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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Arcana

DEFINITIONS

Arcana: Secrets or mysteries. Arcana is the plural form of arcanum, although its usage may be singular or plural. A standard Tarot deck features two sections, the Major Arcana (usually 22 cards with images on them) and the Minor Arcana (usually 56 cards with 16 being “face” cards similar to a pack of playing cards and the remainder being either number or “pip” cards or fully illustrated).


ARTICLES

Review of the Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot
Summary The stylish art of Anne Stokes brings this deck to life…or death, if you go by the number of undead and other fantastical creatures! This attractive, Marseilles-style deck gives traditional Tarot a gothic twist by associating the ...
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The Dragons Tarot Review
Summary: A great deck for people who read the cards through memorization of their meanings. If you’re interested in dragons from around the world, this deck is more than worth the time put into studying the symbols (some of which are subtly hidden) ...
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Witchy Tarot Deck Review
Summary: The Witchy Tarot is like your best friend: smart, pretty, funny, surprising deep and always clever…and always very real and honest. It helps you embrace your power while accepting your shortcomings. This deck gives great Tarot readings but ...
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Review of The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night
Summary: The theme of vampires lends itself to the shadowy aspects of human experiences. The Tarot, by its nature, sheds light in the darkness. This deck, with its dual nature, helps us explore the darkness, whether within or around us, while ...
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A Brief History of the Tarot
The Tarot is often called the oldest book known to humankind. According to occult legend, the original cards comprised "chapters" in a book known as The Book of Thoth. Thoth was the ibis-headed god of wisdom and represented knowledge of the ancient ...
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Review of The Pictorial Key Tarot
Summary: More than just another RWS copy, The Pictorial Key Tarot takes the original RWS concepts and brings them into the 21st century. It uses the same basic symbolism as the RWS, but enhances it in places to make Waite’s original ideas clearer ...
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Golden Botticelli Tarot Review
Summary: A spectacular deck combining the archetypal Renaissance art of Botticelli with magnificent, metallic-gold filigree. Will be used often by intermediate and advanced Tarot readers, but the LWB may not have enough for beginners. One of the ...
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Review of the Tarot of Pagan Cats
Summary The Tarot of the Pagan Cats is a true RWS-style that cleverly interweaves magick and Tarot as experienced through the eyes of cats. Natural and easy to read, this deck will delight the beginner as well as the more experienced ...
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The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn Review
Summary: The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn is an evocative and provocative deck exploring a new vision of tarot that is fresh and exciting while remaining consistent with the Golden Dawn tradition. This deck would be suitable for someone with ...
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Review of Tarot Lenormand
Summary: Tarot Lenormand is a creative blend of traditional Lenormand cards, The Book of Thoth Tarot by Eteilla, and a touch of RWS [Rider-Waite-Smith]. As such, it is presents unusual and delightful challenges to those familiar with RWS decks that ...
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Review of the Tarot of Jane Austen
Summary: The Tarot of Jane Austen beautifully blends Tarot and the beloved characters and stories of Jane Austen’s classic novels. The marriage of this theme with Tarot is elegantly mastered without feeling forced or contrived. Within these cards, ...
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I've written a number of books for Llewellyn over the years—believe it or not, my upcoming release is number eight—but far and away the most popular one was my third, The Goddess Is in the Details. And I have to confess, it was my favorite too. (Shhh…don't tell the other books. They'll cry, and I'll have to give them each a... read this article
Tarot: Let's Talk About Strength
A Week of Psychic Development
The Magic of Stars
Hacking Life, the Universe, and Everything through Afro-Cuban Ifá, Santería’s High Priesthood
Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Life

Most recent posts:
Which Interpretation?
As we study the cards, we realize that each card has many meanings. A common question is “how do you know which meaning to use in a...

Tarot Fundamentals
The publishing industry has been changing for a long time now. Publishing can be a very slow behemoth, very conservative. So it was really refreshing...

The Five Minute Tarot
This weekend, at the North Star Tarot conference, Melani Weber presented a workshop. That workshop was the most fun I’d had in a very long time. And...




Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

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Everyday Witchcraft Everyday Witchcraft
Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World

By: Deborah Blake
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Combining Gemstones, Essential Oils & Flower Essences for Enhanced Well-Being

By: Kerry Nelson Selman
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