Tarot Card Reading
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Tarot Card Reading
Tarot card readings are one of the many ways in which people seek to understand and make sense of their lives. By glimpsing possible futures, we hope to better understand our present and make better decisions.
But where does the tarot come from, and does it work?
History of the Tarot
Tarot cards have a long and mysterious history. Researchers and historians have been trying for a long time to pinpoint the exact origin the tarot, but to this day it remains uncertain. Many believe that the playing card decks that eventually developed into the modern tarot arrived in Europe in the 14th century, and were originally used to play a game called triumph. It wasn't until the 1700s that tarot cards started being used for the purposes of divining the future.
A French occultist named Jean-Baptiste Alliette, who went by the pseudonym 'Etteilla' (his name backwards), popularized the use of the tarot for divination during the reign of Napoleon I. Etteilla designed the first esoteric tarot deck and his ideas grew to have a considerable influence on Empress Josephine.
But it is Eliphas Levi, not Etteilla, who most people today give credit for being the true founder of contemporary schools of tarot. Levi was a Catholic priest who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He studied Judaism, Hinduism, the Masonic religions and the Cabala, as well as astrology and metaphysics. He incorporated all of these philosophies when he designed his tarot deck. His alleged purpose was not to divine the future but to give his students a tool that would help them reach spiritual enlightenment.
Levi penned his ideas and his interpretation of the tarot cards in a volume titled Transcendental Magic. Levi's ideas were brought to the English-speaking world by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late 19th century.
A.E. Waite, a member of the Golden Dawn, further developed Levi's deck when he realized that the cards could be used to predict future events. Waite created the Rider-Waite Tarot based on Levi's original cards. The Rider-Waite Tarot is the most popularly used tarot deck today.
How Does the Tarot Work?
The tarot is not meant to predict a definitive, set-in-stone future. Even the members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn stated that the greatest wisdom comes from within. Tarot cards are a tool that gives us access to our own inner world and gives us insight about how our actions and decisions will affect the world around us.
There are different methods of using the tarot and different ways of interpreting the cards. But when you consult the tarot, there are basically two kinds of readings: the question reading and the open reading.
The question reading is when you ask a question before the cards are laid out. The tarot reader then interprets the cards to come up with an answer. The question you ask should be focused, but not overly detailed. For example, you shouldn't ask, 'Should I buy my wife a necklace or a dress for her birthday?' Instead, try asking, 'How can improve my relationship with my wife?' This way, the focus stays on the state of your relationship with your (theoretical) wife, but it is not too specific that it renders the reading impossible.
Open readings are readings that seek to explore a general topic rather than a focused question. For example, your health or your financial situation can be the subjects of an open tarot card reading.
There are several different card layouts, or spreads, used in tarot readings. The interpretation of each card depends on the layout and the card's position in relation to the other cards.
A good tarot reader is one who knows how to interpret the signs provided by the cards in a way that sheds light on your particular situation. At Satori Nation, you will find honest and experienced tarot readers and online psychic readers who will help you along.