Fortune Tellers – Tarot Card Readings
Fortune telling is the practice of predicting a person’s future based on a range of supernatural techniques. This has a long history stemming back hundreds of years and has a vast culture surrounding it. There are countless ‘traditional’ ways to read someone’s fortune and this can include everything from reading tea leaves, to the lines on someone’s palms, to the bumps on their head to the use of tarot cards. Here we will look in detail at tarot card reading, what it entails, where it comes from and what you should expect if you ever go for a reading yourself.
Tarot cards were actually originally designed for playing games, and came with a set of rules. It wasn’t until later that they became associated with mysticism and magic. Tarot cards however were said to hold religious symbolism, and the scholar Antoine Court de Gebelin claimed that the imagery included references to the Egyptian Gods Isis and Thoth. He also pointed out that the word Tarot could be linked to the Egyptian words ‘Tar’ and ‘Ro’ which mean ‘royal’ and ‘road’ respectively. Thus it was he claimed that Tarot cards could be seen as a royal road to wisdom. He established a link this way to the ‘book of Thoth’ giving Tarot cards mystical importance to believers.
The Romani gypsies however were the first to begin using Tarot cards for divination and was later developed in English speaking countries by Eliphas Levi and ‘The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn’. This then became increasingly popular from 1910 onward, partly due to the publication of ‘Rider-Wait-Smith Tarot’ in December 1909.
The way that the Tarot cards work is that you are offered to select some cards, or will be dealt them in a methodical yet random manner (they are placed in what is called a ‘spread’. There are a vast selection of cards you can receive such as The Magician, The Empress, The Lovers, The Hermit, Justice, Death, The World etc. However it is not a simple matter of ‘the cards you draw tell your future’. For instance Death won’t necessarily mean you are going to die. Rather it is a matter of combining the cards and looking at the order in order to make a story or a phrase. So death might mean death of a friend or loved one, or it might mean death of an idea or something more abstract.
Depending on the form of Tarot card reading you will then be told the meaning of your cards, or you will be asked to come up with ideas yourself. In some cases the cards are said to be guided by a supernatural force, but in others where you play a larger role in the selection it is said that you are drawing on the ‘collective unconscious’ that we all have access to. A kind of ancient knowledge that we are all born with through evolution that was originally described by Jung – Freud’s successor. Those Tarot cards then are much like the Archetypes we see in our dreams, and that royal road is much like a royal road that Freud once described…