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At last, an accessible and more insightful way to discover the power of the Tarot and its meaning--the Tarot Challenge layout. With thousands of ways to read the Tarot deck, the Tarot Challenge layout simplifies the process, while staying true to the essence of the Tarot. Based on the classic Tarot spread, the Celtic Cross formation, the Tarot Challenge layout focuses on two key cards often referred to as the "Heart of the Tarot" to give ...
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At last, an accessible and more insightful way to discover the power of the Tarot and its meaning--the Tarot Challenge layout. With thousands of ways to read the Tarot deck, the Tarot Challenge layout simplifies the process, while staying true to the essence of the Tarot. Based on the classic Tarot spread, the Celtic Cross formation, the Tarot Challenge layout focuses on two key cards often referred to as the "Heart of the Tarot" to give you all the information you need to make the right life decisions every day--in just a matter of minutes! Perfect for the beginner or the Tarot expert in need of a quick, accurate, and comprehensive reading, this new layout is specifically designed to help you pursue your personal journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
Inside you will find:
Let the authors of The Lovers' Tarot and Spiritual Tarot show you the best way to incorporate the power and wisdom of the Tarot into your daily life.
What is This Thing Called Tarot?
Part of the myth and lore of the Tarot begins with the idea, as many sources suggest, that the Tarot originated with the early Egyptians -- some say even earlier than that, in Atlantis -- and then was carried to other cultures in various ways. The Gypsies are given lots of credit for its dispersal throughout the world. Picturesque as these intriguing stories are, the truth about the origin of Tarot cards remains unknown.
The first set of cards that we know of appears in a fifteenth-century deck of gaming cards painted in Italy, the Visconti deck. It was not until the nineteenth century that the Tarot "tradition" began to be associated with the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah (also known as the Cabala or Qabalah) and the activities of flourishing "mystery" schools, such as the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn. Through their initiations and ceremonies, both early and contemporary mystery schools attempt to raise the consciousness of participants. Arthur Edward Waite, whose name is associated with one of the decks we use in this book, was a member of the Golden Dawn.
While appearing as a "simple" deck of seventy-eight picture cards, the Tarot is really a complicated set of personal investigations and instructions leading to new insights, a sacred path for pursuing transformation. Its pathways can be seen and understood in many ways, and numerous authors have enriched us with their differing viewpoints. indeed, as we ourselves have worked with, and written about, the Tarot, we have come to understand it in different ways. The more welearn about the Tarot, the more we come to appreciate its subtleties and complexities.
Taken as a whole, the cards of any Tarot deck reflect human characteristics and life experiences. Each card individually can be seen as an initiation into a personal experience that will make us a little more complete as a person, a little more knowledgeable. It speaks to us of a lesson we need to learn.
Most decks are divided into a Major Arcana (arcana means "mysteries" or "secrets") of twenty-two cards and a Minor Arcana of fifty-six cards, as are the two decks we have chosen to work with in this book. Traditionally, Major Arcana cards represent spiritual or archetypal energies, or significant aspects of our personalities, which each of us possess in our psychological makeup, or have the potential to develop. Minor Arcana cards are generally considered more "mundane" They reflect outer experiences, daily struggles, and accomplishments, activities to which we are exposed in everyday living.
Placing Tarot cards in a certain pattern is called a spread or layout. The classic is the Celtic Cross layout (more about this in Chapter 2). Still, almost every Tarot author, and we are no exception, likes to create new spreads, often to answer different kinds of questions or to help us view our situations differently.
Choosing A Tarot Deck
It was not so very long ago that there were only a few different designs of Tarot decks available, and finding a deck often required diligent pursuit of rather obscure sources. Today there are hundreds of decks organized around almost any topic we might enjoy and designed to stimulate a variety of different interests.
Your own work with the Tarot will be more enjoyable and have more meaning if you choose a deck that aesthetically and emotionally appeals to you. if you have not yet found that deck, keep searching. it's out there; and if it isn't, it likely will be soon. Some people have even created their own decks for maximum personal appeal.
We selected the Rider-Waite deck as one of the decks to work with in this book because it is probably the most wellknown, popular, and easiest deck to obtain. It was the first deck that each of us worked with.
Ever since its set of seventy-eight allegorical drawings were completed in 1909 by Pamela Colman Smith under the aegis of Arthur Edward Waite, the Rider-Waite deck, which added figures to the Minor Arcana for the first time, has influenced almost every subsequent Tarot deck. This is true of the second deck we chose to work with for this book, the Robin Wood Tarot deck.
A major problem with the Rider-Waite deck is that many people have difficulty relating to the figures and actions shown in its illustrations, finding them "old-fashioned" and outdated. By contrast, the vibrant drawings and the brilliant colors of the Robin Wood deck combine the traditional designs and symbolism of the Rider-Waite deck with more current symbols of nature, which may make the cards easier for contemporary readers to interpret. The Minor Arcana cards of the Robin Wood deck also carry on the Rider-Waite tradition of depicting people or actions.
We believe the Robin Wood deck makes the ancient knowledge easier to apply today, as well as adding new depth to the meanings of most of the cards. We have come to love this beautiful deck, and also to appreciate that the traditional wisdom of the Rider-Waite deck applies here, too.
What Can The Tarot Tell Me?
While the most popular understanding of a Tarot reading is as a fortune-telling device, we don't happen to think that is the best use of the Tarot. Rather, we think that it is one of the best inexpensive ways available to promote self-understanding and personal growth. Responsible Tarot readings have as one of their major goals that of helping us see our concerns or situations in a different light. We believe that the very act of creating a Tarot reading opens our awareness and awakens us to new understandings and considerations.
Instead of telling us what may happen in the future, each Tarot card in a spread offers us a new way to look at the interactions inherent in our situation, to observe whats happening and possibly why. We ponder the information and decide for ourselves how accurate it may be and whether it is something we want to consider in our planning and action.