Tarot Card Readings

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two-wands

The origins of the Tarot remain mysterious. Using ancient archetypal symbolism that the brain recognises on a deep level the Tarot provides a bridge from the unconscious to conscious helping to tell us what we already know deep down!

The cards use visual symbols and scenes to mirror back to us what is happening in our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves in relation to past, present and possible future life situations.

A traditional Tarot deck consists of 78 picture cards in all, with  22 'Major Arcana' Cards and 56 'Minor' Arcana cards. Arcana actually comes from a Latin word that means secrets or mysteries and the cards help us to bring stuff that is affecting us and our lives to the fore, exposing invisible influences that we might not have consciously recognised, aspects that we might be ignoring, doubting or that we have just missed because we are so busy.

The Major Arcana

Most researchers agree that the 22 Major cards were created first in ancient Egypt . Found inscribed onto pillars in a Egyptian temple, it is believed they were used as a kind of holistic, educational tool  to teach 'initiates' the nature of our existence and anyone can use the Tarot today to the same effect.

The Minor Arcana

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The Minor Arcana can also be traced back to Egypt to a deck called the Mamaluke Deck that seems to have originated in Mamluk Egypt. The suits are said to have consisted of  Cups, Wands, Swords  and Pentacles and are found later in Europe in the 14th century. Though there is historical record of them being banned in 1367* possibly because their middle Eastern origins conflicted with the religious, political rulers of Europe at the time. However, there is then further record of a deck of game cards being used for games in 1377 that closely mimicked the Mamaluke deck.

With printing presses  far and few between, hand painted decks would have been relatively rare and made their way across Europe, presumably in the hands of cartomancers and fortune tellers. As they spread throughout different countries court cards were redesigned to represent the European Royalty and Religions of the time and place.

In Spain and Italy, the suits retained their Tarot symbols with one Italian card game even having some of the Major Arcana characters in it too, but in Germany  they were designed with hearts, bells, leaves and acorns and in France...hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds, morphing into the Anglo-French deck we are familiar with today. 

As we evolve so do the Tarot, as the world opens and cultures mix so does the symbolism used in the design of newer decks.

Cups

The Cups may express how we intuitively feel about things, the emotions that instinctively originate from our heart centre. The element often associated with the cups is water, the element of spirit.

Swords

The Swords indicate how we think aout our ideas, they can express the logical aspect to our decisions and responses and an element of reason. Swords are usually associated with the element air.

Wands

The Wands or Rods, reflect the attitude with which we use our inspiration, the motivational forces, what fuels our creativity. They portray levels of motivation and enthusiasm for what we do. The element associated with wands is Fire. They can describe outward movement as well as inward.

Pentacles

Pentacles can be seen to express the manner in which we experience the work and harvest of our choices and practical activities. The element usually associated with the Pentacles is earth.

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Look into the Mirror of the Tarot

With the Major Arcana dealing with some foundational concepts of being human, the Minor Arcana can be seen to support them, picking up on all the little creative cycles in process happening in our lives... the inspirations, motivations, manifestations and repercussions.  

At the end of the day, although the ancient symbolism acts as a guideo the wisdom of the Tarot, what the cards say to you or how you interpret what your reader says is what matters most.

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*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playing_card