Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Are The Real Origins Of Tarot Cards And Readings?

Tarot cards consist of twenty-one trump cards, the fool and one extra face card for every other suit in the deck. Various areas in Europe use the deck to play games with organized rules, but in English-speaking countries, tarot cards find their utility in the field of fortune telling.

The tarot cards began along with other cards in the 14th century. Historians theorize that they were created in Islamic countries, but the initial historical information in the English-speaking world is the Christian area of Bern, Switzerland. The older tarot cards contained only sixteen trump cards as compared to twenty-one in modern decks.

A deck of tarot cards, as they are used today, contains 78 cards, all of which contain different, meaningful symbols which can be interpreted in a number of ways. The deck contains a total of four suits, and the names of the suits may vary depending upon the tarot deck one is using. Often times, the suits are referred to as wands, cups, swords, and coins, which make up what is known as the Minor Arcana. Meanwhile, the Major Arcana consists of twenty two cards, all of which are used to signify major events or people in a reading.

Tarot card interpretations are always changing - and they have also differed significantly through time. Today, however, there are common and general card meanings. For example, minor arcana cards usually have an astrological meaning that changes along with the seasons of the year. On another side of things, court cards talk of people and their nature. This nature concerns the physio-emotional traits of a person.

More specifically, the determinants of a card's meaning are the following: Card Number, Key Number, Rulership (Astrology), Hebrew Letter, Translation, and Numerical Value. The meaning is also determined by the position of the card, whether it is upright or Ill-Dignified/Reversed. The difference between peoples' readings is the weights they impose on the different ‘statistics' and ‘attributes' of the card.

When card readings are conducted face-to-face, the card reader will sometimes ask the querent to shuffle the cards as they concentrate on the question. The querent will sometimes be asked to split the deck into three piles, and then to put the deck back together again. The card reader then lays out the cards in a specific pattern, and each card has a different meaning, depending upon the layout used. For example, the card reader may layout three cards, one to signify the past, one for the present and one for the future: all three cards together give a full interpretation of a given situation.

You can also have a tarot reading done over the phone. If you cannot find a local person who does tarot readings or would prefer additional discretion, this can be a good choice. While you should expect a tarot reading over the phone to be rather expensive, do avoid questionable services charging by the minute. There are reputable tarot card readers who provide readings over the phone for a reasonable flat fee. Some may also offer online readings for a small sum, and provide their interpretation of the cards via email.

Although tarot is known as something that is as accurate as astrology, there is still a growing tarot service market that is ever increasing through new mediums. However, purists still think that a face to face tarot reading is important. It is also important to note that tarot cards are not purely divinatory devices. They are also used in several countries as cards used for playing. This alone should encourage tarot card users to keep a level head.

By: Samantha Srillian

Samantha Srillian is a freelance writer, as well as a naturally gifted psychic medium and tarot card reader. She is interested in alternative therapies, angels and spiritual healing.

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