The ancestors of what we today know as Tarot cards can be traced back to around the late fourteenth century. Artists in Europe created the first playing cards, which were used for games, and featured four different suits. These suits were similar to what we still use today – staves or wands, discs or coins, cups, and swords. After a decade or two of using these, in the mid-1400s, Italian artists began painting additional cards, heavily illustrated, to add into the existing suits.
The oldest surviving tarot cards are the 15 or so Visconti-Sforza tarot decks painted in the mid-15th century for the rulers of the Duchy of Milan. A lost tarot-like pack was commissioned by Duke Filippo Maria Visconti and described by Martiano da Tortona probably between 1418 and 1425, since the painter he mentions, Michelino da Besozzo, returned to Milan in 1418, while Martiano himself died in 1425. He described a 60-card deck with 16 cards having images of the Greek gods and suits depicting four kinds of birds. The 16 cards were regarded as "trumps" since in 1449 Jacopo Antonio Marcello recalled that the now deceased duke had invented a novum quoddam et exquisitum triumphorum genus, or "a new and exquisite kind of triumphs". Other early decks that also showcased classical motifs include the Sola-Busca and Boiardo-Viti decks of the 1490s.
At Waite's suggestion, Smith used the Sola Busca artwork for inspiration, and there are many similarities in the symbolism between Sola Busca and Smith's final result. Smith was the first artist to use characters as representative images in the lower cards. Instead of showing merely a cluster of cups, coins, wands or swords, Smith incorporated human figures into the artwork, and the result is the iconic deck that every reader knows today.
The illustration on some decks did double duty, providing divinatory tools and scientific knowledge, like the Geografia Tarocchi deck from around 1725. “The Geografia are extraordinary cards, almost like a little encyclopedia of the world with the oracle imagery peeking out at the top,” Matthews says. “The actual bit that you read from is just a cigarette-card length. So for example, the hanged man just shows his legs at the top of the card, while the rest of the card has information about Africa or Asia or other places on it.”
Read slowly and with attention. "'Nourish your soul,' says St. Augustine, 'with divine lectures.'" To be nourished, he said, one must chew and well and ponder well, and apply the teachings to oneself. "And when what you have read has made a lively impression on you, St. Ephrem counsels you to read it a second time...Besides, when you receive any special light in reading, or any instruction that penetrates the heart, it will be very useful to stop, and to raise the mind to God by making a good resolution, or a good act, or a fervent prayer. St. Bernard says, that it is useful then to interrupt the reading, and to offer a prayer, and to continue to pray as long as the lively impression lasts."
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Saul should have known better than to consult with a medium, for God had warned in Leviticus 20:6, "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them. I will cut him off from his people." The end result of King Saul's quest was tragic. Shortly after his visit to the witch, the king was wounded in battle and took his own life rather than being captured by the enemy.
As I’ve already mentioned, I have three of them. Many ordinary people have these guides — it’s not just limited to mediums. They may show themselves in many forms, such as a Franciscan monk, an indigenous person, an ancient Egyptian, or even a child. I believe that they choose to show themselves in these familiar forms for our benefit. I feel that too many people place responsibility on these guides and expect them to do the person’s work. Guides are here to assist us, not make decisions for us. Angels are in a different category from guides — they’re “messengers of God.”
In the later half of the 20th century, Western mediumship developed in two different ways. One type involved clairaudience or sensitives who hear spirit, and then relay what they hear to their clients. The other incarnation of non-physical mediumship is a form of channeling in which the channeler goes into a trance, or "leaves their body", allowing a spirit entity to borrow their body, who then speaks through them. When in a trance the medium appears to come under the control of the spirit of a departed soul, sometimes entering into a cataleptic state, although modern channelers may not. Some channelers open the eyes when channeling, and remain able to walk and behave normally. The rhythm and the intonation of the voice may also change completely.
The tarot (/ˈtæroʊ/; first known as trionfi and later as tarocchi, tarock and tarot) is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot and Austrian Königrufen. Many of these tarot card games are still played today. In the late 18th century, it began to be used in parallel for divination in the form of tarotology and cartomancy and specialist packs were developed for such occult purposes.
The swords is the suit of intelligence, logic, truth, ambition, conflict and communication. It is associated with the element of air. In readings, these cards focus on the faculty and power of intellect, which like the swords themselves, are double-edged. This can be used for both good or evil, to help and to harm, and our greatest conflicts usually come from this delicate balance. At their worst, the swords can be abusive, harsh, and lack empathy.
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You may not always get the opportunity to physically sit down with someone who is skilled in the art of reading the cards, or perhaps afford to pay for regular readings, so here at Lotus Tarot we aim to provide you with a little guidance and easy and convenient access to information. Hopefully, this will bring you some pleasure, as well as insights and hope for the future.