The Tarot Within - Day 1 - Welcome to your Journey!

Welcome, traveler!  The time has come:  you are about to embark on a journey of deep exploration.  We will venture into the depths of the Tarot and of the self, and after 8-weeks, you will feel confident, connected, and wise.  Are you ready?

We're going to start things off slowly this week, just laying down a foundation.  A warm-up, if you will.  I want you to get into the habit of the course.  Try to set aside time to spend with the course, preferably every day, but work around your schedule to make things manageable for you.  Perhaps you choose to work with the course every other day, every Saturday and Sunday, or you want to save up the emails and work through 2 or 3 a day for a month.  Let it be something that comes naturally.   Ritual and habit go hand-in-hand.  I hope that this creates a sacred time and space for you. I also want you to get in the habit of touching your deck every day.  This sounds sensual, doesn't it?  But what you're doing is forming a relationship and a connection with your deck and the cards you have chosen to work with for this course. Become familiar, become intimate. 

The only supplies you'll really need besides your computer is a deck of Tarot cards that resonate with you and a journal that feels good to write in.  Perhaps a few nice pens.  Other materials that you might want to gather before the end of the week (but are optional) are a crystal or stone that lights you up, a sage bundle or incense, and a candle.  Again, these last materials are completely optional...but are also really fun and lovely to treat yourself with.  So...go for it, if it feels right.


>>>>>PASSWORD: thejourneybegins


So, let's take the first step.  Today we'll be working with understanding the history of Tarot.

Tarot cards have a deep and old history.  We can trace the use and invention of the Tarot back to the mid 1400's.  One of the most well-known decks from this time period was created by an Italian artist named Bonifacio Bembo for a family that lived in Milan.  There were 4 suits of 14 cards and 22 major arcana cads, just like in our modern Tarot decks today.  The 22 major arcana can be seen as medieval archetypes and prized virtues.

The Tarot was first seen as a means of playing games and gambling, while it is suspected that it was used for divination purposes on the sly.  In the 18th century, the Tarot's divination uses became more wide-spread.  Also, after the invention of the printing press, Tarot was more readily available and widely distributed.

In 1788, the Etteilla Tarot was created specifically for seeking knowledge in the way that we use the Tarot today. 

In 1909, one of the most influential decks to the modern Tarot was created:  The Waite-Smith deck (also known as the Rider-Waite).  This deck was designed by Arthur Smith and Pamela Coleman Smith.  Their cards built upon the symbolism of the archetypes and virtues of the Major Arcana, and also added pictures to the Minor Arcana.  Before this deck, for example, the 4 of Pentacles had just 4 Pentacles on it, like a playing card.  Pamela Coleman Smith's illustration added a visual aspect like no one before her, and set the path for all future decks. 

One of the fabulous things about the Tarot is that it is adaptable.  Over the last few years, many artists use the original decks and the Rider-Waite deck as inspiration for unique Tarot cards that provide their own interpretation.  For example, note the differences in the following priestess cards:

This allows the Tarot to truly reflect the reader and makes each reading a personal experience. 


Take out your Tarot cards and spend time with each individual card, even if just for 30 seconds.  Maybe spread them all out on a table.

In your journal, answer the following questions:  What do you like about your deck?  What does the energy of your deck say about you?  Feel free to share your answers in our Facebook group!

Until tomorrow,