A Quick Article on Tarot; a Tarticle!

Aidan holds the mystical box of standard Rider-Waite Tarot Cards, which he bought at a local metaphysical gift shop.

“Hey man, you wanna have your tarot cards read?”

My high school friend, Aidan, had just gotten back from Nashville, where he attends Belmont University for Audio Engineering. This was the last question I thought that I would ever hear as I entered his mother’s Buick Encore, which he was borrowing for the afternoon.

Tarot began as a game played during the Renaissance in various parts of Europe. Though the cards began to be used by mystics in the mid 18th century to draw maps of spiritual and mental pathways. Much like the standard 52-card playing deck, the packs have four suits. There are an endless supply of varieties, but a majority of them are separated into occult, and non-occult. The non-occult, being used for actual card playing, while the occult (most popular in the western world) are for reading, and metaphysical study. A majority of the decks, thankfully, come with a handbook; that way, it’s a breeze for beginners to get started, and know what all the cards mean.

Aidan held up the mysterious 5” tall box of cards with the words Rider-Waite written on the top. It came as a surprise to me that they were larger than a standard box of Bicycle playing cards.

I closed my eyes after shuffling the deck; allowing the cards to get to know my palms. Aidan told me to think of a question, so obviously, the first thing that came to mind was about my future. Experts claim its better to ask questions that do not lead to a yes or a no.

He retrieved the cards from my grasp, and told me to pick one. In tarot reading, fate plays a large role in selecting the cards. It is assumed that you never pick the wrong pair because you are destined to choose the correct cards regardless. Therefore, the accurate cards will always be picked. I don’t normally believe in witchcraft, or anything transcendental to say the least, but the results astounded me.

The cards I saw displayed an “Ace of Wands,” and the “Four of Wands.” Typically, in an orthodox tarot reading, three cards are picked; past, present, and future. However, Aidan thought it only necessary that we draw cards for the two latter, since I was already familiar with my past.

The “Ace of Wands” is known to have an overall positive connotation. It can mean things such as Inspiration, Power, Creation, New Beginnings, and Potential. As for the “Four of Wands,” deciphering it as a celebration of Harmony, Marriage, Home, and Community is typically agreed to be the most correct. Both of these cards were things that I found necessary to hear, even though it’s up in the air whether the flimsy, plastic rectangles really mean anything or not. As Aidan clearly indicated prior to our trial run, the beholder is not supposed to take the cards literally, but more or less to translate them into a feeling of self comfort and assuredness.

Aidan and I spent most of the afternoon reading the tarot of strangers at the local Taco Bell. It’s an enjoyable hobby to pick up, whether you’re religious or not, and before today, I knew literally nothing about tarot cards. On the contrary, I now have a pack on its way from Amazon that should be on my doorstep by Monday. (Mom, if you’re reading this, I paid my speeding ticket already.)

A sample of the cards you get when acquiring a Rider-Waite tarot deck

If you go online, you can find quizzes that are tailored to picking the perfect card deck. Are you okay with nudity? Hand-drawn illustrations or computer-generated images? Would a deck with gay or lesbian tendencies benefit you? All of these are things to consider when picking a card deck; after all, you want the most accurate card reading possible, right? Rider-Waite (which were used during our experimentation) is the most common deck, but there are hundreds more to choose from.

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