Tarot & the Higher Self
How the Tarot is used to convey messages from the Higher Self
By Bella Luna
Artistic display of symbology
At the beginning of the 15th century, an author named Horapollo began recording the symbols and meaning of the Egyptian hieroglyphs as interpreted by the Greeks. These recordings soon made their way to Florence in 1422, where Renaissance artists promptly became enchanted by the imagery and symbolism. Inspired by these Hieroglyphica, artists everywhere began to create their own symbols or hieroglyphs.
After some time, these symbols became standardised and a tradition was born in Renaissance art using these allegorical images to portray a ‘secret language’ amidst the artwork that would speak to people’s Higher Selves. The creation of the Tarot was a resulting factor of this artistic evolution. Even from its pre-conception, the Tarot has always been meant as an artistic display of symbology that is designed to aid communication between the unconscious and conscious mind.
A simple 3-card spread
A more complex, multi-card spread
Advice from a good friend
As with much occultism, the intended purpose of the Tarot as a divination tool has been misinterpreted through the centuries. It is not, as many people believe in the modern age, a method of predicting the future. Instead, it is a method of communicating with something intangible and more profound, often referred to as God, or the Higher Self. The Tarot is often used as a communication tool between our conscious minds and our intuition, a bridge between two worlds.
Readings from the Tarot should be taken as advice is from a good friend: their wisdom should be used as guidelines, and never taken as gospel truths. If they are accepted as such, the messages received allow us to find clarity, guidance and healing in any aspect of our lives: from careers and prosperity, to love and relationships. Spreads can use anything from a single card reading to an elaborate 30-card spread. Sometimes it is easier to interpret the messages with fewer cards; however, adding cards can often provide deeper meaning.
The will of the gods
Every aspect of the Tarot’s construction, whether consciously or unconsciously, appears to be purposeful and full of deeper meaning than it would appear on the surface. For example, the structure of the Major Arcana, when looked at in chronological order, appears to tell a story of spiritual evolution – “the archetypal story of a hero’s journey towards enlightenment”. Each Major Arcana card depicts an evolved state of being to the one that precedes it, trumping its predecessor in a multitude of ways.
The Major Arcana suit, therefore, offers us a way of using this archetypal imagery to convey messages, or to add further meaning to our readings, in order to speak to our Higher Self; thus gaining insight to our inner wisdom, and leading us to make more intuitive decisions. Many statements from oracles, such as the Oracle of Delphi, were not predictions of the future; they were used for revealing the will of the gods and guidance on how to create an improved future, thus keeping their favour and receiving their blessings.
Reference: Place, R., 2005. The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination. 1st ed. New York: Jeremy P Tarcher (Penguin). Buy the book here.
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