However, using cards for playful divination probably goes back even further, to the 14th century, likely originating with Mamluk game cards brought to Western Europe from Turkey. By the 1500s, the Italian aristocracy was enjoying a game known as “tarocchi appropriati,” in which players were dealt random cards and used thematic associations with these cards to write poetic verses about one another—somewhat like the popular childhood game “MASH.” These predictive cards were referred to as “sortes,” meaning destinies or lots.
Modern tarot decks contain 78 cards, broken into two sections, the Major and Minor Arcana (modern terms, used only in relation to tarot used for divinatory purposes). The 56 Minor Arcana, or pips, are broken into four suits of fourteen cards each. These cards are numbered one (Ace) to ten, and there are four “court cards,” similar to a regular playing deck, only with one additional face card. The 22 Major Arcana, or trumps, are numbered 0 through 21, although some people exclude the Fool (0), considering this card to be outside the deck, a sort of “wild card,” rather like his descendant, the Joker.
Open readings address the larger aspects of your life rather than a specific problem area or question. They're usually done when you're entering a new phase of life, such as getting married, graduating from college or starting a family. You can somewhat direct the reading if you have a general area you want to cover, such as your career or health, but that's as specific as the direction gets.
Now that you have grounded yourself, please select the cards we will use for your Tarot card reading. Remember, I shuffle my deck and draw new cards for the Tarot spreads every day, and these cards represent each one as it was laid out in front of me. Please take a moment to pause between drawing your cards, and when you are done selecting your cards for your Tarot reading you will be whisked away to a detailed interpretation of each card and what it means in its position in the Celtic Cross Spread.