History and Reading of Tarot Cards

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History and Reading of Tarot Cards

Lesson on Tarot Cards

         Today during this learning experience, you will learn how to tell
your fortune with Tarot cards, what the Tarot cards mean and are, and the
history of the Tarot.

                        The History of the Tarot

         The Tarot cards are basically an old Egyptian "book" which
survived and was passed on until today.  The "book" or Tarot deck,
comprises of 78 cards, in five suits.  4 suits are called the Minor Arcana,
and one suit, comprising of 22 cards, is called the Major Arcana.

         The suits in the Minor Arcana each have 14 cards, and the Major
Arcana has 22 cards, numbered one to twenty-one.  The last card is
unnumbered.  The unnumbered card ironically is the Fool. The 22 Major
Arcana are said to represent the principles of society, agriculture,
virtues, the wise, foolish, etc.

         The different suits in the Minor Arcana are said to represent the
four classes in which the Egyptian society was divided: Kings and nobility
the sword, agriculture by the club, priesthood by the cup and commerce,
symbolised by the coin.  The cards have a definite relation to the number
seven, because twice seven is the number of cards in each suit in the Minor
Arcana, and three times seven is the number of numbered cards in the Major

         The Qabalah, is an ancient Jewish mystical system which expresses
the ten different concepts of creation called the sefiroth.    A mystic, as
he gains experience, imagines himself going from sefiroth to sefiroth, and
the number of paths connecting the sefiroth is 22.

         Another person seized the idea that each of the 22 Major Arcana
was related to a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  The Hebrew alphabet has 22
letters.  He succeeded in making this into a Tarot deck, also incorporating
the 22 paths of the sefiroth.

         Today's Tarot deck has not only changed in physical design, but
by how the cards are interpreted.  The cards most used for divination are
the Major Arcana.  These cards 22 cards are:

I     Magician             Man in search of knowledge, the answer
                          he seeks.
II    Woman Pope           Intuition, inspiration, the
                          subconscious memory, lack of foresight
III   Empress              Human understanding, femininity,
                          sensuality, beauty, happiness
IV    Emperor              Masculinity, independence, creativity,
V     Pope                 Advice, justice, healing
VI    Lovers               Choice, decision
VII   Chariot              Achievement, success, danger of defeat
VIII  Justice              Caution in taking advice, control of
                          one's fate
IX    Hermit               Time, wisdom, withdrawal
X     Wheel of Fortune     Change, prudence, the eternal rebirth
XI    Fortitude            Strength of purpose, coming danger
XII   Hanged Man           Adaptability, desire to learn, violent
                          change and sacrifice
XIII  Death                Change by transformation, rebirth
XIV   Temperance           Moderation, mercy, modification
XV    Devil                The adversary, caution
XVI   The Tower            Punishment, pride, divine inspiration
XVII  The Stars            New beginning, pleasure, salvation
XVIII The Moon             Uncertainty, changeability
XIX   The Sun              Splendour, health, wealth, affection,
XX    Judgement            Punishment or reward, final
XXI   The World            Fulfilment, completion on a material
     The Fool             Fate, luck, the end.

         That is the first part of the Tarot deck.  It also consists of 56
other cards, which are 4 suits of 14 cards.  What is their importance you
might say?  They have great importance in obtaining a very definite answer
to your question.  Some very short definitions of these cards are:

Cups, Chalices, Hearts:

Ace                     The home and distinct happiness
Two                     Success by careful thought
Three                   Impulsive decision threaten good ones
Four                    Marriage delayed, bachelor or spinster
Five                    Inability to make a decision
Six                     Imposed upon by untrustworthy people
Seven                   Broken promises by friends
Eight                   Parties or celebrations
Nine                    Dreams and desires will come true
Ten                     Good news, happiness in family
Valet, Knave, or Jack   A close (or long lost) friend
Knight                  A stranger, seducer, get before vanishes
Queen                   Faithful loving woman, gentle & pleasing
King                    An honest man, but hasty in decisions,
                       not to be relied upon for advice

Rods, Batons, Clubs:

Ace                     Peace of mind, professional success
Two                     Opposition from friends or associates
Three                   Long engagement, and then a fast wedding
Four                    Failure of project, due to friends
Five                    Marriage with a wealthy woman
Six                     Profitable business in partnership
Seven                   Good fortune, beware of opposite sex
Eight                   Someone will use money not his own
Nine                    Disputes with friends, bad quarrels
Ten                     Unexpected good fortune with bad loss
Valet, Knave, or Jack   A sincere but impatient friend
Knight                  Support from an unfamiliar source
Queen                   A nice woman, inclined to be
King                    An honest man, generous and faithful

Swords, Spades:

Ace                     Misfortune, bad news, tidings of death
Two                     Change, removal, loss of home, division
Three                   Journey, bad things in love or marriage
Four                    Sickness, minor misfortunes delay project
Five                    Success in business, harmony in partners

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