A Simple Introduction to Tarot Cards
Tarot cards have fascinated, intrigued, and sometimes confounded humanity for centuries. These intricate decks of cards, each adorned with vivid imagery and symbols, have found their place in the realm of spirituality, divination, and self-discovery. However, despite their enduring popularity, tarot cards remain one of the most misunderstood spiritual tools. This blog post aims to demystify the enigma of tarot, explore its history and types, and clarify the differences between tarot and other spiritual tools.
I came to use Tarot cards quite reluctantly. I was offered an all-cash gig for a corporation, but I could not use any of my other oracle tools or handwriting analysis; it had to be Tarot cards. There and then, I had to confront my hesitation. It was deeply embedded in both my conscious and subconscious, even with my academic background, that Tarot cards were dangerous and could lead to negative spiritual consequences that would cause real harm in someone's life, akin to a spirit board (like Ouija). However, at the time, I needed the cash and decided to use my research skills to dig a little deeper into what Tarot cards actually are. After many years, clients, and research here’s what I found.
A Glimpse into Tarot's Endurance
The history of tarot cards can be traced back to the 15th century, originating in Europe. Some link its original use to Italy. There are even rumors that playing cards for created based on the Tarot deck. Today, tarot cards are still widely used for introspection, gaining insight, and seeking guidance in various aspects of life and what many people call “fortune-telling”.
Personally, I don’t do or suggest fortune-telling. Put simply it is interfering with a person’s free will. That is a big no-no. You may see different paths up ahead, currently or in the past and share those but always allow life to unfold according to a person’s ability to use empowered choices for themselves. It is true that is not what many people want. They want definitive answers on certain issues such as, Who is my soulmate? or is my partner cheating on me?, Will I get fired?, and so on. But even if you do see anything specific, there are many (too many to mention) factors at play that can influence anything unfolding in each of our lives. It is best to present information and let the elegant dance of fate and destiny unfold according to each person’s choices.
The reason behind tarot's enduring popularity can be attributed to the power they hold. When used correctly, tarot cards can provide profound insights and assist individuals in navigating life's challenges. But what sets tarot apart from other spiritual tools, such as oracle cards?
Tarot vs. Oracle Cards: Understanding the Difference
Structure and Symbolism: Tarot cards consist of 78 cards, divided into the Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (56 cards). Each card has its unique symbolism and meaning, making the tarot a complex system that can provide in-depth guidance. Oracle cards, on the other hand, often vary in structure in many creative ways, with each card conveying a specific message.
Tradition and History: Tarot cards have a rich history, dating back several centuries. Their structure and symbolism have been well-preserved, and they come with established interpretations. Oracle cards are a more recent development and often have themes, styles, and interpretations that vary widely from deck to deck.
Tarot cards are versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes including:
Daily affirmations, and
Insights into particular life areas.
The one thing that is certain is that there is always something to be learned with Tarot cards. Even if you hear someone is an expert, the discovery of the cards' meanings never really ends.
Types of Tarot Cards
There are many types of tarot decks, and more are being created every day. Each deck with its unique themes and artistic interpretations. Some of the most popular types of tarot cards include:
Rider-Waite Tarot: This is one of the most well-known tarot decks, characterized by its iconic imagery and symbolism. It serves as a foundation for many modern tarot decks.
Thoth Tarot: Designed by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris, the Thoth Tarot deck is known for its intricate symbolism and esoteric influences.
Marseille Tarot: This is one of the earliest tarot decks, characterized by its simple, unillustrated Minor Arcana cards.
The Wild Unknown Tarot: A more contemporary deck, known for its stunning and abstract artwork, it provides a fresh perspective on tarot symbolism.
Tarot of the Witches: Made famous by the James Bond film "Live and Let Die," this deck draws inspiration from witchcraft and nature.
Osho Zen Tarot: Based on the teachings of Osho, this deck offers a more spiritual and meditative approach to tarot.
And many more…
The Power of Intent and Respect
To use tarot cards effectively and ethically, intent is key. Tarot readings should be conducted with a pure heart and a genuine desire to seek guidance or insight. It's essential to approach tarot with respect for the free will of others and to understand that the cards offer possibilities, not certainties.
Very importantly, activating one's intuition is vital when working with tarot. The reader's intuition, combined with the symbolism of the cards, can lead to meaningful interpretations. Trusting your inner wisdom can elevate your tarot readings to a more profound level.
So why is Tarot Considered a Bad or Evil Tool by Some?
Tarot got a bad reputation because of its misuse. As with anything else, if one uses Tarot cards for self-aggrandizement, to conquer others, purely to satisfy one's ego, or to cause harm to anyone or anything, it does indeed become a dangerous tool.
Some people may want to use the cards to contact 'spirits.' This is not a good idea at all. Most people are not spiritually advanced enough to dabble with this level of spiritual activity. In this way, Tarot can become what may be considered a tool for opening doors, dimensions, and vibrations that we are not equipped to understand or control.
Tarot, at its core, is a tool for introspection, self-discovery, and gaining insight into one's life. It is a mirror to the subconscious, a guide for personal growth, and a source of inspiration. When used with the right intentions, such as seeking guidance, understanding oneself, or helping others navigate life's challenges, Tarot can be neutral at its worst and an invaluable and powerful tool at its best.
Tarot cards aren’t going away anytime soon.
They are truly an enduring and powerful tool for self-discovery and guidance when used correctly. Their historical significance, complex symbolism, and versatility set them apart from other spiritual tools, like oracle cards. To unlock the true potential of tarot, I highly suggest you approach them with intent, respect, and a genuine connection to their inner wisdom. Whether you're a seasoned tarot enthusiast or a curious beginner, embracing the mysteries of tarot can be a transformative and enlightening journey.
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