About ...
Legend has it that the tarot originated in ancient Egypt, and the Tarot deck as we know it – with images and ideas inspired by the Bible, the Kabala, the I Ching and Egyptian Mythology – dates back 600 years to 15th Century Italy.

By the 18th Century, the Tarot was being used across Europe as a tool for prophecy and spiritual guidance, and today the stories it tells of the human condition can be universally applied to all countries and cultures.

Decks
There are many variations of the Tarot pack but the Rider-Waite 78-card deck is the most popular and widely known. The first 22 cards are known as the Major Archana. These describe the “big bang” moments of our lives, the turning points in our journey from birth to death and ultimately rebirth. Most of us can probably conjure up an image of one of the Major Archana – usually the death card! – but there is a deeper and more positive meaning to each card than may first appear. The remaining 56 cards are divided into four suits, based on the four elements.

  1. Swords (air): intellect
  2. Cups (water): feelings or emotions
  3. Wands (fire): inspiration
  4. Pentacles (earth): the material world of money and responsibility

Each suit is numbered 1-10, and has four court cards: Page, Knight, Queen and King. The numbered cards represent stages in the journey of life, the court cards represent people or personalities to be encountered along the way and of course aspects of ourselves.

The Reading
During the Tarot reading the pack is shuffled and the cards laid out in a pattern known as a ‘spread’. These spreads can be specific for the type of question being asked, but for a general reading the most popular is the ‘Celtic Cross’.

The images, and the position in which they appear, are interpreted by the Tarot reader who is able to explain in detail, and often with uncanny accuracy, what we have already been through in our lives. The reading can also help to unlock the mysteries of what we may face in the future – in other words, the challenges, tribulations and rewards in the great circle of life. By holding a mirror to our situation, we are able to see with greater clarity. Tarot is best used as a practical tool to help us make
better-informed decisions and be prepared for what life offers us.