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Manual Occupations in the Tarot: A Guide for Readers and Fiction Writers

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An Amazon. For over a dozen years, she's performed intuitive readings via email for a worldwide clientele. To learn more about Janet—including discovering where she blogs three places! About Publish Join Sign In. Readers Benefits of registering Where are my ebooks?

Ask it above. In case you find yourself performing a career reading for a client, or perhaps are searching for a suitable occupation for your novel's protagonist, this Occupations in the Tarot eBook will provide you with hundreds of possible job, role and vocational associations for each of the 78 cards of the Tarot.

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It owes something to the Romantic taste for the exotic and mystical, though anti-clerical and anti-authoritarian impulses were present too. Ancient Egypt was particularly fashionable in early s Paris. And not just in Paris: the Great Seal of the United States, with its prominent pyramid and Masonic eye, was designed in A fashionable Cagliostro lodge was reported in as being decorated with statues of Egyptian gods, hieroglyphics, a stuffed ibis and an embalmed crocodile.

At one much-cited moment he lurches into anecdote. Imagine, he suggests:. The jeu de tarot involved bidding for contracts and taking tricks, rather like bridge. The tarot deck contained four main suits of swords, cups, coins and batons, which correspond to spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. With better evidence, they have been traced to the early Chinese playing-card symbols of Cash, Strings of Cash, Myriads of Strings, and Tens of Myriads.

The correspondences revealed are temptingly neat.

Tarot cards: a tool of cold tricksters or wise therapists? | Aeon Essays

Children inducted into the Mamluk military slave retinue progressed through the ranks from page to equerry to khassakiyah , or elite soldier. The most trusted khassakiyah carried symbols of office, including the cup the cup-bearer , sword sword-bearer , and polo stick — emblems that were frequently depicted on coins. The polo stick was presumably translated into the baton or club by mystified Italian Renaissance card-makers who made the first European tarot decks, copied from the east.

The Mamluk origin theory is the best on offer, but it is not definitive. Nor does it explain the separate suit of 21 named trumps: the Magician, Empress, Tower, Moon and so on — 22, including the Fool. In 15th-century Italy, the cards were known as trionfi. Even at the very birth of tarot, card-makers cherrypicked from diverse traditions, seizing on the allegories that suited them.

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In , the writer on the occult Paul Huson linked them to the late-medieval artistic tradition of the Danse Macabre, in which a host of tarot-like characters — the Pope, Emperor, Death — processed to the grave. Most recently, in A Cultural History of Tarot , the Australian scholar Helen Farley detailed close allegorical correspondences between the trumps and the values asserted by Filippo Maria Visconti, the early 15th-century Duke of Milan whose court produced the most influential painted deck.

Which allegorical figure made it to which pack might have been arbitrary or accidental. Even at the very birth of tarot, then, card-makers were cherrypicking from diverse traditions, and seizing on the allegories that suited them.

The Best Tarot Decks for Beginners

The beguiling obscurity of the symbolism lent itself to the process. A reader might thus ascribe particular meanings to the cards drawn, according to which way round they faced. He devised a system of arcane correspondences, disgorging a fresh wave of potential symbolic associations between individual cards and occult wisdom traditions, incorporating astrology, Mesmerism and alchemy, as well as the Kabbalah. The contribution of Yeats and Waite was even more influential.

If the tarot deck has been subjected to intense research, much of it imaginative, the techniques that tarot readers use are rarely discussed.

Tarot for Beginners: Where to Start?

This might be because of their embarrassingly prosaic origin. Informal cartomancy, or fortunetelling using playing cards, is probably as old as cards themselves, and relates to folk practices including Bibliomancy, or opening the Bible at random, and the Biblical casting or Roman drawing of lots.

The major figure seems to have been the early 19th-century celebrity fortuneteller Marie Anne Lenormand. She used a card deck derived not from ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah, but from a German parlour game published in around the Game of Hope. The cards would be laid out in a square, and players would move their tokens around the cards as on a conventional board, seeking to get home.


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When the philosopher Michael Dummett wrote the first scholarly, and skeptical, history of tarot in , he attracted stung responses for his focus on the game, not its occult significations. The same is true of tarot today.


  • The truth about tarot.
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  • There is a hardcore of occult-minded tarotologists, but many others dabble, collect or simply play. Anecdotally, tarot appears to be relatively popular among adolescents and young people. The cards now sit alongside other commodified and highly marketed occult play objects, notably the ouija board itself dreamed up and marketed as a parlour game by a US inventor and lawyer in the s.

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    Tarot cards, in short, are a packaged form of folk wisdom you can buy for a small sum. They mostly come with a Little White Book tucked into the box, offering a basic guide to methods and interpretations. This presumably explains the practice of wrapping the cards in a black or otherwise precious cloth that, or apeing the religious practices surrounding holy books for visual effect.


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    • Michelle Tea Talks Tarot, Writing Sober, and the Hazards of Memoir.
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    • Julie, my tarot reader, encompasses both soft and hard positions. Then you rephrase what he has told you into a coherent sketch and feed it back to him. The true power of tarot reading, however, is not based on simple or cynical guesswork. Life begins at 40 for the author, who got a late start on adulthood and had a wild time getting there.

      Occupations in the Tarot: A Guide for Readers and Fiction Writers

      Black Wave is a dystopic memoir-fiction hybrid. Forthcoming works include Castle on the River Vistula , the final installment of the YA series, and Modern Tarot , a tarot how-to and spell book published by Harper Elixir. Tea is the curator of the Amethyst Editions imprint at Feminist Press. Michelle is available to speak at your university, book store, or event. Use the contact form below to get in touch! Use the form below to contact Michelle directly.

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