assorted tarot cards on table

The Magic of Tarot Cards

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I hadn’t heard of Tarot cards until the day I received the enchanting fragrance L’Imperatrice by Dolce&Gabanna as a gift.

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The name of this perfume was so intriguing and the scent so exquisite and captivating that I decided to find out the story behind this magic. That’s how I found out about Tarot cards.

THE MYSTERY OF TAROT CARDS

Tarot cards are a phenomenon in human history. Their origins are shrouded in mystery and filled with contradictory claims. To this day, there is no unanimous opinion about their origin. Some researchers claim that these cards came to Europe from India and China. Others found their prototypes in the Moors or Arabs.

Still, others believe that the Tarot cards were brought to Europe by the Gypsies or brought from Palestine by returning Crusaders. Many believe that these cards were bequeathed to us by the ancient Egyptians. One of the variants of the origin of the name ” Tarot ” is the Egyptian ” Tar-Rosh ” ( the way of the kings ), which is referred to in the famous hieroglyphic ” Book of Thoth “, composed by Hermes Trismegistus ( Hermes Trisjdi the Great ), associated in Egypt with Thoth ( the god of wisdom ). This book is made of 78 gold plates, engraved with mysterious signs. A number of eminent occultists claim that it is the only book to survive the burning of the Library of Alexandria and, falling into the hands of the Greeks and Romans, was distributed by them throughout Europe.

Tarot cards were originally used as playing cards in Italy, from where they spread to France, Switzerland, and Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, they quickly became a tool for divination and this made them very popular.

In the early stages of the development of Tarot card divination, the symbolism of early Christian and Renaissance Europe is mainly seen in them, but over time knowledge from astrology, and Kabbalah, to runes and other divination practices predating the Tarot were added.

Today the Tarot is one of the most popular tools for spiritual retrospection. They are a personal fortune teller and advisor for many people and help make sense of events in order to avoid future problems.

THE TAROT DECK

There are many varieties of Tarot cards. The Tarot of White, the Cards of Madame Lenorman, the Tarot of Dürer, and many others.

What unites the different types is the total number of the deck – composed of 78 cards, split into two groups: Minor and Major Arcana.

Arcana means secret. Translated into the language of the deck, the Major Arcana contains information about all the events that we define as crucial. That includes not only the events but also the thoughts, emotions, and experiences surrounding an event.

The Minor Arcana are responsible for the minor, accompanying elements in the orb of life.

Major Arcana include 22 cards named the Fool, the Hanged Man, the Lovers, the Empress, etc., numbered from 0 to 21. These numbers most often complement the meaning of the symbol itself. They are much more important than any other cards because they tell life stories. The interpretation comes from the knowledge of Kabbalah, numerology, and astrology. In other words, the more familiar the diviner is with other practices, the richer and more accurate is the interpretation.

Minor Arcana are 56 cards, divided into four suits, like the traditional playing cards. However, the suits are slightly different and correspond to the four elements – Swords (Air), Wands (Fire), Cups (Water), and Pentacles (Earth). These suits contain cards from Ace to 10 and four more cards called Court Cards because they are Jack, Knight, King, and Queen.

RANDOM TRIVIA

The Tarot Cards of Salvador Dalí

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While preparing the props for the James Bond Movie “Live and Let Die”, producer Albert Broccoli set Salvador Dalí the task of producing a unique set of Tarot cards. Inspired by his wife Gala, who fueled his abiding interest in mysticism, Dali set to work, then continued the project for his enjoyment. With this creation, he became the first fine artist to create a complete deck of cards that served as a surreal kaleidoscope of European art history.

The luxury suede box with 78 cards and a book of instructions came on the market in 1984 in a limited edition but quickly sold out. Salvador Dalí as the Magician, Gala as L’Imeratrice, and a different take on the death of Julius Caesar – it could only happen in Dalí’s work, and in the artist’s remarkable set of Tarot cards, in particular. The set includes a brief introduction to Dalí’s life and work, an explanation of each card’s meaning and practical application, as well as, the instructions for use.

Christian Dior’s fabulous collection inspired by Tarot cards

For his Spring 2021 fashion collection, Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri drew inspiration from Tarot cards, bringing to life the mystical characters and symbols familiar from the now ubiquitous illustrated decks.

The tarot motif is certainly not new to the fashion house. Dior’s eponymous founder was a superstitious man, often confiding in fortune tellers. Maria Grazia Chiuri has also referenced Tarot imagery before, notably during her spring 2017 debut at the French house and in her 2018 collection. 

Working with director Matteo Garone, Chiuri presented her collection through Le Château du Tarot – a short film shot at Castello di Sammezzano in Tuscany.

The presentation of Dior’s majestic couture outfits from the new collection took place online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Set in a fairytale castle populated by models portraying different zodiac signs, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri presented glitter and gold with dresses combining lamé with velvet.

LEARN MORE

If you want to learn more about Tarot cards, you can start with “The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E.Weight”

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This book by Arthur Edward Waite, the designer of the most widely known Tarot deck and distinguished scholar of the Kabbalah, is the essential Tarot reference. The pictorial key contains a detailed description of each card in the celebrated 78-card Rider-Waite Tarot deck, along with regular and reversed meanings. Contents describe symbols and secret tradition; the four suits of Tarot, including wands, cups, swords, and pentacles; the recurrence of cards in dealing; an ancient Celtic method of divination; as well as outstanding illustrations of Tarot cards.

Match the book with the Rider Tarot Deck Cards, and you are all set.

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