The first time I played with a deck of tarot cards, I was fascinated. I played and played. One day, I asked a question of the cards and I got an answer. But....I did not like the answer. So I asked the same question again, and shuffled the deck for about 5 minutes, constantly shuffling, and I laid out the cards. I got the SAME cards in the same position. Like deja 'vu weird. Like Twillight Zone weird with the music thing, weird. And? It fecking FREAKED me out, like the cards were evil or something.
(I know, I know, not very open minded...but you had to be there...)
So the young, immature me put her cards away and swore off them and did not touch them again for about 10 years.
However, the Universe had different plans for me.
I was drawn back to the cards again and bravely started to research and study them. I found a way to listen to them and to talk to them. When analyzing my earlier tumult, I realized that if you ask a question, but do nothing different, you will get the same answer...because...nothing has changed.
Just as simple as that and no bad juju needs to be invented for it. I learned that you have to leave your dogma at home chained to the yard. It doesn't walk with the cards, but you CAN understand it all better from a distance with the cards as clues.
The magickal thing about Tarot is that is IS an ancient card "game" brought forward in time.
Originally, it was used by royalty for an entertainment during the High Middle ages to the Renaissance. Over time, the uncanny way the cards were imbued with meaning, have made the deck into a famous tool for divining.
For those of you that don't know, a tarot deck (pronounced "tear-o") is 78 cards altogether.
There are 21 trump face cards, a fool (0) and 4 suits of cards.
The suits include a King/Queen/Knight (Jack), sometimes a Page and cards 1-10.
The trump face cards and the fool card (jester), over the years, have been separated off from the main deck, leaving the suits cards, which have evolved into our current playing deck.
There are 2 divisions of the Tarot deck. The Major and Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana consists of these following cards:
(0) The Fool
(1) The Magician
(2) The High Priestess
(3) The Empress
(4) The Emporer
(5) The Hierophant
(6) The Lovers
(7) The Chariot
(9) The Hermit
(10) The Wheel of Fortune
(12) The Hanged Man
(15) The Devil
(16) The Tower
(17) The Star
(18) The Moon
(19) The Sun
(21) The World
Basically each of the suits in a tarot deck rule over different areas of life. They are:
Cups = Hearts / Rule over Love, Friendships & Relationships
Wands = Clubs/ Rule over work
Pentacles or Coins = Diamonds/ Rule over money issues
Swords = Spades/ Rule over strategies
Some decks can be very beautiful. I have a deck called "The Love Tarot" which is made up of beautiful Renaissance type paintings collaged into making each symbolic card.
There are many kinds of ways to use Tarot....
You can pull a single card as a Daily Oracle for the day.
You can do different kinds of layouts:
Celtic Cross Readings
Circular/Month to Year Readings
Triangular readings with 2 different outcomes depending on the path taken.
Tarot readers all have their own way of reading for themselves and others.
Some use "Leaper" cards, some do not. (Leapers are the cards that do just that, and "leap" or fall out from the deck while shuffling). I do use leapers. I feel they "need to be read" and present themselves thusly.
Some card readers let the participant touch their deck, others do not.
There are certain meaning assigned to each card, and the card has different meaning depending on if it is laid down upright, upside-down (reversed) or sideways in a "blocked" position.
There are no "bad" cards. Sometimes novices or the newcomer are freaked out by the "Death" card or the "Devil" card. But really, those cards have meanings not always assigned to the stereotypical definition on first glance. For instance, the Death card does not necessarily mean "death"...although it can. Mostly it refers to a transformation...like the end of one thing is the beginning of another, sort of reasoning. Once you inform your wide eyed participant of this new idea, they can feel less afraid of the cards and more open minded to the actual message of their reading.
As I said earlier, all readers have their own way of reading their cards. I, personally, only use the Major Arcana when doing my readings. (So, basically, I can say, with a straight face that "I don't play with a full deck" :). Some readers are shocked by this. No matter. It works very well for me, and it's my way.
I enjoy the Major Arcana and they speak to me very clearly.
I also have developed layouts that include extra decks and mix in Angel cards, Goddess cards and Vibes cards with my readings that I give to others.
My personal philosophy on reading cards for others, is that when I am with them, I call on the Universe to flow through me and to give advice for their "Greatest & Highest Good." I consider my reading time with them as "Poor Man's Counseling" and I endeavor to be kind, forthwith, candid, and sensitive. I also use humor to put people at ease. My personal reading style is to give the participant the cards to think of a particular question in their mind while they shuffle and mix the cards. This imparts their energy to the deck. Then I take and hold and fan out the cards and have the participant pick whatever card they fancy. I show them where to place it. Then I read the cards that they have picked. This is my way and as I said, it works for me and my clients. Other readers do things differently from reader to reader. And that is ok too.
I find that there IS magick in the cards, but mostly it is having a knowledge for the meaning for what each card means, the intuition of the reader, and having a rapport with the participant and listening to what they say and don't say that is of key importance. Yes, you go out on a limb sometimes when you do this.
But that is where the fruit is available to be picked.
Tarot is just one more way for me to relate and help and advise folks that I am called to help for their greater and highest good.
I have been reading cards for others for 16 years now.
I feel that I have really helped them.
I know I am only a conduit for the Universe.
And that is a great and fabulous honor to me.
So, in conclusion, Tarot is a wonderful tool.
Don't be afraid of the cards
Sometimes it is only Your Own Power you fear.
Don't be afraid.
Share it- for the Universe's Greatest and Highest Good.