Learn About the Tarot Cards
The Tarot is a type of trick-capturing card game played with a deck of 78 large cards 4 regular suits like the deck of regular playing cards, except with an extra trump suit of 21 cards, plus an extra wild card known as the Fool or the Excuse. Even though a lot of people know the Tarot primarily as a tool of divination, and most people think of it as a tool for fortune tellers, the Tarot deck was popular among certain circles in northern Italy in the 1400's as a competitive game. Games like Spades and Hearts today, which are based on a particular trump suit being more powerful than the other suits began with the game of Tarocchi 500 years ago.
However long the myth of an Egyptian origin of the Tarot has been spread, this theory has been debunked by historians. In reality there is no record of tarot cards having been used for divination or fortune telling prior to the 1700's. Another widespread myth that proliferates is that regular playing cards were based on tarot cards. There is also no record of this. And to debunk a related myth, the Fool is not related to the playing cards' Jokers. The Joker was created in the United States in the 1800's, originally intended for another trick-taking card game, Euchre.
Although it is known that tarot cards were originally designed for a card game, tarot cards are popularly known as a tool for divination, especially in regions outside of Europe. To use tarot cards to do readings, they are arranged in particular layouts. Such layouts are referred to as spreads. The "querent," or question-asker, or the person doing the reading shuffles the deck and thinks of a question to receive insight for. The question could possibly be a simple yes/no or could be rather complicated. Depending upon the circumstances an appropriate spread is chosen. The reader then lays the cards into the spread, and the cards are interpretted according to their characteristics and according to which position they happen to fall in. The divinatory meaning of the card may depend on whether or not the direction of the card is upright or inverted, or in other methods a card's dignity is determined by its juxtaposition with neighboring cards.
There is a new type of occult or scientific-minded tarot reader who might take the name "fortune teller" as a personal insult. These readers believe that magic is just a blind science and that the future is not set in stone, but in the palm of our hands. Giving away the power of creating your own future to a stranger may not be a wise move. This is the nature of the con game. Tarot reading can also be a tremendous brainstorming tool when it comes not only to decision making, but also to opening up the most magical thing, a person's creative mind.