Way back in history (and there are numerous arguments about first dates) the reason for the creation of the tarot was to preserve important human insight in the times when there was only one source of superior wisdom, the Church. Free will in matters of spirituality and belief through to action was not endorsed. Therefore the tarot’s arcane wisdom was always obscure, camouflaged as mere card games. The result is that there are two meanings to every card: an obvious and outer meaning and one that must be searched for.
For example a particular tarot card in one position within a spread does not have the same implication as the same tarot card in a different position in the same spread.
More than that, each arcanum or card will evoke various hidden meanings to different tarot analysts. To say you can teach people to read tarot in a seven day course is like saying you can invite people to do a trolley dash round a supermarket and then teach them to become a master chef with any and all the ingredients. It’s possible but not reliable. The basics of tarot can be taught, but then there must follow a period of time for the unfolding of an innate source of knowledge on each arcanum. To expand on this ... the querant will draw a card, not just explicit of their situation but explicit of what the reader can interpret within that situation. The need for the reader to understand what they see is an obvious requirement, but they also have to be able to aline with the feel of the problem in a way which is unique to them in order to be able to pull off the business of seeing beyond the norm. Work which sets analysts apart from hobbyists. For this reason the querant or the client must be attuned with a rhythm or a frequency or a vibration (call it whatever you will) which passes also through the reader. Tarot analysis is an interpretation service. The words must vibrate with the reader and the querant alike.
Each card suggests an action as well as a situation. The karma and the drama, or the cause and the applied effect. The card must be saying something to the reader about what that card means in that situation NOT what the reader ‘thinks’ of the whole issue, that is entirely different. The reader is entitled to an opinion but it must be secondary to what the cards suggest, or the result is the projection from the reader’s unresolved issues onto the client. Any reading should be based on what the reader sees/feels through that particular content inherent within the card or cards. Or it is not an accurate and impartial reading.
The cards assume very different guises and angles when in sequence to each other than when they stand alone. This is why the tarot is very powerful in practise. It is capable of speaking and revealing facets and angles in accordance with whom is asking and who is looking. It is a two way process which results in a three way dialogue concerning the archetypes, the querant and the tarot analyst.
People may go to different readers with the same question, and although usually all the readers describe the situation with accuracy, they may not agree on what is happening currently and what is likely to be the best potential. This is because the future is not set and the possibilities are open-ended. The tarot is described often as a way of fortune telling but as there is, strictly speaking, no set future it is an inaccuracy which does the tarot a disservice. The tarot is an adjunct to understanding, it is a key to a realm which is not of the earth plane but still pertains to the earth plane. Therefore, it can only compliment what is known and what is possible. For example one person will draw a different card to a second person asking about a similar situation, because their lives and environments and potential to solution are very different as individuals.
The tarot deck will continue to be recreated by people with artistic gift and a need to express what they see as the inner or esoteric meaning to the cards. It is really within the way each card is depicted by an illustrator which gives the inner meaning to what they feel and this will reflect in the choice of pack that a reader chooses to use. There are some packs by some illustrators that speak to you and some packs that don’t. It is not that you cannot read from the ones that don’t - it is that you cannot read as deeply as you can from a pack that you personally resonate with.
The tarot will outlive all its critics and its experts and go on into other centuries, and for that reason people will feel the need to depict and describe their own pictorial images. But the meanings will remain and its power will sustain because what is invested in it is human learning and discovery and although the wisdom widens it doesn’t, at the universal level, change.
Cartouche @ http://www.tarot-online.net