“They’re tarot cards. They can tell you your fortune.”
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The true origins of tarot cards remain a mystery. According to popular belief, it was invented by Egyptians. Others say it was the gypsies or even the Knights Templar. At any rate, the cards found their way to Europe by the mid-1400s where wealthy families like the Visconti and Sforza clans of Milan had personal decks designed for them.
The Minor Arcana are composed of four court cards — king, queen, knight and page — as well as 10 numbered cards in each of the four suit: swords, cups, staves and pentacles. These suits represent rational and strategic thinking, emotions, creativity and material concerns respectively.
Selecting a Deck
Some say that a good reading can be made using only 22 Major Arcana cards, but most think that using all 78 cards gives a more complete picture. The more traditional practitioners of the tarot always turn reversed cards upright and interpret them as such.
More recently, however, reversed cards have acquired a meaning of their own, usually the opposite of the original interpretation. Hitomi prefers to follow the latter school of thought, but the choice lies with the reader.
Ask a Question
The first step in doing a reading is to ask the question. The cards are then shuffled either by the reader or the questioner and laid out into a pattern or “spread”. There are several choices of spreads open to the reader.
Meanings from Tarot Cards and their Positions
The simplest is the three-card tarot spread, with the cards representing past, present and future.
The slightly more complex “horseshoe” has seven cards laid out in a V-formation, with the fourth card in the middle and three cards on either side of it.
The first three cards are past, present and the immediate future. The fifth card represents environmental influences, the sixth shows the obstacles facing the questioner and the last card is the final outcome. The middle fourth card indicates the best course of action for the person to take; whether or not this advice is followed is indicated in cards three and seven. Others include the yin-yang spread and the 12-card astrological spread.
A good interpretation takes note of how the different factors influence the result.
Now for an example, taken right from a reading Hitomi did in the series.
In The Blue-Eyed Prince (Episode 12), Allen Schezar requested her to do a reading on Miguel Lavariel, the Zaibach soldier they had captured. Using the Celtic Cross, these were the cards she got: 1 – three of birds, 2 – five of beasts, 3 – three of serpents reversed, 4 – Warrior of Dragons, 5 – The World, 6 – Death, 7 – blank card.
According to her, these meant that “a great power is guiding everything towards an end”. In particular, she interpreted the first two cards as “Danger, Conflict”, the three of serpents as “Tension”, and the Warrior of Dragons/Serpents as representing Van. She’s pretty accurate. Distant past — the World — can mean the harmony of the Gaea then.
The recent past and present circumstances indicate the turmoil brewing, while the 3rd card — aspirations — show that someone is stirring things up. On top of all that, Van was partially responsible for everything that was happening (but this wasn’t mentioned by Kanzaki-san).
When she got to card 7 – representing the Dragonslayer Miguel – she got a blank; sure enough, the guy had broken out of his prison cell and was slugging his way towards his guymelef. Sadly for this exercise, she never got to finish her reading; Hitomi and the gang were arrested in mid-reading after being implicated but the doppelganger agent Zongi.
Practice Reading Tarot Cards
With a little practice, tarot cards are fairly easy to master. The most difficult parts are memorizing the interpretation. The best way to learn is really by doing as many readings as you can. Heck, there are a lot of potential volunteers out there, so that’s no problem, ne?