I have had a fasination with the tarot cards for over 30 years,having lost my mother when I was 6yrs old the tarot cards have made me feel less alone in the world. I like to practise Candle magic, Crystal Healing, Homeopathy, Herbal Remedies,and of course Tarot Reading. I do use other rituals but am going to concentrate on the op in hand. Tarot has been around for decades, a pack of Tarot cards contains. 21 Major cards which are called The Higher Arcana and 4 suits which are called The Lower Arcana. The Higher Arcana are: The Fool 1 The Magician 2 The High Priestess 3 The Empress 4 The Emporer 5 The Hierophant 6 The Lovers 7 The Chariot 8 Strength 9 The Hermit 10 The Wheel of Fortune 11 Justice 12 The Hanged Man 13 Death 14 Temperance 15 The Devil 16 The Tower 17 The Star 18 The Moon 19 The Sun 20 Judgement 21 The world The Lower Arcana are: Cups, Wands, Swords and Pentacles. Each of these suits go from Ace to King. There is a superstition which goes with the reading of these cards and it is that if you are mean't to have a pack, then one will find it's way to you. The first pack I had was given to me years ago by a close friend, it was a pack of The Golden Dawn. I then passed these on to a special friend of mine. I now have a pack which is The Rider Waite Tarot Deck and I have had these for about 10 years. These were also a gift. I would never dream of going into a shop and buying them myself, but thats my decision. Also I never charge people for a reading, I have heard of shops in town charging up to 30 pounds for a reading. Surely this is bad karma. If you do happen to chance upon a pack, then have a go at reading,when I first started I used to study the cards every night, looking at the pictures and seeing if they were telling me anything, you usually get a book with a pack but in time your cards will personal ise themselves to you and the meanings of each card will become clear. I'm not going to go into the meaning of every card as this would take too long.There is usually a book to accompany a pack which can do this. There are different ways to set out the cards when a reading is done. I always find the card which represents the person who wants the reading done, ie. The princess of cups would represent a lady with light brown hair, or the queen of swords would represent a woman with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Then I lay this card on the table and get the person who wants the reading to shuffle the cards.It's up to them how long. I place the card which represents the person on the table, this is called the Significator. Then deal the cards from the top of the pack. The first card covers the one on the table, This represents the things closest to them, family , partners, work ect. The next card goes across the first card, this represents thier obstacles in life, not being able to open up, living in the past,looking from the negative ect. The Third card is put above the head of the Significator and represent. The ideals, the wants, the best that can be achieved. The next card goes at the feet of the Significator and this represent. The things that the person has to help them in life, i.e, hard working, drive, strenght to overcome obstacles, honesty ect. The fifth card is placed on the side that the Significator is looking away from, this represents Things in their past or the passing of a certain event close to them. The Sixth card is placed on the side the Significator is facing this represents what is before them, things that will take place unless events alter. These cards are now set out in the form of a cross. The next four cards are placed turned up, in line at the side of this cross of cards. They represent in order of sequence, 1. The attit ude the person has to the matter being asked about. 2. Their home, enviroment, influences that people around them have. 3. Their hopes and fears. 4. Is the final outcome,depending on the course of action the person takes in the future. This is how I read my cards, I also do a yearly reading at no charge. I sometimes find that some people bring me gifts of wine, chocolate ect, as they feel I'm getting ripped off by not charging. One lady went into the town to have her cards read and they told her exactly the same things as I did, the only difference was they charged her 30 pounds, she still comes to me every now and then. Tarot packs can be bought in Hippy type shops at various prices anything from 15 to 25 pounds, depending which pack is bought,they make unusual presents and you can have hours of fun with them either learning or reading. It all depends on how serious you want to get about them. Some people use them for fun others for predictions. So if you do happen to chance upon a pack have a go, empty your mind, meditate for a while and try to picture each card in your mind, the meanings will soon flow. Hope I have been of some use on this subject. :)
About two years ago i was shopping at my local index store, I purchased a parkers prediction pack for about 9.99. I took it home and the pack consisted of divination chooser wheel,a set of 78 tarot cards, 25 press-out runes and 3 i ching coins, plus an 80 page book.If you are intrested in getting one of these packs you may be able to purchase one at www.dk.com or from your local book store, This pack was produced by julia & derek parker if that is any help. Anyway this book shows you how to read these cards,runes,coins etc. it is really easy to do and to follow. they explain what each card means and how to set them out when reading these cards. There are many ways to use these cards, so you will have to play around with them to see what technique suits you. Most people think that you have psychic to read these cards, i thought so to, but once i purchased this pack i realised how simple it was to do. All you need to do is purchase this pack or one similar and your on your way. I promise you that it is worth 9.99. And you and friends can have alot of fun in the process.
When I was around 14, I went out on a day trip to Wales with my Grandmother. After hovering round a gift shop for a while I finally spotted a pack of “fortune telling cards” and my Grandmother bought them for me. My Gran was a medium but she was also a staunch Christian and rarely talked about this ability because it essentially against her faith. Sometimes I still wonder why she bought those cards for me that day but perhaps she just thought it was a passing phase. From the first moment I opened those cards I was hooked. There was something deeply magical and mysterious about the whole process of laying them out and trying to divine the future. I was awful of course – I had no real idea of how to use them but now and again I knew when something I said was accurate and that “knowing” grew. These however were not true Tarot cards and after some time I knew I needed to have the real thing. So into my life came 78 “little people” who helped me look at the world with new eyes and opened my heart and mind to the nature of mysticism, personal development and understanding. CHOOSING YOUR FIRST DECK I was completely clueless when I went to buy my first pack of cards and so bought the only pack I knew anything about namely the Rider Waite Deck. This was a costly mistake because I ended up hating them. They felt wrong and “sticky” in my hands. The art work said nothing to me and the characters in the cards seemed unfriendly. This is not a criticism of the deck itself as I know many people find them wonderful to work with. I’m just not one of them. This is a good example of needing to really involve yourself in the process of choosing a deck. Here are a few things I usually say to people about this process 1) Do you have a particular passion for an era in history or mythology or subject? There are literally hundreds of decks to choose from nowadays and most are themed in some way. For example, I love the legends of Avalon and the Lady in the Lake so I work with two Arthurian Decks. I am also drawn to Shamanic practice so the Greenwood Tarot is another favourite (nowt to do wi’ the creator of this deck being the lovely Mark Ryan of “Robin of Sherwood” fame *grin*). The Mythic Deck might suit if you are fascinated by the Greek mythologies and this is a very clear deck to work with. There are Vampire and Wiccan decks, Medieval and Jungian. Perhaps Native American is your path or maybe even you are obsessed by baseball and the Baseball Tarot is for you (yes I am being serious there is a pack based on baseball – sometimes I despair…). What I am trying to say here is that there is likely to be a deck that will suit your personal interests. 2) Is it a true Tarot Deck with 78 cards – 56 Minor Arcana and 22 Major Arcana? That isn’t to say that any deck of cards with more or less is bad, it just isn’t a true Tarot deck. I have happily used other card systems and some are beautiful, they are just different to the Tarot. 3) Unless you really feel otherwise, please pick a pack that has illustrations on ALL 78 cards. There are some packs that are more like playing cards so the Five of Cups for example will just have 5 Cups painted on the card – not very inspiring. I also advise against cards that have descriptive words written on them as these can detract the reader from concentrating on the symbolism. 4) Do you love the artwork? I mean REALLY love it. There is some stunning artwork out there but again art is a very personal thing. 5) Make sure you actually look through the entire deck before you buy. Some retailers don’t allow you to do this and I think this is bad. You really need to sit with the deck in your hands and take a long quiet look at all the cards. Another alternative now of course is to look at them on the net. See links at the bottom of this opinion. 6) Of course you can also buy packs second hand too so that is one way of getting a deck a bit cheaper. I would suggest that if you are going to work with them, cleanse them before you start so that the original owners vibes do not interfere with your own. You can do this in much the same way as cleansing a crystal (although obviously not put them under water!). Put them on a sunny windowsill for a day, leave them under the light of the full moon, smudge them with sage or other incense, visualise them being cleansed…whatever way suits you best. Don’t forget that if you have a pack that you don’t want, give it away to someone else or sell it on Ebay. Many people collect Tarot cards so never throw them away. BEGINNING TO WORK WITH YOUR CARDS So – money spent and your new cards come home with you. What next? Well the first thing is to begin to touch them, hold them and look at them. Most decks are accompanied by a book which may be very basic or highly complex. Whichever – have a flick through at first and see what catches your eye. A long term reader I used to know once said to me – read the accompanying book then put it away for six months so you really get to know your cards! Initially there may be certain cards that you really love and some that you repel from. Others will seem like they say little to you. A good first exercise is to draw say 5 cards. Choose them by sight and then sit quietly and really look at them. What is happening in the pictures you have chosen? What numbers are they – which suit? Are they all Major Arcana cards or all Minor or mixed? Why did you choose these cards? Do any of the characters in the cards remind you or someone? Don’t think about “fortune telling” just think about what these cards might be saying to you. Imagine you are watching a scene from a play – what would the play be about, the title, the theme? Anoth er important exercise is to find “your” card. The card that represents you. This is called the Significator card. The Significator card is used to portray the person who is having the reading. Some people don’t use a Significator, others use a card that signifies a situation. There aren’t really any firm rules as you need to work with them in whatever way makes you feel the most comfortable. There are several ways of finding your card. You might do it by astrological sign or by feeling or just the look of a certain card. Most people choose a court card (i.e. the Page, Knight, Queen or King) but this varies. Personally I am always the Empress card, no matter what pack I use – even when someone gives me a reading this card usually turns up. Try laying out the cards in suits and see if each suit has it’s own storyline. Try laying cards with corresponding numbers together and see if you can work out what meaning the numbers have. Try comparing the court cards and see what differences and similarities they have. There are a myriad of ways to learn the Tarot only limited by your imagination. To get used to working with the cards you could try picking one card a day or doing one reading a week for yourself. There are hundreds of spreads (ways of laying out the cards) you can use – the most common being the Celtic Cross. Don’t be afraid to design your own spreads and ways of working. When you do a reading for yourself be clear about your intention. If you have one clear question great – but if a hundred thoughts are running through your head then just try imagining a door opening. Ask for whatever advice you most need. READING THE CARDS A tarot reading should flow like a story – in fact they are a great tool for writers to use when needing some practice exercises or inspiration. I am very much an intuitive reader so despite cards and positions in the spread having certain mea nings I rarely conform to them. I allow my eyes to wander across the cards and they weave a tale together. Basically they are my tool for clairvoyant reading. Initially though you may need to go step by step and try and understand why those cards have appeared in that particular order. Try not to simply rely on the book meaning that is given for each card – you need to build up a relationship with these pictures and see what they mean to YOU. I usually advise that when you are reading for yourself that you speak out loud. Granted you may feel a little silly at first (although I constantly talk to myself anyway but that’s another matter!) but it is very good practice for starting to read for other people. Also it is not so easy to dispel a particular thought if you have to put it into words. Sometimes the cards can work very literally – an example I have was that I was once reading for someone who had lost their dog. The Moon card was central to the reading and it constantly caught my eye. For some reason I could not however incorporate it into the reading. Ironically it turned out that the dog was called Lunar! Above all you need to be honest with yourself to read tarot or in fact undertake any form of spiritual development. The cards can help you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and grow as person. They are NOT a crutch to be leaned on and not a way of making every single decision in your life. Certainly they can help you when you are struggling with a life situation because they offer a different way of looking at things. I see the cards as a pattern of my life right now – they show me how I came to be in my current situation and how my response to that situation will manifest in the future. NOTHING is carved in stone. We are all capable of change and therefore the future is not fixed. Certainly there are things in life that happen TO us – such as the death of a loved one but much of life is about the decis ions and actions we take, our feelings and understanding and the meaning we find in experience. Even when something happens to us – it is always our response to it that governs the future. It is possible to perceive things that are not immediately known to you through the normal five senses but you also need to be prepared for that too. A LITTLE BIT ABOUT BEING A CLIENT The name often used in Tarot speak instead of client is “Querant”. Over the years I have done hundreds of readings for people and gained a good insight into how and why people decide to have a Tarot reading. Of course I have also received readings myself during that time. Bear the following in mind when you decide you would like a reading Always use a reader who has been recommended to you if you can. Think clearly about why you are going and what it is you expect. The reader is not there to ‘prove’ anything to you and going with that mindset is not going to make for a productive reading. Equally important, do not be so gullible as to take everything your reader says as gospel – you are the person in charge of your life. Don’t be afraid to say if something doesn’t sound right or if the first words don’t make any sense to you. A professional reader will not take offence and may either start the reading again or inform you that they cannot read for you. If the latter happens then don’t be worried – it doesn’t mean something bad is going to happen to you, it simply means there isn’t a connection happening at that time. Far better for your reader to say this than try and read for you when it just isn’t happening. THINK about the questions you wish to ask. You would not believe some of the things I have been asked about – from the classic “Is my husband having an affair?” to “When is *** going to die because I’m sick of them”. I haste n to add I refused to read after being asked the latter question but did talk to the client about their frustration. Some people use the Tarot as a confirmation of what they are feeling and some to avoid taking action or responsibility. This may sound harsh but it is true. It is also very understandable. Fear is a powerful trap that we can all become enmeshed in and sometimes we just need someone to tell us that it’s all okay. The tarot is not however like that – ideally it deals in gentle truth. The onus must always remain with you to change your life when things are not working. Life does not just happen to you – you are not a puppet. The best way to approach a reading is with an open mind and a willingness to accept responsibility for your own life. That way you reader can help you take a look at your life from a different angle. It is like they are walking through the landscape of your mind – seeing things that maybe you don’t wish to see and pointing out things that you’ve been too busy to notice. A good reading should be accurate and should make you feel understood and hopefully facilitate your decision making process – much as a humanistic counsellor would. ON BECOMING A TAROT READER With the fast profiting industry of tarot lines springing up all over the place it is easier than ever to become a professional reader – even more so since it is relatively easy to set up as an online reader. I would like to add some cautionary notes here. Before you do this, think about how much you can handle from people. What support do you have? What safety measures are in place (if you have people visiting your home)? Are you insured? Most importantly remember the reading is about the person you read for. By this I mean you have to really understand how to work with people and there may be a lot more to deal with than you originally anticipated. In my years I have spoken to several peop le who were suicidal, listened to people who had suffered child abuse, spoken with those who had lost loved ones through accident and murder, dealt with victims of rape and torture and repeatedly talked to those utterly unimpressed by life. Not all people who come for readings are vulnerable or ill or needing answers but a few are and you need to be aware of how you might handle that. You also need to know when to say no and when you perhaps need to refer them on to another agency. All this is rather sombre I know, but I have seen too many people blithely going into reading for other’s simply because it seems like an easy job. It isn’t. It is however a profession that can be very rewarding and I believe it is important to offer people alternative ways of working through problems and difficulties that includes the spiritual dimensions. The Tarot is a wonderful tool that opens up a world of possibilities and potential within us all. I use them to trigger storylines, for meditation, for visualisation, for spellwork, for healing and dreamwork with others and finally for their most known purpose – to read from. Personally I stopped being a full time Tarot reader after four years as I wanted to concentrate on my writing and my dream work. I still regularly use my cards however and see them as an ongoing tool for my creative, spiritual and psychological development. I also plan on designing my own pack at some point in my life! The cards seem to have a life of their own sometimes. Rarely do they look the same each time I glance at them. Each card seems to have it’s own personality and story and much much more to teach me. 78 little people living in my house – no wonder I find it so hard to keep it tidy :-) Favourite Decks The Arthurian Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson The Legend Arthurian Tarot by Cailtin and John Matthews The Greenwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and Chesca Potter The Inner Child Cards by Isha and Mark Lerner Excellent Books 78 Degrees of Wisdom – Rachel Pollack Learning the Tarot – Joan Bunning (her course is freely available on the internet – see TABI) Websites The Tarot Association of the British Isles http://www.tabi.org.uk/ Aeclectic Tarot - Over 300 Decks Reviewed http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ Tarot Passages – A Huge resource site http://www.tarotpassages.com/ Queen of Pentacles – another great Resource http://www.queenofpentacles.com/ Tarot.Com is a site providing automated readings but it also shows the full illustrations for 50 decks of cards. http://www.tarot.com/
I have been reading tarot cards for over 15 years now. I hope you enjoy this opinion. Some agree with the principles of divination some do not. I do not see Tarot as just a tool for “looking into the future” . It is much more than that. It provides a tool to understand what is happening on a different spiritual level to you as a person, and how you are growing and moving on through life. WHAT IS TAROT? ============ History ======== There are many theories of the origins of the tarot. Tarot is an ancient system of divination with origins shrouded in mystery. The Tarot cards' origination is still being debated as no-one can say for sure just how they came into being. However, tarot symbols have been linked to the Egyptian hieroglyphics and it eventually made it's way to Europe via the Greek scholars and artists. Although the earliest known decks originated in Italy in the 15th century. These decks were hand painted on parchment or thin slivers of ivory, silver, gold, or wooden blocks. The name "Tarot", is supposedly the French derivation of the original Italian "Tarocchi", referring to the deck and the 'trick-taking' games played in Italy and elsewhere using these cards. FACT: There is NO factual evidence that shows these beginnings. Most of this evidence was long since destroyed during the times of the catholic inquisition and religious persecutions of the times. Today there are literally hundreds of different Tarot Decks with there own unique symbolism and backgrounds. However, the basic symbolism and actual meanings of the cards still reflect the traditional definitions. THE TAROT DECK =============== There are many ,many types of decks to choose from but the principles remain the same. The main difference between Tarot decks is the artists' interpretations of the cards. There may be only subtle difference s between many of the cards, while some cards may be vastly different between decks. The choice of pack is a matter of personal preference. Choose one whose symbolism 'speaks' to you. Some packs are very beautiful, but some people find their symbolism is unhelpful when it comes to reading and interpreting from them. There are 78 cards to a tarot deck. This is made up of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana and the fool. The fool is numbered 0. The Major Arcana which represent the original tarot deck are numbered 1 to 22 ,12 of which correspond to the signs of the zodiac, and the other 10 with the planets . 0 - The Fool(Uranus) 1 - The Magician (Mercury) 2 - The High Priestess(Moon) 3 - The Empress(Venus) 4 - The Emperor(Aries) 5 - The Hierophant (Taurus) 6 - The Lovers(Gemini) 7 - The Chariot (Cancer) 8 - Strength(Leo) 9 - The Hermit(Virgo) 10 - The Wheel of Fortune (Jupiter) 11 - Justice(Libra) 12 - The Hanged Man(Neptune) 13 - Death(Scorpio)The most frequent misinterpretation, though, is of the 'Death' card. This card is actually one of the most positive cards in the pack, and in the context of a reading usually indicates that something has to end in order to make way for something new and much better. 14 - Temperance(Sagittarius) 15 - The Devil(Capricorn) 16 - The Tower(Mars) 17 - The Star(Aquarius) 18 - The Moon(Pisces) 19 - The Sun(Sun) 20 - Judgement(Pluto) 21 - The World(Saturn) The Minor Arcana are made up of 4 kings, 4 queens, 4 knights, four aces, and the cards numbered 2 to 10. The Major Arcana are the most important cards in a spread and the Minor Arcana are built around them. Each card has a name, number and symbol which can be traced back over hundreds of years. The Major Arcana use universal symbols and figures which reflect universal events and developmental stages in life. This is often referred as "The Journey of the Fool".They are also known as the Keys or Trumps of the Tarot, and their symbols and imagery tell us about life principals, our inner states and collective experiences, and the universal laws at work in our lives. The Major Arcana represent the original deck of tarot cards. The Minor Arcana were added much later. The Minor Arcana addresses the more everyday issues of life. They are filled with symbols, scenes and portraits that tell us about the more specific details of the events, situations and personalities of daily life. The suits of the Minor Arcana are based on the four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The names of the suits may vary in the different decks now available, but generally they are named as follows: WANDS: This suit is generally associated with spirituality and personal growth. CUPS: This suit is usually associated with emotions and matters of the heart. SWORDS :This suit generally represents anything forceful such as arguments. PENTICLES: This deck usually represents financial matters, or anything in a material sense. In combination, it then becomes possible for the symbols and imagery of the cards of the Major and Minor Arcana to spread out before us a detailed, pictorial representation of any conceivable situation, providing us as well with information about the mundane and higher order forces that are influencing it. These card combinations are called spreads. ARE THEY BAD-CAN SOMETHING HAPPEN TO YOU? ============================================= The Tarot has been designated a tool of the devil by some religious groups, and that is a shame. Nothing bad or strange can happen to you by using the Tarot, unless you believe something bad can happen to you. They are only cards, so they can not be inherently evil or malicious. WHY DOES THE TAROT WORK? ========================== There are a number of different theories on this, which is the eloquent way of saying no-one really knows. Is there magic? No, there is not! There is nature and physics and nothing else. If we don't have a proper explanation for a phenomenon right now, it doesn't mean that there never will be one. Some time ago, people believed electricity was magic. And just imagine what a great magician you could have been by turning on a radio in the 16th century. TAROT SPREADS ============== Questions are often structured in the tarot through a spread, or layout. This is a symbolic pattern of positions, each with a given meaning. A card-symbol is selected for each of these positions and interpreted in relation to the assigned meaning of the position. There are simple spreads and more complicated spreads. There are so many spreads to choose from that it would be an endless list. One very well know one is the Celtic cross but there are many, many others. Each spread is geared for a different kind of question or situation. For instance, if you wanted to know the outcome of a particular situation, you might choose the Celtic Cross . THE READING ============ I tend to see the cards a pathway that offers various choices as to which road the questioner can go down . It is up to the questioner which road they choose. We all have free will and we all take responsibility for the pathway that we choose. I can only advise which pathway will be most beneficial. It is then up to the questioner to make his or her own mind up. You can foretell events at times which are likely to occur but I am always very careful in the way I tend to word my readings as people can take your every word for granted. I am lucky I have psychic awareness on a different level to lots of others. Many would scoff at this idea but it has become part of my life and I except it for what it is as do those that know m e. I would like to think I have helped people by giving them readings. We all get stuck within the confines of our life at various times. We all need help to see the wood for the trees. That I think is what the cards to, they bring the sub-conscious within the conscious realms. Anyone with time and practice can read tarot cards, but it takes many years to interpret them effectively and intuitively and a lot of hard work. They and other forms of divination remain contentious issues. All I know is they tend to work and do offer people a choice to see what choices they may have to help them along the pathway of life. Bright Blessings to you all. Skybabes
When I was younger I fancied myself as a bit of a psychic. I used to have a great time dressing up in my Mum’s clothes, heaping on my big sister’s make-up and dangling strings of fake pearls around my neck. Then I’d get my friends over, gaze into my crystal ball (well, it was a glass paper weight actually) and ‘predict’ the future. “You will find fame and fortune! Soon you will discover romance, and possibly even love, in an unexpected place.” That was the usual kind of drivel I would come up with - almost as corny as Mystic Meg’s phoney predictions! Then we’d all swap costumes and someone else would have a go at playing fortune-teller. It was great fun. I’d forgotten all about my days as a psychic, until about a year ago when one of my friends gave me a Tarot deck for my birthday. Suddenly the mystic inside me was awakened and I was dying to give them a go. At first my readings were hopeless – my predictions were full of clichés not dissimilar to the rubbish I made up when I was a kid. I bought myself some Tarot books and, with time, I began to grow more accustomed to the ways of the Tarot. Soon I started to make some sense of the cards, and to this day my readings have become increasingly more accurate. Put this down to just my mates being nice if you will, but several of my friends swear to me that the cards have spoken the truth to them. Before I describe to you how I read the cards, I will tell you a little more about the actual cards themselves. A Tarot deck is similar to an ordinary pack of playing cards, both having four suits numbered from ace to ten. In a Tarot deck these are called the Minor Arcana, and the suits are knows as Pentacles, Swords, Clubs and Wands. Each suit has four court cards – King, Queen, Knight and Page – unlike an ordinary pack of playing cards, which has only three. This makes the total number of cards in the Minor Arcana fifty-six. Additionally, the Tarot deck has twenty-two other cards known as the Major Arcana. These do not belong to a suit, but have their own number, symbolic picture and a name. There are a total of seventy-eight cards in a Tarot deck. There are many, many different types of Tarot decks available, and you can buy them in most good bookstores, or order them online. I own three decks, and my favourite is the Rider Waite Tarot Deck, which cost me £12.99. It’s perfect for beginners and the designs are beautiful. Now for the actual reading. When giving a reading to myself, I clear my mind of all irrelevant thoughts and shuffle the cards (taking care to reverse some) while considering the matters I want to know about. Usually I will voice the question I am putting forward out loud at this point. If I am doing a reading for someone else, I will ask him or her to do this. When the cards are shuffled enough, I begin to lay them out. There are many patterns, called ‘spreads’, into which the cards can be laid out to form a reading. Some are simple and use as few as three cards, but the more intricate spreads can use over twenty cards in one reading. Spreads can be specific - if a question is asked, or general - if no question is asked and the reader wants to gain an overall impression of the enquirer’s life. If, when doing a reading, more Major cards occur than Minor, then your future is mostly governed by fate. If it is the other way around then your destiny is mostly in your own hands. Each of the cards has an abundance of meanings, and reversed cards have additional interpretations. However, this can get quite complicated so beginners are permitted to use only the upright meanings if the reversed ones are too difficult. When I first began to learn the Tarot, my main problem came with learning so many meanings. At first I used a book to aid me, but now I can read without a book (‘read& #8217; without a book – get it? Oh, never mind!). Another difficulty that hit me was deciding which meanings were relevant to the question and which were not. Usually it’s pretty obvious, but if it is unclear the best thing to do is simply clear your head of thoughts and let the correct meanings surface to the front of your mind. Sounds strange I know but it really works! If you’re at all interested in Tarot, I urge you to borrow a book about it from your library, or look it up on one of the many sites dedicated to the subject on the web. I strongly recommend the following site: http://www.tarot.com/ These books are also very good: Learning the Tarot – Joan Bunning Step by Step Tarot – Terry Donaldson So there you have it. Hopefully I’ve opened up a new doorway for some of you. I can’t tell you whether or not Tarot cards actually can foretell the future, or whether or not it’s all just a load of rubbish. What I can tell you is that the Tarot is highly enjoyable to take up and I guarantee you’ll have great fun with it. And you never know, perhaps you’ll discover a hidden psychic within you!
I'd never really been the type of person to place much credence in things like Tarot cards or crystal balls. To me, it was all mumbo jumbo and to be taken with a rather hefty pinch of salt. I could always think of better things to do with my money than to hand it over to seomeone whom I'd already pre-labled a weirdo. Rules are usually made to be broken, though, aren't they? 7 months pregnant with my first child, bored rigid from lack of outings, I was simply desparate to do something, anything. My husband and 3 friends were going to watch a few locally held stages of the RAC Rally of Great Britain. Yes, I thought, a bit of excitement for me. Pooh! My husband said he was unhappy about taking me along, because he'd be driving fast over bumpy roads keeping up with the stages. He wassn't for changing his mind, so I figured it was another evening in front of the TV for me. My sister phoned to say she was going to get her Tarot cards read, and did I want to go. I started to say no, then thought better of it. At least it would get me out of the house for a few hours. The card reader was at a friend of my sister's house. I didn't know anyone there, except for my sister. When it was my turn, I was prepared for a bit of a laugh telling the reader how wrong she was. An hour later, like Saint Paul on the road to Damaskus, I was converted. From skeptic to believer in one easy move. I was asked to shuffle the pack, then pick out some randomly. I forget now the exact number of cards I had to choose. The woman turned them over one by one, and proceded to amaze me. The first thing sh said was that I'd had a very rough childhood. Ok, I thought, but a bit general. She then went on to tell me that I'd been knocked around for years by a drunken parent (my Dad took great pleasure in doing that for years.) She elaborated that my mother should have left him , but never would. This again was true, she's still with him today. I should perhaps point out here, that my sister hadn't been in yet, so this information couldn't have come from her. And it wasn't exactly information that I advertised. She told me that I was living on bare boards, but that would soon change. Creepy. When I found out I was pregnant, we were living in a rented flat in London. We decided that it was a good time to move somewhere quieter. We moved up to Scotland and stayed with my parents until we found a house of our own. Eventuall, we could take the bad atmosphere caused by my dad no longer, and when we got our house, we bought a bed and a cooker and moved in. That had been about 10 days before the reading. She told me my child would be a girl, and I'd have 2 more girls and a son. That's exactly what I do have. She also said that we'd be a happy family, but we would have tragedy along the way. We have had a miscarriage late on between each of our children. One was at 8 months, and it was a nightmare. But it was exactly as she had said it would be. She said that I'd want more children, but that decision would be taking out of our hands. When my youngest child was 3, wI was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and had to hace a hysterectomy done. Another thing she'd fortold had come true. It's easy to say that I've chosen to look on life's events, and tie them into that Tarot reading, but I choose to believe that I'm not just making connections bcause I want to. If anything, I'd have wanted her predictions all to be pie in the sky. She said that I had very strong Irish connections. My husband is Irish, and we moved to Northern Ireland a year after that reading. Obviously, I had no trace of any accent other than scottish when I was speaking to her. Above all the other things she said, one really creeped me out. Sh e said we had a white car. It had been automatic, but had recently been converted to manual. This was completely true. We had a white mazda 626, and Michael, my husband, had done the conversion work himself just weeks earlier. She said to tell him to get rid of the car, that it was going to bring trouble. Michael had arranged to pick me up from my sister's house at around midnight. He didn't arrive. His friend came to get me. While following the rally, the car had spun out of control at a little hump backed bridge. Michael had been driving too fast, and the car and 4 occupents ended up rolling down an embankment and cam to rest upside down in the river. Thankfully, the most serious injury was a grazed forehead, but once again, her prediction had come earily true. Dispite being so convinced by this woman, I've never had my cards read again. I'd seen enough to believe that some people out there do have a genuine gift for this sort of thing. I enjoy living life, taking each day as it comes. I love the little surprises that crop up along the way. I figured I'd be better of keeping them as surprises.
Many years ago a friend of mine whom, at the time I had only just met, read my Tarot cards. I was amazed that he could know so much about me just from looking at the cards. Before he actually met me he read the cards for a mutual friend and described me in detail to him! He has since read my cards on numerous occasions and has always been accurate, even though it isn’t necessarily what I want to hear. I lost touch with this friend and saw him again at a craft fayre where I asked him to read my cards. He said that one of the cards was confusing him and that he felt that I was going to have something taken away from me that would be representative of my womanhood but that I would still retain my femininity. I nearly fell off the chair – I was going into hospital for a hysterectomy the following week and there was no way he could have known that. Another example is that a few years ago I had finally finished what had been a long and disastrous relationship and I had decided to remain single and enjoy being so. My friend came to read my cards and straight away told me that a young, dark haired man, born under one of the fire signs would sweep me off my feet! I couldn’t stop laughing and thought that this time he was way off the mark. He also told me that the number 49 would be significant possibly as the age of the new suitor. Within a few weeks I had renewed a friendship with my now partner and it had developed quite quickly into a mutual deep feeling for one another. He is dark haired and born under the sign of Aries, which is indeed a fire sign. He was 29 at the time though. I rang the reader and said you were right after all but you’re psychic sight is a bit suspect – you’re seeing 2’s as 4’s!!!! Anyway that should give you an idea why I am an interested believer in the Tarot cards. I am also a Christian and I have no conflict in beliefs. I firmly believe that any messages sent to me are from God and what path they take to get to me is irrelevant. The origins of Tarot cards are far from clear, but it is thought that the first known pack was created in Italy in the fourteenth century. It may, however date as far back as Indian gypsies or the Celts. It is a mixture of ideas and images from many cultures, religions and ancient myths. The Tarot pack is made up of 78 cards divided into the 22 of the Major Arcana and the 56 of the Minor Arcana. The cards in the Major Arcana are specific cards such as The Fool, The Sun, The Wheel of Fortune etc. The Minor Arcana cards are similar in a way to playing cards having four suits Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles relating to Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds respectively. These suits also relate to the seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter respectively and elements, as in the astrology signs, Air, Fire, Water and Earth respectively. Each card has one of two meanings when appearing in a spread according to whether it is upright or upside down, also known as ill dignified. Logically enough the meaning of the card is either reversed or at least ‘watered down’ if the card appears as ill dignified. When you are to have a reading done you will be given the cards to shuffle in order that they might pick up your influence. At this stage you can also concentrate on any specific questions you have that you want advice on. If there is something troubling you it will come out in your reading whether you want it to or not! You then hand the cards back to the reader in the direction with which you feel most comfortable. The reader will then arrange the cards in a specific pattern called a spread. There are many of these, but probably the most popular one is the Celtic Cross. This composes of two cards on top of one another at right angles to each other in the centre with four cards around them. there are then four more cards placed in a line one above the other on the far right of the spread. The two cards in the centre will give the present position of the querant (the person for whom the reading is being done) and the immediate influence upon them. The card directly above these gives the querant’s goal or destiny. The card to the right gives the distant past, below the recent past coming into the present and to the left the future. Of the four cards to the right of the spread the bottom one again represents the querant, the next the querant’s inner emotions, next any outside influences and finally the top card represents the final result. There are other spreads such as the Horseshoe and the Star spread, which answer similar questions to the Celtic Cross. There are also special spreads for specific situations, such as the Question and Answer spread or the Alternatives spread if you have a decision to make. There is also a twelve-card spread, which will give you an insight into the coming year. I must just also say that a reputable reader will never give you any information to scare you. If they forsee something bad in the cards they may gently warn you, but never would you be told of a death for example. The reading is only a snapshot of the moment and the future could still be changed by your own actions. I have been to adult education classes, given by the friend mentioned at the beginning of this opinion as it happens, to learn to read Tarot cards. I often do a reading for myself using an Arthurian deck about which I shall write a separate opinion, as they are somewhat different form the traditional decks. I am not ‘in tune’ enough to read for other people but often gain a lot of guidance when reading for myself.
I thought she was going to look like a witch, all warts and dressed in black but I was completely wrong. She was very pretty with long auburn hair and sparkling brown eyes. I felt at once in tune with her. Her face lit up as she smiled and said, "Hello Kay, nice to meet you". And it was nice to meet her as well. This then was the Lady of the Tarot that my friend had told me about and she was now going to have a look at my life. Divination as she called it. She told me to clear my head of all thoughts and to shuffle the pack of cards face down. This she said would impregnate them with my personal magnetism. I giggled a little at the thought and she told me to be serious. So I was - just in case she also did spells - well you can't be too careful. I kept shuffling and she said my subconsious would now be creating a rapport with the cards. No giggle from me this time! I was told to keep going until I was satisfied. I bit my tongue as I knew that otherwise I would make some cheap quip which might upset this relationship that was going on. For some reason a picture of myself as a five year old flashed through my mind. Creepy I thought. I felt satisfied so I stopped, suppressed a smile, and placed the cards in front of her. She said she was going to do a ten card spread first. "Fine", I mumbled my faced flushed with seriousness. She started to lay out the cards from the top of the pack. The second card went on top of the first and the others singly in a pattern until ten cards had been placed on the table face up. What pretty pictures I thought in my shallow way. She told me that each card represents part of my life. For example the first card laid is my present position, the second my immediate influence and the third my goal or destiny. I was looking forward to hearing what this card meant. And so it went on: past events (gulp, I hoped she couldn't read it all), future infl uences, inner emotions and so on. She then started to interpret the cards and it was so interesting. Genuinely interesting. I was amazed at some of the things she said as they appeared to be so true. The future sounded great and I was bubbling with excitement inside but I remained cool in appearance, at least I tried to. I couldn't help asking, "What's that one". There was a naked woman in the picture pouring water. Well it could be good, I thought, perhaps it's me in the South of France or something. It turns out that this was no less than Venus bathing in a pool and pouring water over herself. It's a symbol of the planets and stars beyond the sun. It's a new beginning, a bath of rejuvination. "Wow!", I said. It was all I could think of. There are seventy-eight cards in a Tarot deck. Twenty-two of them are called the Major Arcana and the other fifty six the Minor Arcana. It seems that there is much ancient symbolism mixed in with the cards, half of which I just don't understand. There are theories that their history stretches back to the ancient Egyptians but a French occultist, Eliphas Levi, seems to think that they go back much further. He reckoned the twenty two cards of the major Arcana each relate to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and to 22 'paths'. I shan't argue with this! What complicates matters further is that some of the Tarot sets of cards differ. I shan't worry about this too much as I have enough trouble deciding what to have for tea. If we look at the Major Arcana the cards have such names as: The Magician, The High Priest, The Empress, The Lovers, The Wheel of Fortune (really?), Death, The Devil, The Star and so on. These represent the spiritual and physical forces of us humans: strength, power, love, illness, death, storms and religion. I think that calls for another, "Wow!", don't you? The Mino r Arcana are divided into four suits, similar to normal playing cards, but these are called: pentacles, cups, wands and swords. These correspond with diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades respectively. The cards relate to our status, social position or job. To read the cards it's a matter of getting to know what each card means in a symbolic sense through meditation and also it's divinatory meaning. This is quite an undertaking but to complicate matters further each card means something different if it is laid upsidedown. For example, The Magician means originality, willpower, self confidence and other positive traits. Upsidedown and it's a bit different: insecurity, lack of imagination and ineptitude. Before you ask there are other ways to lay out the cards for divination. There is The Tree of Qabala, which I understand is symbolic to Jewish mysticism, The Celtic Cross, The Horseshoe Spread, The Italian Method and some say that the best of all is the Royal Spread, but I wouldn't know about that. So conclusions Kay. I think that the Tarot can be looked at as a bit of fun for light hearted fortune telling and guidance or can be something much more deep and meaningful for those that want to study the symbolism and devote time to proper reflection and study. Horses for courses and all that. All I know is that my future is rosy and bright. Though my Lady of the Tarot said something along these lines I feel it's really all up to me. That was all a bit serious for me wasn't it? "Wow!" ;-> Kay
I’m sure everyone must have at least heard about Tarot before, if not where have you been??? ;o) Now some people just collect tarot cards for the pictures on them, and believe me with some of the decks it’s well worth it. However, some of the main uses of Tarot as I see it are divination…ok so it’s fortune-telling…you can use them to help meditate, for spiritual matters, some people use them as tools for understanding or self improvement and a few people actually use them to play card games. In recent years a sudden, unprecedented, surge of interest in Tarot has been seen leading to an increase in new decks being created and published. So what can I tell you about Tarot? Well I’ll tell you about the ways Tarot can be used for divination. There are many different decks available, and not all of them are serious decks…things like the “Silicon Valley” deck should probably be kept in the “bought for fun” category, they certainly weren’t meant to help in any telling. Each new deck has different designs and artwork, some will be based around themes such as the Arthurian Legend, dragons, or Ancient Egypt. Most decks will include new and different interpretations of the cards meaning and symbolism in the artwork so you may discover that you connect with or like decks from a particular artist more than others. In order to give a good reading you need to choose the right deck for you. If you are a beginner it may be good to look for decks such as the Rider-Waite, Robin Wood, or Morgan-Greer. These are decks that are often considered beginners decks as they have good symbolism in the cards. Personally out of these I prefer the Robin Wood deck as I think the cards have the best artwork, but as I said it is all down to your personal preference if one seems best to you that’s the one you should go for. If you are more confident with Tarot you probably already have a deck a nd know the basics about choosing your deck. All I can say to you is that you should continue to look around at as many decks as possible as one may just jump out at you. A good website to look at many of the different decks available is http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ A normal Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, 22 of which make up the Major Arcana and 56 the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana is numbered from 0-21 although sometimes card 0, “The Fool”, is considered un-numbered. The Minor Arcana is similar to a normal deck of playing cards, the 4 suits each have 14 cards with an extra card, the knight, added between the Jack (the Page/Knave) and the Queen. The 4 suits can be said to represent the 4 corners of the compass or the 4 elements, the north (or earth) is represented by the suit of swords (equivalent to spades); the south (or fire) is represented by the suit of wands (equivalent to batons or clubs); the east (or water) is represented by the suit of cups (equivalent to hearts);and the west (or air) is represented by the suit of pentacles (equivalent to coins or diamonds). In order to give a good reading you must familiarise yourself with all of the cards and their meanings. Most decks will give some form of reference for the meanings of all the cards but some decks will provide better and more in depth books/booklets. There are also many books available on the subject of Tarot, all of which will give a good guide of how to decipher the meanings behind each card and the reading as a whole. Another very good source can be found on the web, one very good website for learning Tarot is http://www.learntarot.com which has information and pictures of various decks and online lessons, it also has a section where you can download the lessons for easier perusal off-line. The cards have different meanings depending on which way up they are seen by the diviner and are interpreted taking into account their placement during the reading. Y ou need to be comfortable with your deck and the more you handle your deck the better. Some say that one of the best ways to imprint your cards, and hence make them more accurate, is to sleep with them under your pillow for at least one night and wrap them in silk whenever they are not in use. The next thing you will need to know to perform a reading is how to layout the cards. The layout is called the spread and there are many different spreads to choose from, each being better for different occasions or reading types. Before a reading the deck should be shuffled by the person seeking an answer to a question, who is known as the questioner, until they feel that the deck is ready. The person wishing the interpretation or prediction should sit on the opposite side of a table to the diviner whilst shuffling and should then hand the cards to the diviner. It should be noted that the cards are always read from the diviner’s perspective. One of the simplest ways to use the Tarot is a yes/no answer to a question using just one card. The cards are all laid out on the table in a row and the questioner chooses one card from the deck, preferably whilst asking the question aloud, and passes it to the diviner. The diviner then uses their knowledge of the cards and their own intuitive feelings to answer the question. Another quick reading can be given using just 3 cards, once the diviner receives the deck from the questioner they turn the top 3 cards over from left to right. They lay the cards on the table in front of them, the top card on the left, the second in the middle, and the final card on the right. The turning of the cards is important, turning from left over to the right ensures that the turning does not reverse the card so that the meaning is not reversed or weakened. The diviner can now begin the interpretation taking into account the positions of the cards. The first card may represent the past or the morning of the day in question , the second the present or the afternoon, and the final card represents the future or the evening/night. The horseshoe spread is used to layout the path of the week for the questioner. The diviner takes the cards from the questioner and places the first 7 (each representing 1 day of the week) face down in an open horseshoe/rainbow pattern, again starting with the top card as the first card placed on the left. Once an interpretation has been made for the first card, continue with the next cards in sequence until the reading is over. There are numerous other spreads, most of which are more complex methods of divination and require more complicated layouts. At least one of these, possibly the most common, should be explained in the booklet that comes with your deck. They are far too involved to go into here (most would need diagrams (o; ) instead you could try looking in a book or on the web. Some websites give Tarot readings, an automated reading can be found at http://www.façade.com/tarot and at http://www.freereading.net you can receive a free reading. http://www.tarotscopes.com is good site with some free readings and a professional, personal reading given for a fee. However, I feel it is better to go to a live reading, or perform a reading for yourself. Of course, not all people will be able to give a good and accurate reading, there is a certain quality possessed by everyone who is capable of interpreting the true meaning of the cards. I would still recommend Tarot to anyone who is interested in the Wiccan Way, the mysteries of the occult, or the possibilities of “fortune-telling”. All the readings I have given, either for myself or other questioners (including complete strangers at the time of the reading), have proven to be highly accurate in the divination of the past and the future. My current deck of choice is the “Tarot of the Witches” deck although I have in the past used astro-tarot, which combines the Major Arcana with the 4 Aces of the Minor Arcana with cards representing astrological signs, Chinese birth signs, and the planets. There are other fortune telling cards that are not Tarot and, although I have not tried these, I am very interested in the ideas behind them.