Tarot cards have been with us for hundreds of years. Widely believed to have originated in Italy in the 14th century, tarot cards were originally used for playing before being adopted by those seeking to use them for divination. Some suggest that the tarot had its genesis even earlier, possibly as far back as the civilizations of Ancient Egypt.
Over the years, the deck has developed into the tarot we know today: 78 cards comprising the Major and Minor Arcana. Now, they’re widely used for both divination and self-introspection; some choose to meditate with the cards or use them to consider a problem or situation from a different perspective. Many people look to online psychic services to provide the best tarot reading for their needs, while others choose to work with the cards themselves.
Below we look at some of the most popular contemporary tarot decks and offer advice on reading the cards for those interested in getting started with their own practice.
The Rider-Waite Tarot
The Rider-Waite deck is one of the world’s most well-known and widely-used tarot decks. It was conceived by the occultist scholar Dr. Arthur Edward Waite, and the cards were illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith under his direction in 1909.
The Rider-Waite deck is rich in symbolism, and the cards draw on numerous legends, myths, and folklore. Christian, Egyptian, and Arthurian symbolism are just a few examples of the myriad influences that can be seen in these cards.
The Marseilles Tarot
The Marseilles deck was widely used in 17th and 18th century France and remains popular today. Today, decks featuring faithfully reproduced images can be purchased- in divination, traditionally, only the Major Arcana of the deck is used. The cards are known for their beautiful
and enigmatic imagery.
The Angel Tarot
Several Angel tarot decks are available; the most popular to date is that created by Doreen Virtue, entitled The Tarot of the Angels. The concept behind these decks is to use the cards to connect with angels, or beings of light, for assistance and guidance and to help us to follow our highest path.
A Beginner’s Guide to Using Tarot Cards
First, taking time to choose a deck that feels right to you and that you love and will enjoy working with is crucial. Look at as many decks as possible and be guided by your intuition when selecting. Many people choose to wrap their cards in silk and/or keep them in a special box or another container when not in use.
Rather than memorizing each card’s meaning using a guidebook, spend plenty of time with your cards and getting to know them. Do this by choosing a card daily, randomly, or by selecting the one you feel drawn to. Carry this card with you throughout the day, or keep it where you can see it, and spend time looking at the image, getting a feel for the symbolism, and thinking about how it makes you feel and the story it could be telling.
Alternatively, try meditating with a card in the morning or just before bed. Immerse yourself in the image and let your thoughts flow unimpeded.
Try Simple Readings
Once you feel ready, have a go at a simple three-card Past, Present, and Future reading. To do so, mix your deck in a way that feels right to you while concentrating on a question, general issue, or situation. Next, draw three cards from the deck and lay them in front of you.
Perhaps you focused on your job as you’re contemplating a new career path and subsequently pulled from the deck The Magician, the Ace of Wands, and the Two of Cups.
The Magician suggests that you have gotten where you are now in your career through your dynamic personality and work ethic – you’ve always been good at directing your energies and creating tangible opportunities. The Ace of Wands in the Present position points to the fact that now is the perfect time for a new venture, while the Two of Cups suggests that someone you’re going to meet- or even someone in your life now – has the potential to be a fantastic business partner who will be profoundly helpful in the next stage of your adventure.
The Next Step
Once you’ve got used to simple readings, you may want to progress to more complex, in-depth tarot readings. There is a near-infinite range of readings you can try, and you can find details of these online or in books. The Celtic Cross is a popular spread that uses ten cards. This spread can reveal various influences on the situation at hand and the likeliest outcome if a specific path is followed. The seven-card spread is a great choice for those facing a tricky decision and is worth trying, too.
Working with the cards can be an enriching and life-long practice that can help you look within and find the answers you need. You may well find that your deck becomes a close friend, able to offer comfort and support when you need them.