Understanding the Tarot**Lesson One
Posted 28 July 2004 - 05:35 AM
Many scholars, although not in agreement about Tarot’s beginnings, do agree that the cards can be traced back to ancient civilizations. Derivations have been found in ancient Egypt, Persia, China and Italy, as well as in Kabalistic teachings.
The theories of origin are many. Here are just a few:
1) The cards were created by Thoth, mediator to Osiris.
2) Persecuted pagans entrusted their cards to wandering European gypsies, who were to divulge the secrets of the Tarot to worthy people only.
3) Italian scholars created the tarot, which often appear to be based on artwork of the period.
Throughout the centuries, the curiosity about the Tarot’s origin has continued. Concurrently, as time passed, the masters – Aleister Crowley, Paul Foster Case, A.E. Waite, revised the decks.
Waite and artist Pamela Colman Smith created the 78-card deck we use today. Waite had previously broken away from The Order of the Golden Dawn and sought to create a deck which paid homage to the ancients while repairing concepts, which had been lost or hidden over the years. His cards were printed by the Rider Company, and are now known as Rider-Waite or Rider-Smith-Waite.
Waite and Smith’s deck is the one I will use as reference during the course of these lessons. They remain the most popular deck. I also believe they are the easiest to interpret. Once you’ve learned about the Tarot, you may choose to search for a deck which better suits you. If you do, you will be able to follow the correlation.
Note that on each card of the Rider-Smith-Waite deck, lies the distinctive mark of Pamela Colman Smith – the letter ‘P’ crossed by the ‘C’ and ‘S’.
Regardless of its precise origin, the tarot has clearly been used for centuries to determine past, present and future events, and their relationship to us. The pictures the cards bear tell a story which relates to the course of everyday living. And are we so different from our ancestors? We still have the same concerns: prosperity, family, love, health, and employment. The Tarot, in all its forms, continues to address these issues.
Making Your Cards Your Own
This is especially important to those of you who have new decks, or decks which have been waiting in a closet for their time of use to arrive! Open the box, remove the cards and discard the box – You won’t be needing it any longer.
Run each card individually over burning frankincense incense. This cleanses the cards of all others who have touched them before you, whether it was a printer at the company who packaged them, a querant (questioner) from a prior reading (if you’ve already given that a try), or your favorite aunt who presented the cards to you as a gift.
For the first three days, after coming into possession of a deck, sleep with your cards under your pillow.
Handle your cards often and lovingly. As you’re sitting watching television tonight, or reading a book, hold your cards. Shuffle them gently. Rest them on your lap and move them about. Imprint yourself onto them. You’re forming a bond. A well-worn deck of Tarot Cards is a well-loved deck. The cards will respond to this transferal of your trust.
The cards should be wrapped in a soft piece of material, preferably silk, when not in use. I use a piece of a scarf. Many readers then put the cards, wrapped in silk, into a cedar box. Cedar is chosen because it is felt that cedar will absorb any negativity that may have impacted the cards during a reading. Since I’m sure to cleanse my cards after each reading, and I also do readings over a mirror to deflect negative energy, I don’t use a box. Instead, I keep my cards in a soft pouch.
The Tarot Deck
With a total of 78 cards, a Tarot deck is comprised of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.
The Major Arcana contains 21 numbered cards, and a 0 card (The Fool).
Each of the Major Arcana represents a principle or an element of nature. It helps to look at these Face cards in this way:
Cards 0 – 5 Starting Anew
Cards 6 – 11 Choices
Cards 12 – 16 Questioning
Cards 17 – 21 Reap What You Have Sowed
The Major Arcana focuses on our destiny.
The Minor Arcana reminds us of a normal deck of playing cards –
Tarot Playing Cards
Ace – 10 Ace – 10
Page Not Included
I use both a standard Tarot deck and a regular deck of cards. The latter was given to me by grandmother and holds a special meaning for me. For those of you who choose to use a special deck of playing cards, rather than a Rider-Waite deck, the correlation is as follows:
The Minor Arcana is made up of 4 suits, 14 cards each.
Wands Enterprise and Growth
Cups Emotion and Sensitivity
Swords Action and Mental Ability
Pentacles Money and Prosperity
The Minor Arcana focuses on our everyday lives.
Please handle your cards today! Tomorrow, we’ll start learning about the Major Arcana , 5 – 6 cards per day.
(Please note that I typed this in Word, and then transferred it to GV to begin this thread...I apologize for any irregularities in the alignment!)
I've been hit by mrsspookypants
Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:11 AM
I've been hit by mrsspookypants
Posted 20 August 2004 - 10:53 AM
Does tarot reading's even come true?
If it hadn't been for my tarot( and the helpful spirit who encouraged and intepreted for me---so far I don't seem to have acquired much skill with them on my own, though I guess that takes time), I would not have gone to the doctor when I needed to and could have died or done permanent damage to myself. So they can be quite valuable.
Posted 14 June 2005 - 09:13 AM
Posted 20 June 2007 - 01:05 PM
Posted 21 June 2007 - 01:53 PM
You know After I read through these I acquired a deck and tried things out. Needless to say they spoke in greek to me. I think my tuning to the supernatural is way off these days.
Posted 29 June 2007 - 10:56 AM
Does tarot reading's even come true?
Inaccurate readings can happen for many reasons. Fake 'fortune tellers' usually just tell you what you want to hear. Inexperienced readers often tell you what they want for you to experience, but not what may actually happen. Reading results can be influenced by external influences. I tried to read for someone while a very chatty person sat with us. I made the chatty girl go away, because her energy was influencing the cards that popped up. Once I screwed up a reading because I could tell the questionner was a closeted gay and I wasn't interested in outing him in front of those listening to the reading.
Readings given at a moment in time only indicate the future events based on past and present conditions. The forcasted events can be changed because the future is influenced by your free will.
Most of the time the 'fortune' told is like predicting the weather based on computer trend analyses.
Posted 29 June 2007 - 11:41 AM
Thank you for posting these. I have always wanted to learn to read Tarot. I feel like I am an insightful person and with tools, practice and guidance I think I could make an effective reader. I have always let myself become intimidated by the whole process and I have never really had anyone to advise me.
I do not own a deck - does anyone have a suggestion for an online store I get order them from?
Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:27 PM
The House of Tarot is another source that was recommended to me . . .
Edited by earth_spirit, 29 June 2007 - 02:30 PM.
Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:21 PM
Posted 28 April 2008 - 01:32 AM
Now if I can find my decks I'd be set... If not, a trip to the Enchanted Forest in Fort Worth may have to be in order as they have such an excellent selection of Tarot decks.
I'm thinking I should get the Rider-Waite Deck for ease of use. If I could only find my Faerie deck, I'd love to use those - they're just nothing like a traditional Tarot deck so I put them away and now can't find them...
Thanks again for the lessons. I'm getting quite a bit out of them.
Posted 24 August 2011 - 08:21 PM
Cry Havoc! And let loose the Dobermans of war!
Life is too short to take seriously, none of us get out of it alive.
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:52 AM
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