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Tarot is a set of 78 cards that are popularly used for divination and for fortune telling. However, tarot can also be used for practical problem solving, creative visualization, and meditation, among other things, such as for self-improvement, and as a tool of understanding. The standard deck of 78 cards are made up of 22 cards called the major arcana or trumps, and four suits of 14 cards each that are similar to playing cards, and called the minor arcana or pip cards.

Though thought to originate in ancient Egypt, the Atlantis, or with the gypsies, as per historic evidence it had its beginnings in the mid 15th century courts of Northern Italy. The name, ‘Tarot’ is thought to be the French derivation of the original Italian, ‘Tarocchi.’ It is thought that these cards were probably created to play card games, and not for reading the future. There is no clarity whether tarot cards were derived and developed from an already existing deck of cards, or were developed independently.

The 22 major cards correspond to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the number of hieroglyphs the ancient Jews used in divination. The first of these cards is the Minstrel – the Being (the spirit and the creation). Card number 15 is the Devil, signifying magic, commerce, mystery, and eloquence. Through 1 to 11, the cards signify the solar way - active, conscious, reflective and autonomous. Through 12 to 22, the cards denote the lunar way - passive, unconscious, intuitive and possessed.

The 4 suits of 14 cards each are the gold, clubs, swords, and goblets, though the names of the suits have varied from pack to pack. The gold stands for intellectual activity; clubs for government; swords for military career; and goblets, for the priesthood. Practitioners of tarot believe that these 78 cards represent the sum total of all the knowledge of all the sciences, and the various permutations of how these cards are dealt reveal the future and solve all problems.

From the early 1780s until the start of the 1900s, was the period when tarot evolved as an occult art. A new kind of tarot, though resting upon a core of the old traditions and symbolism, was created. Though still based on the old designs, the new occult decks had added Egyptian and Hermetic symbolism to the traditional ones. The evolution was very subtle, and not as dramatic as many thought it to be.

Tarot Reading And Beginners

No one actually knows how tarot works, but everyone agrees that it really does! To tell the future, you need to study the cards and learn their meanings. A lot of practice goes into it before you get to be good at it, if at all!

Beginners Can Start In The Following Way:

• Take one step at a time and treat it as you would any learning experience. Use formal structured readings. You can be creative once you are through with the basics and have mastered it. Many tarot books explain the basic layouts, and some tarot decks come with a little booklet explaining a basic layout.
• Ritualize by lighting candles, evoking your favorite spirit guide, or by simply be very methodical. Ritualizing will keep you from getting careless.
• Be a hardcore believer and trust the cards to work for you. The trust gives a boost to your self-confidence. The skill of reading tarot cards depends on your talent, knowledge, experience and intuition. Either you have these skills or you do not. It is as simple as that.

It is worth repeating that to learn how to read tarot cards, you must study the symbolism, learn and understand their meanings, and practice.

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