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 Arcana.
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, action 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, treachery XX Judgement Punishment or reward, final achievement XXI The World Fulfilment, completion on a material level 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 temperamental 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 Six Use perseverance to make your plans work Seven Quarrels with friends, bad things Eight Be cautious, friends might turn be rivals Nine All kinds of unhappiness in all things Ten Grief, imprisonment, negation of all good Valet, Knave, or Jack A lazy person, hinderance in all work Knight Romantic chivalry, brave and enterprising Queen Treachery, betrayal, malice, widow King Man whom ambition over-rides everything Coins, Pentacles, Diamonds: Ace Important message, or a valuable gift Two A great love affair, opposed by friends Three Quarrels, domestic disagreements Four Unhappiness from bad friends, betrayal Five Unexpected news; may be business success Six Early marriage; early end. Bad for a 2nd Seven Lies, rumours, unlucky gambler, criticism Eight Marriage late in life, a journey, or both Nine Taste for adventure, travel, changes Ten Money as objective, maybe not result Valet, Knave, or Jack Selfish or jealous relative, bad news Knight Patient man, and inventor or discoverer Queen A woman who interferes in other’s affairs King Vengeful man, dangerous when crossed. These are some short meanings to all of the Minor Arcana cards.
Now everyone who wants their fortune told write your name on a piece of paper, and put it into this hat or box or whatever. This will determine who will have their fortune told first and who will have their major fortune told. (Tell everyone’s fortune by The Horseshoe Spread, and then tell one person’s fortune by the Royal Spread.) The Horseshoe Spread In this type of Tarot reading, the Major Arcana cards may be only used or the full deck may be used. (For class, use only Major Arcana.) The Horseshoe Spread is probably the fastest and easiest way to obtain an answer to a specific question. The question cannot be a “yes” or “no” question.
Example: If I choose the first door over the second door, what will happen? The Layout of the Cards |~~~~| |~~~~| | 1 | | 7 | | | | | |~~~~| |~~~~| | 2 | | 6 | | | | | |~~~~| |~~~~| | 3 | | 5 | | | | | |~~~~| | 4 | | | What the positions of the cards mean Card One Refers to past influences Card Two Indicates present circumstances Card Three Reveals the future in general terms Card Four Indicates the recommended course of action Card Five Reveals the attitudes of those surrounding the question Card Six Indicates obstacles that may stand in the way Card Seven Suggests the probable final outcome.