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Thoth Tarot Deck

The Encyclopedia
of Tarot

Santeria Enthroned
by David H. Brown

The Tarot Bible
by Sarah Bartlett

Hanson Roberts
Tarot Deck

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The Tarot consists of 78 cards,which have been used for fortune telling for centuries. There is much controversy to the official history of the tarot.

Some say a medieval version of the cards dates back to the early 1400s. Because of the Italian-looking imagery found in the cards, some say they have an Italian origin. Others say the cards came from China or Egypt. And of course the Gypsies, long associated with the art of fortune telling, are said to have had a hand in the creation, if not the popularity of the cards. The mystery is further stirred when the correspondence of the cards with Cabbalistic or Kabalistic philosophy is considered. Although agreement of the history and origin of the cards is not to be found, it can be agreed that the tarot is a very popular mysterious oracle.

What is Tarot?

Tarot uses tarot cards. There are many different kinds of tarot decks available, with different cards, in different styles and with different themes.

A standard tarot deck consist of 78 cards: 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana are often seen as representing the various stages in life, starting with The Fool, who represents our inner child, and ending with The World, which represents the end of a journey. The Marjor Arcana represent important changes in our life.

The Minor Arcana represent everyday situations. They are divided into four suits, just like playing cards. The suits are: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. The names can vary in different decks; for example, Cups is sometimes called Chalices, and Wands is sometimes called Rods.

The four suits correspond to the four elements. Which suit corresponds to which element can vary, but most decks use the following system:

How is the Tarot Used?

Tarot cards are often associated with exotic fortune-tellers on fairs, who use the cards to predict sinister events.

Tarot cards, however, are not only meant to predict the future, but mainly to provide better understanding, to consult your "inner guide". In the modern Western world we are not really used to following our instinct anymore; tarot cards can help you "activate" this instinct again.

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