Tarot

The tarot (first known as tarocchi, also tarock and similar names), is a pack of cards (most commonly numbering seventy-eight), used from the mid fifteenth century in various parts of Europe to play card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways.

The tarot has four suits corresponding to the suits of conventional playing cards. Each of these suits has pip cards numbering from ace to ten and four face cards for a total of fourteen cards. In addition, the tarot is distinguished by a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit.

The seventy eight card tarot deck used by esotericists has two distinct parts:

* The Major Arcana (greater secrets), or trump cards, consists of twenty two cards without suits; The Fool, 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, and The World.

* The Minor Arcana (lesser secrets) consists of fifty six cards, divided into four suits of fourteen cards each; ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Jack, in each of the four tarot suits. The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons/wands, coins and cups; in modern tarot decks, however, the batons suit is often called wands, rods or staves, while the coins suit is often called pentacles or disks.

%d bloggers like this: