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Tarot Glossary
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Tarot Glossary - Letter R
 
Reader
Someone skilled in the practice of reading the Tarot to answer questions and give guidance to querents.

 
 
 
 
Tarot Glossary - Letter S
 
Significator
One of the Court Cards or Major Arcana chosen, and for some layouts separated from the deck, to represent the querent.

Spread, or Layout
A pattern in which the cards are laid out in order to give a certain type of reading. Often each position in the layout is associated with a particular significance, and the meaning of the card placed there is synthesized with the implication of the position it's in.

Star, The - Major Arcana
The Star, being one of the very positive cards of the Tarot, reminds us of hope and inspiration. The Star is the symbol for our faith in the future, for feeling guided on our path by its calm and serene light. We can feel confident to not lose our direction, and as we regain motivation and inner strength, we experience peace of mind. The Star protects the future and gathers the forces necessary to expand our knowledge and develop emotionally and spiritually. The sense of protection, promise, inspiration, and joy encourages us to develop our talents to achieve our ideals. Even in an unfavorable situation, the negative elements merely throw obstacles in our way like pessimism, a lack of realism, or the inability to accept a helping hand, thus leading to possible failure.

Strength - Major Arcana
The Strength card, depicting a gracious queen-like figure and a wild lion, shows that real strength has to be combined with graciousness and gentleness to become a force. It symbolizes inner strength, determination to overcome obstacles, self-knowledge and self-discipline, as only when we know ourselves and act in a responsible manner will we be able to deal with challenging situations and overcome difficulties successfully. Yet this card not only represents physical strength; moral and emotional strength are also included in the meaning. Patience, compassion, dealing with frustration, accepting of others, and tolerating imperfection (in oneself and in others) all leads to being a complete person. The negative qualities of Strength include misuse of power, aggressiveness, and intolerance.

Suit
One of four divisions of a deck of cards characterized by its own particular symbol. In the Tarot, those symbols are usually Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.

Sun, The - Major Arcana
The Sun card stands as a symbol for the paternal, masculine energy, the cosmic father, and brotherly love. Being regarded as the primary source of life, light, and warmth, the Sun banishes the darkness so that we may see our path clearly and are enlightened within. As a result, we can see the truth and understand its impact. The Sun card is representative of energy, good health, virility, opportunity, generosity, self-confidence, success, marriage, children, and material wealth. These positive elements provide us with the confidence that we will be successful in all our endeavors, be it in the spiritual, material, or emotional realm. We need to be aware of the negative elements such as boisterousness, arrogance, vanity, and false appearance that can induce failure or uncertainty.

Swords
One of the four suits of the Minor Arcana, identified with the air element, associated with energy, action, intellect, the conscious mind, violence, disappointments, sorrow, judgments, and opinions. Identified with the spade suit of modern playing cards, and also called blades, epées, lightning, lasers, and other similar designations, depending on the deck.

 
 
 
 
Tarot Glossary - Letter T
 
Tarot
A collection of 78 pictures representing ancient and universal archetypes organized in the form of a deck of cards, used to gain insights into psychology, metaphysics, and foretelling the future. Its origins are lost in antiquity, but its current form originated in the Middle Ages.

Temperance - Major Arcana
The angel between heaven and earth blending different elements into a harmonious substance represents a bridge between polarities, like heaven and earth, masculine and feminine, beginning and end. The combining of varied substances serves as imagery for the merging of diverse forces to create a new whole for cooperation, coordination, a harmonious balance, looking for a middle ground, achieving healing, and recovery. Temperance signifies that moderation is necessary to regulate passions and maintain harmony in relationships, and to build tolerance and cooperation in groups. In a negative situation, Temperance characteristics are indecision, inconstancy, excess, obsession, and lack of control.

Tower, The - Major Arcana
The Tower card first and foremost illustrates that neither physical nor emotional structures that we build are permanent and stable; instead, they can be destroyed suddenly, thereby initiating change that we have tried to avoid. The sudden change resembled by the crumbling tower reminds us of letting go of outgrown beliefs and values, of releasing an illusion, an unhealthy relationship, an old way of life. The sudden change frees us to face the unknown, frees us to move forward instead of stagnate, frees us from social conventions and enlightens us on our path so that we reach a new level of understanding about our purpose in life. Not embracing the inevitable change brings out the negative elements that the Tower also depicts: being struck down by one’s own doing, by vanity and the inability to change so that one remains stagnant.

Tree of Life
A Kabbalistic symbol, a grid resembling a tree, each branch of which ends in one of the ten Sephiroth. (See SEPHIROTH above.) Some Tarot readers use a layout in the shape of the Tree of Life, placing a card in the position of each Sephira and interpreting it by blending the meaning of the Sephira with the meaning of the card.

Trumps
The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana.

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