Although the general Tarot meanings of the cards runs the same from deck to deck, in fact the cards and their meanings actually falls into the interpretation and intuition of the reader. Much depends on the client they are reading for and the cards which turn up in the total spread. Tarot is really an ancient system of wisdom which enriches your daily life and can be a valuable guide to your spiritual development. It's probably the most popular form of divination in the western world and used as a tool for exploring the subconscious,showing us choices or pathways we may wish to follow.
Tarot was initially designed about five centuries ago and used to play a game called Triumphs, something similar to bridge. It wasn't long though that occult groups adopted the deck as a means of divination.
Arguments ensue as to whether it originated from Norther Europe, from the Egyptian Book of Thoth, (their god of magic) or even the wandering tribes of Rom or gypsies. Various decks started to appear, designed by particular teachers, or developed for particular Kings and Queens and some evolved simply because the printers of the time could only produce certain illustrations or colors on their presses.
Tarot meanings of the cards (78) are broken into two major sections the Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (56 cards).
0 - The Green Man (Fool)
1 - The High Priest (Magician)
2 - The High Priestess
3 - The Lady (Empress)
4 - The Lord (Emperor)
5 - The Druid (Heirophant)
6 - The Lovers 7 - The Chariot
8 - The Warrior (Strength)
9 - The Shaman (Hermit)
10 - The Wheel
11 - The Web (Justice)
12 - Sacrifice (The Hanged Man)
13 - Death
14 - The Underworld (The Devil)
15 - The Tower
16 - Initiation (Temperance)
17 - The Star
18 - The Moon
19 - The Sun
20 - Rebirth (Judgement)
21 - The World Tree (World)
Who are those kings, queens, knights, and pages in the Tarot deck? Generally considered the trickiest part of the Tarot to interpret, they actually represent different characters or personalities that are aspects of ourselves. It's like the growth or expansion of our learning started at the 'Fool' and ending at the 'World'...and of course all the computations in between. There are readers who prefer just to use the Major Arcana as they feel these cards hold more mysteries and greater spiritual depth.
The Minor Arcana are four suits.. cups, wands (staves), discs (sometimes called coins or pentacles) and swords. The actual cards are the numbers 1 through 10 and a Page, Knight, King and Queen. Each of these cards are numbered on the bottom with a word at the top, explaining the basic energy of the card.
Malona Crumpstick is an avid researcher and reader of the Tarot. Visit her at Tarot Meanings Online.
Her favourite Best New Fantasy Book Series is The Persephane Pendrake Chronicles
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