You might appreciate some background on the type of tarot reading you’ll receive. It’s quite different from others you may have heard about or experienced in the past.
Old School Tarot Reading
I conduct your tarot reading using a system inspired by our human philosophical heritage dating back at least 2000 years. It uses the Aristotelian understanding of the four elements (Fire, Air, Water, Earth) and four powers (Hot, Dry, Cold, Moist). It draws from Neo-Pythagorean numerology2. Finally, it restores the time-tested model of malefic3 and benefic4 dignities.
Though quite alien to our usual way of understanding the universe and our place in it, these ideas would be familiar to an educated person of the 16th century.
Is this a common way to read tarot?
You’d be right to think that this is not a common method of tarot reading. It demands the reader rely on both intelligence (knowledge and common sense) and intuition.
Old school tarot reading provides a rigor and internal consistency not always found in other methods of reading. The inclusion of these perennial frames (elements, powers and numbers) combined with the universal and archetypal tarot imagery allow your reading to take in the whole range of human experience.
Most people find it answers their questions accurately and well.
Intuitive and structured tarot readings
The majority of tarot readers today use what is called an intuitive style. With an extreme type of intuitive reading the reader is free-associating or even channeling words, thoughts and messages that are only loosely associated with the card images or established meanings. Most people who identify themselves as psychic would also say they are intuitive, though far from all intuitive readers would call themselves psychic.
Structured readings usually suggest a set range of meanings – or method for deriving them – for each of the 78 tarot cards. One extreme form of structured tarot reading is the cold reading, in which the reader could be reciting a memorized script.
Both groups have honest and good readers, grifters and frauds.
Types of Tarot Decks
Tarot decks used for cartomancy5 may be grouped into four categories. By far the largest number of decks are patterned after the Rider Waite deck (RWS) drawn in 1909 by Pamela Colman Smith. This type of deck is the most popular in the US and UK. There are a small group of Thoth decks (Thoth) (or derivatives) which are based on the work of Aleister Crowley. There is a large group of gaming decks like the Tarot Nouveau or Bourgeois Tarot.
Old school tarot utilizes the final category of decks. These are most popular in Italy, France and other parts of Europe called the Tarot of Marseille (TdM). This is the oldest tradition, tracing back to the 15th Century. TdM decks are most notable for having have non-scenic pip cards. These cards, numbered 1 to 10 in four suits, are usually illustrated with flowers, leaves and the emblem or the implement of the suit.
Final thought from Alec
Thank you again for the opportunity to read for you. Like many of my colleagues, I consider this ancient craft a sacred gift.
May your reading provide you with clear light.
- Querent = A fancy name for you when you get a tarot reading. [↩]
- See Iamblichus. Theology of Arithmetic [↩]
- Malefic = Having or exerting a malignant influence. [↩]
- Benefic = Producing benefit or being beneficial [↩]
- Cartomancy = Getting answers through consulting cards. [↩]
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We all need someone we can trust.