What is the Tarot?
What is the Tarot? Quite simply the Tarot is life, but life as experienced on two levels and represented in two parts - the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The word arcana itself means mysteries and thus the Tarot is said to made up of the greater and lesser mysteries of life. The ancient magickal symbol of the pentagram is made up of five points. The top point of the pentagram represents aether or spirit, and the bottom four points represent the four elements of nature - fire, earth, air and water - and so the Tarot is formed by a combination of spirit, or the spiritual realm on the metaphysical plane, and the four elements of nature here on the mundane or earthly plane.
The Major Arcana represents the great journey that we all take in life - the journey within, our journey in the world around us and our greater journey out in the Universe. The Major Arcana is a series of archetypes that represent significant figures in our life, various states of being, moments of awareness, points of transition and so forth that we all experience in life. It begins with the 0 Card of The Fool which is the naive innocent in search of experience in the world and it ends with the 21 Card The World representing attainment and ascension to the next level of the journey.
The Minor Arcana is the stuff of life here on Earth and adds colour, context and texture to the mix. The security based complimentary elements of Earth and Water are represented by the suits of Pentacles and Cups respectively and the two experience-driven elements of Fire and Air are symbolized in the Tarot through the suits of Wands and Swords.
What can the Tarot tell us? Well I work in the spiritual life-path guidance paradigm and from that perspective, first the Tarot will reveal to a seeker where they are in their life-path and what they need to know about this current point in their journey. Beyond that, the Tarot will elaborate further on the life path journey to shed light on and offer insight into various areas of seeker's life.
The Tarot is of the metaphysical plane not the earthly plane and therefore spiritual and energy-based in nature. As in the case of all elements belonging to the metaphysical plane, be they spiritual paradigms, deities or religious constructs belief in the Tarot requires a leap of faith; a leap of faith similar to the one depicted in the first card of the Major Arcana.
Duncan de la Montagne