Prospective Tarot students often tell me that they really want to learn Tarot but for some reason they have a hard time sitting still with their cards. I ask them if they love their cards and they’ll say no. Ah then this is the problem. You have to love the cards that you’re about to work with and through.
Let’s define what Tarot cards are and how they are used. Tarot cards fall into the category of intuitive or divination tools. Like diagnostic indicators, they inform the Reader through symbolism what is currently happening. Most Tarot cards are representations of two worlds:
- The world of universal truths and life lessons as depicted in the major arcana cards
- The world of learning those lessons in your every day life as depicted in minor arcana cards
The original Tarot deck, as far as we can tell, was created during the 1400’s in medieval times. But nobody can agree on the origins of tarot, or how far back its symbolism really goes. Symbolism has been a means to transmit cultural wisdom since ancient times. The symbols represent natural forces from the cosmos to the earth. Attributes of humanity show up symbolically in all cultures. It’s hard to know which symbols started where. For example the many armed Hindu deities of ancient India carry symbols or attributes including the lotus, mirror, fire, bell, trident …. Some carry the sword, bowl, rod, and disc, which are seen in tarot cards we use today. Might they be related? Symbols of wisdom and the natural elements are seen throughout the world. Teaching and learning through the oral tradition and symbols is at the heart of Tarot reading.
So, how do you choose the right tarot deck for you? Inspiration is Key.
Since the 1960’s Tarot cards have grown to encompass many paths and stories. The Rider-Waite deck, which still echoes a culture of kings queens knights and pages is by far not the only choice. I personally use decks that represent cultural paradigms that resonate true within myself. I like to use earthy round cards that keep me connected to life and harmonic life cycles. The war culture images on the Rider-Waite tarot deck may resonate for some, but not for me.
So, look at the images on the cards and see what story they are telling. There are many many ways to be in the world. Who you are and the energy you want to support in yourself should be taken into consideration when making your final selection.
Choose a deck that inspires you. Choose one that makes you feel uplifted just by looking at it. Look at the major arcana cards. Are they representing the world as you experience it? Even though you may not understand the specifics of the symbolism depicted on these cards, decide if they resonate with you on every level.
Tarot cards represent one way that symbols are expressed. They are guides. They open doors to much more exploration. The cards point to life. They represent moving and changing dynamics…they help you to see what is already present.
Life is always speaking to us…we need only to listen.
Jeannie Zukav is a long time Intuitive Tarot Reader and respected Intuition and Tarot Reading Teacher residing in San Francisco. If you are interested in a private reading or classes with her she may be reached at 415 267-3970. She will return your call within 24 hours. To learn more about Intuitive Tarot Readings, Classes, and Readings for Events please visit her website.
To Those Who seek the Wisdom Found in Nature.