Over the course of lockdown, it’s safe to say that we’ve all picked up one or more new skills along the way and tried out some new hobbies. Whether your new hobbies involve the spot of painting, learning a new instrument or baking a Victoria sponge, they’re often things that you’ll use in the future to calm any anxiety or destress. When I heard about tarot cards from a close friend, I was most likely thinking the same as you are reading – what a load of rubbish. However, I think being stuck in the house for most of 2020, started to change my outlook and upon receiving my own deck of them for Christmas; I gained a newfound hobby. But even, if you don’t believe in physics, astrology or tarots – I ask you to just keep reading and give it a thought.
Adding to my own historical knowledge of the cards when writing this, I was baffled at how a once European card game has become a sensation among the human population. Even though playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century, the first known pack of tarot cards were from the mid-1400s in Milan, known then as trionfi and later as tarocchi/tarock. Originally, Italians played game called tarrocchini and the French and Australians had their own versions of the cards. In comparison in the UK, tarot cards are primarily used as a novelty or divinatory item – relating to a higher being or presence. Tarot was only documented in the 18th century to have divinatory purposes, with possible links to Egypt and Indian Tantra etc.
Tarot decks have four main suits: wands, cups, swords and pentacles. These four suits have numbers that range from one to ten plus four other cards that represent royalty – page, knight, queen and king. Moving on from what is known as the Minor Arcana, there are also 22 other cards that make the Major Arcana which differ in names such as The Lovers, The Moon and The Sun etc. It’s important to note how every single card has a different meaning and when it’s reversed, it’s even different. Our very own 52 card deck is derived from tarots and anyone can learn to use them in their daily life. As with the never-ending type of card games, you can play, there is an infinite amount of spreads (ways you can give someone a tarot reading).
Just like there is psychics, who bear relation with passed relatives, there are tarot readers whom have turned the hobby into their profession and charge for their readings. However, anyone can be a tarot reader, even without memorising all of the 78-card deck. A tarot reader often works with observation of the individual before them. Telling what a person is like based on their body language and what they want from a tarot reading is learned overtime. But the reader’s perception is important, people who don’t believe in possibilities are unlikely to do tarot readings as a whole or even want one, this is where I ask you to just try something new. Tarot readers can’t predict the future or tell you what to expect, but they can change your perspective and open your mind a little more to possibility and optimism.
One thing I asked when I talked to my friends about tarot cards was – how did it make you feel? They all replied with a similar response, of how any other hobby makes you feel. It disconnects you from the outside world and calms you when your emotions are heightened. When I first started tarot reading, I got mixed reactions, some said it was ‘silly’ and that it only related to reality because I wanted it to. You can believe what you think about tarots but in conclusion, if you take anything from this article, it’s that in times like these, any new opportunity or change should be welcomed.
Article by Young Reporter Beth Downes
Article originally appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph 12th January 2021