Tarot Cards - SPIRAL web series
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The Tarot Deck

In SPIRAL, the character of Grace turns to the tarot deck as a part of the way she tries to understand the world. She has dealt certain cards in association with each of her housemates. What is the tarot? Where does it come from? And what is the meaning of those cards?

The origins of the tarot deck can be traced back to Egypt and Turkey and the game of Mamluk. It likely made its way to Europe in the 14th century and was originally simply a deck of playing cards. Today a typical deck contains 78 cards including four suits of 14 cards (wands, cups, swords and pentacles or coins) as well as one suit of 21 cards called the trump suit (by those who use it to play games) and the major arcana (by those who use it for divination). The more mystical use of the tarot deck can be traced back to Italy in the 18th century. The art on the cards can be very beautiful and vary widely. The deck featured in SPIRAL is based on the classic Rider-Waite deck from the 1920’s.

The meaning of the cards within the tarot deck has changed over time, reflecting the current culture and individual interpretation. There are generally different meanings if the card is dealt upright or upside down.  Here are some of the card combinations that Grace has associated with the other characters:

SOPHIE Queen of cups (upside down) & Knight of pentacles
EMMA Five of pentacles & The World (both upside down)
DAVIS The Tower &  Ten of swords (both upside down)
CLARK The Hierophant, The Chariot & Six of swords 
JOSH The Devil & The Hanged Man 
ALEX Death & Queen of pentacles (both upside down)

If you are curious and want to learn more about tarot cards and figure out what they might mean in SPIRAL, here are some online resources to get you started:

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