Post Date: October 22 2012: From the Editor: I love my Tarot cards, they truly have proven to be a valuable guide for myself and for others I have read for… They amaze me every time I read them… There are many ways a single card or spread can be interpreted… And as a reader we try hard to remember the basic meaning for each of the 78 cards as our base or foundation for the reading…However,  I for one, do not remember all the meanings all the time and rely on my books to assist when needed… 🙂

The following study exercise presented by The Magical Blend Montreal sounds the perfect way of getting those meanings placed concretely in the memory…

Ah… now to find the time to indulge in the study… 🙂 

fairy. illustration of a fairy with the cards Stock Photo - 9170775
Graphic: by: Katarzyna Bruniewska-Gierczak
From Poland

Many organized magickal groups require their students to draw their own Tarot deck. You heard me correctly: the dedicated student is asked to draw their own version of every single card in the 78-card deck. We’ve decided to issue our own challenge to our readers who are interested in tarot: every newsletter, starting today, we will be printing a basic primer on one of the twenty-two Major Arcana, in order to stir up the imaginations of our readers and get them drawing.

But why dedicate yourself to such a lengthy endeavour  78 cards sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? The reason most of these groups require their students to draw their own cards is to give them a greater understanding of each card’s meaning, and of its place in the universal scheme of things. Once a student has studied a Tarot card to the extent necessary to draw it meaningfully, they will never need to consult a book on what that card means, ever again.

But wait! There’s more! The Tarot are not just a divination tool: they are also considered to be a spiritual road-map of the universe. Each card is one step on the path to stripping away the confusing illusions of reality which limit our magickal perceptions. Those who study the Tarot in-depth and with a serious mindset will often find that their existing abilities with magic stretch and grow with this study, too! For those interested in doing an even more in-depth and serious study, your editor recommends Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, which follows the more complex and more stringently symbolic Thoth Tarot Deck.

Blank Tarot cards are available a few places, but if you’re looking to take part in the challenge and you don’t have any, check out our Blank Tarot Cards, and get drawing! For best quality, we recommend drawing out your cards in pencil on separate paper with an artist’s pen from your local crafts store, and/or using art-level markers. Once you’ve got a finished product you like, you can then glue the picture onto your cards neatly, and even get them laminated. This method will keep you from wasting cards due to a jolted hand or even just a finished drawing which you don’t particularly like. For those of us who aren’t confident in our drawing abilities, a collage of relevant images can work just as well, and might even evoke a more reliable response from your brain.

Below, we give you your first lesson in tarot imagery: The Fool.

Trump 0: The Fool

Associations: The Fool is generally associated with the element of Air. In a cosmic sense, it represents the creation of something from nothing– the very beginning of the Universe. Because the Fool pre-dates existence, in a way, it is sometimes not numbered at all.

Meanings: The Fool is perfectly innocent and trusting of the world around him– thus, he thinks nothing of taking risks, since risk is a concept which has not yet occurred to him. Many Tarot interpretations therefore attribute to the Fool spontaneity and the acceptance of a new road on blind faith. Keep in mind that the Fool is all about beginnings, especially: limitless opportunity spreads out before him as he starts the ball rolling on… well. Everything.

A reversed Fool, or a Fool near to certain inauspicious cards (like the Devil) may indicate that this innocence and spontanaeity are being negatively used. For instance, a reversed Fool might indicate that you have been idly wasting your time, or that you’ve given into temptation to do with frivolity. 

Classic Imagery: The classic image associated with the Fool is that of a young man in ostentatiously rich clothing, with only a single satchel, just setting out into the wider world. His foot is poised over a cliff– his next step will likely take him down– but his gaze is focused upward and carefree, and he completely fails to notice. One of the most important symbols in the Fool card are the prominent sun in the background, which sometimes represents pure and unknowable Spirit, before it is clothed in matter or even in thought; in a less mystical sense, the sun can represent the Fool’s ‘mad wisdom’ or innocence. The dog which sometimes yips at the Fool’s heels could be heeded as a warning that he’s about to go over the cliff, but it’s clear that the Fool hasn’t noticed or heeded that warning in the least. The Fool also uses a long, ornate staff to carry his satchel, which has reason to be associated with mystic fire and beginnings in various traditions (if you have a wand on your altar, it serves much the same symbolism).

Suggested Imagery: If you’re not committed to following the usual images, you might consider finding images which to you represent innocence, foolhardiness, and a gung-ho sense of adventure, heedless of consequences. A bit of frivolity and carefree attitude wouldn’t go awry either.

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