A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TAROT
Back in the late 14th Century Europe Tarot cards were known as trionfi and had nothing to do with predicting the future, instead were used to play games. Similar to the modern playing cards they have four suits: Wands, Pentacles, cups, and swords.
In the eighteenth century, the occult took hold of Tarot cards and since then the people started using tarot as a divination tool. The turning point for Tarot cards was in 1781 when Antoine Court de Gebelin, a French clergyman, wrote a paper that was published in his own compilation of papers called “The Primitive World, Analyzed and Compared to the Modern World” explaining that he believed that tarot cards were linked to Egyptian mystics and Egyptian gods. It didn’t take much time for tarot readings to become popular among the nobility, with readers making appearances at parties and gatherings. A decade later, in 1791, French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette, released the first tarot deck designed specifically for divination and occult.
Now we know where the tarot cards came from and how they became what they are known for today but WHAT DOES IT ALL ACTUALLY MEAN?
WHAT ARE TAROT CARDS?
The Tarot cards are a deck of 78 cards, each card with a different image, symbols, and story. These are divided into two groups: 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. Minor Arcana are further divided into 16 Tarot Court Cards and 40 numbered cards categorized into 4 Suits – Swords, Cups, Pentacles, and Wands.
Major Arcana cards are believed to carry deep meaning, representing the Major changes and lessons in life and expressing the general energies present in the life of the inquirer/querent. Major Arcana cards include The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World.
Minor Arcana are interpreted as challenges we face on a day-to-day basis. Their influence is interpreted as more temporary than the Major Arcana cards. Each suit has distinct energy: The Suit of Wands is linked to the fire element, so it’s connected to the feelings of passion, brightness, and new concepts. The Suit of Pentacles is more about worldly possessions, so money, finances, and career life. The suit of Cups represents emotions and intuition. These cards are usually hinting at relationships and exploring connections within yourself and others. And last but not least, the Suit of Swords portrays the inquirer’s inner power. They connect with their actions, ideas, decisions making, and way of communicating.
How does it work?
Basically, before doing the tarot reading for the querent /client the Tarot reader properly shuffles the card, at this time the tarot reader consciously focuses on the question asked by the querent and channels the energy around the question and the querent. After that, the reader either picks three cards or asks the querent to pull three cards or may even let the cards fall by themselves while shuffling and later on spreads out the cards in the desired form.
Tarot cards can be laid out in different ways. Each Tarot spread is believed to have different energy and each position assigns meanings to the cards. The most basic one is the three-card spread. After shuffling the deck, three cards are picked to represent the past, the present, and the possible future outcome.
Each Tarot card has a detailed image with an abundance of spiritual symbols that help you connect to your intuitive mind. The story within every card of your Tarot reading spread represents a metaphor for what you’re currently experiencing. For example, if you see The Ten of Swords which shows a man lying face down, apparently dead, with ten swords on his back it reminds you of your state when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and exhausted it can also show, painful endings, deep wounds, betrayal, loss etc.
These are intuitive messages that you receive from the Tarot cards. And these intuitive messages are often more powerful than the traditional meanings of the Tarot cards because they are personal and specific to the querent/ inquirer.
The Tarot works with the energy of the Querent and the Tarot reader. When a Tarot reader shuffles the Tarot cards, the energy of the querent is being channeled into the cards so that when the reader selects the cards for your reading, the cards drawn or shown to them are the most relevant to the querent. Every Tarot reading is unique to the querent in that moment and time because it’s tapping into the querent’s energy at that point of time.
Tarot works by understanding and interpreting the present energy to predict future energies. The cards predict the future as if it has been set in stone rather Tarot motivates you to take action in order to change the future outcomes. Everyone at all times has the free will to make choices and take necessary action that will lead you(the querent/inquirer) to the desired outcome.
The purpose of the Tarot is to help you in understanding what’s happening now, what path you’re on, and what obstacles and opportunities might show up in your way. If the cards show an outcome that is unwanted, then it is possible to take action now to change the future outcome.
Whenever you feel the need to connect understand and resolve an issue or find new opportunities, let the Tarot be your guide.