I like cards. I'm intrigued by them. When I'm playing online, I shuffle a deck of real cards for good luck. Also because it relaxes me and is an aid to my concentration, sort of the way you see poker players on TV play with their chips, I do the same with a pack of playing cards.
I was looking at them closely the other day, specifically looking at the court cards, the Jack, Queen, and King of all four suits, and thinking about the meaning and origin of the symbolism conveyed on each card. I have a bit of familiarity with Tarot cards. Not a master or anything but I have a deck, and I used to give myself tarot readings years ago, lately not so much, because I don't really have any need to see the future, and I have no interest in having my fortune read. But nonetheless I remember hearing somewhere in the past about how ordinary playing cards are associated with tarot cards. That basically the 52 cards in a deck of ordinary playing cards, basically mirrors the minor arcana of tarot.
Been reading about this lately. Don't know much, but would like to know more. One interesting tidbit I recently came across about playing cards, is that they are actually older than the tarot, or that they are the original tarot cards, not only used for divination purposes, but was actually an ancient calender system going back perhaps thousands of years, with some version found in all ancient cultures around the world.
It is believed that the card deck was our first calendar. Judge for yourself:
• there are 52 cards in the deck and 52 weeks in the year.
• there are 4 Suits and 4 seasons.
• there are 13 cards in each suit and 13 weeks in each of the seasons.
• there are 12 Court Cards (jacks, queens, kings) and 12 months.
When added together (1+2+3, etc.. through the entire deck) the total is 364. Add the Joker as 1, and the total is 365, the number of days in the year.
Additionally, Hearts are the Cups in tarot, associated with springtime and youthfulness, and rule the realm of feeling and emotion. Clubs are the Wands in tarot, and associated with summertime and young adulthood, ruling the mind and intellect. Diamonds are the Pentacles, associated with fall and middle age, and encompass the realms of money and material wealth. And finally Spades, are the Swords in Tarot, associated with winter and old age, and rule the realm of work, health, and wisdom.
Under this system, each day of the year is assigned a specific card, a card bestowed with unique qualities said to influence the day. And under this system whichever card was assigned to the date of your birth, is said to be your birth card, influencing who you are and why you are here. It's astrology. Love it or hate it, take it or leave it. Whether it is true or not, whether it is science fact or science fiction, I'm a sucker for this stuff. I enjoy it. Not going to let it rule my life, but it's interesting nonetheless.
I'm the Jack of Hearts. Wow, imagine that, I'm a royal, both of my parents are court cards too: Jack of Clubs (mom), Queen of Clubs (dad).
Don't mean to toot my own horn, but I think this card describes me, particularly in that I am very youthful and charismatic, some would even say charming, or so I'm told. Apparently this card is the universal teacher, and associated with the spirit of Christ and sacrificial love. I see a lot of this card in me, everything but the marriage part. Apparently this card tends to marry young. And I don't see that in my cards anytime soon. Nope. Sorry. Can't help you. Not for me.
Regardless of that, even if this is just complete bullshit, I do recognize that I do have a natural teacher instinct in me, and what this card teaches me is that I have become a very selfish person, reclusive, and withdrawn. Looking in too much. Not that I'm going to stop looking in, but it teaches me that I need to learn to become a more selfless person, to reach out more to others. Instead of retreating away from the world, I need to embrace the world, and help where I can. A lot easier said then done, but this is what I learn from this card.
You see even if this isn't true, even if the card assigned to your birth, doesn't really describe you, or your personal essence or experience, and it's just some arbitrary flip of the coin bullshit, you can still learn from it. Every card has an important lesson to impart, a positive quality to nurture and embrace within yourself. That's where the value of this lies, taking the good, leaving the bad, and extracting whatever positive value you can apply to your real life. That's what matters.
Star of the Magi - What's your Card?