Monday, February 25, 2008

Tarot Cards And The Kabbalah

The origins of the Tarot deck and its associated interpretive meanings may never be known with empirical certainty. However, one school of thought subscribed to by Kabbalistic occultists is that the Tarot deck stems from Jewish mysticism.

Some occultists even go as far as to say it was an abstract code developed by Kabbalah masters to embody their thoughts and ideas, in an allegorical format. But before we delve into the nuances of the relationship between tarot cards and Jewish mysticism we must first answer a fundamental question. What exactly is the Kabballah?

Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah have roots that date back to the third to sixth century A.D. during this period a book called the "Book of Creation" was written, in anonymity, and contained meditations based on the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This book is believed to be the foundation of modern day Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah. However, it would be many centuries before this seedling of ideas would grow into the tree of life we know today as the Kabbalah.

In fact it would not be until the twelfth and thirteenth centuries A.D. that the ideas and concepts, in this book, would be expanded and built upon significantly.

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries A.D. the writing and publication of the Zohar or "Book of Splendor" contributed greatly to the ideas and concepts of the modern Kabbalah. One of the major underlying principles of the Kabbalah was that the universe consisted of four worlds. These four worlds were created in order the highest world belonging to God and the lowest world belonging to man.

In addition these four worlds consisted of emanations called sephiroth. The four worlds were each separated into identical sets of ten sephiroth. The only difference being the energy associated with them. This energy is defined by the world that the sephiroth resides in.

Visual aids were constructed from the sephiroth. The focus of meditation was now on these geometric structures the most popular being the tree of life. It consisted of ten sephiroth connected by twenty-two pathways corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

With this in mind a correlation between the tarot deck and the tree of life may be formed. The first correlation is between the four worlds of the Kabbalah and the four suits of the tarot deck. The next correlation that may be formed is between the ten sephiroth and the minor arcana numbered ace through ten. The final relationship that may be formed is between the twenty-two cards of the major arcana, twenty-two pathways, at twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The major debate among occultist is the placement of the cards on the twenty-two pathways. A common practice would be to start with the first card of the Major Arcana and proceed arithmetically to the world card number twenty-two. However, there is a wrench in the works. The fool card's number zero of the major arcana defies placement on the pathways as it would skew the other twenty-two cards to non-corresponding numerical pathways.

So, there in lies the rump of the problem. The placement of the fool card on the pathways has been the subject of much debate. Almost as if the fool cards true nature has disrupted the correlation of the tarot cards and the pathways. However, Court de Gebelin wrote an essay in the late 1700's defining a correlation between the cards and the Hebrew alphabet. In addition another author published in "The Primitive World" Comte de Mellet proposed the linking structure between the tarot cards and the twenty-two pathways marked by the Hebrew alphabet.

Whether you subscribe to the Kabbalistic school of thought regarding the tarot cards or not it is very interesting to note the many similarities between the Jewish mysticism and the tarot deck. It is hard to deny that such a correlation exists but never the less one must keep an open mind without irrefutable historical evidence.

Although, we may never know the exact origins, nature, or purpose of these mystical cards one thing is certain we will continue to enjoy these aesthetically pleasing mystical cards for ages to come.

Meaning Of Each Tarot Card: Secrets Revealed

We all seem to come to a crossroads in our lives from time to time when we have big questions about the direction we want to go. These times can involve making decisions about career, relationships, and finances, to name a few. Should I take this new job? Is this the right person for me to marry? When is the best time to buy that new car?

Many seek answers from various types of alternative practitioners. They feel that psychics, astrologers, and tarot card readers can see the future and provide guidance for the present. This article will provide an introduction to the tarot, giving you insight into the meaning of every card so that you can more readily grasp the efficacy of your tarot reading.

Every has heard of tarot cards, but how many people know the names and meanings of each tarot card? In each tarot deck are cards emblazoned with images and old symbols that represent tidbits of ancient knowledge, teachings, or archetypes. There are four suits of cards and a set of cards called the Major Arcana. Each of these cards has a special and separate meaning that contributes to the whole message of a reading.

The 'Fool' tarot card stands for unenlightened person; the 'Magician' represents a very talented person; the 'High Priestess' stands for wisdom and intuitive ability; the 'Empress' governs the cycle of birth, death and re-birth; the 'Emperor' stands for worldly power; following ceremonies and beliefs is represented by the 'Pope'; love is represented by the 'Lovers'; the 'Chariot' stands for struggle; Strength' represents exactly what it implies; the 'Hermit' stands for soul-searching; the 'Sun' represents contentment; while the 'Moon' is associated with feminism and seduction.

Tarot card suits each represent a different aspect of a person's life in them. One way to portray positivity is the "Star." Predicting mentality alterations and problems are done by the "Swords". A person's internal life and their personal evolution are referred to in the "Cups." Work changes are portrayed by the "Wands." The "Pentacles" suit show financial situations and wealth.

The card of 'Justice' is self explanatory and represents exactly what its name means. The card of 'Death' is more symbolic and signifies a death that is spiritual or mental. Martyrdom is representative of the 'Hanged Man'. The symbol for sudden change is the 'Tower'. 'Temperance' denotes balance and harmony. Self-examination is represented by 'Judgment'. Collectively these cards lead to the card 'World'.

Predicting Your Future Using Tarot Readings

Tarot cards inspire both fascination and fear in people. Some people believe that tarot readings can foretell what's in a person's future but there's more to it than that. Like with the signs of the Zodiac, the information gathered from the cards can give a person insight into their nature. In this article, we'll find out how tarot cards work and how they can improve your life.

A tarot deck is a set of seventy-eight cards. Twenty-two of these cards are called the Major Arcana, 56 cards of Minor Arcana and there are four suits of 14 cards each. A tarot symbol is interpreted in differing ways depending on who is conducting the reading. Even the prospect of owning a deck of tarot cards is cloaked in mystery.

Many people believe that a person's first deck must be received as a gift because purchasing your own is bad luck. Unlike other fortune telling arts, you don't have to be psychic to read these cards.

However, interpreting them is a skill which takes time to develop, refine and gain proficiency. It's interpretation is a process that requires an investment of time and patience.

A typical reading begins. The person who is seeking answers shuffles the deck, lays them down on the table and picks out certain cards, all face down. As these cards are chosen, they hand them to the reader who places them face up on the table in a pattern that is called the spread.

The spread can be any one of a number of patterns, each of which has a certain name and used for various types of readings. One of the most popular spreads is the Celtic cross and is used to give a general reading. To ensure that you receive the best results, your reader will select the best spread for the question you are asking.

The one performing the tarot readings, lays down the cards, reads the pictures and receives subconscious ideas and impressions. This combination is what they use to interpret the meaning of the cards. Many people become very concerned when certain cards arise - especially the death card.

However, there is usually a deeper significance. For instance, the death card could mean the end or "death" of a phase of life that has nothing to do with an actual physical demise. The reading has to be examined to discover how it applies to your life.