The Tarot

Welcome to The Tarot Page.

10/04/2019 Well my flash card idea hasn’t gone very far. I’ve been lazy. I have this really nice deck called the Druid Craft Tarot, and the artwork is great. (That’s the reason I bought it). Unfortunately the cards are huge and difficult to shuffle. I do want to make flash cards to help in learning all the various meanings of the cards but I just need to get motivated somehow. Now that the weather where I live is getting colder I’ll spend more time inside and maybe that will help. I hope so.

09/30/2019 I haven’t written anything here for a little while so I’ll catch you up. I’m making flash cards to help learn the Tarot easier. I’m writing the card name on one side and then the card attributes and meaning on the other. We’ll see how that goes.

My fascination with cards, and card games goes back to my childhood. My brother, being almost four years older than me, taught me to play poker. He and his friends often played cards and me, being a brat and endlessly curious, bugged them until I learned. So at the age of about ten, I was gambling with older kids. We played for pennies mostly and though I didn’t often win, I became fascinated by the cards, especially the face cards. I loved decks with beautiful artwork and was interested in the different suits and how they all came to be. So here on The Tarot Page I’ll get into all that. Much has been written about the history of cards, and it is amazing to me that people can play card games all their lives and never be aware of or curious about the cards themselves. How they came to be, from where did they come, are questions very few seem to have answers to or to care much about. I have always been interested in esoteric, obscure or mysterious bits of knowledge and history. Looking at the beautiful artwork, the suits, court cards, and Arcana’s of the tarot deck, I can’t help but wonder about them.

Most of the sources that I have read agree that card games began in the East, namely, China, and spread across the world from there. The Wikipedia article titled Playing Card Suit claims that the original suits were derived in China based on denominations of currency. The How Stuff Works website says playing card games were in Europe by 1375 which means that they must certainly have existed in China by at least the middle if not early 1300’s. As card games traveled the world, first along the Silk Road and then beyond, suits and rules changed. New games were invented and each country to which card games came, added their own spin on the cards and the games eventually arriving at the four suits of Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades.

Several sources, including the book, Tarot Mysteries by Jonathon Dee and the How Stuff Works article (link above) say that a letter written by the Duke of Milan (Italy) at around the middle 1400’s specifically mentioned “Triumph” (Triomphe) cards. It is from these cards, probably in Northern Italy, that it is believed that Tarot originated. There is no evidence that the Major Arcana cards of the tarot deck came from anywhere else. As time went on the card’s pictures were refined and changed until we have the tarot decks of today. And even today we have more than one type of deck. Some, like the Waite, Smith deck have Pages and Knights, while others have Princes and Princesses. Many different decks are sold today with a variety of pictures depicting various scenes and characters.

The meaning of the cards in a reading can vary widely from book to book and reader to reader. I have six tarot books and each give their own meanings to the cards. Some vary significantly while others are very similar. So what can one make of this? How do you give an accurate reading when sources vary so much? That’s a question I will delve into later.

For now I’ll have to be content with knowing that the Tarot came from Italy based on card games and designs from China. Considering that the Tarot is only a few hundred years old, it is surprising that we don’t know a more accurate history. Such is life ,I guess. Research however, is constantly being done and hopefully more will be discovered.

Years ago, I had my doubts about the Tarot. I thought that it was just a scam and no one could “tell the future.” At some point in my life I had an awakening. I know that sounds kind of cliche, but it’s really true. I thought about human discoveries and how many people throughout history have suspected certain things, and were ridiculed for their beliefs. Only later were they vindicated by their discoveries. Take the electromagnetic spectrum for example. The ancient Greeks discovered that light traveled in a straight line and could be reflected and refracted. We knew we could see and hear but we didn’t know why we could see and hear. People who postulated about electromagnetism and the electromagnetic spectrum were said to be crazy and yet, it was eventually proved.

So who’s to say that humans don’t give and receive some type of energy that simply hasn’t yet been “discovered?” Who’s to say that through what we call “intuition” we can’t intuit the meaning of the cards that are drawn? And the recipient of the reading, if they cut or draw the cards, who’s to say that their energy didn’t draw them to those cards? I’ve been given some interesting looks when I’ve told people that I’m interested in Tarot, but I firmly believe that one should always remain open to new ideas. Closing your mind shuts down the possibility of discovery and expansion. I’ve been a life long learner and see no reason to stop now.

So, is reading the Tarot actually “telling the future?” Keeping open to possibilities, I’d have to say I don’t know. I doubt it, but I don’t really know. Some readers are confident that they can predict what will happen in your future but I’m not certain this is possible. I believe reading Tarot helps the reader to discover possibilities. Using your intuition to help you know the recipient of the reading, and blending that information with the drawn cards gives you an idea of what’s possible for this person. And there are infinite possibilities. Every card can have many different meanings for each person. Our personality, experiences, prejudices, and beliefs all make each of us unique. Only when we understand the recipient can we then interpret the cards with confidence.