Tarot, the ancient forerunner to today’s playing cards, is synonymous with fortune-telling, mysticism and wicked black magick

In reality, Tarot has more in common with analytical psychology than medieval mumbo-jumbo. Now, Tarot is enjoying a quiet revival – not as a spiritual guide, but as a motivational tool for self-development. happiful explains what Tarot is, how it works, and why it can help you to achieve your life goals.

All you need is an open mind...

The cards themselves aren't good or bad. They're only ink and paper. The 'magic' element is how you connect with them

The magician in his red robes. The fool on the hill. A skeleton on horseback. We’re not talking about the new season of Game of Thrones. We’re talking about the ancient tradition of Tarot cards.

For most people, this “wicked pack of cards” conjures up a twilight world of fortune-tellers laying down images on a black velvet table. Steeped in mystery, with its centuries-old iconography, sceptics might scoff at its relevance in our technological age. But Tarot is, in fact, enjoying a revival of sorts – and not in the spiritual sense.

Indeed, Tarot is becoming popular as a motivational tool to help people achieve their life goals – and to work out what their key stumbling blocks might be. Today, Tarot depends on the context given to it by the reader. The true magic of these reading cards is less about what they predict, and more about the power within yourself to tune-in to your emotions, your core beliefs, and your ability to take a wider view of your most complex dilemmas and desires.

<div style=color:#000000;">What is Tarot?

Although Tarot has been knocking around for almost as long as other otherworldly practices, it doesn’t have an established usage in mainstream culture. We don’t even know for certain the original purpose of the cards.

Tarot reader

Know thyself: Tarot can be as effective as any self-help book

Truth is, Tarot is something of a mystery. Some experts say they appeared in Europe “nearly overnight” at the beginning of the 1400s and were an instant best-seller. A best-guess scenario is that they were originally used for popular trick-taking games, rather like our modern game of bridge, and from there proceeded to be used in fortune-telling. But whatever its true origins, Tarot certainly captured the public’s imagination.

The intense symbolism of these image-driven cards contains echoes of ancient Egyptian deities such as Isis and Thoth, and there are hints, too, of Hebrew letters and Islamic art within the designs, which only served to heighten their mystery. But the true roots of Tarot are a lot closer to home – specifically Italy. Italian scholars were talking about “carte da giocare” (playing cards) as early as 1450.

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