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A Beginner's Guide to Tarot Card Readings
INTRODUCING THE TAROT -
Tarot is a means of divination -
The cards were originally used for a game called Tarocchi or 'Game of Triumphs' which was similar to Bridge. The game was played mainly by the Upper Classes and has continued in some circles (mainly in Italy and France) to be played to this day.
The tarot's use by the Upper Classes probably saved the game from being banned by the Church (though some accounts state that tarot was considered heretical and outlawed by the Church). Indeed in the latter half of the fifteenth century some church sermons labelled tarot as the work of the Devil. But in fact the Church concerned itself more with the use of ordinary playing cards, which were considered gambling. Some cards from the tarot deck -
The first evidence of tarot being used as a divinatory tool came in the early eighteenth century in Bologna. In 1781 a clergyman, Antoine Court de Gebelin, revitalised and raised awareness of the tarot in his book, which drew links between the imagery in the Major Arcana and the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. This was later picked up by occult practitioners (occult means "hidden") such as Alistair Crowley and Waite of the Rider-
There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. These cards are made up of a Major Arcana (Trumps) and Minor Arcana. Arcana means mystery, which reflects the secret wisdom contained in each card.
The Major Arcana
Major Arcana or 'Great Mysteries' consists of 22 cards and represents our journey through life.
The Minor Arcana (Lesser Mysteries)
consists of 56 cards and represents day-
The Minor Arcana can be divided into four suits. These are Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins.
The Wands represent doing
Key words: Action, change, beginning, resolution, fire element.
The Cups represent being
Key words: Feeling, emotions, spiritual, love, water element.
The Swords represent thinking
Key words: Ideas, understanding, reason, conflict, air element.
The Coins represent having
Key words: Money, property, abundance, earth element.
Each suit consists of numbered cards from Ace to Ten
plus four Court Cards -
The Court Cards traditionally represent a person in your life or an aspect of yourself. For instance, turning up the Knight of Wands suggests you or someone in your life may be acting irresponsibly and therefore behaving like this Knight. This site has been written so that all the interpretations can be found in the text. You do not need to do any extra work in adding the Court Card interpretations into your readings.
These definitions are not intended to give comprehensive definitions (nor do they fit each card precisely). Rather, they provide general patterns and a rough path through the suits:
Ace: Represents the essence of its suit
Two: First steps into the area of the suit
Three: Further steps
Four: Inner blocks to be overcome along the way
Five: Hardship, strife, struggle, conflict
Six: Journeys and learning new lessons
Seven: Learning further, more challenging lessons in order to break into the new
Eight: Having to persist through difficulties
Nine: Final lessons
Ten: The end result of learning all the lessons of the suit
Page: The apprentice who learns and plays with the essence of the suit
Knight: The rebellious or 'darker' side to the suit
Queen: The feminine manifestation of the suit -
King: The masculine manifestation of the suit -
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