For centuries the mystical art of the Tarot has alerted humanity to a greater truth than the dogmatism of conventional thought, and in modern time the magic of Tarot is stronger than ever. The Tarot, a symbolical playing-card storybook of timeless wisdom, is becoming more and more popular with the public through national advertising for psychic phone hot-lines, the comeback of tea rooms, and the visible presents of Tarot card readers throughout the country. The cards popularity is not only a phenomena of modern times. Its potency to be used as a divinatory medium began centuries ago.
Many theories concerning the card's true origin are in existence, but the truth of the card's commencement is lost in the obscurity of time. Some scholars claim that the cards originated in Asia since many of the symbols in the cards have parallels represented in Indian mythology. For instance, the Hindu monkey-god, Hanuman, has been portrayed carrying in his hand the signs of the four Minor Arcana suits, the cup, wand, sword, and coin. Also, the Tarot's focus on the positive-negative forces in a world of duality echo's the ancient teachings of the Vedas.
Other authorities claim that the cards were birthed in ancient Egypt where they were used to help instruct initiates to learn mystical rites. After hieroglyphics were decoded, it became known that "Tar" meant "royal", and "Ros" meant way, or Royal Way another title for the Tarot.
Some Tarot scholars argue that the only possible origin of the cards is rooted in the Kabbalah because each of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards correspond with letters in the Hebrew alphabet and can be systematically correlated on the Tree of Life, their scheme of order in the universe. However, the religious symbols and teachings communicated through these cards are eclectic and not limited to any single system of belief.
There are many other suggestions as to the origin of the cards, and when you study other authors you will read various opinions and hypothesis. However, most give credit to the gypsies and their nomadic travels across the European continent for popularizing the cards as their common name, "Tarot of the Bohemians", will testify. Even though there is disagreement to the Tarot's origin there is popular consent about their contents. Anyone who seriously plays with this deck of seventy eight cards will come to recognize that their symbolic dialogue communicates universal truth and wisdom.
In today's world the origin of the Tarot is not so important as the question, "Where do I buy a deck?", and luckily for most of us, we don't have to find gypsies to obtain our cards. Access to the Tarot is as easy as a trip to the local metaphysical book store where you can find numerous Tarot decks with traditional as well as modern designs. Your choice of decks is up to your personal preference, however if you're just beginning to learn Tarot, it is the decks with traditional designs such as the Rider Waite Tarot which have an advantage. Many text have been written giving instruction for the Tarot using traditional symbols. For instance, it is easy to find numerous instructional manuals to help you learn the Tarot by using Waites deck, but you will be lucky to find one instruction guide to help you interpret a recently published New Age deck.
Because there are many books written that teach about the Tarot and its 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana cards, it is not hard to find information about them, but if you want to demystify the Tarot and quickly learn how to use these magical cards, you're going to need to do more than read about them. Your potential to do readings using the Tarot comes from your willingness to play with them repeatedly, and your understanding of how to communicate using the language of symbols, the key to divining with the Tarot. The more you understand the meaning of symbols and recognize the significance you yourself associate with the various Tarot symbols, the easier it will be for you to interpret the meaning of the cards.
Here is the most important advice I can give you if you're serious about becoming a Tarot reader: Become familiar with the meaning of each card by asking yourself what it's symbols means to you. Don't try to memorize other people's meanings for each card. If you're a robot, memorizing other people's interpretations is a perfect way to relate to the cards. But if you want to have a deep, intuitive connection with them, then you need to have a personal understanding of each card's meaning. Listening to your inner voice to learn the significance of each card simplifies learning the Tarot, it doesn't make it harder. Reading twelve books on the Tarot, and trying to memorize each author's 78 interpretations for upright cards and 78 interpretations for reversed cards and repeating these interpretations for during the readings that you give makes for a great intellectual pursuit, but this will not necessarily help you give meaningful readings. Let go of relying on other people's authority concerning the truth found in the Tarot and discover each card's meaning by working with your own diverse associations for its symbols.
The key to understanding the Tarot on personal level is believing in your own wisdom and trusting your intuitive process. Faith in yourself and your willingness to practice gives you the green light for traveling the sacred highway of the Tarot
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Drinking From The Cup Of Love
By Kooch N. Daniels
A tarot student once asked, “What does it mean if the majority of the cards in my tarot spread are from the suit of cups?”
“It’s important to drink from the cup of love,” was my reply.
A different answer to this question involved exploring the meaning of the specific cards in the layout. However, this question could also be answered by examining the significance of the meaning of the suit of cups. What is this tarot suit communicating to us?
The suit of cups most often involves love, passion, and relationships. It is identified with the element water, the emotions, depth of feelings, receptivity, imagination, and the intuition. When there is a predominance of the suit of cups in a tarot spread, its message involves a watery or emotional essence. It visually shows the importance of discussing your client’s heart-felt needs and puts their longings and desires in the limelight. Even if the topic of romance isn’t the main question being asked, the person receiving the reading may need to get more in touch with their feelings and the truth of what’s affecting their inner reality.
A majority of this suit in a spread can indicate that life experiences are triggering emotional reactions. If the cards are mostly upright with positive images, I might ask my client if he or she is falling in love or seeking advice about an on-going relationship. When most of the cup cards in the spread are reversed, I may ask whether a relationship is in conflict or if there is tension invoked by a past relationship. Is the person who is getting the reading suffering from the pain of loss or quarrelling with a significant other?
During the discussion of the potential meaning of these cards, it will become obvious if the person is anxious or secure, a victim or victor in love, and how I can best nourish my client’s sense of wellbeing. While viewing the spread to explore the path of the inner self, it may become possible to dive into the sea of the subconscious mind and find truths buried under the surface of conscious awareness. Most often, my key to unveiling the message of this suit is to inwardly question, “What are you presently drinking from these cups of love?”
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Tarot Deck Reviews
The Tarot Of The Nine Paths by Art Rosengarten
Review by Kooch Daniels
Art Rosengarten has created an imagery rich, new deck called The Tarot of the Nine Paths for “the spiritual traveler”. With an innovative perspective that combines Eastern philosophy and Jungian archetypal psychology, he opens a new doorway to enter the mystical world of tarot.
This unique deck uses twenty-eight major cards, plus one card to represent the four minor suits. Art Rosengarten refers to the additional five trump cards as “the five missing pieces” that can awaken understanding of the inner self. The titles of these cards are: The Well (renewal), The River (flow), The Ring (Wholeness), The Dragon (Initiation), and the Web (Inter-being). The other major card is called The Traveler, and it is used to indicate “the unlimited potential” of the querant.
For those interested in the power of numbers, especially the magical properties of the number nine, Art Rosengarten has master-crafted a nine times three tarot card spread formula. Using three rows of nine cards, his layout creates a twenty-seven card matrix he calls a “perfect map of higher consciousness”.
Astrological and Kabalistic correspondences for each card draw on traditional tarot structure. The “travel guide” booklet that accompanies the deck offers explanation of the nine paths, short interpretations of the cards, and layouts for spreads. A one of its kind ““Nondual Spread” encourages being in the moment and “to connect with the natural wisdom already present…”
As you take your tarot journey, you’ll be impressed with answers that are revealed as you follow Rosengarten’s nine pathways. Not to be missed, this deck has the power to enhance your inward journey and bring a fresh look at how you can use the cards to gain access into your subconscious.
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Sustain Yourself Cards and Handbook by James Wanless
Review by Kooch Daniel
Sustain Yourself Cards and Handbook to Live Well and Live Long showcases James Wanless as a uniquely talented master of his craft. Although his deck challenges historical tarot traditions, it is a card game and oracle of equal merit. The beautiful imagery on the 101 cards (each connected with an eco-principle) encourages our potential to go in positive directions. Besides providing valuable information about Mother Earth, natural activism, and the going green "eco-spiritual path", this deck and handbook is a potent source of inspiration. Its goal is to connect us deeply with life, and as James states: "a means to stay healthy, be happy, grow wise, have sufficient material wealth, be creative, adaptable and resilient, preserve the earth...."
On a more personal note, this deck uses language that has made me grow. For instance, when a client drew the card titled "Redwood Tree-Apotheosis" I wanted to crawl under my tarot table, find a dictionary, and look up the word apotheosis. Luckily, my client didn't seem to notice that I had become speechless, as she was so excited. Redwood trees happened to be her favorite tree and this card proved to her that she was making the right decisions. But for me, this was one more example of the power of synchronicity that weaves its invisible magic whenever I do readings with these delightful cards.
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Wellness Tarot Cards by Miriam Jacobs
User’s Guide by Miriam Jacobs with Stephanie Swafford
Review by Kooch Daniels
Miriam Jacob’s cards are mostly traditional in their symbolic associations but they also offer something completely unique, somatic associations in relation to Polarity therapy. For tarot enthusiasts who enjoy learning about the body as well as the inner self, this new deck is a valuable tool to help you gain insight into your physical nature and gain access to methods for taking better care of yourself
Weaving a magical tapestry with threads of mind and body connections, Miriam’s fresh approach offers us an opportunity to learn about how the tarot can relate to our bodies. This is done primarily through a drawing of a human body that appears in the lower right hand corner on each card. It is color coded to show you your most significant chakra and where on your own body you need to be focusing your attention.
In her guidebook, Miriam offers brief descriptions of meanings of each card. These include a discussion of the card’s key qualities, associated element, astrological connection, concise musings, anatomical correspondences, and a “practice”. Each short practice offers a suggestion to do something to connect you with your healing energy. For example, when writing about The Star card she suggests: “Close your eyes. Lift your head up high. Allow the glow of yourself to flow through you.”
Although I can find ways to work magic with her cards, I also found myself wishing that Miriam’s guidebook would include more in-depth explanations of how to do Polarity work. However, she does offer her website address for more information on Polarity Therapy bodywork: http://polaritywellness.com/
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