THE TAROT and
The Tarot cards represent symbolically those instinctual forces operating autonomously in the depths of the human psyche which Jung called archetypes. They function in the psyche in much the same way as do the instincts in the body. We cannot see these archetypal forces, but we experience them in our dreams, visions, and waking thoughts where they appear as images.
Although the specific form these images take may vary from culture to culture and from person to person, their essential characters are universal. People of all ages and cultures can relate to the archetypal Mother, Father, Lover, Hero, Magician, Fool, Devil, Savior, and Old Wise man.
The best way to get at the individual meaning of these cards for oneself is to approach them directly, as one would the paintings in an art gallery. Like paintings, they are projection holders or "hooks" to catch the imagination. Projection is an unconscious, autonomous process whereby we first see in the persons, objects, and happenings in our environment those tendencies, characteristics, potentials, and shortcomings that really belong to us. Projecting our inner world onto the outer one is not a thing we do on purpose. It is the way the psyche functions. Projection happens so continuously and so unconsciously that we are usually totally unaware it is taking place. These projections however, are useful tools toward gaining self-knowledge. By viewing the images that we cast onto outer reality as mirror reflections of inner reality - we come to know ourselves.
The Tarot deck contains seventy-eight cards. The deck is comprised of the Major Arcana in which there are twenty-two cards and the Minor Arcana in which there are fifty-six cards divided evenly between four suits - Pentacles, Cups, Wands, and Swords.
Since Tarot cards are like a mirror, you are part of the picture in the card. Therefore, what you see in each individual picture is important. While you should make use of the interpretations provided in books, it is your own perception and decision that count . . . your own psychic ability.
It is always better to have a tarot card reading done by someone else who will be objective. Usually, if you try to read your own cards, emotions can get in the way and distort the message of the reading. However, if you wish to practice delving into your own psyche, you may do so but you should realize that there will be a great deal of subjectivity in your interpretation.
Remember . . .
Every figure in each card - regardless of its subject or color, whether it is a man, woman, child or adult - may represent you or a certain part of you.
Pay attention to the perspective from which you observe a certain picture of a card. Are you identifying with the picture? If the picture has more than one figure, do you find yourself in all of them or some of them?
Every card may also represent other people, things, or events in your life. Determine your relationship to the individual figures or symbols in the picture.
Every card has positive and negative meanings. What you experience and feel at the moment you see the card is the determining factor. The interplay between the picture and reader puts the personal and relevant meaning of a card into concrete terms.
It is important that you focus your full attention on each individual card as it is turned over while simultaneously observing your reaction and feelings. This will give you a direct, dynamic, and effective insight into the cards as well as your own self-awareness.
Each card can have a different meaning with each encounter. Be open to its message.
Physically hold the cards in your hand. Relax and breathe deeply. Concentrate on the question you have posed.
Standard Interpretation . . .
The first and most important thing to remember is that every card stands for itself. the configurations and symbols of a card's picture are much more important than its number and title.
The Major Arcana
The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana provide actual messages and can be viewed as a silent picture text representing the typical experiences encountered along the age-old path to self-realization. How and why such a subject matter found its way into the Tarot is a mystery that has puzzled generations of scholars.
Let us begin the journey . . .
Represents our total being or union with God. It is the oneness prior to any beginning.
|Represents conscious mind by which concentration and attention to a specific idea can draw upon the forces from above.||Represents the unconscious world. She is the balancing power between initiative and resistance - thus she sits between the two pillars.||The productive, generative activities in the sub- conscious after being impregnated by seed ideas.||Represents reason, a function of the conscious mind. The symbol that handles affairs systematically. The Magician grown older.||Our sense of hearing. His voice gives verbal form to the vision of the Fool. He provides a connecting link between outer experience and inner illumination.||The union of opposite but complimentary modes of existence. Love is the ideal relationship between the conscious and subconscious.|
|Both the carnal and spiritual urges are under the strong control of the Charioteer. Life is affected by inner control.||Spiritual power overcomes material power. Cosmic electricity which is the intelligence of the Secret of Works.||Union with the Supreme Self, the true I AM of the Cosmos. Wisdom. The spiritual climb enables one to become a lantern.||Represents a new cycle of unchanging reality in which the laws of cause and effect are always operative.||One must weigh the meaning of present conditions and achieve balance by using the sword of discrimination.||A geometrical figure of a cross surmounting a water triangle. Things reflected may not be what they seem to be.|
|Renewed life energies await the soul who is willing to release itself from the bondage and limitations of this earth.||Man being a soul with a physical body must be concerned with both material and spiritual matters & find the balance.||The first stage of conscious bondage. Personifies the false conception that man is bound by material conditions.||When our lives have become too attached to false securities, the Universe can pull the rug out from under us.||Through meditation we draw ideas from the Universal Consciousness which absorbs every atom of our being.||What we think during the day influences the body as we sleep. It is then that our aspirations are being built into the body cells.|
|Represents the truth that the material forces of nature are really modes of conscious energy. When we renew our minds, we renew our bodies.||Spiritual realization enables us to blend our personal consciousness with Universal Consciousness.||State of Cosmic Consciousness. The final goal to which all other symbols have led. Active participation in Cosmic government.|
Interpretation means evaluating and defining your associations and reaction to a specific card in order to understand it. You are working on formulating an idea from what you see and what comes to your mind while temporarily assessing and evaluating what you have experienced in the past.
To expand and improve on the process of interpreting your Tarot cards - practice - practice- practice.
Read, study, and collect already existing theories on interpretation.
Formulate your own understanding and personal wonder from each card as you look at it.
Your Personality Card
Your Personality Card is calculated by adding the numbers of your birthday and then finding the Major Arcana card that corresponds to the sum.
Example: If your birthday is July 7, 1966 - add: 7+7+1+9+6+6= "36"
If the number (as in this case) is greater than "21" add the sum of the two numbers to a single digit (3+6 ="9"). Your personality card is "The Hermit".
Otherwise - Correspond the total number to the appropriate Major Arcana card:
Example: April 1, 1960 - add 4+1+1+9+6+0= "21"
This person's personality card would be "The World".
Playing with numbers is and always should be stimulating and inspirational. You may just as well find your personality card by simply choosing it.