Tarot - the Details


“Each card ... represents a particular principle, power or earthly element. The images on the cards illustrate together ... the whole cycle of lives of the person,his joys and his sorrows, his hopes and his fears.”

Rev Mario Schoenmaker

The Tarot is a set of images placed upon a pack of cards. Unlike a modern pack of 52 cards, the Tarot pack consists of 78 cards. Twenty two of these are called the “Major Trumps” - or the “Major Arcana”; the remaining 56 cards are divided into four suits of fourteen cards each. Each suit has ten numbered cards and four court cards (Page, Knight, Queen and King). The suits are usually called Swords, Pentacles (or Disks), Cups and Wands.

Although historians think that the Tarot pack was originally used for gaming, it soon became a popular means of divination. Because of the complex symbology of the cards - particularly the major arcana - the Tarot was discovered to be a wonderful “Soul Map”.

Each of the twenty two major arcana has a name, a number and a figure or scene. They represent a particular part of the soul's journey - and may indicate a soul need or a development in life which may assist the soul to achieve its purpose. The cards of the four suits “minor trumps” or “minor arcana”) tend to indicate the environment, emotions and mental attitudes which the soul will work with over a particular period of time.

Soul Maps at a glance



Spiritual Readings

The Way of the Wyse-Art

External Sites

Association for Tarot Studies (Australia)

Trionfi - History of Tarot

Tarotpedia - online Tarot encyclopedia - starting point for all things astrological


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To use the Tarot, shuffle the cards thoughtfully and then deal them into one of the numerous divinatory “layouts”. These may range from a one, two or three cards - to more complex patterns involving large numbers of cards. The layout below is a simple “Three Card Layout”. The question which was before us was about a move from one state to another.

The card representing the past is the Seven of Wands - indicating that the individual had been fighting hard against certain forces within their life, but had (at least temporarily) won the battle. The central card (Present) is a major trump: the Hanged Man. This, as a major trump, shows that the soul needs to experience a certain “waiting” within the life. That there needs to be a drawn-out period where normal certainties are to some extent suspended - where truth needs to be sought in opposites. The final card, the Three of Swords indicates movement - but movement that will bring some unhappiness to people. It may also indicate that the person will move on (in three years). The person moved interstate and found that they were unable to achieve the goals originally in mind. They had to wait several years as the soul revealed the purpose of the move and the next direction. Three people (the three children left behind) were, for a time quite unhappy about the move - the individual eventually moved on after three years.


Tarot 1

Online Tarot Course


John Rawson

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