Tarot is a deck of 78 picture cards that have been used for centuries to gain insight and reveal hidden truths. These cards appeared at roughly the same time as the now-universal 52-card deck, though it is disputed which came first. In recent times interest in the Tarot has grown enormously as people have discovered it to be a powerful tool for personal growth and insight. More and more people are seeking ways to blend inner and outer realities so they can live their lives more creatively. Uses for Tarot cards are varied. They can of course be used in a traditional fortune telling layout, but they can also be used as inspiration cards, affirmation tools, or for self-discovery and intuition building.
Tarot is often used in ‘fortune telling’, or divination, and is called ‘cartomancy’. The deck consists of four numbered suits (like a regular deck of playing cards) but with 22 picture cards numbered one to twenty-two or, in some decks, zero to 21. The Tarot deck has 14 cards in each suit(versus 13 for playing cards); the Tarot ‘court cards’ include a page along with the knight (knave), queen and king. The 22 picture cards, called the Major Arcana (the suited cards are the Minor Arcana), were originally permanent trump cards. The suits are analogous to standard playing cards: swords are spades, cups are hearts, pentacles (coins, discs) are diamonds and wands (staves) are clubs.
The main purpose of this course is to teach you, with demonstrations of layouts and different types of spreads, how to use the cards for yourself. The Tarot can help you understand yourself better and teach you how to tap your inner resources more confidently. You do not need to have ‘psychic powers’ to use the Tarot successfully –all you need is the willingness to honour and develop your natural intuition.
Tarot cards are not fortune-telling cards; they will not tell you that a certain event is definitely going to happen. The philosophy behind Tarot is that all future events are subject to change and that if you are forewarned of unpleasant events, you can prevent them. Tarot cards benevolently warn you that danger lies ahead if you stay on your current course and change nothing. You may choose to ignore this warning, but when you pass the danger zone, you will pay quite severely – or you can take preventive measures and change the course of events.
Tarot does not tell fortunes because this is counter-productive. On the contrary, its purpose is to make you think and act. Tarot subscribes to the view that future events can be changed if you take note of them and act appropriately. If the cards predict good times, you must still make a conscious effort to continue doing whatever you are doing or the prediction will go unfulfilled! Tarot cards never tell you what is going to happen – they tell you what is likely to happen, based on your present course of action.
Tarot cards can answer questions about the past and future and they can reveal the present as well. Often, the cards show the thoughts, feelings and motivations of the questioner and of others who are relevant to the question and most relationship spreads have positions for both partners for this reason. If there is something that you must know in order to solve a problem, Tarot can, and will, reveal it to you. Often, you’ll find that you already knew the answer but you overlooked it or ignored it. Tarot cards are a wonderful source of advice and guidance and, in the hands of an expert, Tarot cards are an excellent and perceptive counsellor.
The cards may not always tell you what you want to know but they will always tell what you need to know. They may not always answer the question that you ask but will always answer the question that most needs answering.