For the first article we are going to examine a common divination tool, a tarot deck. Now understand this article is not an indepth history class, its more of a general overview of the tarot deck that covers history to uses in modern times. The tarot deck is a tool used in the practice of divination. It does not summon spirits, open doorways, or call upon spirits to help in anyway. Rather the deck is a focusing tool that allows the person using it, to channel their own inner ability to divine things into the deck, thus allowing them the chance to divine something about the past, present, or future. The deck itself is separated into two parts, Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. One half of the deck depicts the Fool Journey’s and the other is more closely related to the regular four suits of cards you would find in a poker deck. The four suits of the Minor Arcana are the wands, cups, pentacles, and swords. Each of the suits corresponds to one of the four elements. Swords is air, wand is fire, pentacles are earth, and cups are water. The Major Arcana starts with the Fool card which is supposed to symbolize someone beginning a new journey in life. Some Wiccan’s associate the Fool card with the God as it depicts His journey through the Wheel of the Year though this association is not all that common amongst Wiccans.
The Major Arcana shows the Fool on his journey which leads him ultimately to the end where he is reborn or transformed. Also contrary to most people’s beliefs, the Death card is not actually a card telling you that you’re going to die or lose a loved one. Rather the Death card represents the dying of a habit, lifestyle, or a new transformation in which your old self dies and is reborn as who you are now or in the future. So the Death card has a rather positive tone to it symbolizing personal transformation. No one is sure where the tarot cards originated. Some people believe that the tarot cards originated in Egypt or the Middle East in general. To date there has been no solid evidence of this tool’s origins and no one is sure in what year these cards were greated. The earliest recording of a documented tarot deck being created was between 1430 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna, Italy. It is not understood if the tarot cards were used before the 18th century for divination or occult purposes however there are plenty accounts of occultists using these cards for divination in the 18th century. There has been documented accounts however of occultists using playing cards in general for divination purposes with the earliest documented account of this having taken place in 1540 where the practice was featured in a book called, “The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forli” which taught the reader a rather simple form of divination with playing cards.