Article Written By Skyler, an Expert Psychic, Tarot Reader and Astrologer
History tells us about where and what people did with no real understanding of internal motives. Myth tells of places and people using distortion or outright invention with deeper fundamental truths expressed.
The importance is in understanding the necessity of both forms of expression, particularly where it involves the tarot. Historically, the tarot emerged into recorded history in the mid-1400’s as a form of bridge style card game. Its use as a tool of divination did not reach popular culture until the 1800’s when a number of secret societies began letting some of the secrets be known. The myth of the tarot takes us back to the ancient mystery schools of Egypt. In this account, pictures were handed down from divine sources that taught humans an understanding of the deeper influences around them. For the purpose of this article, the myth and legends that surround the tarot will be the focus.
The vital connection described between a person and the imagery of the tarot as express in legend is it’s connection to what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious. That is each of us are connected to every person both alive and those in the past by a deep unconscious reservoir of memories that we share. These memories make up the cultural influences and archetypes that we perceive when we look out at the world. The tarot as expressed in myth is a road map of that murky land that lies just beneath our level of conscious awareness. Encoded in its structure is the landscape of both the material world made manifest, and the ladder to the spirit world. People of different beliefs, origins, and cultures have been using the tarot in this mode for nearly two hundred years with a tremendous success.
Understanding why the tarot works as an oracle, and as a guide to the subconscious requires a knowledge of its structure. Most modern tarot decks are comprised of 78 cards split into 3 categories. There is the “Major Arcana”, “Minor Arcana”, and the “court cards”. Each category plays a different role on the road map, and understanding those differences turn the cards from pictures with a concise written meaning to doorways. That transition is the difference between a clumsy reading, and powerfully accurate reading exploring all facets of the situation. The last piece of information necessary to digest in its most limited form is the structure the cards represent. That is a pictograph from ancient Hebrew mysticism known as the “Tree of Life.” It is quite possible to get bogged down in endless detail when examining the Tree of Life, so only the minimum necessary to truly understand tarot will be discussed.
The tree of life represents ten dimensions of energetic condensation from pure unity to the highly differentiated world we experience in physical manifestation. It is represented by the numbers one through ten, one being unity and ten being the physical world. Between these levels are paths that balance one aspect to the next. Those are numbered eleven through thirty-two. OK, that’s actually enough to make a complete discussion of the tarot make sense. The minor arcana relate to each point of condensation, the ace relating to one and the tens relating to that energy in complete manifestation. Also, each of the suits represent one of the four alchemical energies known as elements within our lives. Wands represent fire or passion and will power. Cups represent water or emotions and connectedness. Swords represent air or the volatility of thoughts. And pentacles represent earth or the sensations of being alive. So for example, the ace of cups represents the complete unity of love and connection.
The Major arcana represent the balancing effect between those levels of manifestation. For example, the number four represents mercy and forgiveness, and number seven represents raw emotional passion. The pathway between them is represented by the tarot trump X, fortune. It is turning of events to the positive in your life, or the resolution of karma on a grand scale. Uniting spiritual mercy with your emotional happiness.
Finally there are the court cards. The court cards represent personalities. King are strong, mature masculine energy. Queens are receptive mature feminine energy. The knights are over the top youthful masculine energy, and pages are innocent receptive feminine energy. So blending the elemental energies of fire, water, air, and earth with masculine and feminine has an interesting effect. For example , the queen of pentacles reflects mature feminine energy operating in the realm of material life. Or someone who creates a comfortable inviting environment for others to feel at home in.
With these three parts of the whole system operating in harmony, a deeper more profound connection becomes possible. In articles to follow I will discuss individual cards in detail, and debunk the notion of good cards and bad cards. Ultimately helping others to develop a deep connection with themselves and others using an ancient tool.
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