Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Something – Tarot Reading Tips & History

Tarot Reading Tips & History

The exact origin of the tarot is not known, but it is thought that they originated from somewhere around India and were brought to Europe with the Gypsies. The earliest known deck seems to have appeared around the fourteenth century. During the Renaissance, the tarot was a part of a growing interest in the studies of the mystic arts, such as Qabbalah and alchemy. The tarot saw a revival in the nineteenth century and has been enjoying popularity ever since.

The modern day deck of playing cards is believed to have come from the tarot The face cards of the tarot deck are the King, Queen, Knight, and Page(where in some decks, the Knight and Page are known as the Prince and Princess, respectively). As the modern day playing card deck began to evolve the Knight was dropped and the Page became the Jack. The suits of the tarot are related to the suits of playing cards. The suit of spades is equivalent to the tarot suit of swords, and diamonds corresponds to pentacles. The clubs equals the tarot suit of wands or staves and the hearts corresponds to cups in the tarot deck.

Choosing your own tarot deck is a very personal thing; every deck "feels" different to every person. You should choose the deck whose images really speak to you. For me, I have only found one deck that “speaks” to me, and in turn through me. I have tried many different decks, but have ended up giving them away. That’s another thing – you will find a deck to be much more “effective” when it comes as a gift. If you want to become a collector of decks, then by all means purchase all you want. But you will find that for use, a gift deck will be what you want to use.

I have also found FOR ME that for my deck to be mine, it can only be handled by me. Ever. When I read for someone, I shuffle the deck while they focus on their question. I’ve had it remarked that this would make it harder to achieve accuracy, but for me that just hasn’t been the case. So far, my readings have seemed to be pretty accurate. In addition, when I read for someone, I prefer they not tell me their question until after the reading. If I know what they are looking for it tends to color my readings. The cards may be trying to tell this person something that will be overlooked or misinterpreted if I am only looking for information relating to say love or finances.

After I do the reading of what I see, I then inquire about their specific question, and look deeper, for alternate meaning relating to their question. While there are specific associations for each card, each card can also have numerous meanings. As can the meanings of cards vary in relation to each other. The same exact fall of cards can have drastically different meanings for different people.

I use the picture on each card - I rely on the information gained by doing so quite heavily, which may be part of the reason I only use a specific deck. I dunno – I’ve had some beautiful decks, but just couldn’t “read” them. A good way to pick your own deck is to find a website that carries many different decks. A good one, and a site I shop frequently is Capricorn’s Lair. Go to the site & find decks you like. Then go to search engine like Google and type in the name. You should be able to find examples of the artwork, pictures of the cards. Once you’ve narrowed the selection somewhat, then go find a store in your area that sells many different decks, and see if they have the ones on your list. New Age and metaphysical bookstores are more likely to have a good selection on hand, although many chain bookstores do carry the more popular ones, such as the Rider-Waite, and will be glad to special order any of the other decks. When you visit the store, ask if they will let you look at a deck from the box, but I have a warning note here: if you do not know much about the tarot, you may not think this is a big deal, but many tarot readers will not buy a deck that has been handled by others. A deck is a personal thing, and many tarot readers believe that their decks take on something of themselves. Personally, I would never buy an unsealed deck – even with cleansing, I prefer a few hands as possible to have touched them.

You can also purchase carrying/storage cases for cards, either from a webstore or an actual store, but I personally made mine. Granted I am somewhat skilled at sewing, so it was only natural for me to do so, but making a bag is extremely easy. All you need is a piece of silk the width of your deck plus 2 1/2 inches, by the length of your deck plus 2 1/2 inches. Fold it in half long-ways, right sides together, and stitch up the sides. Fold over the top about 3/4 of an inch, and stitch it where the edge of the fabric meets the rest of it, leaving an opening you can run a piece of leather or a ribbon thru and tie it closed. Again, making your own limits the energies going into it. Place your cards in your case, and put them under your pillow, leaving them there for a couple of nights, to absorb your energy.  

There are many good sites out there in cyberspace. There are also many charlatans. One of the ones I have found that I like is ifate. It shows several layouts, and what each card position represents. It will also allow you to receive a reading, and the one time I did it came back fairly accurate in a generic sort of way : ).

There is however, more to reading the tarot than card meanings and positions. A large number of one type of card can add insight and greater depth to your readings. Here are some examples and their suggested meanings:

  • A large number of Major Arcana indicate an important time in the querent’s life. The decisions made and the actions taken will have long term consequences. The Major Arcana holds sway over our spiritual life, matters of our inner being.
  • If the cards are predominantly Minor Arcana, the querent’s question is of a mundane matter. Despite how important it may seem at the time, it will have little effect in the long run. Our character or nature will remain as it is.
  • A large percentage of Wands can indicate growth and energy. A large percentage of Court Cards that are Wands indicate business transactions.
  • An excess of Cups can indicate that the question has to do with love, children or pleasure. An excess of Cup Court Cards indicate delightful company.
  • A great deal of Swords suggests aggressive ambition or destructive activities. A great deal of Sword Court Cards indicate conflict.
  • Many Pentacles would indicate that the querent’s question revolves around money, goods or material gain. Many Court Cards that are Pentacles indicate politics or high finance.
  • Specific Court Cards or numbers have their meanings as well. A large number of Court Cards can indicate the influence of a great many people. A situation that is almost beyond the control of the querent.
  • A large number of Kings relate to honors and meetings of those of high rank.
  • A large number of Queens can indicate powerful friends and influence.
  • Many Knights can foretell haste and unexpected meetings.
  • A great deal of Pages denote news and other messages.
  • Many Aces indicate power, force and success. They are often the cards of beginnings as well.
  • Twos in number reflect partnerships and important conversation.
  • Many Threes reflect determination, but one must beware of the truth being bent.
  • A large number of Fours represents rest earned through good planning and hard work.
  • A great deal of Fives almost always indicates quarrels and difficulties.
  • Many Sixes represent gain and pleasure.
  • Sevens in number indicate agreements as well as possible disappointments.
  • Many Eights can represent news or journeys.
  • Nines in number warn of added responsibilities.
  • A great deal of Tens can indicate heavy responsibility, commerce and anxiety.

Taken in part from:

The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case
A Complete Guide to the Tarot by Eden Gray

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

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