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Encyclopedia > Tarot reading
The High Priestess, card number 2 in the major arcana.

Contents

Image File history File links RWS-02-High_Priestess. ... Image File history File links RWS-02-High_Priestess. ... The High Priestess (II) in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck The High Priestess (II) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ... The Major Arcana (Trumps Major, Major Trumps) of the Tarot deck consists of 22 cards. ...

History of Tarot reading

There are many different theories as to the true origin of the Tarot deck, but the first documented deck was painted in fifteenth century Italy (see Tarot, Origins). Visconti-Sforza tarot deck – The Devil card is a 20th Century remake of the card missing from the original 15th Century Deck The tarot is a set of cards featuring 21 trump cards, the fool, and an extra face card per suit, in addition to the usual suit (face and...


Several other early tarot-like sequences of portable art survive to place the Visconti deck in context. Later confusion about the symbolism stems, in part, from the occult decks, which began a process of steadily attributing paganism to it and universalizing the symbolism to the point where the underlying Christian allegory has been somewhat obscured (as, for example, when the Rider-Waite deck of the early Twentieth Century changed "The Pope" to "The Hierophant" and "The Popess" to "The High Priestess"). The most popular Tarot deck today is probably what is confusingly known as the Rider-Waite-Smith, Rider-Waite, Waite-Smith, Waite-Colman Smith or simply the Rider deck. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s The 20th century lasted from 1901 to 2000 in the Gregorian calendar (often from (1900 to 1999 in common usage). ... The High Priestess (II) in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck The High Priestess (II) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ...


Tarot cards eventually came to be associated with mysticism and magic[1]. Tarot was not widely adopted by mystics, occultists and secret societies until the 18th and 19th century. The tradition began in 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin, a Swiss clergyman and Freemason, published Le Monde Primitif, a speculative study which included religious symbolism and its survivals in the modern world. De Gébelin first asserted that symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille represented the mysteries of Isis and Thoth. Gébelin further claimed that the name "tarot" came from the Egyptian words tar, meaning "royal", and ro, meaning "road", and that the Tarot therefore represented a "royal road" to wisdom. Gébelin asserted these and similar views dogmatically; he presented no clear factual evidence to substantiate his claims. In addition, Gébelin wrote before Champollion had deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. Later Egyptologists found nothing in the Egyptian language that supports de Gébelin's fanciful etymologies, but these findings came too late; by the time authentic Egyptian texts were available, the identification of the Tarot cards with the Egyptian "Book of Thoth" was already firmly established in occult practice. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse Magic and sorcery are the influencing of events, objects, people and physical phenomena by mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. ... Antoine Court who named himself Antoine Court de Gébelin ( ca. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... The Masonic Square and Compasses. ... Mystery religions, or simply Mysteries, were belief systems of the Graeco-Roman world full admission to which was restricted to those who had gone through certain secret initiation rites. ... Isis is a goddess in Egyptian mythology. ... Thoth (Ramesseum, Luxor) Thoth (his Greek name derived from the Egyptian *, written by Egyptians as ) was considered one of the most important deities of the Egyptian pantheon, often depicted with the head of an ibis. ... For the Champollion comet rendezvous spacecraft, see Champollion (spacecraft). ... It has been suggested that Hieroglyph (French Wiki article) be merged into this article or section. ... The Great Sphinx of Giza against Khafres Pyramid at the Giza pyramid complex. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the scientific study of insects. ...


Although tarot cards were used for fortune-telling in Bologna, Italy in the 1700s, they were first widely publicized as a divination method by Alliette, also called "Etteilla", a French occultist who reversed the letters of his name and worked as a seer and card diviner shortly before the French Revolution. Etteilla designed the first esoteric Tarot deck, adding astrological attributions and "Egyptian" motifs to various cards, altering many of them from the Marseille designs, and adding divinatory meanings in text on the cards. Etteilla decks, although now eclipsed by Smith and Waite's fully-illustrated deck and Aleister Crowley's "Thoth" deck, remain available. Later, Mademoiselle Marie-Anne Le Normand popularized divination and prophecy during the reign of Napoleon I. This was due, in part, to the influence she wielded over Joséphine de Beauharnais, Napoleon's first wife. However, she did not typically use Tarot. Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947; the surname is pronounced // i. ... Napoléon I, Emperor of the French (born Napoleone di Buonaparte, changed his name to Napoléon Bonaparte)[1] (15 August 1769; Ajaccio, Corsica – 5 May 1821; Saint Helena) was a general during the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from... Joséphine de Beauharnais (nee Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie June 23, 1763 – May 29, 1814) was the first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte and thus the first Empress of the French. ...


Interest in tarot for divination by other occultists came later, during the Hermetic Revival of the 1840s in which (among others) Victor Hugo was involved. The idea of the cards as a mystical key was further developed by Eliphas Lévi and passed to the English-speaking world by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Lévi, not Etteilla, is considered by some to be the true founder of most contemporary schools of Tarot; his 1854 Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (English title: Transcendental Magic) introduced an interpretation of the cards which related them to Cabala. While Lévi accepted Court de Gébelin's claims about an Egyptian origin of the deck symbols, he rejected Etteilla's innovations and his altered deck, and devised instead a system which related the Tarot, especially the Tarot de Marseille, to the Kabbalah and the four elements of alchemy. On the other hand, some of Etteilla's divinatory meanings for Tarot are still used by some Tarot practitioners. Victor-Marie Hugo (pronounced in French) (26 February 1802 — 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France. ... Eliphas Lévi Eliphas Lévi, born Alphonse Louis Constant, (February 8, 1810 - May 31, 1875) was a French occult author and magician. ... The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing a form of theurgy and spiritual development. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... Several ancient Classical Element ideas exist. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ...


Tarot became increasingly popular beginning in 1910, with the publication of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, which took the step of including symbolic images related to divinatory meanings on the numeric cards. (Arthur Edward Waite had been an early member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn). In the 20th century, a huge number of different decks were created, some traditional, some vastly different. Thanks, in part, to marketing by the publisher U.S. Games Systems Inc., the Rider-Waite-Smith deck has been extremely popular in the English-speaking world beginning in the 1970s. The most popular Tarot deck today is probably what is confusingly known as the Rider-Waite-Smith, Rider-Waite, Waite-Smith, Waite-Colman Smith or simply the Rider deck. ... Arthur Edward Waite in the early 1880s Arthur Edward Waite (October 2, 1857 - May 19, 1942) was an occultist and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. ... The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing a form of theurgy and spiritual development. ...


Types of Tarot reading

Divination

Tarot reading revolves around the belief that the cards can be used to gain insight into the current and possible future situations of the subject (or querent). Some believe they are guided by a spiritual force, such as gaia, while others believe the cards help them tap into a collective unconscious. A Querent is an individual who goes to some form of psychic reader - whether Tarot, runes, etc. ...


Psychological

Carl Jung was the first psychologist to attach importance to tarot symbolism. He may have regarded the tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of person or situation embedded in the subconscious of all human beings. The Emperor, for instance, represents the ultimate patriarch or father figure.[2] Carl Jungs partially autobiographical work Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana edition Carl Gustav Jung (IPA: ) (July 26, 1875, Kesswil – June 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. ...


The theory of archetypes gives rise to several psychological uses. Since the cards represent this different types of people, ideas of the subject's self-perception can be gained by asking them to select a card that they 'identify with'. Equally, the subject can try and clarify the situation by imagining it in terms of the archetypal ideas associated with each card. For instance, someone rushing in heedlessly like the Knight of Swords, or blindly keeping the world at bay like the Rider-Waite-Smith Two of Swords. Two of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck Two of Swords is a Minor Arcana tarot card. ...


More recently Dr Timothy Leary has suggested that the Tarot Trump cards are a pictorial representation of human developement from a baby to a fully grown adult. The Fool symbolising the new born infant, The Magician symbolising the stage at which an infant starts to play with artefacts etc.,. In addition to this Dr Leary also considers the Tarot Trumps to be a blue print for evolution in general and that the latter half of the major arcana represent the future evolution of the human race. The full exposition of his ideas can be found in his book "The Game of Life" which explains each of the Tarot Trumps in psychological developmental language.


Tarot as a mnemonic device

Some schools of occult thought or symbolic study, such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, consider the tarot to function as a textbook and mnemonic device for their teachings. This may be one cause of the word arcana being used to describe the two sections of the tarot deck: arcana is the plural form of the Latin word arcanum, meaning "closed" or "secret." The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing a form of theurgy and spiritual development. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Common card interpretations

Each card has a variety of symbolic meanings that have evolved over the years. Custom or themed tarot decks exist which have even more specific symbolism, although these are more prevalent in the English-speaking world. The minor arcana cards have astrological attributions that can be used as general indicators of timing in the year, based on the Octavian calendar, and the court cards may signify different people in a tarot reading, with each suit's "nature" providing hints about that person's physical and emotional characteristics. Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... May refer to the persons: Augustus, Roman Emperor Pope John XIII nigger Category: ...


Tarot has a complex and rich symbolism with a long history. In the past, many occult- or divination-oriented authors claimed that the symbolism's origins are lost in time and/or postulated or claimed as fact non-historical theories. Some authors such as Rachel Pollack have written that tarot origin myths have their own significance and value and that the reader can find a study of such myths enriching while at the same time being aware that they aren't factually true.


Interpretations have evolved together with the cards over the centuries: later decks have "clarified" the pictures in accordance with meanings assigned to the cards by their creators. In turn, the meanings come to be modified by the new pictures. Images and interpretations have been continually reshaped, in part, to help the Tarot live up to its mythic role as a powerful occult instrument and to respond to modern needs.


See, for example, the Rider-Waite-Smith Strength card. We can know more about the symbolic intentions of the designer here, since he conveniently wrote many books on the subject on occultism and symbolism and a handbook specifically for this deck titled The Pictorial Key to the Tarot (1910). As with its ancestor in the Tarot de Marseilles, the Strength trump shows a woman holding the jaws of a lion, but the Rider-Waite-Smith picture is far more elaborate. The woman's hat of the Marseilles card has been interpreted as a lemniscate: the sideways-figure-eight representing infinity, or, according to Waite, the Spirit of Life. Other symbols are included: a chain of roses symbolizing desire or passion, against a white robe symbolizing purity. The mountains in the background demonstrate another kind of strength. A lemniscate In mathematics, a lemniscate is a type of curve described by a Cartesian equation of the form: Graphing this equation produces a curve similar to . ...


Another example of the preservation of designs from one deck to another can be seen via the incorporation of the ribbon design found on the Deux de Deniéres in a Swiss-style deck originally published by Müller & Cie. of Schaffhouse into the of The Book of Thoth Tarot's Two of Disks. Thoth (Ramesseum, Luxor) Thoth (his Greek name derived from the Egyptian *, written by Egyptians as ) was considered one of the most important deities of the Egyptian pantheon, often depicted with the head of an ibis. ...


There are numerous published books that discuss the usage of the tarot for divination. In many systems, the four suits are associated with the four elements: Swords with air, Wands with fire, Cups with water and Pentacles with earth. The numerology of the cards is also considered significant. The tarot is considered to correspond to various systems such as astrology, Pythagorean numerology, the Kabalah (where each of the major arcana represent a path on the tree of life), the I Ching, Christianity [1], Aura-Soma and others. Several ancient Classical Element ideas exist. ... Numerology is any of many systems, traditions or beliefs in a mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things. ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... The tree of life Kabbalah (קבלה Reception, Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Qabala, Qabalah) is a religious philosophical system claiming an insight into divine nature. ... Alternative meaning: I Ching (monk) The I Ching (Traditional Chinese: 易經, pinyin y jīng; Cantonese IPA: jɪk6gɪŋ1; Cantonese Jyutping: jik6ging1; alternative romanizations include I Jing, Yi Ching, Yi King) is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


Spreads

To perform a Tarot reading, the Tarot deck is typically shuffled by either the subject or a third-party reader, and is laid out in one of a variety of patterns, often called "spreads". They are then interpreted by the reader or a third-party performing the reading for the subject. These might include the subject's thoughts and desires (known or unknown) or past, present, and future events. Generally, each position in the spread is assigned a number, and the cards are turned over in that sequence, with each card being contemplated/interpreted before moving to the next. Each position is also associated with an interpretation, which indicates what aspect of the question the card in that position is referring to.

Celtic Cross tarot spread

Sometimes, rather than being dealt randomly, the initial card in a spread is intentionally chosen to represent the querent or the question being asked. This card is called the significator. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Some common spreads include:

  • Celtic Cross: This is probably the most common spread. Ten cards are used, with five arranged in a cross and four placed vertically beside the cross. Another card is placed horizontally across the central card of the cross. The central card of the cross is frequently the significator; the crossing card often represents an obstacle they must face, an aspect of the question they have not yet considered, etc.
  • 3-card spread: Three cards are used, with the first representing the past, the second the present, the third the future.
  • Astrological spread: Twelve cards are spread in a circle, to represent the twelve signs of the zodiac. A thirteenth card is placed in the middle; often the significator.
  • 1-card spread: It should be noted that a single card can constitute a spread.
  • Tetractys

There are numerous other spreads – essentially, the reader may use any card arrangement in which they find by experience to be useful. The Tetractys, also known as the decad, is a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three, and four points in each row. ...


Reversed cards

Some methods of interpreting the tarot consider cards to have different meanings depending on whether they appear upright or reversed..[citation needed] A reversed card is often interpreted to mean the opposite of its upright meaning. For instance, the Sun card upright may be associated with satisfaction, gratitude, health, happiness, strength, inspiration, and liberation; while in reverse, it may be interpreted to mean a lack of confidence and mild unhappiness. However, not all methods of card reading prescribe an opposite meaning to reversed cards. Some card readers will interpret a reversed card as either a more intense variation of the upright card, an undeveloped trait or an issue that requires greater attention.


Deck-specific symbolism

Rider-Waite deck

Each card in the Rider-Waite deck is intricately detailed with symbols related to the card. Color is also used symbolically. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is probably the most popular Tarot deck today. ...


Aleister Crowley's Book of Thoth deck

Each card in the Thoth deck is intricately detailed with Astrological, Zodiacal, Elemental and Qabalistic symbols related to each card. Colors are used symbolically, especially the cards related to the five elements of Spirit, Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Cover of the Thoth Tarot deck, designed by Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Frieda Harris. ...


Mythic Tarot

The Mythic Tarot deck links Tarot symbolism with the classical Greek Myths.


Notes

  1. ^ Huson, Paul Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Vermont: Destiny Books, 2004
  2. ^ Memories of the Past, Memories of the Future: Semiotics and the Tarot by Inna Semetsky

Further reading

  • Huson, Paul, Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage, Vermont: Destiny Books, 2004.
  • Dr Adrian Vaughan Hillman, Tarot Truths, Retrieved April 25, 2007. http://www.hark.net.au/articles/tarot_truths1.htm

Paul Huson is a British-born artist and author currently living in the United States. ...

External links

  • Tarot Meanings
  • How Tarot Cards Work
  • A Guide To Reading Tarot Cards


Major Arcana
0
The Fool
I
The Magician
II
The High Priestess
III
The Empress
IV
The Emperor
V
The Pope
VI
The Lovers
VII
The Chariot
VIII
Justice
IX
The Hermit
X
Wheel of Fortune
XI
Strength
XII
The Hanged Man
XIII
Death
XIV
Temperance
XV
The Devil
XVI
The Tower
XVII
The Star
XVIII
The Moon
XIX
The Sun
XX
Judgement
XXI
The World
TarotMinor Arcana


The Major Arcana (Trumps Major, Major Trumps) of the Tarot deck consists of 22 cards. ... The Fool from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck The Fool (0) is one of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck. ... The Magician (I) The Magician (I) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The High Priestess (II) in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck The High Priestess (II) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ... The Empress (III) The Empress (III) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The Emperor (IV) The Emperor (IV) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The Hierophant (V) The Hierophant (V) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The Lovers (VI) The Lovers (VI) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... For the band, see The Chariot (band). ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... The Hermit (IX) The Hermit (IX) is a Tarot trump card. ... Wheel of Fortune (X) Wheel of Fortune (X) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... Strength (VIII) Strength is Major Arcana Tarot card, numbered either XI or VIII, depending on the deck. ... The Hanged Man (XII) The Hanged Man (XII) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... Death (XIII) Death (XIII) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ... Temperance (XIV) Temperance (XIV) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The Devil (XV) The Devil (XV) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ... The Tower (XVI) The Tower (XVI) (most common modern name) is a Tarot trump card that has many different names, symbols, and meanings. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The Moon (XVIII) The Moon (XVIII) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The Sun (XIX) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ... The Judgement (XX) Judgement (XX) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... The World (XXI) The World (XXI) is a trump card in the tarot deck. ... The Minor Arcana of the Tarot deck consist of 56 cards, which are closely related to the deck of 52 playing cards used in most modern card games. ...

Minor Arcana
The Suit of Wands
Ace
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Page
Knight
Queen
King
The Suit of Coins
Ace
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Page
Knight
Queen
King
The Suit of Swords
Ace
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Page
Knight
Queen
King
The Suit of Cups
Ace
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Page
Knight
Queen
King
TarotMajor Arcana

 
 

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