September 30, 2009

A bit About Tarot - plus a bonus

The History of Tarot~
Master researcher Stewart Kaplan states that tarot started as a card game in the early 1400's, 'Tarocchi'. However, it would be another 200+ years before tarot would be used as a means of 'parlor fortune-telling'.
These fortunes where very much tongue and cheek. 'In early spring, you will meet an older man who will take you as his bride'.
Another 100+ years later, an archeologist associated the pictorial of the cards to the Egyptian book of the Dead. Several years later the deck was given occult meanings by Eliphas Levi, a master in Kabbalah, who associated the cards to the magical aspects found in the Hebrew alphabet.

This was the beginning of where today's tarot used for divination gets its magical associations.
The most popular tarot deck published specifically for divination was in 1910. This is the popular Rider Waite Smith deck. Rider being the publisher, Waite being Arthur Waite, a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn and Smith being Pamela Coleman Smith the artist commissioned to create the decks imagery.
Shortly there after, Aleister Crowley had the Thoth deck published. He was also a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn and his artist was also a woman, Lady Frieda Harris.
Where the Waite deck is more European and medieval in look and feel, the Thoth deck has more of an Egyptian/Kabalistic feel to it.

The Tarot Deck~ ‘What defines a Tarot deck?’
There are no hard set rules in tarot other than the structure of the deck itself. The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards which are divided into two Arcanas; the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana is a small deck of 22 cards numbered 0-21. They are considered the Trump cards of the deck. The Minor Arcana is very much like a regular deck of playing cards, having four suits and a set of four court (face) cards. The Minor Arcana are numbered from Ace to 10 and have Page, Knight, Queen & King for the court cards. Some decks will give different names to the court cards and the Trump cards.
Any deck that falls short of this format is not really a tarot deck, with the exception of a Trumps only deck.
The Tarot is just one of many kinds of divination decks in print today.

Myths of Tarot~
Two common areas of misconception are how one gets a tarot deck and who can touch it.
It is often said that you should be given a deck for it to work. I can personally tell you that the process of choosing your deck can be a wonderful experience. However, gifted decks are often found to be special in some way.
There are three different lines of thoughts on people handling tarot decks.
1- ‘Never let anyone touch your deck, their energy will enter the deck and not work for you..’
2- ‘The person getting the reading MUST shuffle and cut the deck to put their energy into the reading.’
3- Energy is energy and it does not matter who touches them.

I agree that there is energy, that is a fact, and energy does transfer from one object to another, that is life. Energy is constantly in motion.
For some readers having the clients shuffle the cards is how they connect to the energy of that person.

‘OH NO- I got the DEATH card! Am I going to die?’
The Death card is often feared because so many think that this card means that they or someone close to them will die. This is rarely the case. If the Death card shows up in a reading, it is usually a card that reflects a message of change. Out with the old and in with the new.

How Tarot Works~
Each individual card has a very specific root meaning to it and while it may be similar to other cards- it is still different.
For example, all Ace cards speak of new beginnings. If the card is a Cups card then it is about some emotional beginning and if it is a Swords card then it is some new way of thinking. The depth of the cards meaning just builds from there.
The finer details are found in the numerous symbols that are seen in each card, as well as how several cards interact with each other.
View a written reading report HERE

'How does a person read for another if they are not sitting with them?'
This is again about energy, the collective unconscious, the Anima Mundi which means World Soul. There are many who believe that we are all connected in spirit. It is this place of connectedness that a psychic will reach into and gather the information that is needed. Some use guides to help them through the Ether, others will use runes, tea leaves, what ever.

~ Who I am as an Intuitive Reader of Tarot ~
My love of playing cards started when I was very young. I was a challenging player in any game taught to me.
My interest in card reading started when I was 12 and my aunt read for me with a pack of playing cards. It would be a few years before I had an actual Tarot deck and that was over 18 years ago.

When I do readings, all I want is the question or focus for the reading, I can also do a ‘general’ reading where no question is asked and the cards are just drawn and the message from spirit is relayed.
The card images and symbolism triggers my connection to the Anima Mundi. It may be a vision, a smell or some other impression I feel that brings more depth and color to the reading.

BONUS - You could WIN a reading!
If you have a question about the art of tarot reading or the tarot deck itself, you could win a Tarot reading.
To enter you will need to join Under A Magic Moon
(you can un-join after the contest is over)
Read the contest rules and ask your questions in the Common Questions About Tarot.

Good Luck to All

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