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Tarot cards are gaining momentum as a popular tool for divination and spiritual retrospection. The mysterious emergence of these cards fuels a host of conjectures, and there is no single opinion about their origin. Some researchers claim cards came to Europe from India and China. Others found their prototypes in the Moors or Arabs. Yet, others believe that Tarot cards were brought to Europe by the Gypsies or by the returning Crusaders from Palestine. Many assume that the cards were bequeathed to us by the ancient Egyptians.
First, in Italy, Tarot was only for playing. Then, in the 16th and 17th centuries, they spread to France, Switzerland, and Germany. Meantime, the cards became a popular tool for divination, embodying symbolism from early Christian and Renaissance Europe. Tarot readers added knowledge of astrology and Kabbalah to runes and other ancient practices. Today, the cards are personal fortune-tellers and help people to make sense of events.
Nowadays, there are many variations of Tarot–Angel Tarot, the Cards of Madame Lenorman, Thoth Tarot Deck, etc. What they have in common is the number of cards in the deck. It is always 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 events we define as crucial. That includes not only the events but also the thoughts, emotions, and experiences surrounding an event. The Minor Arcana represents the minor, accompanying elements in the orb of life.
The Divination Key
Tarot interpretation comes from the knowledge of Kabbalah, numerology, and astrology. The more familiar the reader is with other practices, the more detailed and accurate the reading is.
The most important in a Tarot reading is that it relates to a time-bound event. So asking if something will or won’t happen is not suitable and can only lead to a vague answer. This method of divination unlocks subconscious pictures and feelings about the situation, aiming to reach new solutions or advice. Another reading could be the draw of the day. The card drawn for the day can show what is most likely to happen and what may be influential. Also, it can give a clue about what to watch out for and eventually avoid.
Beginners can start with The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Weight. This book by Arthur Edward Waite, the designer of the most widely known Tarot deck and distinguished scholar of the Kabbalah, is an 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; an ancient Celtic method of divination; outstanding illustrations.
The Cards Of Salvador Dalí
Inspired by his wife Gala, who nurtured his enduring interest in mysticism, Salvador Dalí designed a unique set of Tarot cards. He became the first artist to create a complete deck of cards that serves as a surreal kaleidoscope of European art history. The deluxe suede box with 78 cards and an instruction book emerged in 1984 in a limited edition and sold out almost immediately.
Christian Dior’s majestic tarot couture
Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri drew inspiration from Tarot cards for the S/S 2021 Haute Couture Collection, bringing to life the mystical characters and symbols familiar from the notorious decks.
The tarot motif is 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, during her spring 2017 debut at the French house and in her 2018 collection.
Dior’s majestic couture outfits from the new collection took place online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Set in a fairy-tale castle populated by models portraying different zodiac signs, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri presented glitter and gold with dresses combining lamé with velvet.
Meditation and Spirituality
Meditation practices using tarot card images have become very popular nowadays. The goals of such a practice can be different: a deeper understanding of the cards for divination, spiritual development, and occult practice. Meditations are a mental entry into the tarot card, a mental dialogue with the characters, or imagining oneself in their place. It’s a kind of Magic.