More People are Turning to Tarot
An increasing number of people are looking for ways to help them with their mental health, and more and more of them are turning to the Tarot for guidance.
Photo of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck by Viva Luna Studios
Spiritual pursuits like tarot reading have been around for hundreds of years, but are now becoming more prominent thanks to modern technology, social media and a wealth of information that can be found online.
Clinical psychologist, Sari Chait, said: "Often when people are stressed out or experiencing something negative, they want to better understand the 'why' behind it.
"Tarot readings can provide the framework for doing that, even if it is not empirically based."
Social worker and tarot practitioner, Jessica Dore, said: "The tarot is a deck of 78 cards with images that show different archetypes and symbols and situations.
"A few examples include death, the sun and the magician.
"These images all contain different meanings and represent the vast array of things we encounter in the human experience."
You don't have to be religious or believe in psychic ability to use the tarot. By pulling tarot cards, even if its just for yourself, you can create an opportunity to check in with yourself and explore your thoughts and feelings about a given situation. This type of self-reflection can often be the first step toward improving your mental health.
So where did the tarot come from? Playing cards first appeared in Europe during the 14th century, probably around the late 1360s / early 1370s, and were used for playing games. Also, the playing cards of the medieval gambling dens would've looked a lot like the ones we play with today: 52 cards made up of four suits (clubs, hearts, spades & diamonds), with each suit containing 13 cards; 10 cards numbered ace to ten and then three picture or court cards.
Many people believe the Tarot came along first, but they actually didn't appear until quite a bit later around the late 1440s or early 1450s.
And, just like their predecessors, the Tarot were initially used for playing games.
The earliest evidence of the Tarot being using for cartomancy isn't until the 1750s with the cards only becoming popular for esoteric practices some 30-years later during the 1780s thanks to Antoine Court and Jean-Baptiste Alliette.
At the time it was the Tarot de Marseilles deck that would've been used. This deck remained popular with both occultists and tarot players right up until the 1900s when the Marseilles deck was dropped by tarot players in favour of the Tarot Nouveau, a deck that was designed specifically for game play rather than anything esoteric.
Today, when most people think of the tarot (especially in English speaking countries) they think of the 78-card decks used by occultists like Aleister Crowley that consist of the 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. With the Rider Waite, Tarot de Marseille, and the Thoth Tarot Deck being the three most popular decks used by modern tarot card readers.
So if you're still in lockdown (as we are in the UK) and looking for something to help pass the time, why not grab a tarot deck (use the links above) and get a book (we recommend 78 Degrees of Wisdom especially for beginners) and see what the tarot can do for you.