Introduction to Tarot

The mystique of the Tarot cards combines astrology, numerology, symbology, and the occult to reveal insights into the past, present and future.

A Tarot reading gives you an insightful look at your personal relationships and work situations, while suggesting breakthroughs and positive changes. The more you trust the Tarot the more secrets, answers and details it discloses. This ancient meditative discipline grants us access to higher levels of consciousness and an understanding of the inner self.

Readings can be short when a particular question is answered or a certain issue discussed. Readings can be longer and in detail for individuals, couples and groups when physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects are explored.

More about Tarot Cards

There are usually 78 cards in the Tarot pack, which is divided into two, referred to as the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana cards symbolise the elements, planets and Zodiac signs. The Minor Arcana are presented as Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. They express spiritual, emotional, mental and physical energies, in that order. The royalty cards in each suit, that is, the Knight, Queen, Prince and Princess, symbolise people, characteristics and qualities. There are ancient ritualistic layouts that reveal different aspects in their set placements. Other mysteries are revealed through meditative and intuitive interpretation and reading of the Tarot Cards.

Every card in the Tarot pack has a numerical value and an astrological reading, besides the universal pictorial symbols. The Tarot is universal, since the symbols are from different cultures and parts of the world. For example, there is the Ardhnareshwera from India, the Yin and Yang from China, the Egyptian Ankh, the royalty titles from Europe, the Hierophant from Greece, the Torah and Hebrew alphabet from Israel, the Fool of the Celts, and so on.

The Origin of Tarot

The origin of Tarot cards is shrouded in mystery! Tarot cards are mentioned in ancient accounts and books, and documented in old parchments and artefacts from the thirteenth century. It probably had its origins in India, Iran or China, and may have been brought to the West by Gypsies, returning Crusaders or the Arab invaders of Spain. The Tarot embodies the wisdom of ancient Egypt, pagan Celtic traditions, and the symbolism of Dante's Divine Comedy. The word 'Tarot' could have originated from 'Tarrock' or 'Tarrochi', believed to be card games in Europe.

An interesting theory springs from Papus, the Key to Occult Science, which explains that ancient Egyptian priests designed the deck as one way of preserving their secrets for initiates of future ages. These secrets were developed in a symbolic manner.

Other schools of thought believe tarot cards are a record of the secret teachings of underground religious groups, occultists and spiritual societies in Europe. The origin of tarot, however, can safely be attributed to the Gnostics, an early Christian sect.

Another popular concept links the origin of tarot to the legendary 'Book of Thoth' containing teachings of the secret schools of Egypt and Hebrew philosophy. The symbols and illustrations on the cards of the Major Arcana could be from the Cabala, a mystical Jewish tradition and system that attributes divine powers to numbers and letters.

The most popular theory is that Tarot was created in ancient Egypt, and brought to Europe around the fourteenth century by wandering tribes of Gypsies, who are dark-haired, olive-skinned and probably of Asian origin.

Significant persons and spiritual movements have contributed to the evolution and explanation of the Tarot cards. New Tarot decks are being created even today with different visuals and explanations. The term, 'on the cards' is used frequently when an event or happening is foreseen and likely to happen.

How it works

There is no logical or rational explanation for why or how the Tarot works, but it works! The Tarot is like an empty, silent, meditative being, a mirror that reflects everything standing before it. In the same way, a sensitive, receptive, non-judgmental consultant who can distance himself from his personality can mirror and reflect people and situations in their totality. An individual is a living entity who carries his or her past, present and future with him, and when he stands before a mirror all is reflected, and some truths, surprises and uncanny insights are revealed. Astrology, symbology and the occult are combined with the Tarot cards as helpful instruments to reveal details and give an accurate answer and time for events. A person's aura, energy, vibrations and body language express and reveal patterns and qualities of the individual as well.

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If you are open, receptive, relaxed and non-judgmental, you are likely to get a very good reading. It also affords insights to the present and directions for the future by highlighting your strong points and making you aware of weak points or pitfalls.

A Tarot reading indicates a path that you can follow with your wisdom and awareness, while maintaining a balance on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of consciousness. One needs to be light and open to enjoy a reading and celebrate life, whatever it brings! However, it's also unwise to be frivolous or analytical about a reading.

Eighty percent is predictable, but twenty percent is beyond all prediction and that twenty- percent adds the magic and mystery to our lives.

Instructions for handling Tarot cards

There are rituals to be observed when a Tarot reading is conducted. Three deep breaths and releasing tension will calm the seeker. A peaceful, quiet atmosphere and a meditative, silent space within relaxes your breathing and helps to establish a rhythm or connection between the seeker, the Tarot and the reader. The mind needs to be blank and rid of any bias, judgment or preconceived ideas.

Having a question clearly defined and formulated helps to get clarity within and to infuse the right energy to get accurate answers.

Tarot cards should be treated with reverence and respect; rock crystals can be used to magnify and convey healing energy and transmit positive ideas. Aromas can also be healing, and they intensify moods and readings.

A spiritual message at the end of the reading leaves you in a higher space or dimension, so you can gain a balanced perspective.