The word Tarot is said to be derived from two Egyptian words, Tar, meaning ‘road,’ or ‘path’ and Ro, meaning ‘royal’. Thus… The Royal Path.
One popular legend claims that before the Great Library of Alexandria , dedicated to the nine goddesses of the arts, was burnt down, scholars and tribesmen from Egypt rescued some of the most precious papyrus scrolls and ancient texts from the burning library – including the Book of Enoch, or Thoth.
They became wanderers upon the face of the earth, Egyptian nomads, called Gypsies. They remained a people apart with an ancient language and a birth right of magic and mystery. They were said to have brought the Tarot from Alexandria to India and from there, on their travels, to Europe.
Another account describes how after the sacking of Alexandria, the City of Fez in Morocco, the only North-African state to evade Ottoman occupation, became the focal point for mystics, philosophers and wise men. It was there that they devised a special pictorial language, portraying the esoteric teachings and wisdoms of the ancients mostly lost in the fires. The images and symbology were claimed to have been the foundation and essence of what became the Tarot.
However there are also correspondences in the Tarot with the Hebrew Kabbalah, Numerology, Gnosticism and Celtic religion. Whatever its origin, the universal significance of the Tarot’s symbology was said by alchemists and mystics to spring from the ‘Soul of the World’ (anima mundi.) Ancients called this concept ‘The Sympathy of all things’. Carl Gustav Jung later named this concept the ‘Collective Unconscious’.
Others claim the word Tarot means ‘above and below together’ – what we now call the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, because in it are summed up every agency contributing to life at all levels.
These descriptions are not dissimilar from the idea of the Akashic Records. This is the compendium, believed by theosophists to be encoded in a vibrational, non-physical plane of existence known as the ‘Etheric Plane’ or ‘Field’. The Akashic Records are believed to hold the energetic imprint of all events, human deeds, thoughts, words and emotions ever to have occurred in the past, present or future on this planet. Not a small record!
Notwithstanding all the above claims, my Tarot teacher claimed that the ‘arrival’ of the Tarot is somehow obscured and cannot be ‘seen’ in the Akashic Records in the way other energies are recorded, making the Tarot’s origin, like the Cards themselves, an enduring, intriguing mystery.
The Tarot Cards are divided into two ‘Arcana’s – the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. Together they comprise 78 Cards. 22 Cards belong to the Major Arcana also known as the ‘Greater Secrets’ and 56 Cards form the Minor Arcana or ‘Lesser Secrets’.
‘Arcana’ is a derivative of the Latin word ‘Arcanus’ – meaning secret, hidden, concealed, mysterious, obscure, esoteric. The adjective ‘Arcane’, means ‘requiring secret knowledge to be understood’. The Major Arcana is considered by many to be the original, complete and most authentic representation of the wisdom of the Ancients and beyond. These 22 Cards (including the Fool Card) hold the core essences and influences of what the Tarot portrays.
The Minor Arcana is seen by some as an embellishment or attempt to cast further light on the core influences of the Major Arcana. They become the parent of today’s 52 playing card pack – (in which the Page Card or Valet Card, which came between the ten and the Jack in each suit, were eliminated.
I know many accomplished Tarot Readers would disagree, however I believe the Minor Arcana Cards do not reflect the same pure essence of the Tarot as portrayed in the Major Arcana and are not required to capture the core essential influences in a Reading.
Each Card has its own ‘frequency’ or energetic vibration which resonates with corresponding and ‘sympathetic’ energies in the Enquirer. The Law of Attraction in action.
Much like the vibrations of one tuning fork will cause another of the same frequency to vibrate in sympathy. The frequency is the connection.
Clairvoyance is seeing Intuition
Through intuition, unconscious knowledge and awareness can be accessed and 'seen' by the ‘waking’ or conscious mind. This is clairvoyance - the process is a form of channelling.
Accurately perceiving and interpreting some of the nuances and subtleties contained within the matrix of a Reading calls on our higher senses.
Just using knowledge of the card's symbology alone will likely render the interpretation of the emerging picture incomplete, guesswork or worse, inaccurate.
Interpreting a Reading should include the feeling of confirmation and congruency with what the Reader is intuitively, clairvoyantly and psychically channelling from the cards, and the Enquirer.
Accurate interpretations of the energies and frequencies of each card also takes into account the surrounding cards in the Reading, and, ultimately, the other cards which have not appeared in the Reading!