Tarot cards were first developed as a set of playing cards with usual 78 cards forming a deck. This practice of using Tarot cards for gaming purposes originated in the 15th century.

However, during that time it was not considered to be used for divinatory or occult purposes. That Tarot cards can be used to delve in the human mind and reach out to the subconscious making a person pick the right choices for a better future was brought in the limelight much later.

Today, Tarot is a popular medium to read about the past, present and future of a person.

  • History of Tarot in Divinatory Practices

Tarot Cards were originally invented for playing a game of cards. With time, individuals added further significance to them. It is not only considered as a tool for prophecy, but also as something magical and mystical with even psychological significance.

Some people even claim to communicate with the Supernatural beings through these cards. It is considered as an apparatus to connect to the absolute knowledge in the subconscious of human mind. The first person who gave tarot this different notion is Antoine Court de Gebelin in the year 1781.

The mystery of the Tarot cards in the modern occultist movements has its roots in the book named Dogme et rituel by Eliphas Levi. Levi claims to have resolved the wonders behind the formerly hidden ancient secrets. He says that this force is Lux or Light. According to him, it is the Astral Light that is responsible for all that happens around us.

This secret, Levi claims, can be felt only through Tarot. He opines that Tarot is the key to reach out to the ancient philosophies. He also wrote that this immense antiquity existed even before Moses and
it is the universal cradle of Ancient Learning, Knowledge, Philosophies and Magic that unveils the mystic aura that surrounds the Hermetic and Cabbalistic beliefs. Tarot, to him, was the seat of Universal Knowledge and Learning. Levi further organized Tarot Reading by introducing the following factors :

  • The four suits or elements used in Tarot - wands, swords, cups and circles.
  • Associated Hebrew alphabets with Tarot Keys or Trumps.
  • Linked the ten cards in each suit to be of Divine Origin.
  • Established that the Court Cards are illustrations of various stages of human life.
  • Opined that the Four Suits represent the Tetragrammaton or the Name of God.

Right up to the 21st century Levi theories have been the most influential parameters as far as occultist Tarot is concerned.

  • Basic Beliefs in Tarot Used for Prediction Purposes

Interpretations of the tarot cards vary from reader to reader and even from deck to deck. There are various theories trying to establish a theory regarding this. In fact many are even contradictory. The best way for beginners is to stick to one method of prediction for good results. Later on, with advance knowledge, readers sometimes also apply their intuitions in interpreting what the cards bring to the light. However, the most commonly followed one is the interpretations established by Waite in 1909. This is a blend of spiritual and predictive aspects of Tarot Cards.

When a reader views a Tarot card, she/he should take into account even the minutest details of the illustration including the foreground and the background. This is important for the reader to gauge the possibilities that the card represents. A Tarot card can bring to the light a life situation, event, interaction or even talk of influences that affect human life. Often it can also give a lesson.

Here is a brief discussion on what the different kinds of Tarot cards represent :

  • The Major Arcana
  • The Major Arcana or the Tarot Cards generally indicate a lesson to imbibe values and strength of character. They also may represent some major life event or trends, and in
    some readings may even talk of an individual. They actually unfold the various influences that one faces in the journey of life - both the pleasures and the pitfalls.

  • The Court Cards
  • The Court Cards mostly represent people and their thoughts and emotions. This includes the subject and also people around the subject. They often talk of certain behavior or even situations.

  • The Pip Cards (Numbered Minor Arcana)
  • These cards signify more specific influences and situations. Within the realms of their respective elements they also trace the progression of human condition. They relate to thoughts,
    relationships, characters, etc.

Basic Guidelines in Using Tarot for Prediction Purposes: For beginners, the basic principles of using Tarot for predictive purposes can be outlined as follows. But this has to be kept in mind that these are only the elementary guidelines. Tarot is where the reader can evolve with time and experience whereby the intuitive powers sharpen.