To those of you starting your spiritual journey or others that are looking to augment their portfolio of skills, tarot cards represent a wise investment. Most people think of the cards as some mystical objects, along with the reader who may or may not impart wisdom and knowledge of your life. Often this can be far beyond what they should know or understand. In truth the reader use these colourful pieces of cardboard to tap into his or her intuition and bring knowledge and guidance from beyond the physical veil.
History of Tarot.
The oldest known set of hand painted Tarot card/s that still exist today are from 1420’s, originally commissioned by royalty in Italy at that time. In those days ordinary people would have had no access to cards of wisdom, it was hard enough just surviving in life. Before the printing press, the cards were hand painted and works of art, thus only the rich probably would have probably had access to them. As for the origins of Tarot, the truth is nobody knows for certain. Some say ancient Egypt, others China or Asia. It may have been the gypsy fortune-tellers who roamed throughout Europe and Asia in the middle ages that spread the word. The truth is we will probably never know. What matters is the Tarot is widely available now in both variety of different artists and sizes to suit most.
The Tarot Pack.
Most Tarot packs have 78 Cards, 22 are called the Major Arcana, and these are the most vibrant hard hitting of the deck. (Arcana means secrets) When they appear, usually something big is happening around the querient (the person you are reading for). From the rest of the 56 cards the Minor Arcana, 16 are Court cards “Kings and Queens etc.” and 40 are Ace to 10 in four different suits. The common 52 cards used today and the likes is thought to originate from the tarot. The joker is thought to have been conceived from the Tarot’s Fool card. Some European countries still use tarot packs as common playing cards throughout the population.
Now to address some common questions and fallacies of the tarot. One of the most common ones I hear people ask, is it true that someone else should buy you a set of cards? Even though this is stepped in tradition, I believe that you and only you should pick the set that appeals to you. After all, you are the one that is going to be using them hopefully for years, you should at least like them. I have talked to numerous clients who have had packs brought for them, most detest or at the very least dislike the packs and feel uncomfortable using them. So as this serves as a deterrent to learning, these unwanted packs sit in a corner and gather dust.
Which pack do I chose.
The next question usually asked is, what is the most common pack that everyone uses? Well the most common is the Rider/Waite pack. The cards were originally published in December 1909 by the publisher William Rider & Son of London. The cards were drawn by the artist Pamela Colman Smith from the instructions of the Golden Dawn Mystic A. E. Waite. Arthur Waite commissioned Pamela Colman Smith to draw new imagery for the 78 cards that veered away and toned down the Christian images on the cards of the day. It a shame she isn’t recognized more with the tarot as she did a superb job on the illustrations. The pack that I recommend for my students starting out is this one in a Radiant brand because they are more colourful and vibrant. But if you see something else that grabs your eye, buy them and try it, or a friend may lend you theirs, to try them, to see if they suit you.
One of the other common question asked is anybody else allowed to touch the cards besides the reader? I know of some professional readers that won’t let anyone touch their cards. The reader splits them and shuffles them for their client. It is true to say for example in phone readings, where you are reading for absentee person who are physically not there, that you would shuffle the cards for the client. But if I am with the client I am reading for, I always get them to give the pack a big shuffle. I believe this imparts their energy on the cards so I can get a better upstanding of their needs. The next question I will deal with today is how to remember and learn the 78 meanings? Well like anything else in life, if we want to be good at anything we have to practice. What I recommend in my classes is at whatever time that suits you every day, sit down and have your coffee or tea and learn a different card. Another way of doing this every morning is to pull out a card to represent how your day is going to go? What a great way to get a start up on your day as you wait for it to unfold. Reading for a close friend or family is another way of honing your talents. Once you learn to read for other people and feel more confident, you will be so popular at parties and gatherings that you probably won’t have time to scratch yourself. For more information on any of the Tarot, my E book (Learning the Tarot) is available or to book in my personalized Tarot Course
In my next article I will briefly delve into the cards more, meanings and spreads. So please if you have never thought of trying the tarot or haven’t pulled them out for a while, give them a go and I sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
Written by Steve Parker – Spiritboy.
Author, Professional Reader, Psychic and Workshop Facilitator.
Phone 0418773614 or email