Welcome back to Mist Haven Lovelies and another Tarot talk. Today we cover the Major Arcana of the tarot.
Tarot has a long and contested history. Many people believe that Tarot originated in China, while others believe it originated in Ancient Egypt. For the purposes of this blog series I will go with the most widely accepted origin and that comes from Italy. In fact the oldest known tarot deck is the Visconti-Sforza. This was made during the merging of two influential families. Now this deck was not orginally 78 cards like most tarot decks and it is unknown if it was designed this way, or if some cards were just lost over time. This deck is also a Marseille, or pip deck. Meaning the Majors are illustrated but the Minors are not.
Now the Rider-Waite-Smith Deck is arguably the most influential deck in the world. With its introduction tarot found its way out of the backs of caravans, freak-shows and parlors and into the hands of modern witches. With the creation of this deck came the tarot boom. If you would like a more in depth history of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck check out the Tarot Heritage blog page.
When you first get your deck, devouring it as a while beast is going to feel like a monumental task, and it is. So just like eating an elephant, you do it one bite at a time. Starting with learning the anatomy of the deck.
Major Arcana: Cards 0-21 that are known as the Larger mysteries. These are going to be your major archetypes and the entire collection is often call the Fools Journey and is often compared to the hero’s journey in literature. This particular section can often have more detailed break downs within the 22 cards, but that is up to the individual reader. I will share my break down in next weeks post.
Minor Arcana: The four suits of the tarot known as the Lesser Mysteries. These tend to deal more with the day-to-day dealings of ones life. These cards are also called the pip cards, and find companions in the hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs of a traditional poker deck.
The Court Cards: These are the Courts of each of the four suits in tarot and are the “people” of the tarot. They won’t always represent someone you know or will come into contact with when you pull these cards, but they do tend to deal with aspects of personality.
Now choosing a deck to start with can be a daunting task, and one of the things you can do to ease your purchase quandaries is to research various decks on places such as Aeclectic Tarot and to simply sit down and write out what you like and don’t like. For instance. I like fairies, dark themes, titles on the cards, easy to hold/ not to big, decent card stock etc. Also take into consideration price point. The most I have paid for a tarot deck to date is 90$ Depending on the deck you are looking to pick up, this could easily sky-rocket. Lisa Hunt’s Fairy Tale Tarot is a deck that has been seen selling for 400$ as well as the H.R. Geiger tarot. Most decks will run you between 20-30$ though. Especially if you get them from mass market places such as Llewellyn or Lo Scarabeo.
After you have you deck, its simply a matter of time, study, diligence, and creativity. Remember, there is no “right answer” in tarot and if you feel a card means a certain thing to you, that makes no sense to anyone else, write it down, explore it. Your life, experiences, and world views will shape how you interact with the tarot, and what messages you receive from the cards.
Before I sign off for the evening here is your first journal question: What would you use tarot for? Write as many ideas as you can think of. If you feel called to, you are free to leave a comment below, post a youtube video (tag me, Solaria Willow, cause I would love to see your answers) tweet them out or snap chat them.
I hope you found some new thoughts to think and morsels to chew on.
Stories, they fill our childhood, help us escape from stress as an adult, they even make us feel like we can do anything as teens. They do something else too though. They help us understand some of the most complicated, nerve wracking times in our lives. Continue reading You’re not in Kansas any more.
Every day we run to and fro stressing out over every little thing, especially when other people are in our care. As a mother I am guilty of putting everyone ahead of myself until I burn out and lash out at them, or at my friends. So thanks to The Deviant Witch pulling Reflections from the Lord Ganesha Oracle it got me thinking about self-love and self-care and how I can use the tarot to further incorporate those themes into my life.