The traditional tarot deck has several divisions within it. Perhaps the most well known are the trump cards. There are twenty two trumps in the traditional deck. Each one represents a path or life experience that must be encountered on the mystical path back to “Source” or “God/dess”. They represent forces of destiny that are cosmic in nature and beyond human influence.
In the OAK:Tarot of Love and Romance deck the trump cards represent much more than this. They represent how we discover and integrate the masculine and feminine aspects we each have within us. They are symbolic images of the attainment of spiritual, psychological, emotional and mental health.
Said in another way these trumps symbolize how we gradually learn to love ourselves. This is vitally important because how can we love someone else if we can not love ourselves? First we love others because we find in them things we would like to find in ourselves but can’t. We feel those we love complete us. As we grow and mature we come to recognize those same characteristics in ourselves. This process of self discovery is what the Trumps are about.
The rest of the deck is divided into four suits. Traditionally these are Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles. These four suits represent spirit, intellect, emotion, and physical life. They also represent mundane life experiences easily recognized and within our power to change.
In the OAK:Tarot of Love and Romance I’ve chosen to use Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles respectively for the same purpose. In this deck we use each suit to explore Spiritual love, Platonic love, Emotional love and Physical love between the male and the female.
These four suits are known as the “Minor Arcana” and the trumps are known as the “Major Arcana”. The Minor Arcana are the tarot cards we most identify with and we will begin with the suit of Wands or Spiritual Love.
The four suits are further divided into Court Cards and number cards. The Court Cards represent personality types we might recognize. In tarot readings a Court card is usually chosen to represent the individual asking for a reading. You might recognize yourself in one of these Court cards or you might recognize parts of yourself in all of them!
Lastly the descriptions given in this book describe how a male might experience the card and how a female might experience the card. I’ve done this for stylistic purposes. For example, if I say a card represents a male placing a female upon a pedestal I am describing how one person in a relationship might place the other on a pedestal. I don’t mean only males place females upon pedestals. I’m simply trying to describe an energy dynamic that is taking place between two people involved in a love relationship and how each might respond.
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