Tuesday, September 13, 2011

201: Tarot

Tarot, written by Gwen

The tarot is a form of divination that can be traced up to 600 years ago. However the origins of the Tarot are unknown. The tarot is a combination of 78 cards, divided into two sections. The Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana is further divided into four sections. In the Major Arcana typically exists cards representing the main aspects of life, such as birth, death and rebirth. In many decks, the main character is the Fool, and the entire deck represents his journey. The cards of the Major Arcana are as follows:

The Fool, usually representing youth, foolishness, risks and the initiation into life.

The Magician, can represent the inner and otter manifestations of life. Conscious and Subconscious, as well as mental, spiritual and mental. Above all, it represents the Potential for all things, for awareness, wisdom and control of magical and material things.

The High Priestess, usually represents intuition, the psyche, mystery, duality(balancing power between initiative and resistance, feminine and masculine), and hidden forces at work.

The Empress, represents the mother force in all things, as well as fertility, marriage, pregnancy, and the coming of children.

The Emperor, usually represents the commanding authority masculine figure. He represents kingship, leadership, the head of a family, control of the masses, mental activity and the domination of intelligence over others. Sometimes represents a tyrannical or oppressive figure.

The Hierophant is the counterpart of the High Priestess. He is the masculine 'priest' and represents the conscious, rather than the subconscious. He is your 'conscious' and the one who helps you in your religious/spiritual life. He also represents conformity, a doctrine of beliefs, bondage to the conventions of society, and all outer forms of religion.

The Lovers represent a need for a choice between diverse allurements; the struggle between what is sacred and profane love. It also represents Attraction, beauty, harmony of the inner and outer life. The power of choice means responsibility. Also it indicates that "No choice is more disastrous than a bad decision".

The Chariot represents to domination over evil and the strength of good. As well as conquest, success, triumph over material and physical problems. Many times it tells of a conquest, journey, or travel. It implies that once embracing both light and darkness, one can master their goals in life, and move forward rather than just one path or the other.

Strength represents the Ego, strength, power without the need for material possessions, triumph, and the higher nature over carnal desires.

The Hermit represents the lone figure in society, silent council, wisdom, prudence, a possible journey, and over all, a loner or person choosing to stay away from society, to better learn about themselves, or a new wisdom or system of magic.

The Wheel of Fortune represents the wheel of life, Fortuna's Wheel if you will, all the good and ill, birth, life and death. It implies you are about to embark a turn of the wheel, good or bad fortune soon to befall you.

Justice represents the Scales of the balance, karma, and Life. It can represent a balanced personality, justice itself, legal problems, etc. The time has come to harvest your fruits, whether they are ripe or sour.

The Hanged Man represents sacrifice overall, as well as a surrender to a higher Being causing a reversal in one's way of life. In spiritual matters, wisdom, prophetic power, and self- sacrifice are required when this card appears. You may review something good or negative in your life, and come to the ultimate conclusion, or understand this is an indication, that it needs to retire, and you need to move on to new things to acquire what you need and want.


Death does not typically mean a physical death, but at some times can indicate a warning of some kind of mortal danger. However, in most cases this card represents a new chapter in your life, transformation, and great change. This change may be in the form of consciousness, or something deeper. It can also mean birth and renewal.


Temperance represents harmony and balanced heart, the flow of emotion, adaption, coordination, moderation, and individuality.

The Devil represents chains of a person or society. It represents human nature and the need to break free from some bad habit or some constrictions that a person or society has placed on you. It can also represent guilt, and sometimes the need to look at the guilt deeper and realize why you are feeling that guilt, analyze whether it is logical or not. Can also represent domination of matter over spirit, illness, bondage to material, violence, revolution, force, and sometimes dark magick.

The Tower is a great representation of Chaos and disorder in your life. The lightening has struck your tower and everything comes crashing down. This is not mere coincidence. This happens due to unstable foundations rooted in your life. It represents the overthrow of existing modes of life, conflict, unforeseen catastrophe, old notions upset, disruption that may bring enlightenment in its wake, and selfish ambition about to fall.

The Star represents the inner child, hope courage, inspiration. Some see it as Selflessness and spiritual love.

The Moon represents many things: unconscious thought, lunacy, hidden energies, imagination, dreams, intuition, depression, unforeseen perils, deception or illusion. Our emotions, our psyche changes like the tides, changes like the phases of the moon.

The Sun represents great optimism, attainment and material happiness. Happy unions and reunions. Achievements in arts, science, agriculture. Pleasure in the simplicity of life. "Simplicity is the natural result of complex thought".

Judgment represents an Awakening change of position, renewal, a change in personal consciousness and awareness of past, present and future. This is represented by the judgment card because it sometimes causes you to become aware of what you have done in your life. It is a new understanding of the self.


The World (or Universe) is the last and final card, yet also represents a new beginning or new era. Represents completion of some task, reward, assured success, travel, movement, and the arrival at the state of cosmic consciousness. While Death was the next chapter in life, the World is the next book.



Finally, the Minor Arcana, as I explained, is divided into 4 sections. You may notice the similarity between this and the modern card deck. It is believed the modern cards were derived from the Tarot. Divided into Cups, Swords, Wands and Pentacles. Cups=Hearts, Swords=Spades, Wands=Clubs, Diamonds=Pentacles.

Wands indicate animation and enterprise, energy and growth. The wands shown in the cards are always in leaf, suggestion the constant renewal of life. They are all associated with the world of ideas and creativity.

Cups generally indicate emotions, love and happiness. The sign of the cup, which appears in all the cards of the suit, refers to water- a symbol of love, instruction, pleasure, and knowledge. These cards usually express the good life, fertility, beauty and the emotions rather than the intellect.

Swords generally represent the quest, aggression, ambition, boldness, war. force and courage. They represent the world of activities, both constructive and destructive.

Pentacles (Or sometimes Coins or Discs)symbolize matters concerning materialism, money, finances, stability, employment, trade, and industry.


When used, the cards can mean different things, depending upon their position, their surrounding cards, and whether or not they are reversed or not. I must point out that each deck is designed very differently, and each usually have themes. Sometimes these themes are based on a magical tradition, a religion, a form of spirituality, a mythology, and even sometimes on modern entertainment, such as a book or a roleplaying game. Each of these decks can be valuable, if they keep some semblance of the traditional symbols. Some decks are created for art, and have very little symbolism besides number and names. But you can adapt almost any story, any mythology, any idea, to create your own theme. Most modern decks are strictly or loosely based on symbolism of the Golden Dawn, which much emphasis on the Kaballah. The most popular deck of the past century is believed to be the Rider-Waite deck, which was created by a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.


The Tarot can tell of the past, present, and future, as well as explain different routes of progression, and interpret what the subconscious mind is saying. But overall, you must remember they will tell you where you are headed based on the path you are currently on. Nothing is written in stone, or on paper. You make your future. The Tarot is a guide, nothing more.

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