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Cards of The Tarot

Understanding...cards, layouts, and history of

Location: Where the Cards Lay
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Latest Activity: Nov 17, 2014

The tarot (first known as tarocchi, also tarock and similar names), pronounced /ˈtæroʊ/, is a pack of cards (most commonly numbering 78), used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways.

The tarot has four suits corresponding to the suits of conventional playing cards. Each of these suits has pip cards numbering from ace to ten and four face cards for a total of 14 cards. In addition, the tarot is distinguished by a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit.

François Rabelais gives tarau as the name of one of the games played by Gargantua in his Gargantua and Pantagruel; this is likely the earliest attestation of the French form of the name. Tarot cards are used throughout much of Europe to play card games. In English-speaking countries, where these games are largely unknown, tarot cards are now used primarily for divinatory purposes. Occultists call the trump cards and the Fool "the major arcana" while the ten pip and four court cards in each suit are called minor arcana. The cards are traced by some occult writers to ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah but there is no documented evidence of such origins or of the usage of tarot for divination before the 18th century

The English and French word tarot derives from the Italian tarocchi, which has no known origin or etymology. One theory relates the name "tarot" to the Taro River in northern Italy, near Parma; the game seems to have originated in northern Italy, in Milan or Bologna. Other writers believe it comes from the Arabic word طرق turuq, which means 'pathways'. Alternatively, it may be from the Arabic ترك taraka, 'to leave, abandon, omit, leave behind'. According to a French etymology, the Italian tarocco derived from Arabic طرح ṭarḥ, 'rejection; subtraction, deduction, discount'.

Playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century, probably from Mamluk Egypt, with suits very similar to the tarot suits of Swords, Staves, Cups and Coins (also known as disks, and pentacles) and those still used in traditional Italian, Spanish and Portuguese decks. The first documentary evidence is a ban on their use in 1367, Bern, Switzerland. Wide use of playing cards in Europe can, with some certainty, be traced from 1377 onwards.

The first known tarot cards were created between 1430 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna in northern Italy when additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the common four-suit pack. These new decks were originally called carte da trionfi, triumph cards, and the additional cards known simply as trionfi, which became "trumps" in English. The first literary evidence of the existence of carte da trionfi is a written statement in the court records in Ferrara, in 1442. The oldest surviving tarot cards are from fifteen fragmented decks painted in the mid 15th century for the Visconti-Sforza family, the rulers of Milan.

Divination using playing cards is in evidence as early as 1540 in a book entitled The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forli which allows a simple method of divination, though the cards are used only to select a random oracle and have no meaning in themselves. But manuscripts from 1735 (The Square of Sevens) and 1750 (Pratesi Cartomancer) document rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards of the tarot as well as a system for laying out the cards. Giacomo Casanova wrote in his diary that in 1765 his Russian mistress frequently used a deck of playing cards for divination.

The original purpose of tarot cards was for playing games, the first basic rules appearing in the manuscript of Martiano da Tortona before 1425. The game of tarot is known in many variations (mostly cultural); the first basic rules for the game of Tarocco appear in the manuscript of Martiano da Tortona (before 1425; translated text), and the next are known from the year 1637. In Italy the game has become less popular; one version named Tarocco Bolognese: Ottocento has still survived and there are still others played in Piedmont, but the number of games outside of Italy is much higher. The French tarot game is the most popular in its native country and there are regional tarot games often known as tarock,tarok,or tarokk widely played in central Europe.

Although the Icehouse games Gnostica and Zarcana are played using tarot cards, they have no relation to traditional tarot play

Tarot cards would later become associated with mysticism and magic. Tarot was not widely adopted by mystics, occultists and secret societies until the 18th and 19th centuries. The tradition began in 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin, a Swiss clergyman, published Le Monde Primitif, a speculative study which included religious symbolism and its survivals in the modern world. De Gébelin first asserted that symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille represented the mysteries of Isis and Thoth. Gébelin further claimed that the name "tarot" came from the Egyptian words tar, meaning "royal", and ro, meaning "road", and that the Tarot therefore represented a "royal road" to wisdom. De Gébelin also asserted that the Romanies (Gypsies), who were among the first to use cards for divination, were descendants of the Ancient Egyptians (hence their common name; though by this time it was more popularly used as a stereotype for any nomadic tribe) and had introduced the cards to Europe. De Gébelin wrote this treatise before Jean-François Champollion had deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs, or indeed before the Rosetta Stone had been discovered, and later Egyptologists found nothing in the Egyptian language to support de Gébelin's fanciful etymologies. Despite this, the identification of the tarot cards with the Egyptian Book of Thoth was already firmly established in occult practice and continues in modern urban legend to the present day.

Discussion Forum

LAY OUTS OF CARDS 6 Replies

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Started by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler. Last reply by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 12, 2014.

A Tarot Spell to Increase Psychic Visions by Shayne Magistas

You need 3 tarot cards. The Star, The High Priestess, and The Hermit.Crystals (corresponding)will enhances this."I call upon the Source of All things to send me power.I call upon the God to send strength to my spell.I call upon the Goddess to give…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 12, 2014.

Common Deck Tarot Adapted from Madame LeNormands Cards of Fortune. 1 Reply

Common Deck Tarot Adapted from Madame LeNormands Cards of Fortune.Explanations and Directions.After having shuffled the 36 cards and cut them with the left hand, divide them into 5 heaps; 4 of them containing each 8 cards, which we place in 4 frows…Continue

Started by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler. Last reply by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 19, 2014.

21 Ways of Looking at the Tarot by Mary K. Greer

Forget those long, complicated spreads; try spending an hour or more with just one…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

Goddess Archetype Tarot Spread by Llewellyn

his is a fun way of exploring the feminine archetypes in the Tarot, world mythology, and within yourself—regardless of your gender. I encourage you to do this spread even if you are still shy of interpreting the cards: the sooner you begin to get…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

Tarot: A Daily Spread by Ciro Marchetti

Draw one to three cards in the morning for guidance for the day. Draw one card for focused guidance. Draw two cards to compare and contrast. Look for differences to see where challenges may arrive. Draw three cards to look at synthesis and…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

The Dollhouse Oracle by Janina Renée

Miniature objects play a role in the material culture of magic and…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

The Art of Creating and Using Tarot Spreads by James Ricklef

I can still remember doing my first Tarot reading. I had just bought a Tarot deck, and after carefully studying the little white book that came with it, I figured I was ready to do a…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

Revitalizing Your Tarot Practice, Part II: Spreads by Barbara Moore

In "Revitalizing Your Tarot Practice, Part I—Decks," we looked at ways of recovering from…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

Personalize Your Tarot Readings Through Spreadcrafting by Tierney Sadler

A good tarot reading is often like a story, reconstructing, constructing, and forecasting relevant pieces of a person's life to bring understanding about a particular topic. While our…Continue

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 9, 2014.

78 Roads To Wisdom Join me for a walk down the path of self discovery. All 78 roads lead to Wisdom and Enlightenment. All paths lead home. Should be fun!

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Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 18, 2014 at 7:05pm
Page of Wands (Hanson Roberts) "Adorned with a medallion of the sun, the Page is shouting out a message. Good news is on the way. Don't be shy; make your voice heard." He represents that spark that could start a raging blaze! Those dreams we have, the goals we want to reach -- this is the time. This card is a good omen for completing some of those things that have been smoldering on the back burner. It's time to bring them to the front and get them cooking! We should take advantage of his energy to get things done! He tells us we need new things -- new adventures, new approaches, and new ideas. He brings us the positive energy, but we have to make sure we follow through. We need to take SOME kind of action when the Page of Wands shows up. Whether it is about work, love, finances, health, or our Spirituality. Awaken the inner child...we need to dream, play, and be artistic. This Page brings us good news, along with the opportunity to reach our goals.
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 16, 2014 at 7:28pm

Card: 12 Sacrifice, Reversed. (Sacred Circle) We have been doing a lot of giving for others all week, and our lives are feeling stagnant. This card is telling us that we are desperately in need of getting rid of a lot of useless junk! And that is on all levels. We need to let go of outdated attitudes, situations, friendships, or relationships. Don't do anything hasty -- think it through. Be aware that giving something up that no longer works for us will open our lives to something even more positive than what we let go of. This card encourages us not to fight change, because one is coming...

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 15, 2014 at 5:27pm

8 of Cups (Tarot of Pagan Cats) "Leaving something behind to search for something else." On this Full Moon and Saturn Day, it is a purrfect time for re-evaluation. This card often means that we will choose to leave a situation that is no longer working for us - whether that's a relationship, a job, or our home. There may be some sadness involved, but in general, this separation is in our best interest. We should know that renewed good times lie ahead for us. We could be tired, feeling drained, depleted and emotionally ripped off as a result of filling other peoples needs and wants to the exclusion of our own. We may need some time alone, to retreat and heal ourselves....and we should take it! We will find depth and wisdom in solitude, and in listening to the still, small voice inside. Have a Blessed Full Moon!

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 14, 2014 at 3:32pm

6 of Discs, Bounty. (Sacred Circle) Stop worrying! Things are going to get better, especially in money matters. This card tells us that we could benefit from someone else's generosity ~ whether it is money, an award or just some good advice. This could put us on firmer footing and restore our faith in ourselves. But we need to remember that when we have been helped by the generosity of another, then in turn we should be generous with our own time and advice when someone else needs it. Remember, what goes around, comes around.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 13, 2014 at 7:55am

5 of Swords, Reversed. (Quick and Easy) We seem to be under stress, and coupled with Mercury Retrograde, it is no surprise! This card indicates that the problems and failures we are encountering are caused by our indecisiveness because we are afraid to act. We may have fallen into the habit of expecting bad things to happen, and they do! One of the most basic personal and spiritual lessons is that negativity attracts negativity. If we think positively, we can begin to change things. Only when we take responsibility for what happens to us, stop blaming others and other things for our failures, can we begin to make the new life we want. We should consider our priorities and the things that matter most to us, while being as pleasant to others as we can.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 12, 2014 at 6:15pm

Queen of Wands. (Mythic Tarot) This card depicts Queen Penelope. Odysseus, her husband, embarked for the Trojan War with the other Greek princes. She was a bad ass woman that was left to tend to the island kingdom, and the only help she had was her young son, Telemachus. Of course, all the guys in the kingdom wanted to court her and take over that throne, believing Odysseus to be dead. And you know that they were conspiring to kill the son! But she listened to her intuition and her heart and believed her husband to still be alive. They continued to pressure her while hanging out in the palace, eating her food, drinking the wine, and making time with the staff. She told them she couldn't make a decision until after she had woven her father in law's death shroud. She worked on it for three years, weaving by day and unraveling her work at night, until they caught on to her. Odysseus returned home after ten years, reunited with his wife, and kicked the people out of his palace. This figure for the Queen of Wands is industrious, creative, versatile, strong-willed and talented. It is time for us to develop our qualities of warmth, loyalty and creative sustaining of a vision. The Queen teaches us that we can't let things get us down - trying to stay upbeat and cheerful helps - so does looking for the positive in situations. Shake off the blues! Be inspired by the Queen in whatever form she takes in our lives. Let your Spirit soar!

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 11, 2014 at 2:41pm
Queen of Discs, Reversed. (Sacred Circle) Feeling a little tired, run down, or just "tired of it all"? If we have had low levels of physical energy and/or a reduced sex drive, the life force is not flowing freely within us. We need to look at the reasons we are depriving ourselves of the sharing of love, nourishment, and pleasure. Find the enjoyment in the simple things in life - don't make things so complicated. It's important that we notice beautiful things and release the people in our lives who find it difficult to trust anyone. We need to find a place in our homes to create a space used solely for our spirituality. Whether it is a sacred space for meditation, contemplation, or writing in our journals ~ it will help us enrich our spirituality.
Start today.
Love yourself.
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 10, 2014 at 6:34pm

The Magician. This Major Arcana Card indicates the power of manifestation. The Magician also represents the coming together of positive and negative energy. He creates and nourishes. Also he has the power to destroy as well as redeem. The Magicians real power is his intuition. Knowing what to do as well as how and when to do it. This Major Arcana Card reminds us that by just wishing for something will get you absolutely no where and nothing will change unless you take action. However once you decide you can change whatever it is you want to change, then you take that action and manifest that desired change." A desire to create is nothing without an ability to create, and vice-verse." The Magicians authentic power is that he knows what he must do, but he also knows how he must do it, and why he must do it. Then he does it. He reminds us that just wishing alone will not change anything, but a conscious decision can change everything. A desire to create is nothing without taking some much needed action for your desired outcome. As Rider Waite puts it " The message of the Magician is a simple one despite his limitless and infinitely complex power. Your life is under your control. Your life is what you want it to be. Your life is what you make it. " So simple and yet sometimes a challenge for some of us that just need to get out of our own way.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 10, 2014 at 1:45pm

Justice. (Mythic Tarot) Here we meet Athena, goddess of Justice. Zeus' favorite child was a strategist, instead of a brute fighter. She balanced Ares' physical aggression and force with logic, diplomacy, and cleverness. The protection she offered always consisted of weapons which had to be used with intelligence, foresight and planning. She teaches us how to think clearly and make judgements impartially and with a balanced mind. All events and all people are connected; and this card shows a need for fairness, balance, and harmony. This includes in how we think about and treat ourselves. Balance is the theme, and working on keeping the proper perspective about life will help us to stay centered. Justice represents our understanding of that vision and understanding lies in accepting the responsibility for that life. Ask questions! Seek answers to the mysteries that are being revealed and show awareness of the process which is taking place and willingness to move forward.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 8, 2014 at 12:12pm
Page of Swords, Reversed. (Sacred Circle) This card can indicate unforeseen events that will cause changes to our plans. It is also a warning to us about a deceitful person who is not what he seems, he is two-faced and we are only seeing one of them! There can be miscommunications, hurt feelings, or broken promises ~ Mercury retrograde! Carefully check over all paperwork! A child could be acting out - be sure to set clear boundaries! The Page reversed is teaching us that we simply cannot plan for everything that happens and we need to handle any problems that crop up one at a time. Just keep in mind that unexpected things pop up in life, and we can't blame ourselves for them. We can get through it.
 

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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