The Tarot, This Page, and How to Use It
The origins of the Tarot deck are obscure. People have always enjoyed playing cards, and the Tarot deck evolved out of this tradition. It probably achieve its current form of 78 cards with four regular suits and a set of "trumps" sometime in the 13th century. It is unclear whether it was used for divination at this early period. It may well have been just a game to pass the time. It was the interest of the occulist movements of the late 19th and early 20th century that leant the tarot its common reputation of being a means for divination and spiritual seeking. It was in this period that the most commonly known tarot deck was created, the Waite-Smith Deck (also known as the Rider Deck). It was based on the earlier, archetypal Marseille deck from the 14th century enhanced with Theosophical symbolism. This Waite-Smith Deck in-turn was "rediscovered" with the burgeoning spirituality of the 1960s. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung also took an interest in the tarot in the post WW II era, and his writings have been the source for many of the psychological interpretations of the Tarot cards.
This page provides a means to do a tarot "throw" using the Waite-Smith Deck. A throw is a particular layout of the cards that is meant to aid in understanding the past, present and future with regard to a particular question one has in mind. The layout represented here is the most commonly used one, called the Celtic Cross Spread. This is a series of 10 cards with the first two crossed in the middle. When you close this introduction page, you will see the outlines of the cards for this layout and a form into which you can enter your question. If you wish to save your throws, then you need to login using the link in the upper-right corner. (Create an account, if you do not already have one.) Enter your question and click "Begin!". You will then be instructed to click on the deck in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and a card will be flipped over and will float to the place in the spread where it belongs. The name of the position of the card, the cards title, and a brief interpretation will then appear in the box above the deck. Clicking on the deck thus ten times will fill out the spread and interpretations and the deck with then vanish.