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How many and what are the names of the cards in a Tarot deck…?

I’ve always wondered how many and what the names are of the cards in a Tarot deck. Does it matter what kind of deck you have or what?

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  1. There are many packs and patterns with numerous variations on the trumps. Here are the standard cards starting with the trump sequence that took as its theme a traditional Christian triumph procession – hence they were called trionfi, meaning triumphs and from which we get our word trump. It was the invention of tarot that marked the introduction of trumps into card games!
    There are 78 cards in this pack:
    Matto, or The Fool – An un-numbered card, not traditionally a trump at all, functioning in the earliest games as an excuse. It is still used this way in Italy, Sicily, France, Denmark and Switzerland. Other countries now employ it as the highest ranking trump.
    1. Il Bagatto – Not really a magician at all, that was a change made by occultists. This is the lowest trump and ranks among the three honour cards, with a higher point value and scoring an extra bonus if it is used to win the last trick of a hand.
    2. Not a priestess but the Popess. It seems like a strange figure to us now, perhaps even heretical but in fact this was a common figure in Christian art during the 15th century and later, representing diverse subjects such as faith, church law, doctrine, the new covenant, etc. Some later packs, where these allegories were less established, were cautious and replaced the figure with alternatives such as Juno.
    3. The Empress.
    4. The Emperor.
    5. The Pope. Again, not a card that ever actually worried the church (which never objected to tarot) but again, some card makers replaced it with alternatives such as Jupiter, or even Bacchus!
    The Tarocco Bolognese replaced trumps 2-5 with four equally ranking trumps called The Four Moors. (this was a political move rather than a religious one)
    The Besancon tarot replaced the Female Pope and the Pope with Juno and Jupiter – the Swiss 1JJ, still in use for games such as Troccas and Troggu, uses these figures. Another pack, used in Belgium replaced these two with The Spanish Captain and Bacchus.
    6. Love or The Lovers
    7. The Chariot
    8. Justice (occultists often swap this card’s order with Strength)
    9. Originally Father Time, featuring Old Man Time with his hour glass. Later card makers mistook this for a lamp and he became a hermit.
    10. The Wheel of Fortune
    11. Strength
    12. When French card makers added titles to the trumps, they didn’t quite know what to make of this one and called it simply The Hanged Man. However, there was no mystery about the card in Italy, where they called it The Traitor – because that’s what happened to traitors there, they were hung by one ankle and left to die slowly.
    13. Death
    14. Temperance. There is an interesting note to this card, usually shown with wings. In the early Italian cards, she is shown seated with the corners of the chairs back showing above her shoulders. Later card makers began to show the corners as being curved until the French card makers saw them and interpreted them as the tops of wings, electing to show the wings more explicitly.
    15. The Devil
    16. The Tower. Early Italian cards do not really match the more familiar designs of the Marseilles pattern, instead they were often known as the Devil’s House, showing a burning building.
    17. The Star
    18. The Moon
    19. The Sun
    20. The Judgement, also known in Italy as the Angel and is ranked above the World as the highest trump.
    21. The World.
    There are then the four suits from a regular pack of playing cards, each with 10 pip cards and four court cards, being the King, Queen, Cavalier, and Valet. It is worth noting that it is the Queen that is the addition here as Latin suited cards had (and still have) all male courts. The Latin suit signs are swords, cups, coins, and batons. When playing cards originally came to us via the Islamic world, batons were actually Polo sticks – but the game was not familiar in Europe at that time. While it is common for modern occultists to name coins as pentacles, this was actually due to a mistake in translation from a French source that interpreted them as talismans.
    There are three packs using the Italian suits and trumps that deviate from the 78 card norm.
    The Tarocco Bolognese, mentioned above for The Four Moors, has a reduced number of pip cards so that there are just 62 in total. These cards are not generally used outside of Bologna and are for a family of very old games, chief among them Ottocento – which can easily give Bridge a run for it’s money!
    The next is the Tarocco Siciliano, obviously used in Sicily for a wonderful game. Again, it has a reduced number of pip cards to make a pack of 64. There are still 21 trumps (plus a Fool) but they are numbered up to 20, having a special unnumbered trump called The Beggar. The trump order is a little different from the standard and the highest trump is Giove. Another unnusual trump is number 14, which features a ship, only found elsewhere in the Minchiate.
    The Minchiate was a Florentine invention, adding an extra

  2. Hello
    Which deck you choose is a personal thing, but make sure that you like them as for them to work well with you, you will have to build a relationship with all 78 of them!
    Sadhara

  3. With so many decks out there, the names or titles of individual cards can vary, usually when there are changes it is to fit in with the theme of the deck.
    There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck; divided into 2 Arcanas;
    The Major Arcana with 22 cards numbered 0-21 in roman numerals-
    0 — Fool
    I- Magician
    II — High Priestess
    III – Empress
    IV – Emperor
    V – Hierophant
    VI – Lovers
    VII – Chariot
    VIII — Strength
    IX – Hermit
    X — Wheel of Fortune
    XI – Justice
    XII — Hanged Man
    XIII – Death
    XIV – Temperance
    XV – Devil
    XVI – Tower
    XVII – Star
    XVIII – Moon
    XIX – Sun
    XX Judgement
    XXI – World
    The Minor Arcana has 56 cards.
    The Minor Arcana is further divided into 4 suits;
    Swords
    Wands
    Cups
    Pentacles
    The suits are sometimes changes as well such as
    Blades
    Batons
    Chalices
    Coins
    The suits are of 14 cards each, cards are numbered 1-10 and have 4 Court cards- Page, Knight, Queen, King.
    Some decks add in a few extra cards to the Major Arcana and are still called Tarot, but typically, any deck of cards that is not 78 cards and formatted with the Aracnum and Suits is not a Tarot deck and is called and Oracle deck.

  4. There are hundreds if not thousands of Tarot decks out there and although some of them vary in their names, images and meanings, the most universally known tarot deck consists of 78 cards. There are 22 “Major Arcana” which represent karmic experiences, or “life lessons” that all mankind must go through for spiritual growth and to complete our journey here in this life. There are also 56 “Minor Arcana” cards consisting of four “suits” (Swords, Wands, Pentacles, and Cups) numbered Ace (1) through 10, and four court cards for each suit (Kinds, Queens, Pages & Knights).
    Sound familiar? Sounds similar to your ordinary deck of playing cards? Well it’s no coincidence as the playing cards you use today actually derived from the original Tarot cards. Tarot cards have existed for more than 5,000 years and no one knows for sure when they were created, by whom, or why. Their origination is as much a mystery as the cards themselves.
    I am a Tarot expert & professional Tarot reader & writer. I write for an on line magazine called Mystic Solutions. If you are interested in learning more about Tarot, might I recommend visiting the site http://yourmysticsolution.com/ for information on reading Tarot, developing your psychic abilities, astrology, meditation …etc.

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