It is an incredible understatement to say that the occult has been misrepresented in today’s era. The ancient sciences of occult divination are perhaps the most misunderstood and misinterpreted aspects of occult philosophy, despite the fact that the correct sources of information have always sat just beneath the surface-level information on the subject for those who would care to muster up the courage to dive just a bit deeper. “Divination” is a practice upheld in all occult schools of thought throughout history, from the mystics of the far East, to the ancient Druids, Egyptians, and beyond–and the subjects of this category can be considered Tarot, Numerology, Astrology, and the Kabbalistic Tree of LIfe (which dates back much further than the Hebrew Kabbalists). While these phrases are generally considered to be of Western esoteric practice, the divinations of the East can as well be generally agreed to fit within these categories.
Now, with the presented context of information, there are surely a great deal of red-flags that the rational mind brings about, and questions like, “How can planets, playing cards, and numbers affect or predict human life and happenstance?” are generally rampant during explanations of these psychological sciences, as they are indeed sciences. Unfortunately, those skeptics asking questions like the one just posed–instead of boasting their “rationally oriented intellect” by pointing out the basic fallacies of divination–are proving how gullible, naïve and ignorant they really are to the things they have already “logically explained away” to themselves. The obvious answer that’s under the general public’s nose is that planets, playing cards, and numbers cannot in and of themselves affect human nature–and the ancient esoteric occultists were also well aware of this.
(Introduction to Tarot and divination: https://youtu.be/XqEurPUTF6M)
To quote esoteric researcher, Michael Tsarion,
“Of the many differences between Taroscopic and conventional astrology, that of greatest import concerns what I refer to as the ‘Inner Zodiac.’ Contrary to what is believed by exoteric practitioners of the ancient ‘Round Art,’ the zodiac is not merely an external phenomenon. On the contrary, it is a psychic apparatus. It is an enfolded attribute of the psyche; an ancestral image embedded within the so-called race memory. In Jungian parlance, it is a constellation of archetypes projected by consciousness onto the external world… As seasoned students know, the study of astrology and its sister Divination Arts reveals the secret connections between psychic and physical energy.”
In the same article, which can be seen in the references here, he further explains,
“Knowledge of the Inner Zodiac was lost and men began believing the fallacy that consciousness and destiny are affected, in some undefined manner, by distant rocks floating in space. This ‘magic rays’ nonsense continues to be promulgated and accepted by exoteric practitioners of the so-called New Age Movement. Regrettably, the prevalence of this fallacy means scientifically-minded men remain contemptuously dismissive of astrology. They turn from arcane metascience which might otherwise receive positive attention.”
However, if the commonly held ideas of these divinations are incorrect, what could the correct interpretation be? Again, the answer is right under the nose of the public, as it is one of the most crucial and primary elements of any occult philosophy: the recognition of the divinity within the Self, in relation the outside world–i.e. the microcosm’s holographic informational connection to the macrocosm. Divinatory sciences are psychological sciences of the inner psyche, and the planets, playing cards, and numerology are all representations of phenomenon that escape traditional phraseology. In other words, these are symbols that represent aspects of the human archetypal consciousness, and can be considered as a way to highlight the metadata of the individual psyche.
Granted, the term “divination” is traditionally explanatory of “fortune-telling,” “clairvoyance,” and generally being able to peek into the future of the questioner, but divination is as well the study of the divine relationship between the Self and the world around it, as described above. Briefly, for the record, divination can as well be used for the described augmentations akin to clairvoyance, but this would as well be a gaze into the future by the analysis of the psyche of the questioner, and not by the supernatural aspects of any objective phenomena.
While study of the Tarot is considered incomplete without attention to the other divinatory sciences, Tarot is often considered to be the quintessential aspect of Divination, as it has an etymological argument for being the original of the sciences. However, researchers of Tarot are quick to find that there are no straight answers as to the origins of these practices, especially with these ancient “playing” cards. It is scholastically recognized that Tarot cards were the first types of “playing cards” and were the eventual inspiration of card games, and the streamlined 52 card deck that is seen today; because of this it can perhaps be most resolutely argued that pinpointing the specific origin of Tarot might not just be impossible with survived records, but may be equally moot of a point, since symbolism and playing cards can very easily be recognized as natural phenomena of the human psyche. Surely symbolism can be considered under this definition since the imagination is simply a person’s repository of symbolic associations, and from a technological, empirical standpoint–if humans beings can be observed to have a natural inclination towards technology (from fire and the wheel, to computer chips) then creating an objective collection of archetypal representations of the psyche, on paper “cards” can surely be argued as well as part of this natural technological inclination.
In short, both the ingenuity and the symbolism are not unique to a specific school of thought or time period, and rather have been represented in a variety of classical ways by different mindsets throughout the ages, in ancient Egypt, Europe, Asia, and even the Americas. However, it is generally etymologically accepted that, as far as current understanding allows, it appears that divination and Tarot originally dated back specifically to the Egyptian Hermetic Mystery Initiations, which thus influenced ancient Hebrew and Greek, both of which had correspondence with traders from the East from time to time, and the rest “is history,” as they say.
Considered under a variety of names, like the Book of the Law (as in Natural Law); the Book of Thoth (or Hermes, who was considered to be the scribe and messenger of the gods); the Book of Life, and onward; to those who practice Tarot seriously, it is always considered as something much more than a deck of cards. Represented as a continuously unfolding book of the inner psyche in relation to the macrocosm, the symbolism takes on much greater context for a practitioner, and especially an initiate with these connotation. Additionally, the Tarot deck is generally considered as the “Oracle” for the questioner, even if the questioner is having someone else perform their reading. In this sense, the deck of cards take on a mystical, allegorical presence, and creates a comfortable seat within the imagination, so that it may begin disseminating its archetypal connections within the questioner’s psyche.
For those who are interested in the analytical breakdown and symbolic interpretations of the Tarot deck, occult researcher and expert, Mark Passio, is a great starting point:
Another important aspect when considering Tarot, perhaps the most crucial to an individual’s experience, would be the type of deck that should be used. In today’s culture of New Age pseudo-philosophy, and bogus “divination software program readings” online, it is important to research the origins of any given deck that is being considered by an individual. As a rule of thumb, unless someone is looking for a traditional deck with widespread use for easier comprehension (such as the Rider-Waite Tarot deck; considered a classic), it is beneficial for an individual to acquire a Tarot deck that is based on symbolism that they feel naturally inclined to. As mentioned above, aspects of Tarot can be recognized in all occult philosophy, and as a result, Tarot has been developed for essentially all surviving schools of genuine occult philosophy.
For brevity, the contents of the Tarot deck will remain untouched in this article, and the overall purpose here is to whet the appetite of the individual looking for deeper understanding, and to clarify some of the most fundamental misconceptions still held today. Nowadays, those who feel the elemental component that divination plays in the human psyche, yet lack the overall understanding of its mechanics, are forced to begin their statements on the subject with: “I’m not totally sold on the idea, but..” or “I don’t put much weight in it, but,” et cetera, which is often followed by snickers from peers who feel comfortable with their own “rational dismissal” of the subject. This is a very poor representation of these cherished sciences that have miraculously survived throughout the ages. Not only do they deserve a deeper understanding by those who consider it useful, they also deserve an objective analysis without condescension and cultural assumption by those who inaccurately consider themselves intellectuals.
As a final statement, research into the categories of divination respectively, including Tarot, evolution of interpretation, variance in contexts, understandings, and usages throughout history. Depending on an individual’s stance, any of these variances could be considered less or more accurate than what was changed. This is why it is so important for an individual to do their own research, especially when entering into occult philosophy, because all the information needed can be found in today’s society with enough digging, and it is important to understand the full context of the tools one is using. Accurate understanding of the Self cannot come without research and discovery–and the occult sciences, philosophy, and spirituality overall cannot be correctly approached until this understanding of the Self is authentically approached. When this occurs, the ancient occult divinations like Tarot can be used to actualize the truest, higher aspect of the Self, as it has helped human beings do for thousands of years.
Sources: http://taroscopes.com/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlyPvuad5WA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hp–o3KAzg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb9aakzGjcY, http://www.michaeltsarion.com/inner-zodiac.html, http://www.whatonearthishappening.com/, http://www.michaeltsarion.com/