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This tarot deck is a relatively modern one. There are 22 cards in the deck and an instruction book. . This is all you need if you want to read Tarot Cards for fun or as a more serious pursuit in a very simple way.. You don't need any other book, or instructions.
This is not a full Tarot Deck because a full pack consists of 78 cards, 22 of which are the major Arcana. You only get the 22 major cards for your money so don't be taken in by the seemingly low price. £6.48 on Amazon sounds really cheap because a Tarot Deck will set you back between about £12 and £30 depending on what you want. A standard Rider Waite pack costs £11.99 but that's for a full pack.
The book shows you how to set the cards out for a reading and gives you meanings for them.
The cards are 3x5 inches in size and are prints of water colour paintings from the Nile region. The symbolism on these cards is from Egyptian magic and the symbols are set against a papyrus background. Personally I didn't like the images on these cards. They look very artificial.
The popularity of this deck has been huge and people have varying attitudes when it comes to the wisdom of using tarot cards of any kind.
Tarot originated around the year 1440 in Italy. The original cards were hand- painted and used in the courts of the nobility. They were a rare and exclusive pastime of the rich, and nothing more than a game.
There are many legends about the origins of these cards and they have been linked to India, the Jewish Kabbala, Egypt, or even ancient China. Historically there is no evidence for these stories. Around the year 1500 these cards became known as tarocchi in order to differentiate them from ordinary trumps, or what we know as playing cards. The French form of this word is 'Tarot'.
Folklore says that the gypsies, specifically Romanies, brought Tarot to Europe. This idea was actually started by writers from the mid 19th Century. Gypsies only started using tarot cards during the twentieth century. Prior to this they told fortunes by reading palms and interpreting ordinary playing cards.
Ordinary playing cards came to Europe from Muslim Spain around 50 years before Tarot cards arrived. These cards had four suits with kings and pages and the Tarot added The Fool and the Queens to this. These cards were originally used to play a game similar to bridge.
Around 1781 occult writers like Comte de Mellet started to mention Tarot as a divinatory tool. Interest in the cards as a system grew rapidly and they became an integral part of occult philosophy. They do in fact tell a story which goes from the 'Fool' to enlightenment.
In the 21st century these cards are still used for prediction and interpretation of events and situations. There are some who consider the whole idea of prediction to be ridiculous and others who fear the power of the Tarot and it's advocates. They have been called 'tools of the devil' and are said by some to be banned by the Christian churches. This is not true. The ban imposed by the church was solely on the 'Pope' and 'Popess' cards of the old decks. These were replaced by more acceptable images.
The cards themselves hold no power as they are merely cards which originated as part of a game. The real power comes from the reader's ability to interpret the cards and relate them to situations. Those individuals who have a gift for this could do equally well using baseball cards!In the hands of a sensitive, receptive reader, Tarot cards can work.
They operate like a very basic map of a person's mind and seem to work as a tool that facilitates access to whatever is really going on inside. It's a little like looking at a rather distorted mirror. Images come and go and are far from clear. A little imagination can soon fill the gaps and make perfect sense.
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung studied the symbols within the Tarot and came up with the idea of universal symbols that can be used to map the human mind. He developed the idea that the unconscious mind of an individual is made up of the personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. This, he reasoned, partly explained the success of symbolic systems like the Tarot.
If you fancy having a dabble with some tarot cards this is a cheap and easy way to start off. You can add these to another deck later on if want to but you might come across some opposition as not everyone approves of using these cards.
According to the publisher, these cards are the reproduction of the Tarot deck devised by the famous occultist Jean-Baptiste Pitois who linked the Tarot tradition to the legendary Book of Thoth.