The Influence of Mythology and Folklore in Tarot Cards

Опубликовано 25.08.2023


Tarot cards have been used for centuries as a tool for divination and self-discovery. Beyond their predictive abilities, they serve as a vessel for ancient stories and wisdom, imbued with rich layers of symbolism borrowed from mythology, folklore, and metaphysics. This exploration delves into the intricate ways mythology tarot cards, folklore tarot, and tarot mythology permeate these esoteric tools, thereby enriching their meaning and resonance.

Mythology Tarot Cards: Storytelling Through Symbolism

Many tarot decks, including the popular mythology tarot deck, harness the power of ancient mythologies to breathe life into their symbolism. Each card becomes an allegorical representation of a story or a character from these mythologies, making the act of a tarot reading akin to a deeply symbolic storytelling process.

The mythological context gives each card a richer depth of meaning, enhancing both the visual and interpretive experience of a tarot reading. For instance, in the mythology tarot deck, the Fool card might represent the Greek God Hermes, known for his cunning and resourcefulness, instantly adding new layers of understanding to this card. Similarly, the myth of Persephone’s descent into the underworld might color the interpretation of Death, bringing themes of transformation, renewal, and cyclical change into sharper focus.

These mythological associations empower tarot readings by linking personal experiences and questions to universal narratives and themes, providing a broader context and deeper understanding.

Folklore Tarot: Local Stories, Universal Meanings

In addition to mythology, tarot cards also pull from the rich tapestry of folklore around the world. Folklore tarot carries the stories, morals, and wisdom of different cultures, often centering around common folk, mythical creatures, and local traditions.

Many decks such as the Celtic Tarot, the Native American Tarot, or the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, use the cultural context and local folklore of specific regions to inform the symbolism on their cards. These regional touches create unique interpretations and invite readers to explore diverse cultural perspectives, enriching the overall tarot experience.

However, the crux of folklore tarot lies in its ability to reflect the universality of human experiences. Folktales often depict universal themes and experiences, regardless of their cultural origin. In this sense, folklore tarot cards capture the essence of shared human experience, connecting individuals from all walks of life through the profound act of divination.

Tarot Mythology: Unveiling Metaphysical Connections

The realm of tarot is deeply intertwined with metaphysics, a branch of philosophy that explores the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, potentiality and actuality.

Metaphysical concepts often mirror the symbolic language of tarot, giving rise to what is commonly known as tarot mythology. This intricate network of symbolic associations creates a bridge between the physical and the spiritual, the mundane, and the divine.

For instance, tarot mythology often correlates the journey through the Major Arcana (from the Fool to the World) to the metaphysical concept of the soul’s journey towards enlightenment. Similarly, the four suits of the Minor Arcana are associated with the four classical elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water), each embodying a unique aspect of human experience in metaphysical terms.


In conclusion, the profound influence of mythology, folklore, and metaphysics in tarot cards enriches their symbolism, broadens their interpretive scope, and deepens the experience of divination. They invite readers to engage with universal narratives and metaphysical concepts, explore diverse cultural perspectives, and connect with the collective human experience, making tarot reading a truly enriching and enlightening journey.