Cards of The Tarot


Cards of The Tarot, 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



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.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 7, 2014 at 8:59am

The EARTH MOTHER, traditionally The Empress. In this image we see a pregnant woman gestating her new child, who has just “quickened” in the womb. Sometimes I feel like my creative projects are quickening and coming to life, and other times I feel like they are stuck! How about you? This card reminds me that I need to NURTURE my creativity!

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 7, 2014 at 8:33am

The six of swords represents progress and forward movement of any kind. The traditional meaning meant travel over water. Today, it can represent, forward movement, like a new job, new home, new life, or improvement to the current situation! Don't worry to much about the future, through travel, or progress, there will be smooth sailing ahead!

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 6, 2014 at 12:19pm

King of Chalices. (Pagan Cats) He calls on us to explore the depths of our feelings and be able to show our emotions. We may need to understand why some strong feelings have surfaced and how we should cope with them. He's all about action! We should act as he does; showing nurturing, affection, empathy, and trusting our intuition. He is also calling on us to show our loyalty and friendliness. We should let our inner strength and wisdom prevail today! Be calm and relaxed in all situations. Use diplomacy rather than force, reach out to help; be generous, gracious and loving. Today is going to be a very demanding day, but we can end our day satisfied that we handled things the right way. We should balance our imagination and discipline.....lighten up and have some fun!

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 5, 2014 at 6:05pm

the world/the universe

card speaks of..............anything can be done in ballance. the completion of a cycle and the start of a new one

card whispers of..............................volentary slavery......that state of being at which you are so good at one job it is usless to try and change you love your job and canno think of doing anything else

full meaning................................voluntary slavery, finding your niche and excelling at it because you really cannot do anything else, birth, death, beginnings, endings, completions, manifestation about to occur, completion, the end of a way of life, success, a new beginning, a change of location, hope for the future, triumph in the end, the admiration of friends, endless possibilities, spiritual autonomy, great self discipline, freedom and slavery at its finest, acting in accordance of true will, this card also denotes someone who like to be perfect and sees perfection as an attainable goal, they like nothing more than to see a good job well done, well ordered life out of habit, attainment and culmination of previous works, and goals, attainment of a goal or desire, upright it says achievement of a goal no matter what the rest of the reading says, otherwise it shows the importance of the goal or desire to the querrent, it shows honors and success, fertility on all levels, it can suggest a creative career and parenting, as well as farmer, and animal husbandry

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 5, 2014 at 5:46pm
7 of Cups (Quick and Easy) This is a card about choices. We need to choose from the many things that are on our plate, and work through them, carefully. We could be deceiving ourselves about something. We may think we are achieving something, but we aren't. Not only are we lying to ourselves, but we may be treating our friends badly, breaking promises, or being unreliable. We may have simply committed ourselves to too many things to achieve any of them. We need to stop and take a look at our situation more realistically. A lot of opportunities are surrounding us, but we can't keep all our options open forever. We must make a decision based on careful consideration to make any of the possibilities a reality. With Mercury going retrograde Thursday, it is a time of confusion and disorganization. We need to narrow our focus, because we are probably trying to do too much and feeling overwhelmed. Remember, that we can control how much we take on. Work on things one by one, carefully. Ground and Center. We can visualize our most important dreams and goals being met. We can keep a positive attitude.
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 3, 2014 at 11:32am

the queen of cups

card speaks of .................................. a loving nourchering woman

card whispers have a secret wish or desire....and you ARE working on getting it

full meaning.................A soft vouchering mother figure, perhaps a bit too protective. Kind but not energetic. Will help if it is not at all too taxing, good insight, love, gentleness.
A new love interest

that which is indicated by the card modified is in the stage of emotional concept feelings about the card modified and what it represents have begun,

imaginative, but inclined to daydream capable of deep affection he is a woman whose love and understanding the querrent can count on, though she is rarely in a position to offer any real aid to the querent, of strong moral convection; often an insparation to others.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 2, 2014 at 9:08pm

6 of Wands, Reversed. (Sacred Circle) Fear is the great destroyer. It keeps us from moving forward. And trying to cover up our doubts only creates more fear and insecurity. When things are going wrong, we cannot allow that tension to build because it will produce the sense that we are being overwhelmed by our "enemy". This card indicates that despite all of our delays and challenges, things that we have been hoping for or working on may finally come through. Maybe someone might get promoted over us, or our projects are delayed, but it's not the end of the world. Now is a good time to take comfort from our home and family; it is time to appreciate the pleasure and happiness that comes from them. This is a victorious card, but we do need to be cautious about who we trust. There may be someone who appears to be a supporter, but really isn't. We should trust our instincts about people and we shouldn't hesitate to stand up for ourselves if it is necessary.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 2, 2014 at 8:12pm
8 of cups

card speaks of......................a conscious need for change in your life

card whispers of..........................common sence and logic being used to its full potential when the heart is in accord

full meaning.......Enough of this, abandonment of this phase of life, rejection of material things and turning toward spiritual things, disappointment in love, a search for new paths.
A strong desire/driving force for dramatic change in your life
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 2, 2014 at 8:38am
The Star. (Sacred Circle) Happy Imbolc to those that celebrate! The Star is the pale light in the darkness ~ hope. Those with hope will always do better than those without it; hope can sometimes seem to work miracles. This card brings a new beginning started by an experience that will bring us hope for the future, an inspiration that will give us courage and strength to go on. It could be that we will receive help from an unexpected source, or the support of good friends could renew our faith in human nature. We can rise from the ashes of our unhappy past as long as we have hope and faith in the future! We must keep our faith strong, and trust in our spiritual insight. We will experience moments of illumination and clear vision. We are transformed from the darkness into the light. This card doesn't represent an end to our problems or that everything will be happy ever after, but instead provides us a nightlight that guides us slightly in the dark. Hope can work miracles and give our minds enough power to manifest them. Hope has literally kept people alive; it is a powerful and mysterious thing. Today is the day to share our happiness and good energy - it will come back to us many times over! This is also a very spiritual card and a good day to reach out to others. Blessed Be!
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on February 1, 2014 at 6:26pm
card of the day............................2/1/14........9 of wands

card speaks of.........................holding something back for a latter day, money, effort something, basically with you things are not always as they seem

card worries you have more REAL FRIENDS THAN YOU REALIZE

full meaning.........wait for it, waiting for difficulties, changes, new challenges, hidden foes, deception, temporary ceasefire in a struggle you are consciously holding something back for later use, it could be money, effort, or back up plans or help something that you need greatly, do not worry when the time is right you will know what to use your reserves for open psychic passages, deeper levels of consciousness ROBOST HEALTH, OR THE RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS, AN INDICATION OF STRENGTH IN RESERVE, GREAT INDURENCE AND GREAT RESERVES OF ENERGY WHICH MAY BE CALLED INTO PLAY AT ANY MIN

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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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