Tarology: learn the basics of the Divinatory Tarot

Tarology is an ancestral discipline that can teach us a lot about ourselves, about others and about the world around us.

This divinatory art practiced since the dawn of time is, nowadays, more and more misused and part of the primordial tradition which surrounds it is beginning to be lost.

By discovering its history, the way a card drawing should take place and the ethics that surround this art, you will be able to embark on an oh-so-special path, the path of tarot.

With this in mind, we will also study the main types of tarot decks that exist, as well as the meaning of the main cards, the major arcana.

Contents :

Preamble

What is tarology based on?

So what is all this for?

The origins of the divinatory tarot

The different types of game

Brief analysis of each divinatory tarot card (the major arcana)

Preamble

Despite what more and more people may think, the mystique and secrets of tarot reading are very real. All this hides something deeper than simple fortune tellers can let on.

Yes, it is true that unscrupulous practitioners can take out a deck of divinatory tarot cards and, using artifice, pass off their charlatan practice as more profound and spiritual than what it really is.

Don’t worry, we won’t be offering you any card draws of this kind today…

Our goal is actually quite different: we want to give you all the cards in hand (that's true) so that you understand everything that is hidden behind the divinatory tarot.

This way, no one will be able to fool you and you will finally be able to really start practicing tarot reading.

Tarot cards of all colors spread out on the table of a tarot practitioner

What is tarology based on?

Concretely, the tarot uses a very particular language based on the symbolism contained in its cards.

Psychologists say that these symbols, by being used for centuries, have entered the collective imagination... and therefore the psyche and unconscious of men.

The different divinatory tarot cards would therefore be a means of accessing images deeply inscribed in our inner being.

This way of thinking is interesting, that’s clear. For our part, however, we like to take the “opposite” point of view.

What if it was not its use that gave weight to a figure, but rather the intrinsic powers of that figure that pushed its use?

Some in fact say of the divinatory tarot that it works with higher energies, that the different cards refer to particular vibrations and that each of them has a power in itself.

Everyone is free to have their own opinion on the matter. We are not here to say who is wrong and who is right but simply to open up avenues, to launch ideas that those who want them will grasp.

Tarot of Marseille, of Belline or of the angels: new possibilities could well open up here for you. If you want to know your future and succeed in your card interpretations, continue reading!

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So what is all this for?

Whether the forces hidden behind tarology are psychological or mystical, the fact is that this art allows us to highlight certain energies which influence our actions, our life and our reality.

In this sense, the practice of divinatory tarot can be used for a whole bunch of very different things.

We all have in mind the image of the clairvoyant in her office, drawing out the cards on a table covered with a velvet tablecloth, under a subdued, almost heavy light.

All these scenarios are in reality very far from what the tarot is in its essence.

Although it is true that it can give us certain information about what will happen to us, and therefore to a certain extent allow us to read the future, limiting ourselves to this type of prediction would be a serious error.

Look for example at this online divination tarot reading. It can be amusing, undoubtedly funny, and does not prevent reflection.

However, it appears very limited… and rightly so!

The practice of high-level tarot reading is much more constructive for humans.

Representation of a dream world where a person's unconscious is expressed

A better understanding of your personal inner workings

In everyday life, we necessarily do things mechanically, without really realizing it.

Ignoring the ins and outs of these actions is definitely a good way to stagnate in life.

If, on the contrary, you understand the deep motives behind your actions, your desires and your desires, you will necessarily be freer to choose what suits you best.

By coupling this with deep introspection work, the practice of divinatory tarot teaches us in particular to understand our internal functioning.

When someone knows themselves well enough, new paths become available to them and they can then take true control of their existence.

This consideration, far from being specific to tarology, can be applied to numerous teachings linked to divination.

You will undoubtedly be able to learn more by taking a look at the part of our site dedicated to clairvoyance and the divinatory arts.

Image of a person whose mind and thoughts are controlled by a person with expertise in psychology

Understanding human psychology through divinatory tarot

More broadly, tarology is a royal road to the discovery of human psychology.

No matter your opinions on the subject, it will always seem obvious.

Skeptics will talk about psychological springs, believers will talk about the soul and mystics will see this through the prism of esotericism but, in the end, all will agree on the capacity of the tarot to help us understand the functioning of the human mind.

Whether you are driven by simple curiosity or by a quasi-scientific approach to understanding the world, know that the tarot will help you unravel certain secrets buried deep within man.

This will give you great powers… and therefore great responsibilities.

Very clearly, you will have the power to use your knowledge to do evil, to steal, to deceive. You can even destroy fragile people.

Be aware, however, that such practices, in addition to tarnishing your image, will damage your being and your soul.

Truly, we never have any interest in doing evil around us.

Tarot card placed on the desk of a clairvoyant between a newspaper and a table.

Tarot predictions to discover our future

Whether or not we believe in the psychic powers that certain people can develop, the two elements we have just talked about confirm that, yes, a reading of the divinatory tarot allows us to discover information about our future.

In fact, a drawing offers us a new view of our life, our soul and our deep being.

All this brings us new keys to understanding in our search for wisdom and truth.

Concretely, by remaining open and attentive to the signs that the cards send you, you can obtain very valuable information.

By meditating on them and allowing them to develop within you, we will better understand the world around us and the relationship we have with it. This way, we will know how to move forward to achieve our goals.

Basically, divinatory tarot teaches us to create our own destiny by applying what suits us most.

In this sense, this divinatory practice allows us to discover our future, and even to write it.

Several tarot decks presented on the shelf of an esoteric store

The origins of the divinatory tarot

According to some sources, divinatory tarot cards have existed in Europe since Antiquity, and stem from mystical traditions of mystery cults linked to ancient gods.

Other historians say rather that it was Muslim scholars who conceptualized the tarot, which then only arrived in the West at a later stage via merchants.

There are even some who claim that the tarot appeared overnight, undoubtedly communicated to a handful of chosen ones by superior entities.

One thing is certain: tarology is a science that divides by its teachings, yes, but also by its history.

Defining a precise origin is in reality such a complicated task that it would necessarily come down to personal opinions.

As we are here keen to remain as objective as possible, we will only talk about certain, attested elements, those for which there are undeniable historical traces.

Medieval town in Italy where we see common people wandering around

In Renaissance Italy

The first deck of divinatory tarot cards as we know it today appeared towards the end of the 14th century in Italy.

It was during this period rich in scientific, cultural and philosophical (re)discoveries that Italian artists would have taken up their brushes to paint the first tarot cards.

At the beginning quite basic, these real miniature paintings have become more complex, with additional details (and therefore messages) being added to them little by little.

Based on influential characters (the king, the pope, the fool, etc.) and influenced by the popular imagination of the time, the divinatory tarot game is seen by many as an eternal trace of the thought of the man of the Renaissance.

Paints, brushes and pigments of all colors

Tarot reading: a luxury reserved for the elite

It is actually only very recently in history that we have access to paints and pigments at prices accessible to everyone.

Paper was also seen as a valuable commodity that required hours of work to produce in ridiculous quantities compared to what we can produce today.

Previously, a map (and even more so a painted and colored map) was a real treasure.

We'll let you imagine what a complete game could be worth...

It is clear: only the nobles and the richest bourgeois could hope to buy them.

Moreover, to mark the occasion, the wealthy people who ordered tarot decks often asked artists to paint members of their family.

Thus, a mother could become a queen and a son a valet.

In reality, it was only when the printing press was invented that cards could become democratized and really spread among the population.

Yes, before that, tarot reading was an art reserved for the elite, a luxury of the few.

Occultism session using candles and divinatory tarot cards

The revival of the Enlightenment

It was in 1781 that a practitioner of occult sciences named Antoine Court de Gebelin (whose biography you will find here) brought the divinatory tarot back to the forefront.

He actually published an extremely comprehensive treatise (here is) on the tarot containing information and keys to understanding that were then lost.

The fact that one man, several centuries after all the others have forgotten them, brings certain secrets to light could put us on the trail of a secret transmission dating back thousands of years, of the presence of an esoteric society of which we have no idea...

But in short, that's not the topic of the day.

Through his writings, de Gebelin notably produced an in-depth analysis of the mechanisms at play behind tarology.

He also hypothesized that this art dates back to the ancient Egyptians and originated from a secret cult of the gods Isis and Osiris.

The knowledge would then have been transmitted to Rome throughout Antiquity, finally being revealed to the Catholic Church and the popes of the Middle Ages.

Eager to keep this great power for themselves, they made the cult heretical, which then found a “disguised” way to transmit itself: the divinatory tarot would then be born.

In short, since this work, the practice of tarology has experienced a real revival. It was truly at this time that occultists began to become interested in the mysteries that had been hidden behind it, away from prying eyes, for centuries.

Several types of tarot decks neatly arranged next to each other

The different types of game

Since their creation several centuries ago, tarot cards have evolved considerably. Different images, illustrations, symbols and mythological figures were thus able to decorate them.

However, certain card models (undoubtedly more symbolic, perhaps more powerful too) have entered history while others have been completely forgotten.

In tarology, there are really certain emblematic games which, having been used and studied more than the others, are undoubtedly more interesting to use for novices.

In reality, even the most experienced among us will undoubtedly benefit from using these games as their principles and deep functioning have been documented throughout history.

In short, it is precisely these divinatory tarot games that we will now present to you.

The Rider-Waite Tarot

The Rider-Waite tarot deck is the most commonly used deck, particularly for divination and predictions related to people's futures.

This game was set up by an esotericist named Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Smith, an American painter.

Both were members of the "Gloden Dawn", or "Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn", a secret society of English origin which was particularly interested in occult sciences and cults of the past.

Often, this game is recommended for beginners because it allows an easy first approach to tarot reading. The symbols that decorate its cards are clear and easy to distinguish.

Some clairvoyants and esoteric specialists also say they feel a faster, more “fluid” connection than with other types of cards.

However, the work of interpretation and understanding will necessarily remain the same as for any divinatory tarot game.

That said in passing, we offer on our site a deck of Rider-Waite tarot cards which is here. Many among our community have decided to choose it to learn the art of tarot reading.

The angel oracle tarot

As its name suggests, this type of game is decorated with imagery related to the world of angels.

Often it is said that this particular tarot allows an exceptional connection with our intuition and instincts. Here again, this is a good alternative for someone who has little theoretical knowledge on the subject.

Those who use it say that it is in fact not so much our intuition that this game develops as our link with our guardian angel.

Yes, the divinatory tarot of the oracle of angels lives up to its name!

Thus, the most religious practitioners consider the oracle of angels as a means to elevate themselves spiritually, and sometimes even to purify themselves.

The universal tarot of Marseille

This very particular type of tarot was created in 1751 by a Swiss named Claude Burdel.

Its aged appearance and the very characteristic artistic touch of its cards make this game one of the favorites of lovers of beautiful objects.

Its cards are derived from the old tarot decks that once circulated in the port city of Marseille, to which red and blue colors were added, more vivid than the yellowish hues of the past.

According to many specialists, it is the divinatory tarot of Marseille which is the oldest in the world, the one whose roots are the deepest and which corresponds most to the message that the ancients wanted to transmit to us.

Even if it is not necessarily easy to learn (its simple figures actually reflect a complex mysticism), it is therefore one of the most useful models for seasoned tarot readers.

For many, the universal tarot of Marseille will thus be a way to go beyond what “learning games” allow you to do, particularly in the areas of clairvoyance and esotericism.

The Druid Tarot

The Druid Tarot is suitable for anyone who wants to feel closer to the energies of nature by working with a deck inspired by our world.

This divinatory tarot is actually based on the Earth and the four seasons.

Some also see it as the expression of an art halfway between tarology and the pagan religious traditions of the past. Thus, this game is very popular with practitioners of Wicca, Druidism or any kind of paganism.

Most of the images on the cards that make up this game are striking and quickly make us feel very small in the face of the immensities of nature.

In short, this is a particular type of tarot, undoubtedly very different from all the others, but nevertheless very appreciated in the world of divination.

The Renaissance Tarot

The Renaissance tarot stands out from its counterparts by the presence of new figures: that of God and certain deities from the Greek world.

Typically, the details and settings of his cards will also allude more to ancient mythology.

We might wonder why we gave such a divinatory tarot the name “Renaissance”.

The answer is actually simple…

This period in history was that of a rediscovery of figures from the past. Thus, by confronting ourselves with the ancient mysticism that the Renaissance tarot offers us, we better understand the feeling that could have animated the men of those times.

Ultimately, this key to understanding can help us understand the philosophy and ideas hidden behind the creation of the tarot, and therefore ultimately unlock some of its secrets.

This is undoubtedly the main interest that tarology enthusiasts will find there.

The tarot of wild and unknown worlds

Last tarot that we are going to present to you here but not the least: the tarot of wild and unknown worlds shines with a particular design.

Made of black and white drawings embellished with the colors of the rainbow, his cards represent animals and natural landscapes... but not human figures.

This is also a very appreciated feature. Indeed, without the influence of this “humanity” in the cards, certain people who are more sensitive to the beauty of the world find it easier to connect to them.

Professional tarot readers often describe it as a primitive divinatory tarot which allows one to understand the true essence of the cards.

Major arcana cards defined according to the principles of tarology

Brief analysis of each divinatory tarot card (the major arcana)

You will normally have understood by now: what makes tarology a unique science in the world is its ability to use symbolic representations to express complex realities of our world.

Organized on the basis of “traditional” playing cards, a tarot deck has 22 additional cards known as the “major arcana”.

For many, it is precisely these that are the most interesting, which best express the essence of the tarot.

When a clairvoyant makes a drawing, she often limits herself only to the major arcana.

In fact, the message these cards send us is often clearer and simpler to interpret.

In short, here is an analysis of each of the major arcana of the divinatory tarot :

  • 0 - The Fool: an irrevocable decision point on life's path that can lead to adventure, fortune or disaster
  • I - The magician: great control resulting from great will, in particular the ability to make one's thoughts concrete
  • II - The high priestess: being in agreement with the principles of nature, in an unconscious but nevertheless very intense way
  • III - The Empress: linked to motherhood and fertility, but also to female manipulation and a certain thirst for power
  • IV - The Emperor: domination of the mind and over the heart and emotions giving access to natural authority and the ability to achieve one's objectives
  • V - The high priest: bridges the gap between the spiritual part and the material part, notion of illumination and revelation
  • VI - Lovers: love, fidelity, equality
  • VII - Mastery: sign of a victory, of a success which will follow great efforts or a darker period
  • VIII - Strength: ability to achieve what we want, sign of great will and particular strength
  • IX - The wise: invitation to remain open to advice (from others but also from our deep being) and to a certain introspection
  • X - The wheel of fortune: indicates something inevitable, a certain justice of the universe, a balance
  • XI - Justice: justice in the broad sense, a deserved reward
  • XII - The solitary man: detachment from the physical allowing the development of the spiritual, personal sacrifice for a higher cause
  • XIII - The end: destruction, end of a period, renewal
  • XIV - The guide: indicates self-control and the beneficial presence of positive influences
  • XV - Temptation: sign of all vices, of great negativity
  • XVI - The Tower: rupture in the being following a very significant event but which can lead to better well-being, the price to pay will however be great
  • XVII - The star: hope for a better future, synonymous with balance between pragmatism and the mysteries of the world
  • XVIII – Illusion: shows that illusions slow us down or trap us, or that hidden enemies attack us in the shadows
  • XIX - The Sun: great happiness, love, assured material success
  • XX - Karma: relationship of cause and effect, harvest of the harvests of the past
  • XXI - The world: access to a global understanding, final realization of the individual

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Rider Waite Tarot Card Deck

Rider Waite Tarot Card Deck

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.