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A Basic Guide To Tarot Card Reading

Jul 2, 2008
The reading of the Tarot and the belief that they can help to interpret future events has long been a source of interest and controversy. If you are open to the possibility that tarot reading is a genuine tool for prophesy then you might find it interesting to take some time to understand the basics of how to read tarot cards. This article aims to help you to understand this further. Read on to discover the historical origins of tarot cards, how the cards are set up and how to understand how a tarot reader arranges the cards.

Some of the mysticism that surrounds the use of tarot cards comes from their origins. The first record of their existence can be found during the Renaissance period in medieval Italy. There are references to a game known as Triumphs that used cards similar to what is now recognized as tarot cards. Over time the cards became associated with mysticism and fortune telling. The story goes that a French Freemason, Antoine Court de Gebelin wrote a paper that argued that the symbolism within the tarot cards offered a route to knowledge.

In the 1800s, the possibility of divination through tarot reading was further promoted by many groups related to the Hermatic Order. By the turn of the 20th Century, further tarot cards were developed that used imagery on the cards to represent divination. This is the most popular tarot cards in use today and is usually referred to as the Rider-Waite-Smith Deck.

The deck is typically made up of 16 Court cards, 40 Minor Arcana and 20 Major Arcana cards. Each card has a specific purpose to the set as a whole. The Court cards are split into 4 sets of cards that depict Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages. The first two depict the masculine and feminine energy and are seen as objective and established. The latter represent the opposite; the energy is important but can be unstable also.

Within the Minor Arcana set of cards there are four groups of swords, cups, pentacles and wands. Each of these sets refers to a specific characteristic. Swords are symbolic of intelligence, cups symbolize intuition, pentacles refer to physical health and wealth and wands are seen as a sign of creativity.

The second set of cards is the Major Arcana. These cards are designed to reflect the key actions that we must undertake during our lifetime. Most tarot card readers will interpret these cards as a journey through life that starts with The Fool card and is completed with the The World card. The remaining cards are dealt randomly during the course of the lifetime. These cards represent the major events and challenges that will occur in a person's lifetime.

Most tarot card readers will choose to arrange the cards at a reading in a very specific manner. There are many varieties, but the most common arrangements are the Celtic Cross and the Horse Shoe methods.

The first variation, the "Celtic Cross" is known as such, because they are placed on the table in the shape of a cross. A further card is placed over the cross to signify an important event or issue within the person's life.

In the "Horse Shoe" method, the cards are laid out on the table in a semi-circle. These cards are used to depict the person's current life and also to provide insight into future issues that may provoke ethical dilemmas for the person.
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