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Understanding Tarot Cards And How They Work

May 22, 2008
People have long been fascinated by Tarot Cards. Ridiculed by many and revered by others, the idea of being able to predict an individual's future by reading the symbols on cards continues to generate interest because of the mysticism that surrounds them.

This article is aimed at someone who has an interest in the subject but has very little knowledge. The aim is to help you to understand more about what happens when you visit a fortune teller. The article intends to explain the different kinds of card decks that might be used and some of the more common methods of arranging the tarot cards.

Choosing the Cards: The purpose of Tarot Card reading is to gain a foresight in to a person's future by using the tarot cards as a tool to tap into a spiritual energy. This process is known as divination. If you decide to visit a fortune teller they will be using one of three sets of tarot cards.

The most common set of cards is the Rider-Waith deck. These are recognizable by the simple but highly symbolic drawings on the face of the cards. Based up on early versions of the tarot card, the use of color can determine the outcome of a card reader's predictions.

A fortune teller may also use the Book of Thoth or the Mythic Tarot decks. The Thoth deck is influenced by the signs of the zodiac and astrology, the imagery used in the Mythic deck is heavily influenced by Greek mythology.

Card Arrangements: When you visit a fortune teller, they will firstly shuffle the cards and then lay them down in front of you in a specific format. There are a number of ways in which this can be done. Below are just a few of the more common methods of card reading that you might come across. For each of these arrangements an initial card will be dealt to indicate what the question being asked is. This is often referred to as the significator.

One common arrangement is called the Horse-shoe method. The fortune-teller will lay out seven cards in a half-circle and then turns them over left to right. The imagery on the cards provides answers to important questions on a person's history and their future life as well as issues of conscience.

The Tetractys approach lays the cards out in four rows in the shape of a pyramid. Each row signifies one principle element (Fire, Water, Air and Earth). The card at the top of the pyramid is the significator and this in turn relates to each of the other cards in a specific and distinct way.

Perhaps the most common arrangement is the Celtic Cross. The card reader will place six cards face down in the shape of a cross next to four more placed vertically. Another card is placed down over the cross to signify an important issue or event that the person must address in their life. The central card in the cross is the significator and the next one along will indicate conditions that relate to the key question.

Hopefully this article has been of use to you. Should you decide to visit a tarot card reader you now have the knowledge to understand what type of cards they are using and the method that they use to interpret the cards.
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