The Tarot Class
© 1996 by Michele Jackson, modifications and HTML © 1996 by Samvado G. Kossatz

Introduction to the Tarot

The course will be generic in nature and will not be keyed to any specific deck. As long as you are using a standard Tarot deck with a theme that does not cause the interpretations to stray too far from the traditional, you should be able to follow along.
The interpretations given will be simple, basic and have been culled from many sources. They are by no means "the correct" interpretations, but they will be based on the "traditional" meanings.

I will not go into a long history of the Tarot here, too many books are available which can discuss this topic much more intelligently than I can.
The standard Tarot deck which is commonly in use today consists of 78 cards. They are divided into the Major Arcana, The Minor Arcana and the Court Cards.
There are 22 Major Arcana or Trumps. These cards are thought to represent the Higher parts of our consciousness and have been linked with the Archetypes proposed by Jung, the 22 Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, The paths of the Tree of Life, The I-Ching and the Runes among other things.

The Court Cards represent other people in our lives or aspects of our own personality.
The Minor Arcana are concerned with the everyday, mundane affairs of day to day living such as work, school, the home and relationships.
The Minors consist of four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. In various decks these suits might be renamed, but they are usually recognizable.

Some of the more common alternate names are:

Wands - Staves
Cups - Vessels, Bowls
Swords - Crystals
Pentacles - Disks, Coins

Tarot can be used in several ways; as a means of divination, as a tool for self discovery, as an aid to spiritual or esoteric study or even as a game.
Tarot is such a diverse medium that an entire lifetime can be devoted to it's study.