The debate on whether or not your tattoos should have a meaning rages on; some can’t understand why anyone would permanently ink their skin without a profound reason while others make fun of the idea of giving your tattoo a personal meaning. Whatever you feel about how meaningful (or not) tattoos should be, tarot cards make for some great tattoo inspiration.
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So what are tarot cards? These cards make up a 78 card deck with 22 major cards (the major arcana) and 56 minor cards (the minor arcana) which are made up of four different suits. Each card has a unique image on it along with its own set of complex meanings relating to divination and psychology. Tarot cards first appeared in Europe from the mid-fifteenth century but some even date them back to ancient Egypt, although there is little evidence for this. However they came about, their origins are shrouded in mystery and, although they have also been used as a simple card game, they have also been used for divination since the late eighteenth century.
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So why are tarot cards increasingly being used for tattoo inspiration? There has been a recent rise in the popularity of tarot cards in general and this is mirrored by increased interest in the occult, as well as paganism which the cards are often associated with.
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Although some people are wary of tarot cards and go so far as to suggest devilish influence at play in the deck and its use, many people are starting to let go of stereotypes surrounding witchy and occult practices, beliefs, and imagery. They provide such great inspiration because the figures presented in the cards represent classic archetypes and aspects of the human psyche as well as tools to help us improve our character and deal with the world. With names like Strength, the Hanged Man, the World, and the Chariot, the cards are great for sparking ideas and concepts.
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So how do you go about choosing a tarot inspired tattoo? Some people use designs directly taken from real tarot decks and others like to use the themes and meanings of each card as their inspiration. You can choose a card that you feel is important to you, maybe it represents something you are struggling with and suggests a way to overcome it (like the Two of Swords) or perhaps you feel it represents your personality (like the Queen of Cups) or maybe you simply like the imagery and aren’t concerned with the meaning at all.
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Great tattoos are made when the customer has a strong concept and asks the tattooer to interpret it in their own way and tarot cards can be great for this. What’s more, the inspiration has gone both ways as you can now find tarot decks that use tattoo inspired art such as the Tattoo Tarot by Lana Zellner and the Tarot of the Tattoo age, a deck that is made up of art by 77n world renowned tattooers and a must for the tattoo collector. Take a look at these stunning tarot cards and inspired tattoos and see what you come up with.