The Origins Of Tarot

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Tarot, as we know it now, was invented sometime in the middle 15th century in Italy. It closely mirrored the playing cards of the day. Some believe that people had started using playing cards for divination purposes and the tarot was just a refined version of these cards. These basic playing cards had four suits of ten cards each. These cards were brought to Europe from the Islamic world. It is thought that tarot originated when mystics and astrologers started using ordinary playing cards to tell fortunes.

During the 15th century, special cards were added to the playing cards. Later, these became known as the Major Arcana cards, then called the trumps or triumphs. The Major Arcana cards consist of 22 cards with titles rather than numbers and suits. Each one has a strong symbolic meaning and they are considered to be the ‘leaders’ of the tarot deck. The remaining 56 cards are referred to as the Minor Arcana. Usually, these cards are split into four suits: cups, wands, swords and coins. Though there are many variations on this.

Tarot has evolved many times over since its original form, becoming more complex and rich in symbolism. The cards themselves have gained meaning over the years from the cultures that adopted their use. Some cards have come and gone, like The Pope, The Juggler, The Arrow etc. However, around the 17th century, tarot evolved into the form we now know it as having. Many famous alchemists and prophets have used tarot, including Nostradamus and Aristotle.

Tarot cards align with the energies projected onto them. As you shuffle the deck, you and your energies place the cards where they will be most beneficial for you. I always shuffle the deck until the cards feel right. Some people shuffle the cards three times then cut. it is really up to the user. Tarot taps into the spirit realm, or the energies of the user to give their readings.

For centuries, people have been using symbols as a type of divination. Tarot is no different. Each of the 78 cards has an individual meaning. Tarot is an interactive Divination art. The cards interact with each other, giving them new and more complex meaning.

You place the cards into various spreads where the placement of each card gives it even further meaning. Where cards fall in the spread has a lot to do with how they interact with each other. A card representing the past will influence a card representing the present and the future. There are many different spreads including the celtic cross, the three card spread, the spread of fates, the single card reading, the circle and cross, and the ancestors, to name a few.

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An Intro To The Suit Of Swords

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The suit of Swords in a tarot deck is equivalent to Spades in a regular deck of playing cards. Swords are also known as blades, daggers, or knives depending on the Tarot Deck they are associated with. The direction corresponding to the Swords is East and its element is Air. The Zodiac signs that are related to the swords are the airs signs; Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Swords are considered Yang energy. It is the suit that represents our intellectual and rational faculties. This suit deals with our mental aspects as well as being communicative in our lives. The symbols it deals with are Eagles and Sylphs.

Swords deal with action, physical, working stages, change, force, movement, oppression, ambition, courage, trouble, and strife. Their main focus is on our mental level of consciousness, both thinking and intellectually. They represent the intangible elements of the mind. The Suit of Swords represents the mind and truth. Truth can be sharp and penetrating like a double edged sword. When we learn the truth sometimes it cuts us like the deep penetrating wound of a knife.

Positive characteristics associated with the swords are strength, authority, courage, and ambition and a desire and opportunity to travel. Negative attributes include conflict, animosity, pain, anger and aggression. Classic  interpretations of Swords can signal arguments, illness, and even death, especially if they dominate a spread. Swords mirror what is going on with a person’s state of mind in the present. That includes present thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. A Sword is a symbol of power; so in this case, based on a spread one can use one’s intellect and power for good or for bad. Swords also show us if our spirit and feelings are in balance with our mind set.

In keeping with the duality of a double edged blade, swords also represent  action whether constructive or destructive. If we look at the art on the Sword cards we see that the Suit of Swords is steeped with imagery of states of misfortune, pain, and fighting. They also represent hatred, battle, and enemies. So with that in mind, the Suit of Swords is also considered a Warrior suit. Of all the suits in the tarot deck, Swords are considered the most powerful and dangerous. This is verified when you read the meanings of each card and its attributes. Swords are equated many times with worldly power and even violence.

If one sees a lot of Swords in a spread it can indicate several things. It is a card of “thought” so it is safe to assume that the querent has a decision to make. Many times the Suit of Swords shows a decision that must be made is a painful one. It can also signal discord in a person’s life. However, do not fear if you get a reading with many Swords. It’s telling you to open your eyes and mind to a situation so you can deal with it. It warns where to be careful and where to strike, if need be. It gives us the ammunition to defend ourselves.

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An Intro To The Suit Of Pentacles

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Pentacles are the suit in the Tarot Deck that relates to Diamonds in playing cards. Depending on the tarot deck they are also called Discs, Cash or Gold. The suit of Pentacles corresponds to the North Direction and the Earth element. It is associated with the season of Winter. Pentacles are considered a Female Yin energy. Astrologically, the Earth signs are associated with Pentacles in the Tarot. The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. 

Pentacles represent the material aspects of life. This means it represents finances, possessions, accomplishments, manifestations, business, trade, land, home, our level of abundance. They also represent our bodies, level of vitality, connection to the Earth and Nature, and our genetic heredity. Pentacles are an external level of consciousness they mirror our outer situations like health, finances, work and creativity. As the suit of finances they also address manifestation, realization and proof of property.

Positive associations with the Pentacles include our status in society, our personal inner sense of self worth and our personal values. They also represent our strengths, talents, rewards for efforts well spent and social/family support networks. Negative implications include material loss, low self esteem, pessimism, materialism, compromised values, stubbornness, inflexibility, and the practical concerns that make us worry.

When we see a lot of Pentacles in a spread it signals that the person is manifesting their life’s intentions. They indicate how you will execute your plans for better or worse. Pentacles represent your abundance materially and otherwise. Not just a person’s bank account, but also their socioeconomic status. This includes one’s lifestyle as well. They gauge how one climbs up the proverbial ladder of success. 

When they are in a less than favorable position in a spread they are warning us about making sure we preserve our security, both materially and otherwise. Pentacles don’t always mean money as such. They also imply the power it takes to shape our lives, also which serves as an inner richness, as well as materially. Reversed, the Pentacles warn against “keeping up with the Jones’” and Greed. Those things make poor spiritual values. They caution us that money alone does not make a person.

In general, Pentacles speak of our feelings of safety. They illuminate our ability to relax and not to worry or fret. They tell us, when they are in a good position in the spread, to create and enjoy your security and happiness. They speak of how much zest one has in their life.

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How To Start Learning Tarot

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Although many people go to a Tarot reader for advice on problems ranging from relationships to career to wellbeing, most people find it difficult to imagine doing the actual reading themselves. But the fact is that Tarot is available for everyone to experience and learn. Although having a Tarot practitioner analyzing the symbols of the cards drawn is certainly an enchanting experience and probably “less risky,” many of today’s Tarot lovers purchase their own decks and begin reading with the help of Tarot manuals or mentors.

Starting to learn anything new is always a daunting experience and especially when one considers learning the Tarot cards can seem a bit odd; to say the least. This is probably the case because Tarot is associated with fortune-telling and the future is the thing that excites human imagination the most. But Tarot, can in fact, take people into a better understanding of the past and the present, assisting many to decode daily problems, and issues. Living in the information age, it is actually only logical to seek more information, on any given situation, before having to make a decision on the subject of interest. But Tarot also offers tremendous potential as it relates to self-realization. That notion is probably less realized by those who wish to learn the future through Tarot, but in the end, this is where they are in fact led. Most often regarded as a method of predicting the future, Tarot is much less considered as a method used to better understand oneself. But, if you are interested in learning to read the Tarot cards, it is best if you keep in mind that you should do it primarily because it is one of the most effective methods to begin knowing yourself.

Since the Tarot cards have numerous different meanings depending on the order they are drawn and placed in relation to each other, many people quickly give up the effort of learning to read them. But experts claim that learning the meaning can be an effortless process, as well as rewarding and enjoyable. One of the simpler methods existing to learn the Tarot cards is through meditation. As practitioners reveal, you should begin by picking up a card from the pile and “studying” it for some time. You can always look up a guide for its “official” meaning, but the important thing here is to realize what the card you picked means to you. If the card suggests a positive career development, for example, it does not matter if the Tarot manual symbolizes something entirely different. As long as it means this to you, it will always mean that when it comes up. As readers put it, “the card responds to you, not the other way around.”

By picking at least one card every day, you will slowly but surely familiarize yourself with the Tarot deck in a natural, easy way. Keep notes and later read the Tarot manual to check how close your guessing was to the “original” meaning. The important thing here is to concentrate on the cards and let their images be “absorbed” by your brain. Ask questions and give answers to yourself in relation to the pictures you see and the story that the card is trying to convey. Remember that it does not matter how close to the “true” meaning you really are. What matters is how easily you will remember your original thoughts when you draw the same card later during this familiarization procedure. 

In less than a month you will be able to associate the cards together and “translate” their meaning. Remember that this is nothing more than a game to learn more about yourself and how you react to a given set of variables. Once you understand this, Tarot will be a fun experience to devote some time to alone or with friends.

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Some Practical Guidance Choosing A Tarot Reader Online

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Things have come a long way since my youth when readings were frequently done by mysterious old women in secluded booths, masked by beaded curtains. Divination of all forms and Tarot Card readings in particular have attracted its quota of dubious readers. But how can you tell?

Many readers engage in their work with a genuine desire to help clients sort out life issues and offer the insight to help them do so. Some are in it purely to make money and I think that to a certain extent this has made the public skeptical. 

There is a need to be careful, with so many people advertising readings of various kinds, how do you tell where you are likely to get good information and what is likely to be a rip off? Well, for one thing, you should look out for personal contact. Usually individual readers who set up their own websites are more reliable. If a site has been around for some time, if the reader is experienced and is willing to answer any inquiry you may have, then the signs are good.

Naturally you want your credit card details to be secure. Websites where secure payment systems are used are a good bet. Paypal is an example of a well established payment agency. A good website is likely to use this type of secure system, to protect its clients. It pays to be more cautious about sites which don’t use these types of systems and which take your card details themselves. A bona fide website will also outline clearly what type of reading you get for your money and how much that reading is.

Areas where caution is needed are websites where there is no clearly identifiable person dealing with the readings. If it’s organized by a virtually anonymous company, what are you getting? If there is no interaction with a real person, be cautious. Will the information you receive be genuine or something printed from a long list of options by a computer? If you are asked to send in your mobile phone number to receive your reading in that way, be very cautious. How much are the charges? Is this a one-off reading or will you be sent regular readings and how much will they be? If you are going to speak to a psychic on the phone, how much are the per minute charges? How much will they add up to if you speak for an hour, which is not uncommon? Often these kinds of operations are run by people who teach their readers to keep clients talking so they will spend more and more money. Ethical readings involve a one off payment for a well described service.

To avoid problems it is best to select a reading type from a site which offers a range of options. If you want detailed information about your life over the coming year, then you would be looking at a reading which is quite substantial and for which you would pay more. Simpler questions such as, will I find a lover?, can be covered in smaller layouts.

The issue is that you should choose a reading and know the cost beforehand. Sometimes clients think if they pay more they will hear more. This is another misconception about the nature of divination and it can be encouraged by readers whose focus is on making more money. There is usually a limit to how much can be seen about an issue at any time by a reader. So, if you choose an appropriate reading, it should cover the issue you are looking at adequately and there should be no need to have more readings on that topic. Indeed it can be unproductive to ask the same question again and again.

Provided you bear these points in mind, then the Internet offers a wide range of readers, from different traditions, who are able to help you in your quest to understand your life better. That is what a reading should be. It should not be a lip trembling moment of consulting about your fate but a genuine enquiry into the possibilities around you at the time. Bearing all this in mind, may your readings be fruitful!

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