.
Most legitimate tarot decks come with a small booklet giving brief examples as to what kinds of spreads you can utilize. However one must not rely solely on the instructions of a booklet when practicing this form of divination. Meditation and self educating is key.
To become truly skilled in the art of tarot can take many years of experience and study.
Tarot readers (also known as fortune tellers or seers) are spiritual advisors. Using divination tools such as tarot, they have the ability to both read a persons energy as well as tap into their life circumstances in regards to things that may have or may happen.
Tarot cards are a powerful tool for greater awareness and transformation. They are a metaphysical medium which enables us to connect with our inner wisdom in order to reveal what is really happening below the surface of events around us.
However, a level of caution must be displayed upon entering this revered practice as a misinterpretation of tarot could both give the wrong message as well as steer one’s mental or spiritual state in the wrong direction.