Life begins when the Fool is born. His Godparents Magician and High Priestess gifted him with skill and perception. Mummy Empress nurtures him while Daddy Emperor is strong and keeps him in his toes. The Fool goes to school and Professor High Priest teaches him about society’s rules and values. Soon after, the Fool falls in love and has to choose between his family and his Lover. He moves on with his partner, gets his own Chariot thus becoming independent and in control of his life.
The Fool’s has great inner Strength but can be a bit irrational at times. When the relationship ends the Fool gets lonely and retreats from others. He becomes a Hermit. In solitude he learns to contemplate life and to be patient, acquiring wisdom and experience.
By chance he goes to the casino and tries his luck at the Wheel of Fortune. Right place right time, The Fool left the casino as a prosperous man. Naturally with his new success came responsibilities, commitments and problems to resolve. The Fool was unprepared to deal with his new reality and made some serious mistakes. He ended up in court and had to face the consequences. Justice had to be done and so it was.
The Fool lost everything, his life was turned upside down Hanging by a thread. He was left dispossessed of his treasures and with no sense of direction. He then realized that the end of a period has come. Life as he knew was over. The past was Dead. The only way forward was accept the possibility of a new reality in different circumstances.
When the Fool regains clarity he looks at the past without resentments. With the Temperance comes tranquillity and inner balance. Life is cosy.
After a while the Fool gets bored and starts gambling, just for fun but his habit quickly becomes an obsession. Soon the Fool starts to neglect other aspects of his life. Trapped by his addiction, he is no longer in control; he is being ruled by his own Demons, unable to see that there is a better way to live.
The consequences inevitably came. The Fool lives in a Tower block and accidently sets fire to his home one night. He is evicted, loses his job, and has no money. After such devastating chaos the Fool had to move away and start afresh once again.
In time, he gets better. When he looks at The Stars he feels hopeful. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel after all. He starts to have strange dreams, particularly during the full Moon and wakes up even more confused. The future is uncertain. The Fool just keeps going one day at a time.
The summer finally comes and The Fool feels reenergised. The Sun is shining, the air is fresh and he looks at his life with optimism. The worse is truly behind him. This time he feels different; after having experienced so many highs and lows he has learned to appreciate what is truly important.
The Fool now understands why things happened the way they did. A fair Judgment of his past enables him to see his life with tremendous clarity and awareness. He is reaching ground breaking conclusions. It’s time to embrace a new future. As the voyage reaches its grand finale, the Fool celebrates with great joy and excitement. The cycle has been completed. He looks at the horizon and smiles, as he sees a whole new World ahead, just waiting for him.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the village, on a delightful spring day, a recently married young Empress gives birth to a lovely little Fool…
I hope you will be able to find yourself somewhere in the journey because the Fool in fact is us and the Tarot tells the story of our brief adventure in this life.
The 78 Tarot cards describe every situation we can possibly experience in life. This may be why people mainly use the cards to gain personal insight and to associate their meaning with situations by using the cards as a divination method. The cards are analyzed individually and combined and the accuracy lies in the interpretation of the symbolic meanings presented.
The cards can suggest possible outcomes but it’s unfair to say that the Tarot predict the future. It only indicates a pathway that you may or may not choose to follow. Only you can determine the outcome of a reading.
How did it all start?
There many theories about the origins of Tarot but its exact beginnings are still unclear. The evidence is still to be found. The Tarot first came to prominence during the 15th Century Europe. It is very probable that there were adaptations then. We can see evidence of the influences of that period in the court cards of the Minor Arcana. The court cards represent very typical personalities of those times.
The interest diminished during the 17th century when people became more interested in scientific discoveries than spiritual awakenings. It flourished again in the late 18th Century with the renewed interest in mysticism and associations of the Tarot with distinguished occultists of that time.
Carl Jung studied the Tarot for several years and related it to archetypes. It represents different aspects of humankind and the 78 Tarot cards can describe every situation we can possibly experience in life so they can be very helpful to self discovery.
The Tarot has been adapted to all beliefs and cultural heritages, and as a consequence, it has become universal. Today we can benefit from a fantastic diversity of decks to choose from such as The Arthurian Tarot, The Egyptian Tarot, The Mythic Tarot, The Romany Tarot, Osho Tarot amongst others.
The Tarot contains 78 Cards divided into Major Arcana (also called Trumps) containing 22 cards and Minor Arcana with the remaining 56 cards.
Major Arcana or Trumps
The first 22 cards depict the Fool’s journey where he goes through life reaching all stages including death and rebirth. They are always the most important cards as they point to key factors in the reading.
Cards 1 to 7
The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers and The Chariot describe our early development, parental influence, family, studies, religious beliefs, falling in love and becoming and adult.
Cards 8 to 14
The Fool now is an adult and the themes are more related to moral values, personal development and the consequences of our choices. The Strength, The Hermit, The Justice, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged Man, The Death and The Temperance. They all link with situations that will involve mental balance or facing life on life’s terms.
Cards 15 to 21
The last 7 cards are now following a more spiritual theme. Purification. We can easily come to this conclusion by paying attention to their names. The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, The Judgment and The World. In order to gain personal enlightenment we must face our own darkness and fears to discover inner strength and light. I believe in afterlife so my view is that the Tarot is describing all cycles from birth to rebirth. Of course this meaning is personal to me and I am aware that there are many meanings for this including a symbolic death meaning closure which is what I naturally use in my readings.
The remaining 56 cards are in no way less important. It is true that they do describe more everyday events but they bring an abundance of elements to be used in a reading that would be unwise to discredit. The Minor Arcana are divided into 4 suits of 14 cards each. There are correspondences between the suits and the following:
Love and emotions
Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
Change and progress
Zodiac: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius
Wealth and material stability
Intellect and limitation
Zodiac Sign: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius
Being a Reader
If you intend to read for others it is fundamental to know the cards not only individually but also what their combination can bring to the reading. This is the proper way. Even if you have the most amazing intuition you still shouldn’t rely entirely on that. Intuition is obviously very important but only good practical knowledge will give you tools to rely on when you find it difficult to connect with someone or if you are getting mixed messages from the card.
In my experience the key for a successful reading is to combine good intuition with real knowledge so that the reading can be both insightful and realistic in equal measures. The Tarot doesn’t solve problems and excessive use for divination purposes is unhealthy to any individual. Responsible readers are aware of the risk involved and will not encourage dependency.
The decks I use
As other professional readers I do have a collection of decks. I tend to use different decks for readings, studies and personal development. I recommend the following as they have worked for me:
- The Mythic Tarot by Juliet Shaman-Burke & Liz Greene – my very first deck given by my father. I know the Rider Waite is more traditional but as the gateway to my new life The MT takes top spot.
- Rider Waite by A.E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Reading for others:
- Tarot Illuminati by Erik C Dunne & Kim Huggens
- Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti
The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerber & Monte Farber
Buckland Romany Tarot by Lissane Lake & Raymond Buckland
The Witches Tarot by Ellen Cannon Reed
These are just a few options for you to choose. There are many other decks equally interesting and as it usually happens your deck will find you. If you want to learn more about the Tarot feel free to contact me.