The Beautiful and Mysterious Tarot
I am a writer of paranormal novels, and as a trained Spiritualist medium, I have worked as a 'platform' medium in Spiritualist churches in the UK and Europe.
Awhile ago I wrote about my first experience of spirit as a young child in my article for this blog, The Hanging Ghost, 4th December 2013.
Not every medium can or wants to divine using Tarot. Like clairvoyance the ability to read, and understand the messages given by the cards – is a gift from spirit.
There are many people who believe that Tarot cards are a creation of the devil. How sad because in truth, we don't know where they did come from but we do know they are very far from being evil. The cards give hope, and up-lift to many people who are deeply unhappy, and in need of spiritual help and guidance.
Tarot is ancient, so much so that nobody really knows where it did come from. It is certain that the ancient Egyptians were aware of Tarot. Images of Tarot were found depicted in the pyramids. The moors were said to have brought them to Europe, around a thousand years after the birth of Christ.
It is also thought that before the 14th century the art of Tarot was known, and kept hidden by secret schools of occult studies.
Although we do not know how old Tarot really is, or where it originally came from, we do know that it is not evil. Unfortunately, there have been practitioners that have misused the cards, and caused harm and suffering to the very people they were supposed to be helping.
These people always have to pay a high price for their sins.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to learn the art of Tarot divination, you can be sure of one thing – you will gain a greater awareness of yourself, and a deeper knowledge of the metaphysical world around you.
There is such a lot to learn and understand went it comes to Tarot that you never stop learning about it. I have been a Tarot Master for several years now, and I am still finding out new things about this wonderful gift from spirit.
The Tarot Deck
There are 78 cards in a deck, broken down as follows -
22 Major Arcana
40 Minor Arcana
16 Court Cards
The Arcana, means hidden or secret. Therefore, Major Arcana means big secret, and Minor Arcana means little secret.
The deck has 4 suits.
Wands - Work and social activities.
Cups – Love and emotions.
Pentacles (coins) - Material wealth.
Swords - Problems.
As you become more adept at using your deck the above basic principles will become intertwined with each other. Something that would normally be associated with a problem, might be seen by the card as a problem coming to an end. This is the reason it is important that you tune in, and become connected with your Tarot cards, so that you can 'read' what the cards are telling you, and not just simply give a message on the face value of the card.
The Major Arcana Cards start with The Fool, his number is 0 and end with The World, number 21.
The Court Cards, are the Kings, the Queens, the knights and the pages.
The Minor Arcana cards are the 4 suits.
Choosing a Tarot Deck
There are many different Tarot decks on the market and it is most likely that as you become more familiar with your readings, you will want to have more than one deck to work from.
One of the most well known decks is The Rider-Waite deck. It was the first deck I owned, and I still use it today.
I would warn you against choosing a deck that is, materialistic or of a base nature.
I'll explain. I once saw a deck that had explicit erotic positions as it's picture symbols, in other words using sex to sell the deck for material gain and not spiritual understanding. Such a deck will have attached to it the 'base' side of human beings, and not the higher spiritual side of Tarot. Any reader using such a deck, will in my opinion, not have the best interests of the person they are reading for, and the reading will not be accurate because of the materialistic, and unwholesome ideology the Tarot reader starts with.
This sort of deck, is to be avoided, it brings nothing good with it.
The famous artist Salvador Dali, painted a Tarot deck in his own image. He so missed the point of Tarot. Tarot is not an ego trip. Famous artist or not, this deck is definitely another one to be avoided.
Tarot is a gift from spirit to be used wisely, with a true and honest mind, and a pure heart.
The best sort of decks to choose are those depicting, Angels or native American Indians or animals of a spiritual nature, such as wolves.
Once you have chosen your deck, you will need to 'connect' with it to create a bond between you, the reader, and your spiritual guide who will help you with your readings.
How to connect with your chosen deck
I am assuming that if you are interested in the metaphysics of Tarot that you are aware of how to meditate.
If you have not meditated before, not to worry, it's very easy and very therapeutic. Meditation is a wonderful way to find a sense of calm and peace, that can help us cope with the fluctuations is our modern lives.
Find and quiet time and a place where you will not be interrupted.
The major arcana, the minor arcana cards and the court cards of your new pack of cards will be in sequence. It is easier to take each section first before shuffling the deck into a random pattern.
Start with the major cards, look at each card memorizing it completely. Do this with the minor cards and the court cards. Once you have done this, then shuffle your deck until all the cards are in a random sequence.
Now for the meditation part.
Before I start any spiritual meditation I say a prayer for help and guidance from my spiritual helpers.
Usually when meditating you close your eyes but this is not the case when familiarizing, and getting comfortable with your chosen deck.
Firstly, let all your negative energies flow out of you. Then, tell yourself that you are calm, relaxed, and are at one with spirit. As you say this, either out loud or quietly to yourself, sense your growing affinity with your cards as you look at each card in turn.
Repeat this process several times on different days. I think it best to do this one day straight after the other. Another good idea is to keep your cards with you as you go about your daily life. Once you have got to know your cards, and you can remember the symbolic pictures of each one, and the numbers relating to the Major Arcana cards, you are ready to learn how to read them.
It is rare but possible to buy a deck that does not respond to you or you to it – don't give up – chose another deck and repeat the process of tuning in to the other deck.
The Major Arcana - Elements and Astrological signs.
There are 4 elements that rule the major arcana. Fire, air, earth and water. Each card is listed in numerical order, together with it's element and along with the planetary/astrological sign they are ruled by.
0 The Fool – Air - ruled by Uranus
1 The Magician – Air – ruled by Mercury
11 The High Priestess – Water – ruled by the Moon
111 The Empress – Earth & Air – ruled by Venus
1V The Emperor – Fire – ruled by Aries
V The Hierophant – Earth – ruled by Taurus
V1 The Lovers - Air – ruled by Gemini
V11 The Chariot – Water – ruled by Cancer
V111 Strength – Fire – ruled by Leo
1X The Hermit – Earth – ruled by Virgo
X The Wheel of Fortune – Fire – ruled by Jupiter
X1 Justice – Air – ruled by Libra
X11 The Hanged Man – Water – ruled by Neptune
X111 Death - Water – ruled by Scorpio
X1V Temperance – Fire – ruled by Sagittarius
XV The Devil – Earth – ruled by Capricorn
XV1 The Tower – Fire – ruled by Mars
XV11 The Star – Air – ruled by Aquarius
XV111 The Moon – Water – ruled by Pisces
X1X The Sun – Fire – ruled by the Sun
XX Judgement – Water – ruled by Pluto
XX1 The World – Earth – ruled by Saturn
The significance of the elements will become clearer as you delve into the deeper meaning of each card.
I have also given the astrological signs for the cards, not because you have to believe in astrology to use them but because each sign is significant at the time of a reading.
Over the next few articles I shall explain how to understand and read the pictorial symbols of each suit of cards, starting with the Major Arcana cards.
However, there are many books and lots of information on the internet relating to Tarot that you might want to check out whilst, at the same time, learning from my articles.
Next time – the meanings of the Major Arcana cards.
thanks for reading this post
Josephine Sanchez Vanner
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