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TAROT - Introduction to the Ancient TAROT

Updated on May 17, 2011

Ancient Beginngings of the TAROT

The Tarot cards contain the secrets of the Universe.

By concentrating fully on the project at hand, we allow our subconscious mind to release the information we need, when we need it.

We must discard those things in our lives that are time-consuming and unnecessary, and focus our attention on those things which are essential to our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Behind the Tarot is an astonishing dimension of occult wisdom. It is only through the discovery of your own hidden depths that your higher spiritual self can be explored and the secrets and lessons learned. Once you allow your soul to seek, the ancient symbols of the Tarot will reveal themselves.

Approach the Tarot with an open mind.

The Tarot can be used for divination, spiritual development, self-guidance, meditation and cabalistic studies.

It is not the picture on the Tarot card itself that holds interest, so much as the symbolic philosophy behind the picture, and how you feel about the picture personally.

The Tarot assist insight by allowing the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind to work together, providing us the use of our full intellect and intuitive strengths. We all have an intuitive sense, but often do not know how to connect it with our life in a comprehensive manner. The Tarot helps us make this connection and enhances our overall ability to see where we are on our life’s journey.


Hermetic traditions believe the earliest records of the Tarot to be about 35,000 years old.

Hermetic tradition tells of two major ‘secrets’ yet to be discovered beneath the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. It is said that a hidden temple contains magnificent tablets on which are inscribed the totality of the Universal Law, concerning the soul’s journey through the cycle of birth, death and re-birth. 78 of these tablets are knows as the ‘exoteric’ Tarot and 30 are ‘esoteric’ Tarot - a total of 108 tablets revealing the mystery and purpose of the soul to mankind.

* Esoteric is ‘spirit’.

* Exoteric is ‘physical’.

Because the Tarot was devised using the principles of the Cabala, Astrology and Numerology, the esoteric secrets were encrypted into the cards because of ‘religious intolerance’. The Tarot was intricately designed with many subliminal archetypes. Contained within the spiritual network lies the wisdom of the Cabala, and the intimately related Tarot deck of 78 symbols, are part of its ‘living force’.

An understanding of the symbolism evolving in the cards helps us to gain greater clarity. The placement of the cards in the spread helps us to understand the circumstances that prompted the initial queries, and how the environment will affect the outcome.

The elements are a central theme to the Tarot because each suit is based upon one particular element. Astrology is a central theme in the development of this oracle because each card in the Major Arcana is associated with a particular planet or sign. Numerology is a fundamental tool that was used to develop the Tarot. Each card was placed in its sequence for a particular reason. Each card has its own story to tell, and its placement within the suit shows where we are in the cycle of our own evolution. Therefore, the numerical significance of each card is paramount.

Chakras are associated with a specific part of the body, as well as a colour in the spectrum.

The Rider Waite Tarot deck in particular was named after the famous occult scholar and author, Dr Arthur Edward Waite. He produced the deck in 1910. The designs were drawn and coloured under his supervision by Pamela Coleman Smith – an American girl who was a fellow member of the occult society, the ‘Order of the Golden Dawn’.

There are many different varieties of decks but most have evolved over the centuries do not give a Universal/Spiritual meaning.

Early Christians tried to suppress ‘esoteric’ knowledge in order to promote ‘Man’s Law’. Sacred truths that were persevered by few were handed down over the centuries through ‘secret societies’.

Each of the 78 cards has a different meaning when it is reversed. This does not necessarily mean that a reversed card is ‘negative’ as such - it simply means that there is a different interpretation to a card when it is reversed than when it is in the upright position.

In essence, the Tarot consists of 156 separate symbols - each with a distinct purpose and meaning.

The early Masters of the Tarot did not have the modern addition of the 56 Minor Arcana; only the 22 Major Arcana were used.

Joanne Sacred Scribes



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