Kolam Tarot Card


Introduction to Tarot Card

Tarot readings are arrangements of cards drawn from a shuffled deck. The layout of the cards is known as a spread, and determines what each card refers to. For example, the Two Paths spread is used to understand an upcoming decision, and hence it uses cards to represent the different options and their outcomes.

Playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century with the Mamluks of Egypt, with suits very similar to the basic Latin suits of Swords, Staves, Cups and Coins (also known as disks, and pentacles), which are still used in traditional Italian, Spanish and Portuguese decks.  Although there are quite a number of alternative theories on the origin of Tarot, current evidence seems to indicate that the first decks were created between 1410 and 1430 in either Milan, Ferrara, or Bologna, in northern Italy, when additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the more common four suit decks that already existed.

These new decks were originally called, triumph cards, and the additional cards known simply as, which evolved into the word "trumps" in common English. The first literary evidence of the existence of carte da trionfi is a written statement in the court records in Ferrara, in 1442.

The oldest surviving Tarot cards are from fifteen fragmented decks painted in the mid 15th century for the Visconti-Sforza family, the rulers of Milan.

No documented examples exist prior to the 18th century of the tarot being used for divination. However, divination using similar cards is in evidence as early as 1540; a book entitled The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forli shows a simple method of divination using the coin suit of a regular playing card deck. Manuscripts from 1735 (The Square of Sevens) and 1750 (Pratesi Cartomancer) document rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards of the tarot, as well as a system for laying out the cards. In 1765, Giacomo Casanova wrote in his diary that his Russian mistress frequently used a deck of playing cards for divination.

Kolam Tarot

Since the dawn of time in South India, women honor an ancestral tradition that celebrates the creation of the world: the kolam.

A Kolam is like a painted prayer – a line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid of pattern of dots. Kolams are normally symmetrical in design and attractively colourful. They are believed to bring prosperity to homes. Patterns and designs are normally passed on generation to generation, from mother to daughter.

Before sunrise, every morning, when the first sunrays caress the ground still moist with dew, while nature wakes up in a symphony of colours, smells and noises,  millions of women come in silence bend down in an intimate reverence to the ground, smiling with all their being to Mother Earth who has always nourished and supported them. From their hands, a fine rice powder runs slowly like a filament of angel dust and leaves a delicate and immaculate trace in the body of the Earth. Their hands dance in circles, in slow gracious movement, and in the beauty of this silent creation, give life to a pattern, a song of love and gratitude, as transient as a butterfly day.

This humble offering to the Divine is a blessing for the family, the house, the village. The Kolam is above all an act of creation that claims to be an offering and a blessing. Created in an impulse from the heart, carried by the breath of a woman it is the silent and ephemeral of an intention of love and devotion to the Divine.

How to use it?

Each card is a representation of many, different women’s feelings that are evoked when drawing the kolam. There are 48 cards that symbolize the calendar cycle of Tamil tradition. It is known if one would like to practice something, it should be done for 48 days.

Lay the cards face down on a table, close your eyes center yourself in the space of your heart, listen to your thoughts, emotions. Observe your inner space. Start resonating with the cards. Hold your breath for a moment; ask a question if you wish, for example: which Kolam has a message for you right now?

Of which part of myself shall I become more aware of now?

To what shall I give more attention today in order to grow?

Let your hands skim over the laid out cards. Release your breath and release your hand which will land like a butterfly on the card that is waiting for you. Turn it around, it is a gift from your soul, it is a gift from the depths of ages, it is a gift of the memory of Tamil women. Take your time to observe it to fill yourself.