Around 1789, Etteilla was the first to publish a tarot deck created especially for esoteric uses. Etteilla’s tarot included themes pertaining to ancient Egypt, in keeping with the unfounded assumption that such cards were originated from the Book of Thoth.
Esotericists utilize a 78-card tarot deck that is divided into two parts:
- 22 cards without suits make up the Major Arcana (greater mysteries), sometimes known as the trump cards:
- The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool are just a few of the characters mentioned. The Fool is the only card in the deck that is not numbered; it is sometimes dealt at the start of the deck as 0 or at the end as XXII. Cards from The Magician to The World are numbered in Roman numerals from I to XXI.
- 56 cards make up the Minor Arcana (lesser secrets), which is divided into four suits of 14 cards each.
- Four court cards and ten numbered cards. The King, Queen, Knight, and Page/Jack in each of the four tarot suits serve as the court cards. The four suits of the classic Italian tarot are swords, batons, coins, and cups; however, in contemporary occult tarot decks, the coins suit is frequently referred to as pentacles or disks, while the batons suit is frequently referred to as wands, rods, or staves.
The words “Major Arcana” and “Minor Arcana” are never used in relation to tarot card games, which follow a different set of rules, and were initially coined by Jean-Baptiste Pitois (also known as Paul Christian). Some decks only exist as works of art, and these decks may only include the 22 Major Arcana.
The Tarot of Marseilles, the Rider-Waite-Smith, and the Thoth tarot decks are the three most popular esoteric tarot decks.
Aleister Crowley, who together with Lady Frieda Harris created the Thoth deck, said the following about the tarot: “This deck of cards has a very hazy history. Some scholars want to date it back to the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, while others want to move it forward to the fifteenth or possibly sixteenth century. The only notion about the Tarot that is truly intriguing is that it represents the universe admirably and symbolically, using information from the Holy Qabalah.”
In This Article...
Which Tarot deck is the best?
The following are the top 5 tarot card sets, in the opinion of expert readers:
- the tarot deck by Rider-Waite-Smith. Amazon.
- The Modern Tarot Library’s Modern Witch tarot deck. Amazon.
- Tarot deck from St. Croix.
- Tarot deck by Morgan-Greer. Tarot.com.
- The tarot deck and book set called The Wild Unknown. The Unknown Wild.
What Tarot deck is the most popular?
The RiderWaite tarot deck is one of the most extensively used decks for reading tarot cards. It is also referred to as the RiderWaiteSmith, WaiteSmith, or Tarot deck. The cards were first released by the Rider Company in 1909, based on the guidelines of scholar and mystic A. E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, both of whom are members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The deck has been released in several versions and served as the model for numerous variations and knockoffs. The deck is thought to exist in more than 20 countries in more than 100 million copies.
Are tarot decks all unique?
Despite their vastly different designs, all tarot decks share a few characteristics. Each one has 78 playing cards, divided into the main and minor arcana. The major arcana, which are the deck’s 22 trump cards, generally allude to bigger influences and disclosures when they are revealed during a reading. These cards stand alone without a suit and represent key occasions or people in a person’s life.
In contrast, the minor arcana refer to influences and issues that are more commonplace. Wands, swords, pentacles, and cups make up the four suits that these 56 cards are divided into. (Occasionally, tarot decks will use different terminology, such as “Pentacles for coins, but they are exact equivalents to the four original divisions.) A different aspect of life is represented by each outfit. Wands typically represent imagination and passion, swords intelligence, pentacles work and wealth, and cups emotion. Additionally, each suit is associated with a certain set of astrological signs, such as wands being associated with fire, swords with air, pentacles with earth, and cups with water.
Since we’re beginners, the meanings you’ll most frequently refer to are the functional definitions, albeit these meanings can be used when cards symbolize people and their zodiac signs. For example, a three-card spread with three pentacle cards strongly denotes a financial concern. (More on the various spreads will follow.)
While much of this is up to the deck’s owner and what resonates with them, there are a few conventions that apply to the majority of tarot readings. If you’re reading cards for someone else, you should ask them to provide you with a question or suggest something they’re interested in, and keep that question in mind while you shuffle the deckalso referred to as “removing the effects of earlier research and readings. (An illustration would be, “When will I discover love?” Am I pursuing the correct career? “How can I get through my block?
Then you could query the person you are reading for (also known as “cutting the deck, once more concentrating on the querent. Although some readers will cut the deck for the querent, we prefer this option since it gives the querent a chance to feel linked to the deck personally. In any case, you will draw the necessary number of cards for your spread and, if you’re reading for yourself, place them between you and the querentor directly in front of you.
What kind of Tarot deck should I use, if any?
It’s a journey that is ultimately personal. According to psychic medium Michael Cardenas, there is “no one correct deck” to begin with. “Each person will have a different deck to bond with. Find the one who will actually speak to you.”
Why use an Oracle deck?
Oracle decks are a self-reflection tool that you can use for fun or as part of your magical and spiritual practice. There are some significant differences between tarot cards and oracle cards, despite the fact that both can offer insight. The Rider-Waite deck, the first tarot deck, is the model for the majority of tarot decks.
What Tarot card is the rarest?
The Fool is typically seen as a card from the Major Arcana when performing a tarot reading. Contrary to popular belief, the Fool does not fall under either category in tarot card games. Instead, the Fool serves a function that is distinct from both the simple suit cards and the trump cards. As a result, the Fool has no number assigned to it in the majority of tarot decks that were initially created for playing games. Although Waite assigns the Fool the number 0, in his book, the Fool is discussed between Judgment (number 20) and The World (number 21). The Tarocco Piemontese is the only traditional game deck that numbers the Fool 0. Since the 1930s, the corner index for the Fool in Tarot Nouveau decks has frequently been a black inverted mullet. The Fool is one of the most expensive cards in practically all tarot games.
What tarot deck is the oldest?
The origin of playing cards is unknown, although they initially arrived in Europe in the late 14th century. The earliest records, mostly of card games being outlawed, are from Berne in 1367, and they appear to have spread throughout all of Europe quite quickly. Little is known about the design and quantity of these cards; the only significant information is found in a text written in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1377 by John of Rheinfelden, who, in addition to other versions, describes the basic pack as consisting of the four still-in-use suits of 13 cards, with the courts typically being the King, Ober, and Unter (“marshals”), although Dames and Queens were already well-known by that time.
The suits of Batons or Clubs, Coins, Swords, and Cups were one of the earliest card patterns to emerge. These suits are still present in classic decks of playing cards from Italy, Spain, and Portugal, as well as in contemporary (occult) tarot cards that originally appeared in the late 18th century.
Between 1440 and 1450, in Milan, Ferrara, Florence, and Bologna, additional trump cards with allegorical pictures were added to the conventional four-suit pack, resulting in the first known tarot decks. The additional cards, known simply as trionfi, later became known as “trumps” in English. These new decks were known as carte da trionfi, triumph cards, and trionfi. The first recorded account of trionfi can be discovered in a 1440 Florence court document referring to the transfer of two decks to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.
The about 15 Visconti-Sforza tarot decks that were painted in the middle of the 15th century for the rulers of the Duchy of Milan are the oldest surviving decks of tarot cards. Martiano da Tortona likely wrote about a missing tarot-like pack that Duke Filippo Maria Visconti had ordered between 1418 and 1425 because the painter he describes, Michelino da Besozzo, left for Milan in 1418 and Martiano himself passed away in 1425. He spoke of a deck of 60 cards, 16 of which featured Roman gods, and four different bird suits. The sixteen cards were referred to as “trumps” because Jacopo Antonio Marcello said that the now-deceased duke had created a new and magnificent category of triumphs in 1449. The Sola-Busca and Boiardo-Viti decks from the 1490s are two other early decks that also had classical themes.
The Minchiate enlarged deck was in use in Florence. Along with conventional tarot imagery, this 97-card deck also features astrological signs, the four elements, and other themes.
Tarot was not routinely condemned in its early history, despite a Dominican priest railing against the sinfulness of cards in a sermon from the 15th century (mostly because of their usage in gambling).
The initial decks of tarot cards are said to have been few in number because they were all hand-painted. The printing press was the first tool that made mass production of playing cards feasible. During the Italian Wars, tarot began to spread outside of Italy, first to France and then to Switzerland. The Tarot of Marseilles, which has Milanese origins, was the most widely used tarot deck in these two nations.
What was the first tarot deck made of?
The first tarot decks were created in Italy in the 1430s by adding a fifth suit of 21 specially designed cards called trionfi (“triumphs”) and an odd card called il matto to an already existing four-suited pack (“the fool).
How many different kinds of tarot cards exist?
There are normally 56 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana cards in a tarot deck. Using a deck of cards to reveal hidden knowledge is known as cartomancy. Regular playing cards can be used for card magic, but more well-known decks include Tarot, Lenormand, Oracle, and Angel cards.
How do angel cards work?
Mystical interests have never been so popular, whether due to memes or existential pique. We bug our parents for our exact birth time (because knowing your rising sign is the height of self-awareness), “manifest” our desires through meditation or visualisation (which, to some of us, looks like staring at the ceiling and Pinterest), and deliberately decide whether or not to consult a psychic out of fear that they might predict that something even tinier might go wrong for us in the future. However, as our spiritual armament grows, so does our capacity for independent judgment: Are there too many presumptions in astrology? When you don’t actually know what you want, what good is manifestation? Is having a glimpse into your future even useful? Do you remain here with us? Whatever your stance on these issues, spiritual endeavors are empowering since information is always a powerful tool. Even whether that knowledge takes the form of checking someone’s natal chart as a crucial risk assessment or putting black obsidian under your pillow to get rid of hatred.
But empowerment is a struggle, and struggles may be draining or even painful. Sometimes, all we want is to be taken care of (especially in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic). Angel cards provide us access to the energies of heavenly beings that merely desire to comfort humanity and make it happy. Readings are more concerned with the interaction of energies (think “vibes”) than the overt symbolism of something like Tarot, despite the fact that decks vary in terms of their language and picture. But what are the actual applications of angel readings? Cynics, there are in reality six things: awareness of our divine selves, collaboration for spiritual growth in relationships, integration for the pursuit of meaningful work, alignment for the acceptance and appreciation of life’s natural cycles, and nourishment (eating food and thinking thoughts that fulfil you). Their ultimate goal is to inspire the inquirer.