Tarot Overview

By Michelle Araujo

Origins

The origins of Tarot and its exact beginnings are still unclear. The evidence is still to be found. The fact is that the Tarot first came to prominence during the 15th Century Europe. We can see evidence of the influences of that period in the court cards of the Minor Arcana. The court cards represent typical personalities of those times.

The interest diminished during the 17th century when people became more interested in scientific discoveries than spiritual awakenings. It flourished again in the late 18th Century with the renewed interest in mysticism and associations of the Tarot with distinguished occultists of that time.

Carl Jung studied the Tarot for several years and related it to archetypes. It represents different aspects of humankind and the 78 Tarot cards can describe every situation we can possibly experience in life so they can be very helpful to self discovery.

The Tarot has been adapted to all beliefs and cultural heritages, and as a consequence, it has become universal. Today we can benefit from a fantastic diversity of decks to choose from such as The Arthurian Tarot, The Egyptian Tarot, The Mythic Tarot, The Romany Tarot, Osho Tarot amongst others.

Purpose

The Tarot is a source of knowledge that people may refer to in order to get a better understanding of themselves and others. It can be used for personal mediation, reflection or visualization. However, whatever your purpose initially is, once you start to use the Tarot you will be tempted to ask questions about the future.

People use the cards mainly to gain insight by associating their meaning with situations related to someone’s life as a divination method. The cards are analyzed individually and as a combination as they will display a progressive journey. The interpretation is similar to reading a map. The accuracy in reading and translating this "map" without any prompting is what makes a Tarot reader genuine. The Tarot does not predict the future, it only unlocks the answers that you already have in your unconscious. Only you can determine the outcome of a reading.

Structure

The Tarot contains 78 Cards divided into Major Arcana (also called Trumps) containing 22 cards and Minor Arcana with the remaining 56 cards.

The first 22 Cards are considered the most important. The are the portals of the Tarot. When they come in a reading they show where you are in your life, the lessons you are learning, the challenges you might be facing or the rewards you are reaping.

The Major Arcana may help you to discover why things are the way they are and give you a better understanding of your situation.

The remaining 56 cards are in no way less important. It is true that they do describe more everyday events but they bring an abundance of elements to be used in a reading that would be unwise to discredit. The Minor Arcana are divided into 4 suits of 14 cards each: Cups, Wands, Pentacles and Swords.

Being a Reader

If you intend to read for others it is fundamental to know not only the cards individually but also the meaning of their combinations. It is the only way. Even if you have the most amazing intuition, you still should not rely entirely on that. Intuition is very important but only good practical knowledge will give you tools to rely on when you find it difficult to connect with someone of if you are getting mixed messages from a card.

The key for a successful reading is to combine good intuition with learned knowledge so the experience can be both insightful and realistic in equal measures. The Tarot does not resolve issues and excessive use for divination methods can be unhealthy to the individual. Responsible readers do not encourage someone to become dependent on the cards.

The Tarots I use:

As other professional readers I do have a collection of sets. I tend to use different decks for readings, studies and personal purposes. I do recommend the following as they have worked for me.

Learning

Rider Waite by A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith

The Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke & Liz Greene

Reading for others

Tarot Illuminati by Kim Huggens & Eric Dunne

Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

Tarot for Collectors

The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerber & Monte Farber

Buckland Romany Tarot by Lissanne Lake & Raymond Buckland

The Witches Tarot by Ellen Cannon Reed

These are just a few options for you to choose. There are many other decks equally interesting and as it usually happens, your deck will find you. If you want to learn more about the Tarot feel free to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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