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The future is always dependent on the 
choice made in the present.
Tarot is a tool to explore consciousness, past lives and potential futures.  It is a tool for personal analysis, transformation and transcendence.  The archetypes and images trigger our unconscious.  Every card or spread has a story to tell of a journey to be taken or a situation understood.  
As people have begun to seek tools for self awareness, embarked on spiritual journeys or are simply seeking a tradition to facilitate meaning and structure within their lives.  The last fifteen years has seen unprecedented growth in the tarot industry.
There are a multitude of tarot decks that embrace a variety of history, philosophy, mythology, culture and ethnicity.  Pop-culture has had an effect of the development and design of tarot, some closely resembling the original decks, while others are completely idiosyncratic and without any reference to the original archetypal Tarot characters.
Popular Myths about tarot
Tarot was not developed by the Egyptians, Mayans, secret societies or invented by the Romanies (Gypsies). Tarot has been around for 600 years and originates from Medieval and Renaissance Europe and was originally used as playing cards and mystical education. However,we do see correspondences to Astrology; Kabballah; Numerology; Sacred Geometry; Philosophy and cultural icons in many decks.
“You have to be ‘psychic’ to read the tarot”.  “Tarot is ‘the devils picture book’.” Over the years, Tarot has had bad press and been misunderstood and represented. The first reference to the occult, was around 1781. The confusion is that playing cards were banned because of gambling and not tarot. During the time of the Inquisition which was well documented, tarot is never mentioned.  
At the turn of the 20th century there was renewed interest in tarot.  Alistair Crowley produced a deck, the Egyptian Book of all Wisdom or the Book of Thoth. Waite created his deck in 1909 and was a prominent member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which is a known occult society - perhaps this is what created the misunderstanding and ‘evil’ association of tarot.  
The art of tarot is constantly evolving.  The range, scope and variety can be daunting, often with conflicting meanings and images which confuse the student. When one is starting out and discovering tarot, it is important to consider the philosophy of a deck.  Not all tarot is equal, and there is no definitive deck.  

Find the deck that resonates with you, your culture or philosophy - be open to new ideas. Having said that, the Rider-Waite deck (created in 1909) is still the most popular starter deck. The images are simple and easy to understand, and a large portion of modern decks follow the structure of this deck.  

With my students I refer to the 80/20 principle. In the beginning the ratio is 80% acquired knowledge 20% intuition - as you progress with your tarot studies the balance shifts.  How you use your deck is a personal choice.  Be it story telling, self analysis, card of the day for focus and motivation or divination, you choose the path to follow.

The art of tarot is rewarding when you resonate with the energies.  Today we find more people working with Tarot to explore their own consciousness, past lives and potential futures.
What is Tarot?
Tarot is a visual tool with a symbolic language based on universal patterns, icons, culture, mythology, philosophy and ethnicity.  It is a knowledge system that works with the user at their level of experience. Tarot can guide you to understand an objective, clear a path through the internal gossip or simply show the options and opportunities available in that moment in time.  
Popular Tarot Decks