Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Did you know that before Tarot became the wildly used divination tool it was just another card game? It’s maybe not the easiest form of divination, as we are presented with 78 different cards, each having a different meaning, and many possible spreads, but for me it’s probably one of the most satisfying tools to use. The simpler ones, like pendulum, tea leaves or flame reading, even runes are much less complicated, not less accurate. Why Tarot then, you may ask? The imaginative symbolism and detail of each reading is the reason why.
As you probably know by now my point of view on Magick itself is more skeptical than some of the other Witches. I’ve had some very out-of-this-World experiences, but in my heart, I always question everything and looked inside for explanation. For me, divination of any kind is just a simple way of checking with yourself and cutting on your own bullshit. Is it the Universe speaking to me? Gods? Demons or Spirits? Maybe, or maybe it’s just the truths and answers that are inside of me all this time, but I just don’t want to acknowledge them? A deck of cards can call you out on your bullshit, better than your own mother- trust me. We are presented with 78 different images, representations of very humane dilemmas and desires. Then we ask questions and that’s when the Magick starts. We are forced to sit down and take a look inside our own soul, something that most of us avoids by any cost. I truly believe that as all the questions start within, we also already possess all the answers.
The origins of Tarot are taking us back to 14-15thcentury Europe. The Artists were creating game decks with four different suits: staves or wands, discs or coins, cups and swords. A couple of decades later the Artists started to paint many more heavily illustrated cards, and adding them into the existing suits. That’s when the Tarot decks started to be pieces of art. Wealthy families would pay a commission to Artists to create the triumph cards, sometimes, based on looks of their family and friends. Italians- they just know how to do art. Tarot cards needed almost two centuries to become a divination tool, not just a parlor game. It was the 18thcentury that was the peak of creativity in methods of interpretation, reading and creating Tarot spreads. Then we hadAntoine Court deGebelin, he claimed, in his very complex analysis of Tarot that its origins come from the Ancient Egypt Mythology. The idea was met with a big enthusiasm from Europeans, all around the continent. That’s when the Marseille Tarot become highly liked. First Tarot deck design specifically for divination was a creation of another Frenchmen- Jean-BaptisteAlliette. The expansion of esoteric use of Tarot started to associate it with Kabballah and Hermetic mysticism. In 20th century, Arthur Waite a British occultist and an artist Pamela Colman- Smith created the Rider- Waite Tarot Deck, and the modern decks are mostly based off this deck.
For the next 78 days we are going to learn together the meaning behind each card in their upright and downright position, and the symbolism behind the presented pictures. Let’s the fun begin!