The lighter side of Tarot deals with games played using this deck of uniquely peculiar cards. These range from the highly complex to those a four-year-old can play. “Zarcana,” a complicated game encompassing battles, voyages, life, death, love, loss, and more can be played indefinitely – or until one player in a winning position decides to declare the game finished. Another game appeals to the younger set because of its much simpler rules. Each player is dealt a card and whatever image is on the card, the player must enact a semblance. This can be quite humorous and fun for younger children. Imagine the delight when a player is dealt The Fool!
There are as many Tarot games as there are Tarot aficionados, and a quick look through the Internet can locate more Tarot games than a person could humanly attempt to play in one lifetime. But this is the joy of Tarot – and of the Internet!
As with games, Tarot deck designs run the gamut as well. After all, these cards have been around for hundreds of years, and each culture has contributed its own version. Sometimes even individuals have come forth with their own versions of the game, and some of these have become quite popular. The Waite-Smith Tarot version (also known as “Rider-Waite”) of the cards, created during the early part of the 20th century, has become probably the most popular design used today. Along with Waite-Smith, some of the better-known and still-used Tarot versions include the Visconti-Sforza, the Marseille, and the Minchiate. These latter decks often feature elaborate artwork without a great deal of occult imagery and, depending on personal tastes, can sometimes be construed as masterpieces of Renaissance design.
Many teachers of Tarot recommend using the Waite-Smith version until the novice has become familiar with all the image meanings and representations. At this point, the student can then proceed to select from the many Tarot designs available the deck that appeals to him or her personally. It is not unusual for even a long-time practitioner of Tarot to continue using the Waite-Smith version because, as one Tarot reader says, “It is simple, forthright, and appeals to the pragmatic side of my personality.”
Tarot card decks can be purchased many places both online and at brick-and-mortar retailers. Because the stigma of “devil worship” has left the Tarot in many parts, sometimes one can find a deck in as innocuous a place as Wal-Mart. Other areas may only carry decks in out-of-the-way fortune-teller supply shops and other “underground” markets.
Tarot serves to entertain as well as to gain insight, much as it did hundreds of years ago. So invest in your own deck and begin today to reap the rewards of learning Tarot. You may gain more than you ever imagined!
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