Foundation of Tarot: History & Variation

My intention, in joining up with Magickal Mavens, is not to share a bunch of information or even to help you get started on your tarot journey. While I truly do hope that anyone reading this feels empowered to pick up their first deck and get started, there are so many other people who do it better. My goal here is to share my opinions about tarot, I have lots of them! However, in order to make sure everyone feels welcome, I feel like I should introduce you to tarot itself and how I got started with it.
Tarot is a system of Cartomancy. Basically, people have been using cards to tell the future since playing cards were invented. Honestly, I have never seen any evidence that playing cards have always been used to tell the future, so I am taking this with a grain of salt. Humans would use just about anything to try and tell the future with, from bones to runes to tea leaves, so maybe it’s perfectly true.
Foundation of Tarot - His and Variation
One of the first tarot decks was the Visconti-Sforza tarot deck. In this case tarot referred to the name of a game. It had (probably) about 78 cards following a similar structure to the modern tarot, with 22 Triumphi or Trump cards (the major arcana) and 54 suit cards (minor arcana). Major Arcana cards represent different archetypes and occult concepts, such as the High Priestess and the Hermit. Minor Arcana cards represent, in my opinion, the journey you go on through different aspects of your life, until you reach a point of fulfillment and accomplishment.
There are other forms of Cartomancy as well, such as the oracle form and the Lenormand. Oracle is fairly free, with no strict numbers of cards, and no particular cards have to be represented in an oracle deck. Most oracle decks are affirmation decks. The cards go over positive themes and are intended to be used for self-love and positivity. My favorite oracle decks are decks with both positive and negative cards. Balance in my tarot practice is very important to me. Lenormand is completely new to me, and I do not own any Lenormand decks. From what I understand, it is a 54 card system based on modern playing cards, and each card is associated with a symbol and a meaning. It seems like the least flexible form of Cartomancy. I look forward to exploring it in the future!
 
Modern tarot is based mostly on the Rider-Waite deck. The Rider-Waite deck (later called the Waite-Smith or simply the Smith deck in honor of the actual artist) was created by several people from an occultist group in 1910, and it was based on western symbolism and occult practices. So while playing cards may have been used for divination since around the 1400’s, the system that we use today has only been around for about 100 years.
My first deck was the Golden Tarot by Liz Dean. I would not recommend this deck for beginning readers. It is a pip deck, which means the suit cards look like playing cards with just 5 swords on the 5 of Swords card. This made it incredibly difficult to connect to and memorize as a beginner. I struggled with it for over a year before I purchased my next deck, the Idiosyncradeck. This deck had scenic suit cards, which allowed me to make a guess as to the meaning without looking it up, and also gave me an image to connect the meaning and the name of the card.
When recommending tarot decks for new readers, a lot of people offer up the Smith deck. Unfortunately, I have never felt connected to that deck at all. The characters are all dressed in medieval outfits, in what to me feels like an attempt to legitimize the practice by adding a sense of age to it. While I am so grateful for the Smith deck and the impact it has made on the tarot world, I just don’t want to buy it. Instead, I would recommend the Linestrider tarot. The images are more modern, easier to connect to, and the book that it comes with is fantastic.
I started reading the cards about three years ago. This hardly makes me an expert on tarot, so why take my advice? Well, I am obsessed. After I graduated college, I found that I had a hole in my life. While I attempted to fill it with youtube videos, I missed studying. Note taking, buying school supplies, learning new things, challenging myself on a regular basis. Tarot filled that hole for me. There are countless books to read, infinite interpretations of the cards, and 78 cards with about 5 keywords each to study regularly. I own as many decks as I can afford, and with each deck there is more to study. Every reading is an opportunity to challenge myself. Trust me, because I love this, and spend all of my free time learning more about it.
With that said, always do your own research. There is always more to learn, and if you are interested in something I have mentioned, look it up!
Hopefully this gives you something to think about, and a good base to help you understand any of my future articles if you are unfamiliar with tarot.
See you soon, Mavens!
~Miss Tilney
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August Guidance – Moving Forward

I’ve been wallowing a lot little the past few months. Feeling stuck in my career, feeling stuck spiritually, unwilling to discuss or face painful events in a constructive way. Basically – I’ve been doing a lot of bitching lately.
I traded hiking and working out regularly for the couch and Netflix. I stopped taking the dogs out every evening. I haven’t felt a fire for my job in a while, and it’s starting to show. I’m not sure if I just got burned out or if all the wild energy of August threw me off my game. I haven’t felt knocked around in a while – so I didn’t handle it very well.

They finally got sick of my pity party and used my August tarot challenge to give me a swift kick.

August’s message for me can be summed up quite nicely: “Quit wallowing, do something about it, but don’t forget to take care of yourself.”

So, we’re going to take that message into September and focus on it. I love actionable tarot. I don’t enjoy “tell me how X feels” questions – i want things I can control. Things I can focus on to change – to manifest what I need.

September better be ready for some #bossbabe level action. No more playing games – it’s time to rumble.

If you aren’t on IG and would like to see my draws, they are below. Please feel free to comment and let me know your interpretation of them! I’m still learning and love hearing how cards resonate with others.
Aug 2017 - Tarot Challenge

Month Spread

Theme: Sea Tom – seek bliss. the things that make me happy or interest me. be open, affectionate and sincere
Departing energy: The Cat – you’ve been searching for your path, smelling the roses along the way. my path has been laid, I just need to follow it and listen to my heart to let it guide me.
Incoming energy: The Emperor – hold onto my power and set firm boundaries. I need to trust myself and my decisions
Advice: Earth Queen – I take pride in caring for others but I need to remember to attend to my own well being.

Where is my energy today?

Reversed Six of Fire
Acting with integrity and giving respect to maintain respect.
I have a tendency to be the sounding board at work. Even if I cannot fix a problem immediately, I make sure the other person feels heard.
Eventually, once their emotions have calmed, they almost always come around and realize that certain things really are out of my reach. But they always recognize that I stopped what I was doing to have a genuine conversation with them.
Sometimes that is all someone needs – someone to hear them and not brush them away. Especially in an academic setting – parents will go above and beyond to advocate for their children. While I’m not a parent, I can understand wanting to make sure those you love are cared for and supported.

What messages are being hidden?

Reversed Five of Earth
This month has been HARD – I’ve felt completely unmotivated and lethargic. I started this month so excited to start this new journey and my plans have completely fallen to the wayside.
My negativity regarding my situation is holding me back. Obsessing over things is counter productive and only hurts me further as time goes on. I need to take action to change my circumstances.

What energy/ies should I be expanding on?

XIV Grace
I should be focusing on my ability to adapt my energy as I need to remain balanced. Both my work and personal life have felt quite turbulent, while not entirely negative, I’ve been forced to face various situations I would have rather avoided. It has been difficult to walk and face those moments with the appropriate response when I have felt so emotional and out of control.

What challenges do I need to overcome?

Reversed I Cat Magic
As noted in my previous post I’ve felt pretty out of control this month. I’m rarely a “things happen to me” kind of person. However, this month I have wallowed in this unmotivated lethargy. I need to focus on the thing in my life that I can control – myself.
My attitude and actions shape the perception those around have of me. They notice my growing negativity and sass – particularly when it is unwarranted.
I need to take a step back and reassess my action/reaction to things.

Where can I be more flexible?

Seven of Sea
My path is not set it stone for this project and blog. I have big dreams for what I hope it becomes, but those dreams take action to achieve. My own interests evolve and influence my practice and path frequently. Adaptation is key in order to experience growth. I need to let my path guide me to my next steps – not force it to be.

Full Moon

What to release?

Reversed Ace of Fire.
I’ve been feeling a little lost wondering “what is next”, I’ve been so used to controlling the direction of my life that now that I’ve accomplished those goals I’m sitting here faced with a million possibilities. I need to let go of my need for control and just enjoy being.

What to Keep

Reversed Sky King
I need to reconnect and let myself feel and express my emotions. I need to remain connected with my emotions and let them guide my growth.

Lesson From last cycle

Reversed Two of Sky
Patience. Let my energy flow and my intuition guide me in decisions. I need to trust myself and my choices.

Guidance

Ten of Sea
Seek out the support my closest friends and family can provide. I am not an island. I need their experience and wisdom to learn and expand my experience and perception.

How can I become better grounded?

Reversed Fire Tom
If you know me, I’m often the “yes lady”. In work, at home, I always jump even if I don’t always see the full scope of a situation. If my readings for this month have a theme for me to learn, it’s patience. I need to slow down just enough for my brain and heart to catch up. I’m always so excited to experience a new adventure or opportunity that I don’t give myself a chance to prepare for it.

How can I expand my self-awareness?

XIV Grace (again*) I need to seek out the things that keep me steady, that bring me peace. I need to learn to be still for just a moment and breath before moving on. Remaining calm and poised will benefit my mind and spirit as I face new challenges.

What conflicts need to be laid to rest?

Reversed Sea Kitten
Family always brings up a flood of emotions for me. Anytime it comes up I revert back to a petulant sixteen year old girl that thinks if she ignores it long enough, it will resolve itself. Moving past these moments has always been one of my biggest hurdles.

Draw a card/d from a deck you rarely use

Reversed Queen of Swords from the Everyday Witch.
This deck got straight to the point, haha. It wasn’t going to waste the chance to tell me I’ve been behaving like a brat lately. Moody, emotional, it’s felt like a tough month. I obviously need to get over it and face what’s bothering me.

Mercury Retrograde

What will be affected

Reversed Earth King.
Those that depend on me need to learn to stand on their own. Establish boundaries to help them forge their own path.

What lessons can I learn

Reversed Sea Queen. I need to learn to find my own happiness and healthy outlets. I cannot expect my loved ones to be and fulfill every need I may have.

What projects/themes should I revisit?

Reversed Tower. Patience! Again! Haha. As if my previous draws weren’t enough of a hint. I need to slow down and focus on the task in front of me. One step at a time. Things will happen when they happen.

Best way to handle this retrograde

Reversed Seven of Sea. Follow through on my actions and projects. Focusing on the task at hand (^^^) will keep me from feeling overwhelmed and lost.

What energy/ies do I need to replenish?

Five of Earth
I need to focus on myself and trust that this slump I am in will pass. I’ve always been about self love and self care and my rituals have kind of fallen away. I need to refocus my energy on bringing myself up and loving where I am right now, I’ll move past it in time.

What energy/ies do I need to be more receptive of?

Eight of Fire
I need to recognize the moments where my energy kicks up. What really gets me moving and motivated? What makes me want to tackle everything in my path and take on the world? What am I passionate about?

Where do I need to stop procrastinating?

Seven of Earth.
I won’t lie – this one stumped me. The ultimate card of patience and relaxation. Things will come to be when they are ready. I shouldn’t try to force them into fruition. I guess I’ll take it as a sign that refocusing on caring for myself will allow the universe to get things going without my being in the way.

In what way can I be successful today?

Reversed Ace of Earth
I have some work to do… While I may be getting yelled at this month to be patient and calm, that doesn’t mean I can just sit on the sidelines. Work I do now will bring good things but the work must be done. Magick means effort.

Where can I be more responsible?

Reversed Cat Magic
I really need to refocus on the things I can control – my attitude, my actions, pretty much just ME. My bratty attitude has been a nuisance and it’s time to give a good kick in the pants and grow the hell up. Reclaiming your power is about owning all of you and while I can write about it, actions are what count.

Where can I show more gratitude?

Reversed Earth King
Appreciate my own abilities and the work we’ve done to establish our home as a safe and successful space. My husband and I work incredibly hard to move towards the lifestyle we want. He is my rock and he needs to know that I always look to him for support.

How can I be more authentic?

Ace of Earth
Be generous, patient, seek out the opportunities that bring me joy. Positivity in any situation is often my default. Things will get better or change.

Cleansing & Clearing:

How do you clear the unwanted energy from your decks?
I have a sacred space that my cards call home. It’s a cozy space that I frequently cleanse with this amazing Sacred Space spray I purchased from a local witch. It’s so calming and completely refocuses the energy in the space. I also give my cards kisses before doing big draws or if I feel I need to recenter with them.

New Moon:

What is my divine guidance (Inner Star Oracle – Magic)

Embrace the Change; Essential Growth; Unfolding Lesson

Lesson on What?

Earth Tom (jumper) -Laying the foundation for my endeavors through steady work and patience (ha, patience again). Developing skills and knowledge necessary to succeed
01 Cat – Happiness with where I am now and openness to new opportunities that are on their way
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