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The Tarot Deck

There are 78 cards in the entire Tarot deck. The deck is divided into two groups, the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana resembles, in some ways, the traditional playing card deck. It consists of 56 cards, 14 cards of each of 4 suits.

The Major Arcana is a group of 22 individually named cards, each with a distinct meaning and symbolism. These cards are often called the "Triumph" cards and feature the Tarot "celebrities" like "Death", "The Devil" and "The Fool".

To follow is a list of Tarot cards that may be rendered for the ARCANA project along with a list of common symbols and interpretations that pertain to the suits and cards. It's recommended that you do some of your own research on the topic. See the bibliography for suggested reading.

The cards listed will each be accompanied by a brief summary of common imagery used and traditional meanings/interpretations. Though the card-code is mandatory, the meanings and symbolism expressed and used by the cards you design doesn't have to follow those expressed here...though it would be keen to use stick to the traditional cards in some regard.

The Minor Arcana

There are four suits in the Minor Arcana: Pentacles, Wands, Cups and Swords. Each suit consists of 14 cards: ace(1), 2 through 10, Page, Knight, Queen and King. The latter four cards are called the "Court Cards".
	    SUITS			     CARDS
			  |
	Pentacles = pnt   |	ace  	= 1		queen = q	
	Wands     = wnd   |	numbers = 2-10		king  = k
	Cups      = cup   |	page	= p
	Swords	  = swd   |	knight  = n 
(if you submit a design for the back of the deck, label it [ID#]-back.gif (or .jpg). Example: "a3-back.gif")

Card-coding of the Minor Arcana is simply in the "(card)(suit)" format. For example, if you were ID# "A3" and you uploaded a version of the Four of Swords as a GIF, you would name it:

	
				a3-4swd.gif
     				^  ^ ^     
		(ID#)-__________|  | |____________-(SUIT) 	
	    			   |
				 (CARD) 
       
		Ace of Cups would be: a3-1cup.gif
		King of Wands would be: a3-kwnd.gif
		Page of Pentacles would be: a3-ppnt.gif
 		etc...
We're abbreviating it like this so people on DOS machines can participate without having to expand their filenames while uploading.

Each suit holds it's own traditional sphere of influence and meaning. Indeed, each card of every suit holds some special significance. I'll provide the general overviews here. If you're curious as to individual interpretations, please take a look at some of the books in the bibliography.

PENTACLES (money, coins, stars, pentagrams)

Lowest suit of the deck.

Symbolism/Interpretation: pure sensation, material gain, man, winter, new moon, night, old age, four elements of human nature

WANDS (leaf, wands, tree-branches, twigs)

Symbolism/Interpretation: fire, inspiration, intellect, creativity, glory, air, feasting, dawn, childhood, animation, growth, will

CUPS (grail, chalice, mugs, vessels, water)

Symbolism/Interpretation: intuition, water, pleasure, merriment, powers of water, instincts, lovemaking, lion, summer, full moon, noon, youth, love and happiness

SWORDS (blades, swords)

Symbolism/Interpretation: air, thought, misfortune, intellect, trouble, sadness, sickness, death, powers of air, aggression, strife, stress, authority, autumn, last quarter of moon, evening, maturity, hatred, the bull

The Major Arcana

There are 22 cards, numbered 0 through 21, in the Major Arcana. Each represents an individual character or force and holds it's own unique traditional meanings.

When uploading cards of the Major Arcana, please use the following format: (ID#)-(#)ma.gif (or .jpg). Thus, if you were ID# "D5", and designed the Major Arcana "Death" card (which happens to be the 13th card of the Major Arcana), you would upload it with the filename:

				d5-13ma.gif
				^  ^ ^ 
		(ID#)-__________|  | |___________-(Major Arcana)
				   |
				(number of card)

Listed here are the 22 cards and brief descriptions gleened from a few of the books in the bibliography.