Have you ever been wandering through a book store and found yourself facing the new age bookshelves and thought to yourself what is this all about? Tarot, Fortune Cards, Oracle decks… What really is all this “new age stuff”?
Yeah, that was me a few months back.
On that serendipitous day I had been moments prior flipping through a variety of mystery and thriller novels on the other side of the store when I noticed it was nearing the hour we had determined prior to entry. Which is when I went in search of my wife. I found her flipping through a book on the far side of the shop nearest the coffee shop.
As the scent of coffee washed over us, I asked “Hey, what is that you are reading?” Inching forward to get a better view of the spines title: Something – Crystals for – Something – healing your inner being. She glanced up from the pages to smile into my baby blues then tucked her head and continued reading. “Coffee?” my eyes motioned. Her head was glued, eyes going through the words on the page, “yeah, thanks,” and back to reading she went.
Back at home we were sitting at our overly large kitchen table idly chatting about nothing, you know how folks do that. This is when I asked her about the plethora of decks I has seen earlier in the day at the bookstore. “Which ones were you looking at?” she asked. I sat thinking about it, not wanting to point out the obvious that my curiosity had reached an all time high and I wanted to know more about Tarot. Thats when she looked at me and said, “Its okay. Tarot is not ‘spooky’ or ‘a cult’ like some people believe it is.”
I just sat and starred at her, without saying anything back. My thoughts were racing: is it written on my face? How did she know which of those decks I was looking at? What in the… before I could finish thinking about what my answer would be, she stood up and walked across the room to our bookshelf. There she extracted a green tin with some swirling white details on the side. Then she plucked a book off the bottom shelf and returned to the table.
She placed the small tin in front of me and opened it up. “This is a very popular deck based on the original Rider-Waite set. I bought it to use when I travelled because it is smaller than regular decks. It has the traditional faces on the cards. And I used it with this book. It is hands down the best Tarot book to learn from. You’ll see.” and she walked away.
I sat at the table starring at this small green tin and The Tarot Bible by Sarah Bartlett wondering: do I do it? What do I … Then my curiosity got the better of me and I cracked open the front cover then flipped to the table of contents and read through it landing on a section titled: The History of Tarot.
That was eighteen months ago, when I first cracked open the Tarot Bible unsure of what was inside or how to use the deck. As it turns out there is typically 78 cards and usually an instruction booklet with each new deck of Tarot. There is a long history surrounding the lore of Tarot, what kind of people use it and why. There is a significant population of people who believe in Tarot and how it will respectively awaken the beings and guides around them to assist with their life decisions. Just as people believe in their Gods, deities and religions. Tarot is a belief system.
The origins of Tarot are unknown.
This is where all the skepticism comes from because somewhere back in the analogs of history these hand crafted cards turned up in someone’s possession. They did not explain where they came from nor did they write down on a stone or paper or bark board. No these were a hidden secret.
The cards were rare and highly decorated. Which made them even more valuable. Probably the very reason why people did not want to leave a history behind about these decks of cards.
Tarot – (/ˈtæroʊ/, first known as trionfi and later as tarocchi or tarock) is a deck of playing cards dating back to the early 15th century. It was played in parts of Europe, Italy and Austria. In the late 18th century the tarot decks began to be used for divination, tarot card readings and cartomancy (fortune-telling), this lead to a development of custom decks which became used for occult purposes such as the seeking out of supernatural, mystical, or magical beliefs, practices, or phenomena.
Similarly to a common deck of playing cards, the Tarot deck has four-suits usually: swords, pentacles, cups and wands. Each suit is then divided into 14-cards. The cards begin with the King and finish with the Ace: King, Queen, Paige, Knight, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two and Ace. Every card informs a specific set of meanings about a persons’ characteristics all which is based around human nature. These 56-cards are known as the Minor Arcana.
Following this deck is the Major Arcana, which is composed of 22-cards. However unlike the Minor set, these cards are not suited. Each card is a singular item. Each with its own distinctive name and number. For example: #9 is The Hermit, and #13 is Death.
Each and every card is draped with symbolism. The purpose of tarot, is to assist a person with their journey throughout life by understanding the Present, Past and Future. It is said that each and every time you use your deck, your spirit guides become more prominent in providing to you a clearer and more precise message.
This article does have a few affiliate links where we will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.