The Tarot Tarot: A System of Spirituality The Tarot is a spiritual system known to its initiates as “the Book of Books.” Its origins are unknown, but my favorite myth associated with its development is that after the burning of the Library of Alexandria in 387 at the orders of the Roman Emperor Theodosius, those scholars who survived went to the city of Fez in Egypt where they developed a deck of cards said to contain all the knowledge of the pagan classical world in a form that would not be recognized for what it was, for it would be thought of as “just a game.” The word Tarot may be considered an anagram—Tarot—Rota—Tora(h) = Circle/Wheel. Here again we find the circle or wheel of life, the circle of Arachne/Ariadne/Arianrhod; the circle of the Labyrinth; the circle of the Aten; the circle of the perfection of the Divine Source. The Tarot has 78 cards—22 that have archetypal images that that are called The Greater Arcana, and 56 cards in four suits similar to modern playing cards that have numbers from one to ten, court cards of kings, queens, knights, and pages, and symbols representing the four elements, etc. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily Fire (Masculine) Spiritual Wands/Clubs The Clergy Lance of Longinus Irish: The Spear of Lug Water (Feminine) Emotional Cups/Hearts Ladies The Holy Grail Irish: The Cauldron of the Dagda Air (Masculine) Mental Swords/Spades Knights Excalibur Irish: The Sword of Nuada Earth (Feminine) Physical Pentacles/Diamonds Merchant Class The Dish/Disk/Platter of the Fisher King’s Castle (Grail plate) Irish: The Stone of Fal (Stone of Scone) Note also parallels to those symbols associated with prehistoric peoples: Hunters > Swords/Arrows/Spears Gatherers > Cups/Bowls/Baskets Within the Arthurian legends, the following royal houses have also been associated with the Tarot symbols: Disk—The House of Benwick Grail—House of Pellinor Wand—House of Pendragon Spear—House of Lothian and Orkney (The Greater Arcana Cards are described on the next 2 pages)