It all starts with you . . .
I feel it is important for you to understand your own reasons
for wanting to learn Tarot. You may not have really considered
this before. Perhaps you just feel attracted to the cards
sufficiently enough to want to learn more about them. Thats
fine, nothing wrong with that, but your reason is probably
the main thing that will keep you going. Being able to receive
personal guidance is quite a good reason-and I can honestly
say, the Tarot has never let me down.
So if you can, identify your reason or reasons now-and
write them down! Having a goal to aim for will help you
achieve your objective, rather than aimlessly drifting along. It is
your underlying reason that will encourage your perseverance.
Since this is a rather one-sided conversation, I shall assume
that you are a complete beginner to the world of Tarot. So forgive
me if you have traveled this road before, but this way I
can ensure that nothing is left out or left unexplained, leaving
you dangling in mid-air somewhere.
Perhaps your first introduction to the Tarot was through
actually having a reading yourself, but in whatever way you
came into contact with the cards, their mysterious images resonated
somewhere deep within and beckoned you to follow.
No history lesson
There seems to be an endless supply of theories over the origin
of Tarot cards, and most books usually include some version
of their history. However, I wont go into detail about
that here, as it is an issue of continuing debate.
The history of the Tarot appears to be as mysterious as the
cards themselves, with many different cultures laying claim to
some connection, along with varying theories and speculation
as to how they evolved. I find it most apt that their universal
appeal can be traced to so many cultures. No matter which civilization,
continent, or timeline we examine, there appears to be
a common thread; a theory that emerges throughout-that the
Tarot was created using a secret code of symbols and images, to
preserve the knowledge of a secret doctrine.
Factual history traced so far leads to fourteenth-century
Italy, and while the Tarot in whatever form may have existed
centuries before, there is considerable conjecture (but inconclusive
evidence) to support these theories at the present time
. . . perhaps it will always remain so. If you are interested,
many books explore the history of the Tarot in depth.
Our concern here is in learning the cards in order to
receive their guidance and, thankfully, knowledge of their history
wont improve your ability to read Tarot cards any better.
The most important fact is that they work! The rest of this
book is laid out in such a way as to show you how they work
and how to gain access to their knowledge.
About the Tarot deck
Firstly, let us consider the actual Tarot itself, how it is ordered,
and what it consists of. The Gilded Tarot contains a total of
seventy-eight cards, of which twenty-two are known as the
major arcana, using Roman numerals 0XXI. The remaining
fifty-six are referred to as the minor arcana.
The minor arcana is then broken down into four different
suitswands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Each suit contains
an ace through a ten, followed by a page, knight, queen,
and king (known as court cards). Each of the suits represents
one of the four elements:
The cards contain archetypal images, pictures, and symbols that
make a connection with ones subconscious mind. The major
arcana focuses on the higher matters of life, while the minor
arcana indicates situations in our daily existence. But both are
important. Think of the major arcana as the bricks and the
minor as the mortar that fills the spaces, holding it all together.
Introducing the Gilded Tarot
Somehow I have the sneaking suspicion that you have already
unwrapped your new Tarot cards to take a peekand who
could resist such a temptation?
I have purchased a great many cards over the years; in fact,
my home is littered with unused Tarot decks. There is nothing
more disappointing than thinking you have found the deck,
only to discover that you cant work with it. There have been
quite a number that have fit into that category for meonce
laid out, the cards all appeared muted, with no solar plexus
reaction, or the interpretations that Im happy with just didnt
fit with the images.
Like most people who love Tarot, I was constantly searching
for the "perfect" working deck, like the search for the
Holy Grail . . . and finally I found it in the Gilded Tarot,
created by Ciro Marchetti and published by Llewellyn. Now
I use nothing else. I believe they are the most visually stunning
Tarot cards available and they immediately became the
favorite deck for many in the Tarot community, readers and
The Gilded Tarot is breathtakingly beautiful; the magic
and mystery of its images instantly transport you into another
dimension. This is really most important, for your cards should
provoke an instant inner response, regardless of whether
you understand it. With each image presented, it is akin to
becoming immersed in the scene and merging into the story.
How I wish these cards had been available when I first began
Most people learn with what is termed "a beginners
deck," and then transfer to one they prefer later. There is a
huge number of Tarot decks available, but many of the images
and interpretations vary, so if you do change it can be like
learning all over again. By using the Gilded Tarot, you will be
saved from major frustrations from the beginning and if you
dont feel the need to transfer to something else afterward, you
get the best of both worldsa double whammy!