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Tarot Readings: Fact or Fiction

Updated on May 25, 2016

Tarot cards have been in existence for hundreds of years, perhaps longer, and Tarot readings have been given to hundreds of thousands of people throughout those years. But can these picturesque cards really divine the future? Is the querent receiving fact, or fiction from the reader? Have people been throwing away good money for lies or has divine guidance truly been delivered?

What are Tarot cards? Where do they come from?

The exact origins of Tarot cards is still disputed but most believe they were created by a wealthy family in Italy in the 15th century. The cards were part of a game called Tarrochi. Over the years their designs have been changed and elements of Astrology, numerology, and mythology added by occultists, gypsies, practitioners of New Age philosophies and artists.

The stories within the cards

There are 78 cards in a deck of Tarot cards, 22 "Major Arcana" and 56 "Minor Arcana".

The Major Arcana depict major happenings, or milestones, that occur in peoples lives. Activities such as birth, marriage, pregnancy, and everything in between, right up to death. The Minor Arcana deal more with the the day to day, mundane things that happen. They also look at human emotions, desires, work, mental thought and ideas, education, and travel.

Depending upon which deck a reader uses (and there are hundreds of decks now) each card has also been designated a number, and has ties to astrological signs and houses, as well as lessons and symbols from mythology.

Modified Celtic Cross
Modified Celtic Cross

How a Tarot card reading is performed

A Tarot card reader has many designs/patterns to choose from when laying out the cards for a reading. Some of these "layouts" have been used for hundreds of years. Today, many well known (and even newer practitioners) Tarot readers have designed new patterns designed to answer specific questions, or evaluate certain circumstances that the "querent" wants addressed.

Once the Tarot reader knows the question to be addressed the cards are shuffled (never like a regular deck of playing cards) and cards are drawn and placed down in a spread. Depending upon the question, and the readers preference, a card layout can consist of 1, 2, 3, or more cards.

The picture on the right shows a modified Celtic Cross spread. This spread looks at a person's (the querent) question in relation to their recent past, what situation they are now dealing with, and what the future may look like in 3, 6, and 12 months from the day of the reading.

The reader's knowledge of the cards helps them to determine what messages the cards are giving, depending upon in which position each card lies, and their relationships to the other cards in the spread.

So, Fact or Fiction?

It doesn't really matter what you read in this article; whether you believe what the reader tells you is up to your own beliefs.

Yes, there are readers out there who will make up stories, trying to get you to believe that you are in need of protective potions or amulets, which only they can sell you. However, for the most part, Tarot card readers are honest and the messages they share with you are the truth, as they interpret them.

This is something science can not necessarily explain, yet hundreds of thousands of people have taken a leap of faith, listened to the messages from the cards, and have been happy with the guidance provided to them; guidance that is meant only to help them find and lead the type of life they wish to lead.

One last point to make here; anyone can learn to read Tarot cards. If you are willing to keep an open mind, spend a little time learning the meanings behind numbers, delve a little deeper into understanding the stories behind those Greek myths, and dip your toes in to the mysteries of Astrology, then you can read, and understand, the Tarot.


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