April 11, 2011

Journey of the Tarot ~ History and Myths

The historic origins of the Tarot remain mysterious. Over the years, where there are "gaps" in actual fact or knowledge, people have embellished upon the "story". We do know, however, that the Tarot seemed to originate around the thirteenth century; finding its' way along trade routes to Italy, Spain and southern France. Contrary to some assumptions, the Tarot did not originate in Egypt. It is wise to carefully analyze everything read in books or online, since "discrepancies" are easily passed along or taken for granted as being factual.

Thankfully, for me anyway, Kim Huggens' book does not delve into the mysterious and often misunderstood history of the Tarot. My eyes tend to gloss over and my mind turns to oatmeal when someone presents me with lessons in history! Next thing I know, I'm either dozing off or - okay, I'm just dozing off. According to Ms. Huggens, the history and myths of the Tarot are quite irrelevant today, except when it comes to our preconceived notions about the potential "dangers" when utilizing the Tarot.

Some folks are extremely wary of another "touching" their cards; fearing negative energies will taint the deck. Others, including me, have heard that working with the Tarot is like opening a door to some unseen realm of dark forces which may invade our souls (similar to "opening the mind" to the use of a Ouija board I suppose). I don't happen to adhere to any of these myths myself, but that is my personal choice. There is nothing wrong with having different perceptions about how to care for, store, consecrate, or utilize the Tarot.

Rather than writing pages on pages of probable "history" of the Tarot as a whole, Ms. Huggens encourages her readers to dive right into "reading", "interpreting", and "feeling" the cards. I really enjoy this approach. Often, we're so worried about getting something wrong that we don't even try, and when we finally do, we doubt our abilities and consult volumes of books or resources rather than listening to our own minds.

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Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.

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