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Tarot Glossary
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Tarot Glossary - Letter D
 
Death - Major Arcana
Initially a nameless card, Death very seldom literally means death. Instead it is the image of profound transformation, the ending of one cycle, and the transition into a new state. It symbolizes sudden and inevitable change, death of the old self so that new consciousness can emerge. The experience can be saddening or painful, and we might be reluctant to accept the inevitability of the ending. Accepting and recognizing the necessity of endings thus liberates and allows for inner change, rebirth, and renewal. The negative interpretation is depression due to neglecting that a cycle has come to an end, breakup of relationships, obsession, and stagnation.

Devil, The - Major Arcana
The card of the Devil represents the darker side of humankind, all that is shameful, base, and that we avoid to confront. Its imagery connects to sexuality, irrationality, obsession, and addiction. Being enslaved by our fears and desires, we find it hard to let go of unhealthy relationships, addictive behavior, excessive attachment to material things, and obsession with power. Accepting the shadow side in us can help channel the energetic powers that this card also represents. Understand that confronting our dark side can indeed lift the chains that tie us down, and by not letting self-hatred and shame take over we are empowered to be free. Qualities of this card in a negative situation include excessive ambition, rigidity, and abuse of power in the emotional as well as the material realm.

Divination
The practice of trying to discern human intent, discover hidden knowledge or foretell the future by the use of intuition or psychic abilities.

Diviner
A person who practices divination.

 
 
 
 
Tarot Glossary - Letter E
 
Earth
One of the four elements of antiquity - fire, earth, air, and water. Generally associated with practicality, hard work, wealth, money, land and other material resources, property, and material success. In the Tarot, Pentacles or Discs represent the earth element.

Emperor, The - Major Arcana
As the complement to the Empress, the Emperor represents the father figure, reigning through wisdom, order, authority, power, and control. Thus he embodies the material world, structure, and order, and balances the Empress' abundance and pure instinct. His stable leadership and authority are not to be questioned. The Emperor reminds us that rational thought, willpower, and fearlessness yield recognition and overall achievement. Through strength he creates and builds material things, families, and communities. He gives them structure, and projects are put on a solid foundation. On an emotional level this card symbolizes the confirming of established feelings, tightening of links among beings, and self-respect. In a negative situation this card can mean despotism, tyranny, self-righteousness, and hampering of any progress.

Empress, The - Major Arcana
The Empress signifies the queen of life, the ideal woman, the archetypal mother. She represents the matriarchal goddess, being part of nature, fertility, sexuality, and the generative forces. As the life-giving mother she is connected to the Earth and the natural rhythms, the appreciation of the senses. As a card of good fortune she signifies that if we are gentle and caring, as well as patient, we can bring anything to fruition; we have to be able to wait until the time is right for action so that we can reap the rewards; as a result, hard work pays off and relationships become satisfying. The Empress can, in negative situations, also depict vanity, undeveloped creativity, stagnation, and apathy.

Esoteric
Hidden, generally applied to knowledge that is known only to a small group of initiates, or people with a strong interest in the subject.

Evocator
Someone who seeks to attain knowledge by calling upon gods, spirits or angels, sometimes by using the Tarot.

 
 
 
 
Tarot Glossary - Letter F
 
Fire
One of the four elements of antiquity - fire, earth, air, and water. Generally associated with courage, energy, action, strength, impulsiveness, rashness, and a sense of adventure. In the Tarot, Wands represent the fire element.

Fool, The - Major Arcana
The Fool is the card without a number. It usually is positioned at the beginning of the major arcana but can be either at the beginning or the end as it depicts our learning experience through life from beginning to end. The Fool signifies one's potential and abilities. Embarking on his journey toward self-knowledge, the Fool is at the same time adventurous and fearful, seemingly open to all possibilities, yet apparently unaware of the dangers along the way. It is a card of pure adventure. Irrational impulses, foolishness, and poor judgment are some of the negative aspects of this card. At the end of his journey the Fool has learned life's lessons and is aware of his place in the world and is at one with himself.

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