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What is Tarot and How is it Used?

Tarot cards first appeared in Northern Italy in the 15th century. A Tarot deck is comprised of 78 cards. These cards are divided into the major and minor arcana. (Arcana comes from Latin word arcanum meaning mystery or secret knowledge.) There are 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards. The minor arcana are divided into four suits - wands, swords, cups and disks. Wands are a reflection of our identity and creativity. Swords reflect our mental and spiritual energy. Cups reflect our emotional energy. Disks reflect our physical reality.  Each suit has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards (knight, princess, prince, queen).

Here is what some of my favorite Tarot authors have to say about Tarot and how it is used.

Today we see the Tarot as a kind of path, a way to personal growth through understanding of ourselves and our life.  Rachel Pollack, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom

In Tarot, the game is your life as a whole, or stated more subjectively, the game is your self. The game board is the 'spread', and the 'pieces' are the 78 cards themselves. The object is not winning, but learning.  Art Rosengarten, Tarot and Psychology: Spectrums of Possibility

Just as we use a mirror to observe our exterior, we can use the images of the Tarot to approach our inner reality. An adventurous expedition! The images of the Tarot are a mirror of the images in our souls. The longer we look inward, the more we discover about ourselves and our lives.  Gerd Ziegler, Tarot: Mirror of the Soul

Tarot helps you meet whatever comes in the best possible way.  Mary K. Greer's Tarot Blog 

Tarot is a map of the soul's journey from a narrow blinded vision to the wider splendor of reality.  Source Unknown

Tarot nudges you to look at your situation from a different point of view.  Sandra Thomson