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Following the Signs: Rediscovering Tarot

Have you ever felt that life was sending you signs? For me, these signs often take the form of tarot cards. Far from being mere superstition, tarot serves as a meditation companion. We all have rituals, and for several years, I have made it a habit not only to write down my reflections daily but also to draw two tarot cards reveal and meditate on the energies and hidden lessons of each day. Some may call it superstition, but it’s a practice I fully embrace.

The Tarot: A Bridge Between the Past and Present

The tarot appeared a long time ago, in the 15th century according to some, before according to others as its origin remains obscure? If tarot has stood the test of time, it’s no coincidence. It is one of the best meditation tools I know, endowed with great moral and mystical richness. It features representations of human virtues (strength, justice, temperance), human conditions (emperor…), and the relations to the universe or spiritual connections  (moon, sun, and star). It’s worth noting that it was not until the 18th century that it evolved towards prediction.

The Deep Structure of Tarot

The tarot consists of 22 major arcana, numbered from 0 to 21, and 56 minor arcana spread across four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins. Each minor arcane suit is associated with one of the four elemental energies: fire, water, air, and earth and includes 14 cards (ten numbers and four court cards: page, knight, queen, and king).

These major and minor arcana are distinguished by their number, symbolism, and role.

The major arcana represent life’s great lessons, karmas, and universal archetypes. Each card has a deep meaning, often related to spiritual, psychological, or philosophical concepts. The major arcana indicate significant forces influencing the situation or question at hand, often seen as indicators of major changes or key events. Interpreting the major arcana often requires deep reflection and analysis of complex symbols and their connection to collective or personal consciousness.

The minor arcana focus on daily events, practical experiences, and the emotional, mental, and material aspects of life. They reflect common situations and challenges. The minor arcana provide complementary details, illuminating practical aspects and immediate influences of the question. They are generally easier to interpret in the context of a given situation, as they are directly related to concrete experiences or aspects of daily life.

In essence, the major arcana are like the main chapters of a book, telling the grand themes and lessons of life, while the minor arcana are like the pages of those chapters, detailing daily events, emotions, and interactions. Together, they form a complete guide for interpreting life and its challenges.

The Symbolic Language of Tarot: Colors

There are thousands of tarot decks, some beautifully illustrated. I personally use the Tarot of Marseille. Here, each color is symbolic. Knowing the colors facilitates the interpretation of each card, allowing you to interpret the meaning of each arcana: Is it a feminine or masculine archetype, spiritual or material, internalized or externalized, and so on?

  • Yellow (Air): Often associated with joy, intellect, creativity, and solar energy. It may symbolize optimism, clarity, inspiration, and the power of thought. Cards with yellow may indicate a period of learning, enlightenment, or intellectual achievement.
  • Red (Fire): Often linked to passion, energy, action, and desire. It can symbolize love, life force, courage, but also anger or danger. In the arcana, red may indicate a period of intense activity, motivation, or conflict.
  • Blue (Water): Related to wisdom, spirituality, tranquility, and peace. It can also represent intuition, healing, truth, and mental clarity. Cards with dominant blue may suggest a period of reflection, calm, and spiritual growth.
  • Green (Earth): Symbolizes growth, regeneration, fertility, and nature. It can also represent balance, health, and abundance. In tarot, green may suggest a period of healing, personal development, or prosperity.
  • Black (Material Element): Often associated with the unknown, death, transformation, and mystery. It can symbolize the end of a phase and the beginning of a new one, protection, but also mourning or hidden fears. Cards with black may indicate a period of letting go, profound transformation, or confrontation with personal shadow.
  • White (Sky Element): Symbolizes purity, innocence, clarity, and truth. It can represent a new beginning, liberation, inner peace, and high spirituality. In tarot cards, white may suggest a period of cleansing, clarity of intention, and spiritual connection.
  • Flesh (Pink-Magenta): Often associated with nudity, humanity, and vulnerability, it can symbolize authenticity, this color can symbolize authenticity, naturalness, and the universal aspect of human experience. In tarot, it may also represent materiality, the physical body, and fundamental needs. The presence of this color could encourage accepting our human nature with its imperfections and recognizing our connectivity with other human beings.
  • Pale Blue (Pale Green or Turquoise) : Turquoise, a mix of blue and green, carries the calming qualities of blue and the healing properties of green. This color symbolizes healing, protection, clear communication, and wisdom. In the context of tarot, turquoise may indicate a period of emotional or spiritual healing, encourage sincere communication, or connection with deeper truths. It may also represent a bridge between the heart and self-expression, suggesting a balance between speaking and listening, between the inside and the outside.
  • Purple – Purple is related to spirituality, magic, royalty, and dignity. It can symbolize inner wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, transformation, and personal power. Cards with purple may indicate a period of spiritual exploration or self-realization.
  • Orange – Orange combines the energy and passion of red with the joy and optimism of yellow, resulting in a vibrant and stimulating color. It is often associated with creativity, enthusiasm, endurance, and social expansion. In tarot readings, orange may signal a period of increased motivation, ambition, adaptability, and openness to new ideas or experiences. It may also represent a balance between the physical and the spiritual, inviting exploration of one’s creativity and authentic self-expression.

In a next post, we will explore the meaning of the numbers on each arcane. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to practice.

Conclusion

The tarot is more than a deck of cards; it is an inward journey towards self-knowledge, a mirror reflecting our greatest fears and dearest hopes. Through its major and minor arcana, its vibrant colors, and its symbolic numbers, the tarot invites us to follow the signs of life with curiosity and openness. I encourage you to explore this fascinating world, where each draw is a door opened to the mysteries of our existence.

 

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