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Tarot Cards and Basic Divination

The Devil

The true origins of the modern day Tarot Cards are not entirely certain though some scholars hypothesize that they were in used in ancient Egypt, India or China and may have originated there. This premise is further supported by the fact that many gypsy (a word that indicated an Egyptian origin to the Romany peoples--though they themselves were actually of East Indian ethnicity) tribes throughout the United Stated and abroad have suggested that they brought the tarot cards to the West when they migrated from their homeland thousands of years ago. One such scholar, Court de Gebelin, suggested this gypsy connection in his early work Le Monde Primitif written in 1781. However, the controversy remains and many scholars disagree with this ancient beginning of the tarot and maintain instead that the tarot deck we are familiar with today began not thousands of years ago in the East, but rather hundreds of years ago in Italy. In fact, the earliest known tarot cards are dated as late as the 14th century. Despite the lack of more concrete evidence of the tarot's ancient beginnings, many connections to occult teachings of the Kabbalah suggest that a more historic influence than Medieval (and thoroughly Christianized) Europe.

Tarot cards can be used a number of ways. The diviner can ask a question and randomly choose a single card to interpret the answer or s/he can do a Tarot Spread which is a specified layout of cards in which the different positions that the cards are laid out to indicate different areas of an individual's life or different aspects of a situation. The most common tarot spread is the Celtic Cross Spread:

The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

The different positions correspond to the following meanings. The term "Querent" refers to the individual for whom the reading is intended.

1. The querent's present situation or state of mind.
2. Influences or events in the very near future.
3. The best course of action and the results of ignoring it.
4. An event or matter in the past that affects the present situation.
5. An event in the more recent past that affects the present situation.
6. Immediate future (about 6 months).
7. Influences or events in the querent's work.
8. Influences or events in the querent's social life or home life.
9. How the querent expects the situation to end up and the effects of these expectations.
10. The final outcome of the situation.

The meanings of the individual tarot cards are as follows:

MAJOR ARCANA

0 Fool- innocent endeavors, pure heart, good intentions, na´vetÚ
1 Magician- beginning of a new situation
2 High Priestess- Wait involving a certain situation, intelligence, insight
3 Empress- Passive rather then active; being rather than acting patience
4 Emperor- stability, materialization
5 Hierophant- societal restrictions or boundaries, conformity
6 Lovers- question regarding love, possible choice
7 Chariot- introspection, reaching goal, indecision
8 Strength- courage, endurance
9 Hermit- isolation, meditation, soul-searching
10 Wheel of Fortune- fate, change of luck, Change of Plans
11 Justice- truth, fair and equitable outcome
12 Hanged Man- indecision, wait
13 Death- end of situation allowing for a new one, rebirth
14 Temperance- balance, equality
15 Devil- entrapment, connected to something unhealthy
16 Tower- struggle, argument, tragedy, difficult situation
17 Moon- caution, fear of dishonesty, deception
18 Star- hope
19 Sun- happiness or hope to achieve joy
20 Judgment- decision will be made, final culmination of a situation
21 World- completion, reaching the zenith

MINOR ARCANA

Court Cards

King of Wands- Level headed, intellectual, friendly individual, good father
Queen of Wands- Intellectual woman who may have psychic gifts
Knight of Wands- Person moving to or from an idea
Page of Wands- May involve a messenger or courier, discussions
King of Cups- Kind, loving, too emotional, spineless
Queen of Cups- Emotional woman, irrational, warm-hearted
Knight of Cups- Person who actively moves toward an emotional situation
Page of Cups- Individual who sends messages about love or friendship
King of Swords- Strong leader, man saving the day with no display of emotion
Queen of Swords- Harsh, wise woman who has suffered a great deal, a survivor
Knight of Swords- Person symbolizing quick change, action, movement
Page of Swords- Active person communicating a message, one who seeks
King of Pentacles- A powerful, wealthy man
Queen of Pentacles- A wealthy, vain woman
Knight of Pentacles- A change in with a great deal of stability
Page of Pentacles- A young person working toward a craft, material progress, a message about an object

Cups:
Ace- Beginning of a situation, relationship, friendship, partnership, love wedding
Two- Friendship, pure love, innocent associations, beginning stages of romance already in motion
Three- Many loves on you mind, socializing, female bonding, maternal issues Four- Unwanted love, wrong kind of love, a romantic situation you cannot see, feeling sorry for oneself
Five- Difficult romantic situation that may be salvageable, argument that is worked out with some "hard" feelings, challenges in love
Six- Nostalgia, remembering good times, old flame, memory of love and family in childhood
Seven- Not thinking clearly about love, must make a decision about love, look beneath the surface
Eight- Leaving an emotional situation behind and being comfortable about it, moving on romantically
Nine- Pleasure, socializing with food and drink, good times, too much fun, overindulgence, parties with loved ones
Ten- Family, love, happiness, exciting relationship

Wands

Ace- To begin a new thought or idea, to brainstorm
Two- Start a venture in your mind, mental process already in motion, wait
Three- Reach a mental goal, still more ideas to come through patience
Four- Celebration after reaching some stability in an idea, can also mean a mental block after a lot of work
Five- Mental turmoil, inner struggles or conflicts
Six- Small victory, return of self-esteem
Seven- Introspection, warding off emotions, fighting off problems
Eight- quick moving ideas or associations moving too fast
Nine- Emotional stress, standing firm about your opinions, you could possibly miss out because you are too focused on your problem
Ten- Emotional burdens reaching a peak. Overwhelming ideas on your shoulders

Swords

Ace- Beginning to take action or move on an idea or project
Two- Too much to do, overworked, could have a negative effect
Three- Bad memories of a relationship that affects your present situation, the possibility of getting hurt by your own doing
Four- The need for rest, taking a physical break
Five- Physical struggle, overcoming an enemy, possible unfair win
Six- Journey away to deal with a problem, actively leaving a bad situation
Seven- Getting away with something, dishonesty, stealing, theft
Eight- Entrapment, isolation from people and situations
Nine- Worrying to the point of illness, overreaction, insomnia, too much stress
Ten- Devastation, bad situation, room for healing to begin

Pentacles

Ace- The beginning of a material or substantial business endeavor, or stable financial plan
Two- Overwhelming material project or situation that is too much to handle, your hands are full
Three- Partnership in business or financial merger
Four- Financial stability and security
Five- Getting through a time together
Six- Charity, helping the poor
Seven- Pondering over a project, a setback
Eight- Hard work, moving toward a goal
Nine- Abundance of material belongings
Ten-Good stable home, financial security

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