What is Tarot? Why the Image Matters….

Of course. I am talking about decks of 78 cards, in which there are four suits of 14 cards and 22 Majors which follow a pattern simlar to the marseille tarot, waite tarot or thoth tarotas I modern school, I’d offer Minetti’s decks as a separate born of the Waite section of tarot. I’m crazy about those decks though, as modern symbolism based off solid history I’ve found none better.

Even with the base symbolism of the above three decks, the interpretation can vary wildly. Tarot has very much become a cross cultural phenominon.

There are two types of readers in my exerperience. The literal memorizers who memorize the meanings, and base card symbolism and only read from that. Then there are those which also take into consideration the art of the tarot and vary the meaning depending on connection to other cards, position, the art of the card itself in a more intuitive approach. This list has discussed the ethics and procedures of both over many years.

Defining something as not a tarot deck can be easy…or hard depending on the ‘rules’ you ascribe to a deck. I’ve stated mine, from my collection nearly 75% of the cards are tarot.

As for the specific art defining tarot, I think your on iffy ground if that is the case. Must the sun be a child on the horse? Then you invalidate Marseilles. Must the strength be a man on a horse? What about the lion? What defines a hermit, or a chariot and why? Oh there are specific reasons on why something might in Italian tradition, but then the French had some of their own reasoning which has added to the tarot.

Here’s an interesting link: http://www.tarothermit.com/lineage.htm

My point is that the definitions of tarot varies. Some things are not tarot…I totally believe that, but many will not. And even in today’s world we still have books published with start with the sentance “Tarot is a 5,000 year old…” (Positive Magic and the Manga Tarot (Selena Lin’s) are the two I just read which contatined that quote…and Positive Magic just came out with a brand new edition too)

So with my definition of tarot I’ll take two decks, the Fey Tarot, and the Universal Waite. Both are tarot according to my definition above. But if I lay out the exact same cards in a jungian celtic cross as I am wont to do…I get two different readings. Let’s say the devil card is in the Anima postion…upright using waite meanings of the cards straight out of Pictoral Key.

Are you really going to read the devil with the bonded humans and the hord using a hand sign simular to the Pope the same as the devouring fire monster of the Fey?

I wouldn’t.

I’m gonna do what I should’ve done in the first place. I’ll find her, wherever she is, tie her up, torture her… until she likes me again.Spike







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