What is a Tarot Trump


One might think of the term trump as it applies to a card game, where by one card (or suit of cards) is elevated to a higher rank than the others and is able to beat or trump the other cards of a hand.

The English word trump is derived from the original Italian word trionfi meaning triumphs. A triumph was a type of popular parade in the Renaissance in which each character triumphs over or trumps the one before.

Artists of the Renaissance often made use of the triumph as a metaphorical structure for mystical allegories in which virtues trumped vices and the final victor was an image of the highest mystical truth, and the Tarot trumps would seem to be an example of that.

The Tarot is a set of cards believed to have evolved from a card game, a game that is similar to the modern game of bridge.

There are two halves to the Tarot, one half is known as the minor arcana, consisting of 56 cards split into 4 suits. The other half consists of the 22 cards of the major arcana that are known as the trump cards, these look to depict a parade of illustrated cards each bearing a mysterious symbolic language.

These cards all express an allegorical message within them, and whilst there is much mystery and misconceptions about the original conception of these cards it is clear that each picture does indeed paint a thousand words.

The Tarot has been termed as the Fools journey as we follow the Fool through the journey of the Tarot, which represents the journey through life.

When looked in order these cards of the major arcana, the unnumbered fool and the 21 trumps depict a mystical allegory, an allegorical parade of enigmatic images each one triumphing or trumping its predecessor.

The journey of the Fool can be compared to our own journey through life where by one experience gets trumped by another and once we have learnt/remembered and/or grasped what we need to from one trump we are able to progress to the next.

In our day to day lives there are always little challenges and pleasures we encounter, from a grumpy co-worker to a happy go lucky coffee barista, our lives are full of interactions and relationships, routines and habits. Without fail though we all experience big events that cause us to shift our attention and way of thinking and all our attention and focus and energy get moved over to that event, a death for example suddenly puts all the small stuff in to perspective. Similarly meeting a lover changes our focus, in essence this big event ‘trumps’ our day to day routine.

In the Tarot, a  trump it would seem is a card that shows us the big archetypal events of our journey through life that helps us to evolve emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually and progress along our path of personal evolution to enlightenment.

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