About Tarot & Oracle Readings
What is Tarot?
Tarot cards are one of several tools used to discern guidance, direction, and desires of the spirit world. Some psychotherapists use tarot cards with clients as a more imaginative type of Rorschach test, to bring some unconscious thoughts and feelings to light. In some religions, tarot cards are regarded as akin to prohibited fortune telling, and there have certainly been readers who are honest and accurate as well as those who are charletons and scam artists who use tarot.
In short, just as any other tool or process, tarot can be used with good intention for helpful purposes, or not.
Developed in the middle ages in Europe for a game called tarocchi with elaborate symbolic artwork on the cards, some sources say that Tarot may actually have roots in the culture and religious symbologies of the Sufis and of mystical Jewish system of the Kabbalah -- both of which had strong connections to Moorish Spain in the late 1300s.
Contrary to popular myth, Tarot did not originate in Egypt, nor with the Romani people (known more commonly as the Gypsies). It wasn't until the late 1700s that tarot cards became more widely used expressly for the purpose of divination -- which is a practice of using various tools to reveal to intent of Divine purpose.
Over the centuries the original game of tarocchi and use of its cards morphed into the conventional playing cards we use today for games like gin rummy, solitaire and poker. Some tarot readers use these conventional decks when doing tarot readings, while others use one or more of the many colorful systems that have been developed since the mid 20th century.
When Should You
Get a Reading?
When you have difficulty feeling connected to Spirit on your own
When you'd want validation or confirmation for a direction or decision
When you feel confused about your choices
When you are in need of insight for making a decision
When you want some preview of the lessons in store for you in the coming year, or an acknowledgement of lessons learned in the past year
What about the
Card Symbols to Help You Interpret Meaning
No matter which set of cards are used, there are some universal symbols that all tarot systems share that convey important meanings. Here are some of those:
4 suits called minor arcana -- traditionally swords, wands, coins and cups
royalty cards for each suit -- power of wisdom, power, help, or conflict
21 hero's journey cards - major arcana
4 seasons -- Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
4 directions -- East, South, West, North
4 elements -- Air, Fire, Earth, Water
position of people in relation to background
In addition, cards are typically placed in a specific pattern, called a spread, with each position in the pattern conveying a meaning such as, for example:
the heart or intent of the questioner
underlying conditions of the situation
energies waiting to manifest
past, present, future
hopes and fears
Tarot and Oracle Cards I Use
My first introduction to tarot cards came when I was serving as a volunteer in a metaphysical bookstore. On the counter by the cash register was a set of cards called Daughters of the Moon. During slow afternoons in the store I had the chance to play with the cards and learn their meanings. Drawn from a very feminist perspective centered in women's empowerment, I use these cards when the question relates to needing courage, assertiveness, or permission.
As I grew comfortable with reading cards, I was attracted to a set called Medicine Woman Tarot. Examples of those cards are shown in the picture above. While being new agey rather than authentically Native American in the meanings associated with cards in this deck, I appreciate the focus on living from a spiritual mindset that is an extension of Nature and role in a community. I use these cards when the client is wanting to open to a more spiritual way of living -- without the prejudices and problems of a specific religious dogma.
More recently, I've acquired a set that is completely related to observing the messages available from a host of different critters -- the Animal Wise Tarot. These cards are my favorites when the question is needing a specific, action oriented answer.
While I have other tarot and oracle* decks at my disposal, these are the three I use most often. When we connect for your reading, it's possible that intuition or your question will prompt me to use one of my other sets.
* Tarot is a specifically structured system of 78 cards, 4 suits that relate to the 4 elements, and major journey or arcana cards. Oracle cards are fewer in number, not organized in a way that relates to the elements, and have no arcana cards.