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Psychic Tools - Tarot Cards

Are one of the most widely used and known psychic tools, and have been used for centuries. Most Tarot Card Readers focus on the major  22 arcana cards during Tarot Readings.

 

Tarot cards, The Fool, The HermitAre one of the most widely used and known psychic tools, and have been used for centuries. Most Tarot Card Readers focus on the major  22 arcana cards during Tarot Readings. These arcane cards emphasize the major aspects of life and our psychic readers use the cards to enhance their ability, in order to provide answers to specific questions or to indicate a change that may be coming.

Tarot reading revolves around the belief that the cards can be used to gain insight into the current and possible future situations of the subject (or querent), i.e. cartomancy. Some believe they are guided by a spiritual force, such as Gaia, while others believe the cards help them tap into a collective unconscious or their own creative, brainstorming subconscious. The divinatory meanings of the cards are derived mostly from the Kabbalah of Jewish mysticism and from Medieval Alchemy.

Tarot cards were not widely adopted by mystics, occultists and secret societies until the 18th and 19th centuries. The tradition began in 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin, a Swiss clergyman and Freemason, published Le Monde Primitif, a speculative study which included religious symbolism and its survivals in the modern world. De Gébelin first asserted that symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille represented the mysteries of Isis and Thoth. Gébelin further claimed that the name "tarot" came from the Egyptian words tar, meaning "royal", and ro, meaning "road", and that the Tarot therefore represented a "royal road" to wisdom. De Gébelin also asserted that the Gypsies, who were among the first to use cards for divination, were descendants of the Ancient Egyptians (hence their common name; though by this time it was more popularly used as a stereotype for any nomadic tribe) and had introduced the cards to Europe. De Gébelin wrote this treatise before Jean-François Champollion had deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs, or indeed before the Rosetta Stone had been discovered, and later Egyptologists found nothing in the Egyptian language to support de Gébelin's fanciful etymologies. Despite this, the identification of the Tarot cards with the Egyptian "Book of Thoth" was already firmly established in occult practice and continues in modern urban legend to the present day.

The idea of the cards as a mystical key was further developed by Eliphas Lévi and passed to the English-speaking world by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Lévi, not Etteilla, is considered by some to be the true founder of most contemporary schools of Tarot; his 1854 Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (English title: Transcendental Magic) introduced an interpretation of the cards which related them to Hermetic Qabalah. While Lévi accepted Court de Gébelin's claims about an Egyptian origin of the deck symbols, he rejected Etteilla's innovations and his altered deck, and devised instead a system which related the Tarot, especially the Tarot de Marseille, to the Hermetic Qabalah and the four elements of alchemy.

Tarot divination became increasingly popular in the New World from 1910, with the publication of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (designed and executed by two members of the Golden Dawn), which replaced the traditionally simple pip cards with images of symbolic scenes. This deck also further obscured the Christian allegories of the Tarot de Marseilles and of Eliphas Levi's decks by changing some attributions (for instance changing "The Pope" to "The Hierophant" and "The Popess" to "The High Priestess"). The Rider-Waite-Smith deck still remains extremely popular in the English-speaking world.

The next recognized advance in the Tarot was the deck designed by occultist and writer Aleister Crowley

Since then a huge number of different decks have been created, some traditional, some vastly different. The use of Tarot for divination, or as a store of symbolism, has inspired the creation of Oracle card decks. These are card decks for inspiration or divination containing images of angels, fairies, goddesses, Power Animals, etc. Although obviously influenced by Tarot, they do not follow the traditional structure of Tarot; they lack any suits of numbered cards, and the set of cards differs from the traditional major arcana.

The tarot (also known as tarocchi, tarock or similar names) is typically a set of seventy-eight cards.

Tarot cards are used in various parts of Europe to play Tarot card games such as Italian Tarocchini and French Tarot.

In English-speaking countries, where the games are largely unknown, Tarot cards are used primarily for divinatory purposes, with the trump cards plus the Fool making up the twenty-two card major arcana cards and the ten pip and four face cards in each suit the fifty-six card minor arcana. The terms Major Arcana and Minor Arcana are used in tarot divination but not by tarot card players.

The divinatory meanings of the cards are traced by some occult writers to sources like ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah of Jewish mysticism, but there is no documentary evidence of such meanings before the eighteenth century.

No documented examples exist prior to the 18th century of the tarot being used for divination. However, divination using similar cards is in evidence as early as 1540; a book entitled The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forli shows a simple method of divination using the coin suit of a regular playing card deck. Manuscripts from 1735 (The Square of Sevens) and 1750 (Pratesi Cartomancer) document rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards of the tarot, as well as a system for laying out the cards. In 1765, Giacomo Casanova wrote in his diary that his Russian mistress frequently used a deck of playing cards for divination.

The oldest surviving tarot cards are three early to mid 15th century sets, all made for members of the Visconti family. The first deck is the so called Cary-Yale Tarot (or Visconti-Modrone Tarot), which was created between 1442 and 1447 by an anonymous painter for Filippo Maria Visconti. The cards (only sixty-six) are today in the Yale University Library of New Haven. But the most famous of these early tarot decks was painted in the mid 15th century, to celebrate the rule of Milan by Francesco Sforza and his wife Bianca Maria Visconti, daughter of the duke Filippo Maria. Probably, these cards were painted by Bonifacio Bembo, but some cards were realized by miniaturists of another school. Of the original cards, thirty-five are in the Pierpont Morgan Library, twenty-six are at the Accademia Carrara, thirteen are at the Casa Colleoni and two, 'The Devil' and 'The Tower', are lost, or possibly never made. This "Visconti-Sforza" deck, which has been widely reproduced, combines the suits of swords, batons, coins and cups and the court cards king, queen, knight and page with trump cards that reflect conventional iconography of the time to a significant degree.

The first wide publicity of divination by tarot came from a French occultist named Alliette, under the pseudonym "Etteilla" (his name reversed), who worked as a seer and card diviner shortly before the French Revolution. His first published work on cartomany was published in 1770 and described fortune-telling with a 32-card piquet pack with a special "Etteila" card added to it, representing the person whose fortune was being told. Etteilla designed the first esoteric Tarot deck in 1783, adding astrological attributions and "Egyptian" motifs to various cards, altering many of them from the Marseilles designs, and adding divinatory meanings in text on the cards. Later, Mademoiselle Marie-Anne Le Normand popularized divination in general during the reign of Napoleon I, through the influence she wielded over Joséphine de Beauharnais, Napoleon's first wife. However, she did not typically use Tarot.

Tarot cards would later become associated with mysticism and magic. Tarot was not widely adopted by mystics, occultists and secret societies until the 18th and 19th centuries. The tradition began in 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin, a Swiss clergyman and Freemason, published Le Monde Primitif, a speculative study which included religious symbolism and its survivals in the modern world. De Gébelin first asserted that symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille represented the mysteries of Isis and Thoth. Gébelin further claimed that the name "tarot" came from the Egyptian words tar, meaning "royal", and ro, meaning "road", and that the Tarot therefore represented a "royal road" to wisdom. De Gébelin also asserted that the Gypsies, who were among the first to use cards for divination, were descendants of the Ancient Egyptians (hence their common name; though by this time it was more popularly used as a stereotype for any nomadic tribe) and had introduced the cards to Europe. De Gébelin wrote this treatise before Jean-François Champollion had deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs, or indeed before the Rosetta Stone had been discovered, and later Egyptologists found nothing in the Egyptian language to support de Gébelin's fanciful etymologies. Despite this, the identification of the Tarot cards with the Egyptian "Book of Thoth" was already firmly established in occult practice and continues in modern urban legend to the present day.

The idea of the cards as a mystical key was further developed by Eliphas Lévi and passed to the English-speaking world by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Lévi, not Etteilla, is considered by some to be the true founder of most contemporary schools of Tarot; his 1854 Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (English title: Transcendental Magic) introduced an interpretation of the cards which related them to Hermetic Qabalah. While Lévi accepted Court de Gébelin's claims about an Egyptian origin of the deck symbols, he rejected Etteilla's innovations and his altered deck, and devised instead a system which related the Tarot, especially the Tarot de Marseille, to the Hermetic Qabalah and the four elements of alchemy.

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