According to Angeles Arrien in her book The Tarot Handbook, “The tarot is a symbolic map of consciousness and an ancient book of wisdom that reveals to us visually and symbolically the creative ideas and states of consciousness that appear in multiple existence in all cultures.”
The Tarot could well be the western equivalent to the Oriental book of changes, the I Ching. Because they are reflective books of wisdom that address the human experience in relationship to change and transformation.
Both are used to guide and validate a person’s current experience. They can be seen as synchronistic mirrors of inner and outer changes.
In other words the symbols from a reading are accurately mirroring people’s current issues.
Many people see the tarot in a fortune telling context.
But what if they began to see it as an important self-help tool that inspires, clarifies, and validates a person’s current issues, goals, and choices?
“The tarot could be described as Gods Picture Book, or it could be likened to a celestial game of chess, the Trumps being the pieces to be moved according to the law of their own order over a chequered board of the four elements.”
Lady Frieda Harris.
for Alistair Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck.
As you work with any Tarot deck, use the symbols as keys or creative ideas that can help you unlock the unseen connections or facts and therefore enable you to penetrate deeper into the mystery of life.
Some say the Tarot reflects the opportunity one has to see that life is a process of “walking the mystical path with practical feet.”
And as a map of consciousness, it also can be used in the everyday world aiding in the spiritual growth and evolution of each person.
Most Tarot decks have a Minor Arcana, which has four suits, each with 14 cards, and ace through 10, a senior male figure, sometimes the Knight, a senior female figure, often the Queen, a junior male and female figure such as a Prince, and Princess of each suit.
Some of the contemporary designers choose to use descriptions of the ‘royalty’ figures that fit more comfortably with their views on gender and hierarchy.
They also have a Major Arcana, with 22 cards, starting from zero and with Roman numerals one through XX1.
The Major Arcana reveals life principles, universal laws, or the collective experiences that we all have.
This is similar to the I Ching because it deals with metaphors and visual representations of internal and external changes that people experience in general.
The Minor Arcana has four suits. Swords, Cups, Wands, and Disks (sometimes called Pentacles or Coins).
The Swords represents people’s internal beliefs, ideas, and quality of thinking. In other words Swords are pictures of our thoughts.
Cups are visual representations of emotional and psychological factors. These include our responses, reactions, and feelings.
Cups also reveal any emotional state from happiness and satisfaction to disappointment, anger, fear, and inertia.
Wands indicate the quality of vision, insight, energy, vitality, perception, and spontaneity.
Disks (or Pentacles, Coins) reveal to us our ability to manifest what we want in the outer world in terms of work, creativity, relationships, and health.
No matter which Tarot deck or decks you choose they will reveal to you how the mind and heart can be opened to the utter wonder of what’s going on internally and externally in your life and beyond, at any moment in time.
When you come into The Dorset Pedlar you’ll find our range of Tarot decks straight ahead on the counter and on the ‘angel’, ‘fairy’ and ‘steampunk’ shelves.
time and browse and connect with the Tarot that “speaks” to you.