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Tarot Glossary
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Tarot Glossary - Letter A
 
Ace
The first card in every suit, actually, the "One" card, said to represent the essence of the suit in its purest form. The Ace is always interpreted as a positive card, a rare opportunity, a gift from God.

Air
One of the four elements of antiquity - fire, earth, air, and water. Generally associated with intellect. In the Tarot, Swords represent the air element.

Alchemy
An ancient science of transformation, the precursor of modern chemistry, known primarily for attempts to turn base metals into gold. Medieval alchemists viewed alchemy as a path to personal transformation, and the Tarot may have been one of the tools used to attain that end.

Analysis
The study of a number of different factors to ascertain the meaning of all of them combined. In Tarot divination, it implies combining the meanings of a number of different cards in order to ascertain the message they're conveying.

Arcana
Literally, matters which are hidden. In the Tarot, it refers to the occult significance of the symbols on each card.

Archetype
The image or model existing in the collective unconscious for all material manifestations of things of the same type or essence.

 
 
 
 
Tarot Glossary - Letter B
 
Book of Thoth
An alleged but probably apocryphal ancient Egyptian manuscript, believed by minister, Freemason and author Antoine Court de Gébelin to be the original source of the Tarot.

 
 
 
 
Tarot Glossary - Letter C
 
Cartomancy
The practice of discerning personality and divining the future through the use of cards.

Celtic Cross
Perhaps the most popular and widely-known of all Tarot layouts. It involves arranging six cards in a cross, following that with an additional four cards arranged vertically to the side of the cross. Most widely used for focusing on specific situations.

Chariot, The - Major Arcana
The Chariot symbolizes enthusiasm, competitiveness, and triumph. Success and victory are achieved by employing all powers at one’s disposal - physical, spiritual, and intellectual. The Chariot symbolizes the positive side of the self, being strong and self-controlled, balancing conflicting emotions, triumphing over obstacles, sustaining an effort, and support attaining goals, thereby leading the way to transformation and self-knowledge. A dictatorial approach, recklessness, and extreme ambition can be on the other, negative side of the equation.

Client
The person for whom a Tarot reading is given.

Consciousness
Awareness, especially of something intangible within and beyond oneself.

Court cards
King, Queen, Knight, Page; in some decks, King, Queen, Prince and Princess, which in a reading can represent identifiable individuals, or specific qualities ascribed to the querent or to his or her situation. In Jungian psychology, they are believed to represent the sixteen different personality types.

Cups
One of the four suits of the Minor Arcana, identified with the water element, associated with emotion, love and other strong feelings, dreams, memories, fears, disappointments, sensitivity, water, oceans, rivers and streams, pleasure, instinct and the unconscious. Identified with the heart suit of modern playing cards, and also called grails, vessels, cauldrons and other similar designations, depending on the deck.

 
 
 
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Tarot Images: With permission by Lo Scarabeo s.r.l, Torino, Italy, www.loscarabeo.com
 
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