The Messengers Of The Divine
They are called the messengers of the Divine, the window to Universal Law and the sacred symbols of the higher consciousness. Whatever their auspicious synonym, the Tarot has been mentioned in ancient texts for 35,000 years. One such text, from the Hermetic Kaballah, tells of 108 stone tablets that lay beneath the ancient pyramids at Giza. 78 of these tablets are called the Exoteric Tarot, the remaining 30 are the ‘ Esoteric Tarot. This legend goes on to say, that one day these tablets will be uncovered and will explain the Universal Law and the soul’s path through the cycle of rebirth.
In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite encouraged Pamela Colman Smith to produce a tarot deck with appeal to the world of art that would have significance behind the symbols, and thus make the deck more important than tarot packs previously used for centuries. The result was the unique Rider-Waite Tarot deck, initially published in 1910. It has endured as the world’s most popular 78-card tarot deck.
The innovative cards, including the 56 Minor Arcana, depict full scenes with figures and symbols. Pamela Smith’s ability to capture the subtleties of emotion and experience, has made the Rider-Waite Tarot the basis for the designs of many 20th Century packs.
Modern Tarot decks typically contain 78 cards which are divided into two sections.
The Major Arcana:
Depicts the path or journey to enlightenment. These cards begin with the Fool, numbered 0 and end with the Universe numbered 21 (22 cards).
The Minor Arcana:Depicts the fabric of life, the actions and values of existence. The Minor Arcana is separated into four groups, each group depicts an overall essence of life, physical or spiritual.
For beginners I suggest starting with the Original Rider-Waite Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite (Author). This is the easiest and best deck to start learning how to feel the energy from the cards themselves. They’re also universally known and used around the world, so they’re easy to find and get help with.
For a quick primer on selecting a deck, how to care for your deck, and the basics for reading the cards, I’ve created a short guide called A Perspective On Tarot – What’s Behind The Card. It’s a good starting point and can get you using your deck right away.
As you gain experience reading and interpreting the cards on your own and without the commonly accompanying book, you can move on to other decks that draw in your interest. I also like the Druid Craft Tarot by Phillip Carr-Gomm (Author), Stephanie Carr-Gomm (Author), Will Worthington (Author). The Astrological Tarot by AT Mann, which isn’t easy to find these days.
Across all three of my sites, Springwolf Reflections, Spring’s Haven and my original site Pagan’s Path, I’ve written about the Tarot for beginners and students of the cards for nearly 20 years. If you’re interested in learning more, here are my links to The Tarot:
- A Perspective On Tarot – What’s Behind The Card <- start here.
- Meditating With The Tarot – On Spring’s Haven (springshaven.com)
- The Spirituality Of The Tarot – An Increase In Interest
- Tarot Meditation – The Daily Tarot Insight
- The Tarot – A Students Guide On Pagan’s Path (paganspath.com)
- Tarot Spreads – A Sampling On Pagan’s Path (paganspath.com)
- The Steampunk Tarot – Sharing A New Deck – 02.17.2015 Review
Here on Springwolf Reflections I use the Mystic Faery Tarot by Linda Ravenscroft, the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti and the Steampunk Tarot by Aly Fell for the daily drawings. You can learn more about these beautiful decks on Amazon.com. Read more about the Tarot and our Tarot Meditation insights.
© 2016 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.