Welcome to the first week of Weekly Magick! As said in a previous post, this week will be about tarot, starting today with what exactly tarot is.
Now, tarot has different meanings for different people. To some, it can be used to predict the future. For others, it can be a means of finding a solution to a certain problem. Or it can even be a way of figuring out what your week will be like. Finding out what it means to you can be tricky, depending on the type of magick you delve in. Please note that I will not post anything dealing with hostile, black, or agressive magick. I am a firm believer in karma and will not put my readers or others in harm's way.
What is the history behind the tarot? It originally started out a deck with 78 cards, used in the mid-15th century Europe to play card games, like the Italian Tarocchini. By the late 18th century, the tarot found its way into the hands of psychics and occultists alike, who used it for fortune-telling.
No one is 100% sure where the word "tarot" came from, but according to Wikipedia, it came from the Italian word tarocchini, but the origin is unclear. One theory relates the name "tarot" to the Taro River in northern Italy, near Parma; the game seems to have originated in northern Italy, in Milan or Bologna. Of course, there are other theories of where it could have come from. There is also the question of whether the word tarot is related to Harut and Marut, who were mentioned in a short account in the Qur'an. But this has yet to be confirmed.
What uses are there for tarot cards? As I have mentioned before, it has a variety of uses, depending on the person. But tarot cards are widely popular for "fortune-telling". Whether you believe in fortune-telling is a moot point. But it is something that is gaining popularity as many people seek to find some sort of truth in religion. I personally use tarot cards as a means of helping finding a solution to a problem. But you can use the tarot cards for fortune-telling, suggestions, meditation, spells, rituals, or even as an altar tool. Find if they fit into your life and use them accordingly.
Can you really predict the future with tarot cards? I've tried on numerous accounts to use them to find out what my week, month, or year will be like. I had even written the card and its meaning down on paper. But I eventually forget to look it up as time goes by and forget what that week/month/year was like. So it doesn't work for me. It could for some, but be real careful if you go to a reader. Many are scam artists. Not all are but there are quite a bit of people who say they can predict the future with tarot cards just to take your money. Find a reputable reader. Many scam artists don't disclose that they're Pagan or will even go as far as saying that they are Christian readers. Many Pagans are readers and can be the best in the business. Do your homework before deciding to get your "fortune read".
What is included in a deck? As it has been mentioned before, there are 78 cards in a tarot deck. There are 22 Major Arcana without suits: The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits of 14 cards each; ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Page/Jack, in each of the four tarot suits. The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons/wands, coins and cups; in modern tarot decks, however, the batons suit is often called wands, rods or staves, while the coins suit is often called pentacles or disks.
Picking the Right Deck
If you look at any Pagan shop online, you will see that they offer TONS of tarot decks. It can be a bit confusing. If you're new to tarot, then your best bet would be to get Tarot Kit for Beginners by Janet Berres. When I first started out, that is what I got. It explained everything to me in terms that I could understand. It even has the cards meanings and spreads for beginners. It comes with the deck, book, box, and even a tarot bag to hold the cards.
If you aren't new to tarot but want update your deck with a new one, do your research. Not all decks offer the same meaning or purpose. Some themes (meanings, etc) include dragons, vampires, Merlin, or even 2012 (the whole "end of the world" date). Don't get a deck just because you think it looks cool. It can harbor a new meaning for every card, making you research every card to find its meaning. Unless you are looking for new meanings, find one that suits your current ideas.
You can find tarot cards EVERYWHERE, even on Amazon. Buy from reputable dealers that know what they are doing. If it is a new deck with different cards, make sure to get a booklet for that deck. It'll cut down on searching through the Internet, hoping to find what you need.
You can even ask friends for help. Many Pagans and professional readers will suggest decks/books to help you on your quest. 9 times out of 10, they will recommend the deck they have. That's isn't a bad thing! In fact, if you do happen to purchase the same thing, they can help you get comfortable with the tarot.
Learning the tarot can be scary but thrilling at the same time. As long as you find out how you will use it, you will find that it can be quite an experience!
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