Before I discuss tarot as a form of Jungian Pagan practice, I want, in this post, to give a little background about how I approach tarot.
Tarot, for anyone who does not know, is a deck of cards that derives from a mid-15th century card game called Triumphs, which is the origin of various modern trump card games like Euchre, Bridge, and Hearts. The tarot card deck resembles the common 52 playing cards used today, with important differences. There are four suits: Swords, Batons (or Wands), Cups, and Coins (or Pentacles). In addition to the King and Queen face cards, there is a Knight (which became the Jack) and a Page. These constitute the court cards, which are also called the Minor Arcana. In addition, there are 22 trump cards, also called the Major Arcana, with names like the Fool, the Lovers, Death, and the Hanged Man, numbered 0 to 21. All of the cards have evocative imagery on them, which accounts for their continued appeal. The cards are now primarily used for divination, or fortune telling, rather than as a card game. The deck exists in many versions. The most well known historical deck is the Tarot de Marseilles and the most well known occult deck is the Rider-Waite Tarot, but there are literally thousands of variations.
I actually discovered tarot before I discovered Paganism or Jung. After I left the Mormon church, I found myself searching the internet for imagery. I couldn't have said then what I was looking for, but now I realize that I was looking for symbols to fill the vacuum that had been created by the loss of the symbolic system which Mormonism had previously provided me. I came across tarot and something about the imagery, especially the Major Arcana, was compelling to me, so I went looking for more information.