This is an OSHO ZEN deck in a box I made for it.
Tarot decks are best stored in a wrap of some sort, or in boxes or velvet bags - also, try to keep your decks away from areas of high traffic/noise or conflict: decks are affected by the energies around them...so protecting them and storing them in a cool and dark place is encouraged.
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HISTORY OF THE TAROT
A few hundred years ago, a tarot reading might be held in the musty caravan of a mysterious gypsy or in the velvety back room parlor of a shadowy house. It is only fairly recently that consulting the Tarot tool has become accepted as a method of tapping in to the mind and intuition of the reader and/or the consultant.
But back then, what was not understood was often ridiculed or dismissed as nonsense, perhaps due to misunderstanding the nature of divination, which is simply the processing of 'connecting' to the power/energy that we all know is out there, but are sometimes reluctant to acknowledge.
Tarot readings are all about connecting with the 'self' and with that 'power', especially when the path and challenge of life becomes confusing, or one finds oneself at a 'crossroads' and in need of guidance from an objective source or conduit.
So, back to what is Tarot, exactly? It is a divinational 'tool' (like using a pendulum or Runes or many other options), which serves as a point of focus while reading.
The true origin of the Tarot is unknown, although it is suspected to have originated somewhere in Europe, Italy being the top pick. It is believed to be connected and birthed from playing cards (or they from it), but its true origins are muddy due to social rejection at the time of both gambling and divination, so what is generally taken from this is that both originate from a secretive or 'hidden' place and intention.
Wherever it came from, it has evolved over the years to become the Tarot we know today - a collection of 78 cards bearing illustrations that tell the story of a character called 'The Fool' (the journey we all take through life).
This first card is not numbered (it is zero – implicating the Open adventures and Opportunities that the Fool is about to begin discovering on his journey) and the 21 cards that follow depict major life experiences and adventures that the Fool encounters as s/he travels the road of life. (The Fool is not intended as a derogatory term, rather, it is representative of an innocent soul who has no preconceptions about the world...like a child, The Fool simply follows the path and is open to new experiences.)
This section of the deck is called the 'Major Arcana' and refers to MAJOR life events...happenings or occurrences that have the power and impact to alter the life in some fashion. These changes can, of course, be good or not so good. Much will depend upon the surrounding cards when interpreting the meanings of the Major Arcana.
The remaining 56 cards are called the 'MINOR Arcana' and flesh out the bigger, life changing energies of the 22 Majors with more 'details' or 'filler' type of connective information. When laid out, these cards tell 'stories' that are particular to the client.
Court cards (like the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages) can sometimes refer to an actual person, or can point to the consultant themselves. (Pages are often about messages - like the 'Pages' in the White House or the pagers we wore on our belts prior to the invention of cell phones).
As each card is numbered, basic knowledge of the meanings of the regular numeric scale (0/1 - 9) is helpful and adds another dimension to the meanings of the cards.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE TAROT
The first deck I ever used (which was left to me by a powerful spiritual woman) was called 'The Parlor Sibyl'. This deck was so packed with energy when I received it that I almost could not handle it...literally, I mean: it was 'heavier' than a deck of its size should have been - it required several clearing sessions before it was ready to consult. (Clearing just means placing the deck in the moonlight or sunlight for a good day or two - for quicker cleansing between reads, I like to firmly 'tap' my deck - usually 7 times - against wooden surfaces as this draws residual energies from the deck). The energies within those Tarot cards were amazing and hooked me forever on the esoteric magick of 'reading the cards'.
I remember sitting on the carpet with all 78 cards spread out around me and experiencing one of those 'aha' moments. I knew, without a doubt, that this was my part of my path: numbers and symbols and mysterious cards.
Twenty five years later, I am still reading and still hold the cards and their messages in the highest regard as I have seen and relayed messages which seemed, at the time, odd to say the least, but which have been proven true and accurate time and again...even the ones that seemed the most 'out there'.
That I respect the source of information which is presented by the cards and read by me would be an understatement of the highest order.
Nowadays, one may choose from a variety of Tarot decks, including Egyptian, Yoga, Angel, Goddess, Vampire, Alice in Wonderland or even one based on the Peanut comic strip. Almost any subject can be made into a Tarot Deck.
Speaking of ENERGY...FRACTALS are an amazing form of art that transforms number vibrations into images which can be rendered using a computer...but they are much more than that - they are the very core of creation, found in everything from flowers to my millions of year old fossilized ammonite and even in every snowflake...
All forms of life and creation connect to the fractal swirl coil (Sacred Geometry)...you can see it everywhere if you look for it - in common sea shells, to flowers, to plants and even fruits...seek the core Mandelbrot and you will find it.
And back to the Tarot...when I began reading for clients (many years ago), I used the classic Rider-Waite Deck as it was very direct and easy for my clients to follow.
However, along the way, I have read using many others, including the Tarot of the 78 Doors which likely attracted me for a very simple reason...I rarely get through a day without saying 'when one door closes, another opens!'
But nowadays, I have a selection of decks...usually a 'phase' of sorts accompanies the use of each and then I move on to another – there is always more to learn and the interpretations change; grow and add to my base of knowledge about this fascinating oracle.
Tarot of the 78 DoorsRider-Waite
The Tarot is simply an instrument used by the diviner, or reader, to assist in deciphering messages...there are as many decks as there are readers and if you should find yourself desiring to own a deck, go with the one you are the most attracted or drawn to. Let your intuition guide you. If you are of the old belief that a deck must be gifted to you, you may be waiting a long time! Just go get one!
A classic reading room, circa 1930
MY GENERAL RULES WHEN READING
Reading the cards is easy - anyone can do it, as long as you have an open mind and heed your first reactions (intuition) about your first feelings in relation to the meanings/images of each card and the House each sits in - this is often the exact meaning for you or for whomever you may be reading.
My own reads involve many things - first, I focus on your name energy and focal points you have provided, if any. If there is not a direct question or series of questions, I perform what I call the Wisdom of the Tarot Energy Connection and lay out the appropriate spread, which involves 10 (or more) layout Houses, each addressing different aspects of your life. The main areas of concern will perhaps be obvious, or it can be something that is revealed only as I travel through your layout.
From there, my intuition, knowledge of the cards (and their numbers), and the Houses each falls into do the talking: I am just the messenger/conduit for the information Universe needs you to hear or know at this time and into the immediate future.
This record is then documented for you (which is handy, as you will be able to look back at the read at a later date) and even during this process, more information and connections often come through which may otherwise not have...having an Email Tarot is beneficial to you in a number of ways, the main one being that I can 'sit' with your energies for a longer period of time and this extra time allows me to go deeper into the read than I would have during a face-to-face session.
My understanding of the Chaldean system and Numerology adds another dimension, as well, so extra time is nothing but beneficial to the read and therefore, to you.
READING FOR YOURSELF - THE SIMPLE CELTIC CROSS LAYOUT
If you are doing a read for yourself, keep it simple.
Hold the deck between your hands to warm it to your energy, focus on your thoughts, concerns and questions (or simply be open to the messages Universe wants to send to you), and shuffle the cards whichever way works for you.
When you feel 'ready', just cut the cards 3 times and place them into one pile. Some say that the order of piling the cards, or of cutting them is of paramount importance: I say the cards will go where they want to anyway, so just keep to the simple rule. Although I do suggest cutting them in your hands, without setting them on the table as this action 'breaks' the energy flow. Then follow my own method and you should do fine.
Once the deck is ready to go, lay out the cards and let your 'self' take over. (The best way to describe it for me is that 'Heather goes on the back burner'...I just allow myself to open to another level of communication and become a conduit of sorts).
Once you have laid the cards, simply 'read' the layout starting with the center card and working through the Houses they sit in (reading is like peeling an onion: there are so many layers and connections that there is no such thing, for me anyhow, of just reading the surface cards). And a note: I do not read 'reversed' cards as I believe the cards and their messages as presented right side up already present hundreds of potential meanings, so complicating the read by reading upside down cards is just not necessary...so just place any cards that may appear as reversed in their upright position.)
It is a simple, yet complex undertaking which has become second nature to me and can for you, too. The forecast in the Celtic read generally extend around 6 months into the future energies around the consultant (and who really wants to know what will happen in five years? We only have the present and free will and energy shifts are always at play).
Direct questions can also be addressed by using question, positive or negative influence, and most likely outcome as your main 3 Houses - in fact, you can create a spread yourself: there are no hard and fast rules and thousands of differing spreads do exist. Well, maybe hundreds, but you get my point, right?
So if you would like to try a read on your own...what follows is the basic layout and the individual house meanings. Follow your intuition and also look carefully at the placement of the different cards and how their energies affect each other.
Below is the traditional Celtic Cross
The Client Card - this is an option for each read and represents a King or Queen chosen to stand in for the client. I do not use this approach as this King or Queen may well be required in the read itself: we all know who the read is for, right? So it is an option and would be the first card laid and the first card would be placed directly overtop.
1 - Core Card shows the core issue - there may be more than one, but this is the main one.
2 - Energies affecting the Core Card shows potential obstacles or assistance (some read this as a 'crossing' card, which is, by definition, negative. I do not read this as negative: rather, it informs you of potential factors concerning the core issue that can assist or that you should be aware of).
3 - What is coming up in the immediate future shows something which will have to be dealt with and is usually confirmed by your intuition...something that has been put off but will come up soon.
4 - Foundation of the Core Question this is where the bottom line is found in regard to the Core: it is often a reassuring energy that offers security or support when needed...this can manifest as a person, place or thing.
5 - The Past and how it might affect your current situation shows recent events (the influence of which is now moving into the past or away from you) and is usually somehow connected to the core issue or reason for the read.
6 - The House of the Future shows events that sit in the immediate future...which could mean anything from 6 hours, 6 days or 6 months from the time of the read. It is something that is coming up and the card itself will reveal more about the specific topic or situation involved. (This energy is also connected to the House of Outcome).
7 - Personal House shows how you feel at the moment: doubts, fears, anxieties will show up here as will joyful experiences and love and peace...it all depends on the core issue and its affects on you.
8 - Social House is an energetic one: it points to people around you and how they might help or hinder you. It can also be indicative of social events or celebrations and is also connected to the core issue or one of import to you.
9 - Hopes and Fears is what I call the House of Confusion but its message is a positive one...it is your hopes and fears yet often offers reassurance regarding doubts and insecurities. It is the 'clarity' card...and sometimes also confirms your own intuition.
10 - House of Outcome suggests the Outcome of the situation (remember that this and the Future House are connected: one can affect the other).
Make sure to look at all of the cards in the reading and their proximity to each other...for example, if you have several slightly negative cards (Swords) but the Sun sits in the Future or Outcome, you can relax...the Sun is powerful and tends to outshine any negativity. This is something you will get used to looking for the more you read.
Always remember that any reading is similar to taking a 'snapshot' of the energies present at the time of the read and that we all have free will -- so if actions are taken that go in opposite directions, this will obviously effect the course of events and the read will reflect those changes with the next layout.
Tarot readings are mutable: they are not definites, they are only guides and whether messages received are taken to heart or not is up to the consultant.
So now you know a little bit more about how divination works via the Tarot, but the fact of the matter is that you can divine for yourself as well. If you are open and receptive and believe there is more to this Universe than we can see (which is key to your success in any divination attempt), you will receive the answer or guidance you seek.
I like to believe that we are all like tiny flames which keep a larger flame burning...
Hugs from home
...everything is exactly as it should be...relax!