(The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck)
Last December I fell in love with oracle cards which then lead to a hot and steamy affair with tarot cards.
I had never paid much attention to either one of them and then during a prolonged, mindless internet cruising fest I saw a set of oracle cards. I was hooked. The art work was stunning. It was like small purse size art pieces. The cards and artwork alone can be used as meditation tools but often the cards come with a book that give some understanding or meaning to the cards. The cards, the artwork and book act as a guidance tool. They can serve as a guide to a deeper connection to your divine. The card themselves hold no special power but they may help release your nature power.
I will confess that I initially chose the oracle cards because I was scared of the tarot cards. What I knew about tarot cards was not positive. Often when people think about tarot they think about the movie image of fortune-telling in some seedy backroom. Their history and use is so much more than this skewed image.
Tarot cards have a history that goes back to the fifteenth century where they were used as playing cards. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century the cards were discovered by some talented mystics who changed the use of the cards by connecting them to Egyptian mysteries, Hermetic philosophy, the Kabbalah and alchemy.
These mystics were on to something. Oracle and tarot cards can be used to access the unconscious mind. The place where the desires, feelings and knowing that you can’t even acknowledge reside. The cards help you to tap into this knowing. The cards help guide you to your deeper self. Tarot cards have images that are often associated with archetypes that we all know even if it is an unconscious knowing. As humans we have a tendency to project our unconscious beliefs onto the environment around us. Tarot card images allow us to project what we can’t express onto the cards. Then we can take the information that arises and use it in a practical way to guide our steps.
The tarot cards have become one of my favorite tools to tap into my divine knowing. I use them along with my mediation, yoga and prayer practice. But I want to learn more about tarot cards. I have a basic understanding of the cards but want a deeper relationship and understanding.
There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. The deck is divided into Major and Minor Arcana. The word arcana is the plural of arcanum which means “profound secret.” Isn’t it cool to think that the tarot cards are a collection of the “secrets” that may help us connect deeply to the universe. The Major Arcana has 22 cards that are numbered and named. They are the heart of the deck and speech to the major issues in our life. Traditional archetypes are what you see in these cards.
The other 56 cards are composed of the Minor Arcana and help guide our day-to-day drama and blessings. Minor Arcana cards are further divided into four suits: Swords, Pentacles, Cups and Wands. Each suit represent a different approach to life. Every day we combine all of these approaches as we navigate our life. The suits consist of ten numbered (Ace – ten) cards and four suits cards (king, queen, knight and page).
The suits have different characteristic associated with them such as energies, elements of the earth and seasons. Most of these characteristics are the same within different schools teaching. The season happens to be one that isn’t the same within these different teaching. So, the following is what I have been taught and what makes logical sense to me.
Swords = Air = Autumn/Fall
Pentacles = Earth = Winter
Cups = Water = Spring
Wands = Fire = Summer
In order to deeply learn the tarot I feel I need to spend time with each card. And what better way than to follow the seasons for a year. A Season of Tarot. The seasons allow me to spend three months with each suit of the Minor Arcana. The fall equinox is today so I will start with the suit of Swords. I will share one or two cards each week. Most weeks there will only be one card but some weeks I will have to double up since there are only twelve weeks in a season and fourteen cards in a suit. The posts will include the meaning of the card, associated characteristics, practical use and a little storytelling. You know the tarot cards are all about helping you tell your story.
Big Hugs and Warm Wishes,
What is your favorite Swords card? What Season of Tarot do you love? Share your thoughts in the comments below.