10 Essential Facts About Tarot

Tarot Cards

Tarot, any of a set of cards used in tarot games and divination of the future. Tarot (known first as triumphs and later as tarocchi or tarok) is a deck of playing cards used since the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as the Italian, French and Austrian tarot Konigrufen. Tarot is a deck of cards that developed in many ways in parallel with other card games during the renaissance (although its origins are expected to be much older in any setting that loves ancient conspiracy and old mythological references). Yes, tarot was a game in its beginning and every card told the story of the tarot.0

The cards are named after the games they were (and still are) played, for example. Tarot cards of the French suit, with the exception of new decks, are used almost exclusively for card games. These suits are still used in traditional Italian, Spanish and Portuguese decks of playing cards, but have also been adapted into decks used specifically for divination tarot cards that first appeared in the late 18th century.1

In the late 18th century, some tarot decks began to be used for divination by tarot readings and cartomania, leading to the creation of special decks designed for such occult purposes. As the use of the cards shifted from game to instrument, numerous occultists and card readers gave their interpretation of the meanings of the cards. The cards in the deck had little value until the end of the 16th century.2 While most standard decks have 78 cards, each card in each deck has a different name and image. Minor Arcana’s 56 cards are divided into four sets of 14 cards each. The suits of the minor arcana start with ace, then numbered cards, then pages, knights, queens, and kings.3

Each suit consists of 4 face cards (King, Queen, Knight and Jack) and 10 numbered cards. The standard tarot consists of 78 cards divided into two groups: 22 major arcanas and 56 minor arcanas. The Major Arcana is the 22 cards inserted in the Tarot deck and is considered the fulcrum and foundation of the deck.4 Although a typical tarot deck contains 78 cards, a birth tarot card can only be one of the 22 major arcana cards (minus the Fool because that number of cards is zero). If you read in Major Arcana order, this is known as the Journey of Fools, which can be helpful to the reader to understand how one card builds upon another. For simplicity, it’s recommended that you first study the astrological meaning of the Major Arcana, the elemental correspondence of the Minor Arcana, and some keywords for each card in both positions.5

The major arcana show great life events, while the minor arcana deal with traits and talk about our daily lives, although much of this obviously varies depending on the reader. In pop culture and movies featuring either traditional or modern tarot, decks almost always focus on the Major Arcana, but rarely discuss or utilize the Minor Arcana.6 Aside from traditional and modern tarot decks, unique decks allow tarot readers to connect with artistic and spiritual messages that feel more personal and therefore more rewarding. Most tarot decks are made up of 78 cards representing themes common to human experience, and practicing card reading can help you contextualize any life situation and even strengthen your relationship with yourself. Psychics often say that when choosing a reading Tarot deck, you should choose the one that speaks to you the most and the one whose images resonate within you. Every tarot deck is unique and every tarot reader will connect with each deck in a different way.7

Because tarot cards are an ever-evolving art and a powerful tool, popular tarot practitioners today often rely on new card decks such as the Modern Witch Tarot and the Tattoo Tarot to find and add meaning to their lives. Today, both tarot and oracle cards, which have fewer rules and a wider range of content, are still very popular among modern mystics (or those who are looking for a glimpse into the future).8 Probably the most influential contemporary tarot card is Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot (1943), which retains Waite’s format but changes the symbolism and changes several Names; Justice (XI) becomes Adjustment (VIII), becomes Strength (VIII), such as Desire (XI), and Waite’s familiar characters are replaced by princes, princesses, knights, and queens. The first deck of tarot cards was invented in Italy in 1430 by adding a fifth set of 21 specially illustrated cards, called trionfi (“trionfi”) and a card called il matto (“fool”, to the existing four decks ) of odd-numbered cards. “French Tarot” and “Tarotcini” etc., in which the so-called “Great Arcane” were used as trump cards of various levels (before 1700 they were simply called “trumps”).9 Charles Ludlum’s experimental work, The Major Tarot, not only consists of characters from the Major Arcana of the Tarot (the high priest and magician are the main romantic couple, the Betas are the emperor and queen), but also has many The cards in the deck correspond to the scene, and in earlier versions of the game, the cards had to be shuffled to determine the order of the scenes.12

The first evidence that the tarot cards were used for divination came from an anonymous manuscript from around 1750, which recorded the basic divination meanings of the Bologna tarot cards. In keeping with the unproven belief that these cards originated in the Book of Thoth, the Etila Tarot contains themes related to ancient Egypt.10 These are not actual Tarot/Tarot decks, but a Bavarian or Württemberg model of the standard German suit decks, with only 36 cards; cards from 6 to 10, less jack (unter), more jack (ober), king and ace. Your deck most likely comes with an instruction book that explains each specific card in that set. It can be difficult to memorize all the cards at once, so try to make it a rule to take a deck and study one or two cards every day. If you do this in the morning, you can remember this throughout the day. If you start working alone, many people draw cards daily, taking a card out of the deck and thinking only about the meaning of the card. Some readers practice by drawing a card from the deck, determining the meaning for themselves and then sleep with that card under their pillow. If you use this method, it’s a great idea to jot down whatever dreams you have that could be related to the card and hold personal meaning for you. This will help you better connect with your subconscious mind and your chosen tarot deck, allowing for clearer, more precise readings.11

Tarot can seem intimidating because it’s a 78-card deck and, the meanings of the cards are all different and each can be interpreted in different ways. One of the great things about tarot cards is that the same card can even change meanings the longer you read them. As you develop your skills and grow as a reader, you may find certain meanings no longer fit and that’s ok, because it means you’re growing a deeper connection with your higher self, your intuition and your subconscious mind.

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