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  The Twenty-Two Major Cards:

  1. The Magician
  2. The High Priestess
  3. The Empress
  4. The Emperor
  5. The Heirophant
  6. The Lovers
  7. The Chariot
  8. Strength
  9. The Hermit
  10. Fortune
  11. Justice
  12. The Hanged Man
  13. Death
  14. Temperance
  15. The Devil
  16. The Tower
  17. The Star
  18. The Moon
  19. The Sun
  20. Judgment
  21. The World
    0. The Fool













by Kooch

Article in: Sedona Journal of Emergence
2020 Contractors Rd. #4
Sedona AZ 86339

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

Some Tarot FAQ

Can I develop my intuition by doing Tarot Card readings?
The more you do readings using the Tarot, the more your intuitive skills will evolve. It is equal to any skill that you are trying to develop which gets stronger in time as you continue to use it.

Do I need to understand astrology to be able to read Tarot cards?
Because astrology is a primary root on the tree of divination, the more you understand astrology, the easier your Tarot practice can be. In many Tarot decks, you will find the zodiac being used to give clues to help you see into a card's meaning. No, you don't need to know astrology, but it can help you expand awareness of a card's significance.

How can I best learn the Tarot.
One way to work with the cards and learn them at the same time is doing the One-Card Tarot Spread.. This spread is short, sweet, and best used for answering "yes" or "no" questions. It can be also be used when you have a short question and want to focus on clarifying one issue.

This card spread is extremely simple. Ask a question out loud or silently. After you shuffle and cuts the cards, turn over the top card and interpret its message. Free-associate any ideas that come into your mind in relation to the card's symbolic content. Keyword interpretations of cards will often suffice to answer the question being asked, but try to have a lengthy discussion about your present situation in relation to the symbols on the card you are studying. Most of all, have fun!

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