A bit of their history: Divination using playing cards is recorded as early as 1540. They have been helping people clarify their relationship goals for a very long time. A manuscript from 1750 (Pratesi Cartomancer) documents rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards of the tarot. In 1765, Giacomo Casanova wrote in his diary that his Russian mistress frequently used a deck of cards for divination.
The 78-card tarot deck used by esotericists has two distinct parts:
The Major Arcana (greater secrets), or trump cards, consists of 22 cards without suits: The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool.
The Minor Arcana (lesser secrets) consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits of 14 cards each; ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Page/Jack, in each of the four tarot suits. The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons/wands, coins and cups.
From its humble uptake as an instrument of prophecy in France, the Tarot went on to by Romani_people when telling fortunes, as a Jungian psychological apparatus capable of tapping into “absolute knowledge in the unconscious,” a tool for archetypal analysis, and even a tool for facilitating the Jungian process of Individuation.
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