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Tarot cards were originally created as playing cards – and in some parts of the world they are still used as such. Around the 18th century they began to be used as a tool for divination – and have grown in popularity ever since.
But although tarot is often depicted in movies and media as mysterious and a form of fortune telling, it can still be misunderstood.
“Tarot doesn’t tell you the future – it shows you the present with more clarity and distance, so you have a better understanding of your choices and their possible outcomes,” says Mark Horn, author of “Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation,” who has read tarot for over 50 years and studied with many of the world’s most renowned tarot teachers.
If you’re new to tarot cards, it can seem overwhelming to choose a deck – but don’t feel like you have to pick the trendiest one. In a tarot deck there are 78 cards, based on the four elements and divided into cups, pentacles, swords and wands. This leaves a lot of room for creative interpretation.
“Get the one who calls your name,” says community tarot reader Katie Florez, who gives virtual and in-person sessions in San Francisco and does a “free bimonthly card draw” for anyone who connects with her. via Instagram. “Your deck is meant to be read by you, so choose something you love to explore and feel connected to.”