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Persian Tarot: Origins and Cards

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There are several forms of tarot out there, some more intriguing than others, some more complex and others simpler. Persian Tarot was created by Madame Indira in 1980. Indira was born in Algeria and raised in a convent, without ever meeting her parents. She began to develop great intuition since the age of ten when she would predict things which always came true. The prototype for the Persian tarot was created by Indira when she was 11 years old: she designed the first deck of cards and assigned a certain symbolism to each card.

Persian tarot is composed of 55 cards, each of them possessing a specific, powerful meaning. The cards are aesthetically pleasing, having an exotic air which simply draws you in, determining you to want to learn more. The Persian tarot cards adapt to the questions of each consultant. There are 19 symbolic cards also knows as the “Majors,” 16 “Intermediary” ones, followed by 16 “Minor” cards, and four “Complementary” cards.

Madame Indira built the deck of cards in such a manner that interpreting it would be simple for any person. The symbolism of the Persian tarot cards relies on Jewish and Christian culture, as well as on Indo-European myths. Whatever knowledge we may have of both our culture and that of our collective unconscious, it can be used to ensure a better understanding of the symbolism of each card.

Focusing further on the 19 Major cards, they comprise five animal cards –Tiger, Black Panther, Peacock, Swallows, and the Wheel of Fish – and 14 symbol cards.

As predator, the Tiger needs a lot of space in order to roam and to hunt freely. It is a symbol of strength and ferocity in China, and in Indian culture it is compared to the higher force that chases away bad spirits. The Tiger stands for virility, power, and courage.

The Black Panther is a rare species which is primarily found in Burma. It represents ferocity, slyness, and strength.

Certain ancient cultures considered the Peacock a unique creature which manifested the power of the Third Eye. Other cultures saw the Peacock as a demonic being, associating with it mystical symbolism.

Gentle creatures of the sky, the Swallows announced the arrival of spring. They symbolize fertility, joy, and love.

The Wheel of Fish suggests the circle of life through its circularity. The turning of the wheel symbolizes the ups and downs of life, and it is also a sign of wealth and luck.

The other 14 Major Arcana are: the Torches, the Boat, the Island, the Witch, the House, Sickness, Death, Encounters, Fatima's Hand, Marriage, the Break-Up, the Chest, the Sun, and Fertility. The 16 so-called intermediary cards are the following: Kings, Queens, Clubs, Knaves and Aces of Hearts, Diamonds, and Spades. The 16 minor cards are Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, and the 3, 5, 6, and 10 of Hearts.

The most important factor in Persian tarot is the order in which you draw the cards, because the meaning of each card changes depending on where it appears in a draw. In order to understand a draw in its entirety and correctly, each card has to be first interpreted separately, and then as a whole. The draw is usually arranged in a Celtic cross.

Persian tarot is not only easy to use and entertaining, but it can also reveal important aspects of your life. With each card that you draw, you will intuitively grasp its meaning, discovering yourself a bit more, and learning more about the choices you should make in life.

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