The Tarot – the Most Popular Form of Divination
The existence of tarot cards dates back apparently well over 1000 years ago. Some say 5000 years ago. Whoever is right, if anyone, the real origin of tarot cards has long since been forgotten. Some believe the tarot originated in ancient Egypt ( some of the symbolism on the cards suggest that) others believe they originated in China, India, of Italy. The tarot has existed in different forms since the medieval ages.
Originally there were only 22 tarot cards whereas today there are about 78 cards. They originated in northern Italy and were originally know as triumph cards. They are basically a set of cards that are used in predicting the future and also as a method of divination. The Tarot is the most popular form of divination. For many people tarot is only a form of magic. Each set of tarot cards comprises of 78 cards with different images and pictures.
Today tarot reading has become a big business in many countries while some others just take it as a form of entertainment. Here in the United States it just seems to be a form of entertainment. In the Netherlands people take tarot reading very seriously. There are many tarot reading schools too where one can get training in tarot reading and be a professional tarot reader. Tarot reading is really an interesting job as the set of beautiful cards has hundreds of stories to tell and they also answer a lot of questions of the people and they throw lights on the love and lives of many people.
The major Arcane and the Minor Arcane are the two constituents of a tarot set of cards. There are around 22 Major Arcane cards that foretell the major decisions taken in one’s life. The Minor Arcane contains 56 cards which comprise of the Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords. They resemble the modern day cards.
Basically, being a divination tool, the tarot plays an important role in depicting the past, present and the future of a person as well as it can foresee all aspects of one’s life. It covers all aspects from our past relationships to the present worldly successes. It also provides insight into our hopes and dreams. It helps to establish a connection between the person and his higher self.
The origins of tarot itself are very mysterious. In the olden days, the tarot was considered to be a very powerful tool to discover the mental state of the mind of a person. The mythic tarot cards were very popular in the past. The most popular set of tarot cards is the Rider-Waite deck because of its clarity and also because of the detailed imagery that it held.
Working with the Tarot
The first step is to choose a card from the set of deck. The card is interpreted by the tarot reader. Sometimes the tarot reading proves to be accurate and other times, they are allusive.
Storing the deck
The rest of the left out cards should be carefully wrapped in a silk cloth and must be stored in a safe place. This is done so because the left out cards have some negative energy, which might cause some troubles if left out openly in a clumsy way.
Clearing of cards
There are some steps that have to be taken in order to clear the cards from the previous energy. You can either soak them in salt or leave them in the sun for a whole day to clear the negative energies. One can also use the method of shuffling the cards repeatedly.
The cards need to be activated before using them for tarot reading. This is mainly done by sleeping with the cards under the pillow for about three to four nights. A little prayer said just before starting to read the cards is also an essential thing to be done.
A side note:
The Tarot over the years has been associated and taken up by occultists. Different groups of occultists ascribed different meanings to the cards. One version, which became very popular and inspired many other different versions was the Rider-Waite deck. It was developed in 1910 by A. E. Waite. Waite was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. That was an esoteric society founded in London in 1881. Some other members of that order were W B Yeats, a well known poet, Mrs. Oscar Wilde and Aleister Crowley, a magician who was later dubbed ‘the wickedest man in the world.’ The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn believed that the tarot was the key to all the other esoteric subjects. That also included astrology.
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