When we think of the words “Tarot Cards”, the first thing that comes to mind is fortune-telling. Tarot reading is a very popular form of fortune-telling and in fact,  one of the oldest. It is still very popular these times because a lot of people believe in its accuracy.

However, Tarot Cards were not always used for fortune-telling. Surprised? The truth is, Tarot Cards were just playing cards in the beginning.  Their origin is unknown but it is said to have originated from Europe, particularly Italy (Berne), in the late 14th century, around 1367.

Little is known of the original form and appearance of these cards but it is believed that the current pack of 4 suits, 13 cards have been the norm since the beginning.  The suits are made up of swords, cups, coins or pentacles, batons or wands, and a permanent suit of trumps. The first deck of tarot cards was formed in the 1430s in Italy by adding one more suit to the four suits, making it five suits. The fifth suit was a specially illustrated set of cards called trionfi (meaning “triumph”) and an odd card called il matto (meaning “the fool”). The “il matto” is believed to be the origin of the joker in modern cards.

Tarot card reading and cartomancy (meaning fortune-telling with cards) began in the 18th century by French occultists.  These french occultists began to make claims that had no proof of the history and meaning of the Tarot. This led to the formation of another set of Tarot cards specifically for the aim of fortune-telling.  

First of all, Tarot divination is similar to divination, not more different than fortune telling. It is similar to Chinese fortune telling, divination in the Book of Changes, six line calculation, and plum blossom counting.

Tarot divination and divination have the same logic and corresponding principles, except that tarot divination is western while divination is eastern.

Tarot divination is based on the unique 78 cards of tarot, which have rich meanings and symbols.

In divination, the tarot master needs to determine the card array to solve the problem. Different card arrays need different numbers of tarot cards. Later, the diviner will count the tarot cards drawn by the tarot master on behalf of the diviner, or draw the corresponding number of tarot cards directly. The tarot master will put these cards aside, and will perform divination directly for the diviner through the patterns presented.

However, divination in China needs to ask for a lot, or place copper coins, or toss coins. For example, the six trigrams need to arrange and combine the positive and negative trigrams represented by these coins into a divination image, and then use the divination image to find the meaning behind it before divining for the diviner.

Therefore, compared with the two, the efficiency and timeliness of tarot divination are both stronger, because as mentioned above, tarot divination can be conducted directly by its unique patterns; But divination needs one or two more steps.

And the experience of divination is also different. Generally, divination is more about seeking an accurate result, and the general parties do not particularly understand it.

However, the tarot cards are different. In divination, the tarot master and the parties can communicate and communicate based on the tarot cards. Even if the parties do not understand some symbolic meanings and cultures behind the tarot cards, these patterns can be sketched out. The parties can also consult and ask the tarot master based on the patterns presented by the tarot cards.

In addition, when conducting the Tarot divination, the Tarot Master also needs to communicate with the diviner, and needs to seek the timely feedback, thoughts and feelings of the diviner. These characteristics are also not possessed by ordinary divination.

Each Tarot Card has a specific meaning and symbolism in fortune-telling. In the major arcana, the cards symbolise important things in the person’s life and spiritual matters. In the minor arcana, the cards symbolise love, career and business matters, love, money and material things. The Tarot reader will shuffle the card, spread out a few of the cards, and ask the person to pick a card. The card is then read according to if it’s upside down or right side up, the meaning of the cards beside and its placement in the spread cards.