Tarot, as we know it today, was invented sometime in the middle 15th century in Italy. It closely mirrored the playing cards of the day. Some believe that people had started using playing cards for divination purposes and the tarot were just a refined version of these cards. These basics playing cards had four suits of ten cards each. These cards were brought to Europe from the Islamic world. It is thought that tarot originated when gypsies and astrologers started using ordinary playing cards to ‘tell fortunes’. Tarot has evolved, and continues to evolve, today tarot is the most important technology of divination, it is the technology of untold possibility.
During the 15th century, special cards were added to the playing cards. Later, these became known as the major arcana cards, then called the trumps or triumphs, The Greatest Secrets. The major arcana cards consist of 22 cards with titles rather than numbers and suit. Each one has a strong symbolic meaning steeped in astrology, numerology & kabbalistic references. These 22 Clues are considered to be the ‘leaders’ of the tarot deck. The remaining 56 cards are refered to as the minor arcana cards. usually these cards are split into four suits: cups, staves, swords and coins. Though there are many variations on this. So in total there are 78 secrets, 78 journeys that need to be experienced.
Tarot has evolved since it’s original form. Becoming more complex and rich in symbology. The cards themselves have gained meaning over the years from the cultures that adopted their use. Some cards have come and gone, like The Pope, The Juggler, The Arrow etc. however, around the 17th century, tarot evolved into the form we now recognise, though endless arguments abound over the true tarot sequence. Many famous alchemists and prophets have used tarot, including Nostradamus and Aristotle.
Tarot cards align with the energies projected onto them. As you shuffle the deck, you and your energies conspire to place the cards where they will be most beneficial for you. I always shuffle the deck until the cards feel right. Some people shuffle the cards three times then cut. it is really up to the questioner, or ‘querent’. Tarot taps into the psychological realm, or the subconscious of the user to give their answers.
For centuries, people have been using symbols as a type of divination. Tarot is no different. Each of the 78 cards has an individual meaning and myriad sub meanings. Tarot is an interactive Divination art. The cards interact with each other, giving them new and evermore complex meaning.
You place the cards into various spreads where the placement of each card gives it even further meaning. Where cards fall in the spread has a lot to do with how they interact with each other. A card representing the past will influence a cards representing the present and the future. There are many different spreads including the Celtic Cross, the Astrological Tarot spread, the Birthday Tarot spread, the Mandala Tarot card reading, the Planetary Tarot spread , The accurate Relationship Tarot , The Star Tarot spread , The Tree of Life Tarot and the Cross & Triangle Tarot to name just a few.
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