Welcome to the Quest, and the world of Tarot! My name is Robert St. Cloud, and I will be serving as both your host, and guide as you continue to pursue the Quest!
What is intended to follow herein are some basic understandings, definitions, and guidelines for utilizing and applying the Arcana or Tarot. The Quest, is for one's own pursuit of enlightenment and empowerment. For the sake of the uninformed, we address the question “What, exactly, is it?”
Arcana is a term taken from the ancient tongues which might best translate as “a knowledge divine” or the “way of life’s being”.
The Arcana exists as a whole philosophy, a discipline, and a practice of living drawn over time from common observation.
Originally presented as a conceptual vessel, born of blending and representative of the four earliest sciences of man, the Arcana, as a system, combines the generally accepted understandings of Astrology - the science of cycles, Alchemy - the nature of nature, the Kabala – the art of social order, and Numerology - the power of assumptive calculation.
Conceptually, the System Arcana (tarot) is a bit more than just a philosophical practice or way of behaving.
The Arcana incorporates recognition of the four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The system also incorporates all four geo-directions: East, South, West, and North, including their represented influences with regard to the cycle of life.
The intertwining categorical divisions (Suits) also symbolize the four segments of consciousness: Intuition, Emotion, Intellect and Sensation, these four aspects are the primary influence in basic decision making.
Intuition, is a product of instinct, Emotion is a mental construct (often a taught behavior), Intellect is a product of observation, retained experiences, and social programming, Sensation is the product of ego - believe it or not!
Ego is a driving influence held by all, it aids each in choice - those which best serve self, and it provides a gauge, or measure for establishing status, posture, and disposition of perception (not always a friend!
The system Arcana encompasses the whole of being, providing a tool to aid us in seeing past our emotions and ego. The tool comes to us as the Tarot, or Arcanum - a simple, although artistic, deck of cards. Well, perhaps not so simple!
The Tarot, a name handed down from some point in the early iron-age, refers to a series of images assembled in-kind to what we know today as a deck of common playing cards.
It is most important to understand that when applied in the proper manner, and in the right hands, the Tarot is a powerful tool of divination or prediction.
The Arcana, in and of itself, has long been steeped in mystery, but is not mysterious. By design, it is simply a guide to clarity and knowledge, not a product of magic or spells; yet it is, for some, both majestic and spell binding.
Although it has been associated with a great deal of poor speculation regarding occultism, magic, and the mystical arts, it is important to understand that there really is nothing here which is magical, although at times, a bit mystical. It is a way, a science, a tool, and what one might call the handbook for perceiving one’s destiny.
As we move forward on the Quest, effort will be made to clarify, and interpret how this ancient knowledge can be aligned with the world we live in today.
There will be explorations into long held philosophies, the baser core instincts of man, and how these influence each of us, and the manner in which these understandings can impact our existence in this material plane.
I hope you will continue too join along in the Quest!
For those who desire to hurry the process, the elements, concept and ideas can be explored in their full aspect in the companion book; Living Life with Eyes Wide Open ($25.00 U.S.) by Robert St. Cloud.
The idea is that the Quest itself is subject to individual understandings, and can (should) be questioned, commented upon, or interacted with!
You will soon be able to engage with fellow questers on the forthcoming Official Quest Arcana Facebook Page.
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