A picture speaks more than a thousand words
The tarot is a deck of 78 cards cards, divided into 22 trump or major arcana (secret) cards and 56 suit or pip cards of the minor arcana. So many stories as to the origins of these cards abound. There are tales involving Atlantis, Ancient Egypt, the Moroccan Moors, the Holy Grail, the Albigensians, the Legend of Pope Joan and many, many more. While these stories certainly do stir the imagination, little is truly known about where they came from other than that they first appeared in Italy in the 14th Century, were created for and used by the royalty and that the creation of many versions and the spread of the tarot then followed.
It has been said that the images transcend the logic and reasoning of the mind and allows us to enter into the archetypal soul world of the collective unconscious where we can access such wonders as:
- information about the evolution of the soul's journey,
- where the hero/ine (the person asking the question) is on their own life path
- moral and philosophical teachings.
Contemplating these images can add depth and meaning to the interpretation of our dreams, they can help us to shape the stories we are writing and they can help us to access our creativity.
Nowadays and thanks in large part to Eliphas Levi and the Golden Dawn, we add even more layers of meaning to the cards through bringing in Kabbalistic philosophy, magical theory, numerology and astrology.
Everything is connected
We can work with synchronicities (two events which don't seem to have a causal relationship but which have meaning,) omens, astrology, oracle cards, the runes, the tarot, the tea leaves and so much more because fundamentally everything is connected. It is the intention, the question that is asked, which sets the basis against which any reading is interpreted. Our intention can set how many cards we want to pick and what the meaning of the card's position will be - for example, will the first card we pick tell us something about the past or perhaps about our attitude or about our fears and so on and so on.
The cards tell different stories in response to different questions. The meaning of the card shifts depending on its position in the layout. The meaning of the cards shift again depending on the cards which surround it.
By this explanation, I hope it is clear that the keywords I've shared here about the cards meanings are very limited and that the cards can mean so much more. They have their positive and powerful meanings as well as their negative and more destructive meanings. The cards themselves are neither positive nor negative - they are just cards which mirror back to us where we are in relation to the question we asked: our hopes, our fears, our blockages and the likely outcome that we are stepping towards. In this way, we can begin to address what needs addressing or to change what we are doing so that we more consciously step towards the outcomes we desire.
The Philosophy Behind the Tarot
The cards of the tarot are steeped in the symbols of the culture which gave birth to them and they do reflect a system of beliefs or a philosophical approach. The decks that I tend to work with all seem to be based upon the decks of members of the Golden Dawn. At its heart, the moral of the story of these cards is that we hold the seeds of our own redemption (I'm sure other decks may rest upon this theory too but I can't speak for all of them as I've not used them all.) The theory continues that, as we evolve through life, or perhaps through many lives, we move away from needing to rely upon external spiritual authorities, we go through a series of challenges and rewards, reconcile our duality and become the dancing figure in the world card of the deck - complete in and of ourselves, recognising that all that is, is within us too.
the major arcana
0 The Fool: The main actor in the story, contains and can become all the others, new beginnings, innocence, folly
1 The Magician: creativity, will
2 The High Priestess: intuition, feminine mystery
3 The Emperor: male authority, father, structure
4 The Empress: female authority, mother, lover
5 The Hierophant: religion, teacher, marriage
6 The Lovers: relationship, choice
7 The Chariot: strength of will, taking a stand
8 Strength: gentle success, acting from the heart
9 The Hermit: solitiude, finding the answer within
10 (1)The Wheel of Fortune: change
11 (2) Justice: balance
12 (3) The Hanged Man: reversal
13 (4) Death: transformation
14 (5) Temperance: moderation, blending seemingly irreconcilable matters
15 (6) The Devil: spirit in matter
16 (7) The Tower: forced release, new perspective
17 (8) The Star: the future, hope
18 (9) The Moon: intution, emotions, illusion
19 (1) The Sun: optimism, happiness
20 (2) Judgement: a calling
21 (3) The World: abundance, duality reconciled, union and reunion
Water: feelings, empathy
Fire: passion, creativity
Air: intellect, communication
Earth: practical, manifested reality
0: the whole, contains everything
1: initiates, new beginnings
2: differentiates, relationship
3: produces, creates
4: stabilises, defines, builds
5: friction, changes
6: balance, harmony
8: personal power, karma
9: completion, the last month of pregnancy
10 (1): end of the old era and beginning of a new one
the court cards
Page: youthful expression of his suit
Knight: passionate expression of his suit
Queen: mature, feminine expression of her suit
King: mature, masculine expression of his suit
Preparing for your session
- It's best to avoid mind altering substances at least 24 hours before and 24 hours after the session. This includes any alcohol and drugs.
- If you are taking any mediation, please do tell me.
- The work can arouse intense emotions and it is possible that you will be feeling emotional or perhaps not feeling fully present at the end of the session. For your own safety, it is best not to drive yourself to or from the appointment.
- Please check transport and directions - if you are late, it is possible that I may have appointments after and that I won't be able to accommodate a full session with you.
- Bearing in mind that the cards will be interpreted in response to your question, it's a good idea to think about why it is that you are coming for a reading or what area of your life you would like to focus upon. If need be, I can help you to formulate / phrase your question.
During the consultation
- Depending on what we are speaking about, I will remind you that I am not a qualified doctor or financial adviser or lawyer or psychologist etc and that I am not seeking to replaced their expertise. You are all times encouraged to take responsibility for your own actions and choices.
- My interpretations will be influenced by my own life experiences, philosophies and beliefs. Please feel free to ask me as many questions as you like about why I am interpreting something in the way that I am.
- I do not believe in fortune telling, in predicting events that are set in stone. I believe our futures shift depending on what we think, what we do and how we process whatever is going on in the present.
I charge £85 for a one hour session and £45 for half an hour. You are welcome to bring a recording device and to record your own session if you would like to do so.
If you need to cancel your appointment with me, I ask that you please give me as much notice as possible. Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will be charged.
Any information shared with me will be held in confidence. I may use what transpires to communicate examples of what can take place during or as a result of a tarot reading but these details will not include any of your personally identifiable information. I am required by law to disclose information pertaining to suspected child abuse; inability to care for one's basic needs for food, clothing or shelter; and threatened harm to oneself or others.