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OGrito! is an independent Portuguese online media dedicated to arts, culture and society.
Someone taking a picture of tarot cards.
Danielle Romani

In Brazil, A New Generation Of Tarot Readers Rethink The Ancient Game

For the new generation of tarot readers in Brazil, the art of reading the cards aims not to guess the future, but to promote a deep search for self-knowledge.

In 1930, the surrealist painter Leonara Carrington came very close to synthesizing the symbolism of tarot cards, which date back at least several hundred years and are often used to divine the future: “Each arcana, being a mirror and not a truth in itself, becomes what you see. The tarot is a chameleon," said the artist, noting that the cards, even if they have the same meaning, can represent different questions for each one who consults them. The tarot, therefore, can be a direct and intimate channel for those who play them, or a kind of mirror in which the client's truths are reflected.

Leonora's theory rings true with many tarologists or scholars who study this art: a game that contains 22 major and 56 minor arcana (or cards). For many, the game is a key to unravel intimate issues or to help choose paths in difficult or pleasurable moments.

Sabrina Carvalho, a tarot reader from Pernambuco, Brazil, began studying the subject in 2007. She describes it as a "chameleon." The cards are “a great tool for self-knowledge and connection, a tool for communicating with ourselves," says Sabrina, who has worked as a tarot reader since 2012, and who is responsible for the creation of the Carcará tarot school, which has trained hundreds of people to read cards in Pernambuco.

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