Tarot: what it is and how it helps me

Origin of the cards

The Hebrew word “naibes” is similar to the old Italian name for the cards “naibí” as well as to the Spanish “naipes”. These words come from Arabic “nabí” which means prophet. In several languages it actually means magic, clairvoyance and prediction. For many people “tarot” comes from “torah”, which in Hebrew means “the law”. For others, it comes from the latin roots “rota” (wheel) or “orat” (talk). The most accepted thesis is that it comes from the Egyptian words “TAR” (path) and “RO” (real). However, there is another theory that affirms that the word “naipes” comes from the initials of the person who invented the cards: N.P., someone called Nicolao Pepin.

What are these cards and what are they used for?

Tarot is a deck of playing cards that is used as a way of divination of present, past or future events. It is formed by 78 cards, divided in Minor Arcana (56) and Major Arcana (22). Arcane comes from the Latin “arcanum” meaning mystery or secret.

The Minor Arcana are the cards divided equally in four suits: swords, cups, wands and gold, like in the Spanish playing cards, with a little variation: cards numbered from Ace (1) to 10, plus the characters of the royal family: jack, knight, king and queen.

The Major Arcana are cards that represent an image with various symbols. Each image has its own meaning and explanation. Even though there are decks with the number and name, the older tarots don’t have either.

Types of Tarot decks

  • Tarot of Marseille

One of the most traditional ones and most used ones. It is the tarot that has had the most acceptance in the whole world. This deck is composed of 22 Major Arcana and 22 Minor Arcana.

Each of the cards have clear and simple characters in medieval style and they appear whole. In the top part there are Roman numbers and in the lower part there is the name of the card in French.

The painting style is very similar to the stained glass window in cathedrals. This is because the symbols in the cards come from them.

  • Gypsy Tarot

Its origins can trail back 30 centuries back in the Egyptian times. Part of the gypsy tribes come specifically from Egypt, that’s where their name “gypsy” comes from as well. This tarot is similar to the Tarot of Marseille, it has the same number and division of cards.

  • Rider Waite Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite dedicated his life to dark science and wrote quite a few texts about astrology, tarot and other divination methods. However, the creation of the Rider Tarot made him famous in 1910.

Unlike the Tarot of Marseille, this tarot has 78 cards, 22 are Major Arcana, 40 are Minor Arcana 16 are “the royalty”. It still has most symbolism of the original one but it is the one most used because of its “updated” painting style.

  • Osho Zen Tarot

These are cards inspired in the Buddhist School Zen. The purpose of these cards are to enable the spiritual development of an individual. Unlike the aforementioned, they were not intended for divination. 

It has Major and Minor Arcana as well as an added card which represents Osho himself. The Minor Arcana are divided in 4 houses related to the elements: fire (red), earth (rainbow), air (grey) and water (blue).

  • Tibetan Tarot or Bhuddas’ Tarot

It has 22 Arcana cards, but neither the names or images coincide with the traditional tarot. Since it is a self development tarot, its cards invite to meditation and tranquillity we need in order to be in harmony with ourselves. It can be considered as an “evolutive tarot” because it starts with the card 0 (confusion), showing a child who is starting to walk, until number 21, when there’s the ending of a human being.


Oracles are decks of cards that, unlike the traditional tarot, don’t have a specific organisation or number of cards. Each card has a meaning and it is what the author of that Oracle deck gives it. Of course, it also depends on the person doing a reading with the cards and their intuition. These cards work as a compact system in itself. It is defined by the theme the author decides to give to the oracle and messages are a bit more specific. They usually come with a guide book to aid you learn how to read it.

  • Lenormand Oracle

Created by Marie Anne Lenormand in France in the 18th century, the Lenormand Orale is a special case in this tarot/oracle world. It has a very specific system. It is constructed by 36 cards and has a very specific way of being read. There is a simpler version (past, present and future) but the most common reading is called Grand Tableau (9×4).

The following oracles are the ones I have and use often. I think they are very personal and that you have to like and feel a calling to them. 

  • Work Your Light Oracle- Rebecca Campbell 
  • Kuanyin Oracle

Types of tarot readings

Tarot readings start in the belief that cards can be utilised to understand life in a different light. Some say that cards are guided by a spiritual force, others that cards help them introduce themselves in a collective consciousness. There are also people who think that cards absorb the energy of the person shuffling the cards, while others prefer that no one but them touches their cards. 

One of the most common methods to read cards are the spreads. There are many, depending on the purpose and the question. The three spread ones are usually present, past and future; or mental, emotional and spiritual state… There is also the Celtic cross, which is a rather extensive reading about the person consulting. There are heart shaped spreads for love questions.

Another way of consulting the cards is by shuffling until one card or more pops out and read its meaning. It is one of the methods that are most recommended when starting out. This way, one can understand one card at a time. 

Apps or programmes for the phone are also a thing now and they replicate the spreads with cards and also explain their meaning. I personally think that, depending on the app, it can help learn about the cards and different spreads as well.

All this world, though fascinating, has to be seen as what it is: a tool to learn to understand our life and ourselves with a different perspective.

If you are interested in a Tarot and Oracle reading, I offer Tarot and Oracle readings HERE.

Solo travelling

Isn’t it scary?

It’s not my worst nightmare, to be honest…

Don’t you get bored?

No, my own company is delightful.

How do you do it?

I have already explained in this post. But I simply pack my bags and I’m on my way.

I just couldn’t…

Well… ¡surprise! You don’t have to.

More than 7 years ago my dream of going to Taiwan to learn Chinese started to take form. While studying Translation and Interpretation at university, I had the chance to learn Chinese. I loved the language and its history and culture have always been fascinating for me. I also discovered Taiwan. I started to watch Taiwanese TV series and distinguish their accent. I read all the blogs and articles there were and slowly but surely I started planning.

7 years later, even though, the plan had more side walks than high roads, I am in Taiwan. Proud of my self, thankful to life and happy.

But… all by yourself?

For starters, I think of myself as a rather introvert and empathic person. Large crowds stress me a lot. Being with someone 24/7 sets me in a bad mood. I need my alone time to recharge. This means that I have a high level of self knowledge and I know what I need and when I need it. I don’t hate having people around me, but I do need my alone time.

Also, it is my dream, it is very specific and it is very far away from Europe. It’s not that I don’t have friends who would like to come with me, but we each have our own lives. Some don’t have time, others don’t have money. If planning a dinner in a more than 10 people WhatsApp group chat living in the same city as these people is hard enough, I don’t even want to think about planning a trip. If you wait until all the starts and circumstances align, you’ll be your whole life waiting.

Isn’t it scary?

Society has programmed us a path since we’re very little and many times we just follow it without thinking twice. Most people live waiting for their day off and when it does come, they just lay in bed because they are tired of their 8 hour shifts. They don’t have time to enjoy a walk in the park or a day trip to a close by village. What I am scared of is to see myself bitter at the end of my life in a job that doesn’t fulfil me and surrounded by people as bitter as I am. 

I think we all have a comfort zone. At the beginning it is scary to get out of there, of course. But the minute you get out, that comfort zone extends to wherever you are now. Once you do something, next time, you know what to expect and you do it with more confidence. I moved out of home since I was 18, I did my Erasmus in France at 20 and then moved to London at 22… So I guess that helped.

Don’t you get bored?

My favourite pastime are reading or writing or listening to music. I don’t need that many people for this. On the other hand, There is this stigma in society of people who are alone (being an activity or travelling), they are lonely. With me as company? Nah. I like the person I have become and I am quite the company: intelligent, fun and a good person… What else can you ask for? I have amazing friends and family who loves me and supports me. I also have incredible dreams that I want to fulfil, though.

Also, believe it or not, you meet more people travelling on your own. The minute you have to ask for directions, or ask for food in a restaurant or ask for touristic places or activities… You have a choice: you starve or you talk to the waiter. If you don’t do it, no one will.

How do you do it? I just couldn’t…

You really don’t have to. I see life as a solo trip (accompanied at times). There are people who will be in your life always but others that go by. We can learn from everyone and they all can help us at certain times. But it is YOUR trip. A lot of times, “thanks” to social media, we see people with lives that, for us, look amazing. We then feel jealous because our life is not as glamorous. It happens to me with wedding pictures… and I don’t even want to get married!

I like to travel solo an I want to, but it doesn’t mean you have to. It doesn’t mean you are wrong. It just means that we are going to have a different path. And that is okay. If we all thought the same, just how boring would that be? (:

Reiki: what it is and how it works

What is it?

“Reiki” is a compound word: 

  • Rei: Universal Energy/from God, divine, omnipresent in the universe and makes it able to keep expanding (spiritual part). 
  • Ki: Vital force, all living being’s life that irradiates cater and energy (part of the physical body). “Prana” for Hindus, “chi” for Chinese. 

Liberal definition: Universal energy of life guided or directed by God or spiritually.

Long definition: Rei is the intelligent and healing universal energy formed by the consciousness of the universe in which we all participate. This energy guides and directs Ki or Vital Force so that it is absorbed by our material and immaterial bodies. This energy gives us a good feeling physical, mental and spiritually.

What does it do?

This is why Reiki is an integral healing and self healing system. It is also a way to express love through universal energy and the impositions of hands because:

  1. It acts in the physical realm, healing the body.
  2. Acts in non-physical realms, healing mentally, emotionally and spirituality because it reactivates and harmonises chakras, subtile bodies and aura layers.
  3. It is a technique of energetic balance because it melts all energetic blocks that don’t allow the free flow of energy in a living being.

How is it done?

This is done through the imposition of hands in the key energetic points in the body. A Reiki session usually last 30 minutes to an hour. However, it is not a rigid system, it depends on the patient.

The person receiving it laying down or sited, relaxes and depending on the body’s needs, they will feel more or less warmth in certain parts of the body. The person giving it can feel it in different ways depending on the balance of the energy of the other person.

Personally, it helps to know which part of yourself is balance. I can allow you to solve, or at least know, the reason behind certain blocks.

The real healing happens only when the person is able to follow their life in a balanced way. Meaning, not only their physical body but also their thoughts, emotions and spiritual dimension.

What are its effects?

  1. It helps us calm our fear and existential doubt (what are we here for, why…). It makes us feel part of a divine plan and that we are contributing to humanity’s restoration, doing something valuable for everyone: for the person giving and the one receiving as well. 
  2. It gives us back the joy of living and existing. We feel more energetic and happy. When we are in this state, we recover our spiritual values and start feeling that the reason to our live and humanity is to go towards the highest frequency, which is love.
  3. It gives us a more objective vision of our issues and of the rest of the people.
  4. It helps us evolve and mature, because in a calmed state we can see negative emotions that will lead to physical sickness.
  5. Heals the physical body, without taking the doctor out of the equation.

In order to do this practice, a specific training (in person) is required, both theoretical as well as practical. If you’re interested, please check that the practitioner has gone through the proper training.