Divination is the ability to gain insights or answers to a question, problem, or situation through the use of a specific ritual. There are many ways to perform divination, and one of the most popular ways to do this, even up to this modern day, is through tarot cards.
What is it?
Tarot, the name of which transformed throughout history, is a pack of cards, usually 78 in number, and first appeared during the mid-15th century in Europe. Originally meant to be playing cards for different card games, it became a tool for divination by mystics, spiritualists, and occultists starting in the late 18th century, when, as many say, their true role as beacons of insight were revealed.
Standard tarot decks have two types of cards: Major and Minor Arcana.
The Minor Arcana are similar to a deck of regular playing cards. They are divided into four suits, with each suit having one card for 1 to 10, and then face cards referred to as the page, knight, queen and king.
The Major Arcana are stand-alone cards with their own unique meanings. These include cards like the Devil, Strength, Temperance, the Hanged Man, the Fool, and Death.
It is these suits and numbers that diviners use when using tarot cards for divination.
Tarot becomes a divining tool
In the 18th century, a link was made between the tarot and ancient Egyptian beliefs as well as divine hemetic wisdom, although it was met with fear and quickly branded as “The Devil’s Picture Book” Nevertheless, when Antoine Court de Gebelin in 1781 said that the symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille represented the mysteries of Isis and Thoth, it started the chain of events that would lead to tarot’s popularity in divination. Some claim that, despite hieroglyphic deciphering showing that there is no such link, the fact that people were still able to use tarot for divination shows that it is truly a key.
Over this time period, the suits and illustrations of the tarot transformed into what many of us are more familiar with today. But despite its storied history, nobody could truly explain how the tarot works, or why it does. There are many theories, but nobody can say for sure.
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How does tarot divination work?
There are many theories and ideas for how the tarot reading works.
Some believe that the power comes from within the reader, which is a latent power that allows them to tap into universal understandings, and that the cards are merely triggers that talent. Along the same vein, others believe that the reader is able to tap into the universal consciousness which is in turn able to see beyond time. There are also diviners who believe that their powers come from their gods, and that the tarot is an instrument of that god as a way of communication. And then there are those who believe that the power comes from the cards themselves, and that it is tied to their own personal latent power, which is why some of these readers will only ever able to do their reading with their own personal decks.
Regardless of the explanation, the tarot is able to let the reader divine the future. However, because the future is fluid and that the minutest of events can change it, absolute predictions are impossible, and not actually offered. What the divination gives to the reader is the situation at hand, the influences affecting them and the subject, and the possible outcomes of those situations based on the current events.
So in the end, the tarot reading gives the subject a guide based on the information divined to be able to make more informed choices as they traverse the branching roadways of their future.
How to start divining tarot cards
Anyone can learn to read tarot cards, but someone with a higher level of consciousness will be able to read them better and with more intuitiveness. There are many guides available to learn how to read tarot cards, but the best way to actually learn what your cards mean is to handle them, hold them, and feel what they are telling you.
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