Panda Tarot: Secrets of Tarot Origins Revealed

Because… pandas really made tarot

I know, for a fact, where tarot came from. That’s right. It’s an air tight alibi. Giant pandas invented tarot. Yes, the same large black and white bears, with masks on their faces, are in fact, the beings who created the deck we all know and love.

How do I know this? Well, I got to write the little white booklet for a fun deck with Lo Scarabo, aptly titled the Panda Tarot. It’s a deck with pandas on them! And they’re all dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, posing in traditional Rider Wait Smith positions. Totes legit, right?

You’re laughing, aren’t you? That’s fine. I get it. It sounds really cray cray. But when you follow my logic trail, it’ll blow your mind.

Paper comes from China. Experts say it was invented around 100BC, during the Han Dynasty. Paper is made by taking the pulp of various plant fibers with water and then letting it dry out in the sun. Making paper is a common, and fun, art form that continues to this day. In fact, as a writer and an artist, I can attest to the awesomeness of handmade paper.

What else comes from China? Pandas. Pandas live in China. They make their homes in a few secluded mountain ranges in South China, where there’s lots of bamboo. But, Jaymi, you ask… how does paper and pandas prove tarot was invented there? Since paper production requires the use of fibers, like bamboo, there needs to be some way to turn plant fiber into pulp. Who better to create pulp for paper than a panda eating its favorite snack?

Did you know pandas eat between 20 to 30 pounds of bamboo a day? That’s a lot of bamboo shoots! When you grind bamboo in your mouth, you turn it into pulp. So, all those pandas chowing down on their favorite food also worked hard to create the basic mush used to create paper. Not all of that pulp goes into the panda. Some of that stuff had to fall on the ground, where it would combine with water from the rains, becoming mushy proto-paper. Combine the fallen globs of pulp with panda paws stepping on it, and you get the recipe for paper when it dried out.

Now that we have paper, the next step is figuring out how they got the art onto the paper. Pandas may not have true opposable thumbs, but they do have cat-like paw prints. We know cats are expert artists (see the book Why Cats Paint); so it stands to reason that pandas were also great artists. Imagine this hand-made paper laying on the ground, ready for the artisan pandas to walk right over them. What would happen? Their dirty paws made prints all over the paper. Put enough paw prints on a piece of paper and you get some interesting art. I realize we’re not talking DaVinci level designs here. Art is, after all, an aesthetic notion. However, the paw prints across paper is still art. So, these cute imprints became the first pips of tarot. Imagine the “Six of Left Paw Prints”, or the major archetype of “Put Butt here” inspiring some Chinese diviner.

Thus, if one would have seen these papers laying around, perhaps one would gather these pads of art. Chinese artists would take these pieces of paper, examine them for the best aesthetic view, and then cut them into smaller pieces. Just like cards! Their expert eyes would make the symbols stand out even more. With the new divination cards ready, they would sell the cards to their seers, who would then perform acts of divination, just like tarot.

The earliest people coming into contact with panda art, probably didn’t realize what the bears started. But they went with their gut instinct and used these priceless pieces of art to help them divine all sorts of situations. It was only in the later ages of civilization where true artistic decks got reproduced today for even greater adaptation of the great art and symbolism we now see in tarot. And with the Silk Road, these decks of cards spread to Europe. Places like Italy, where tarot decks were used to play Tarocchi. And the rest, as they say, is tarot history.

This is how tarot got invented. With the Panda Tarot from Lo Scarabeo to prove my theory, it stands to reason we don’t give pandas enough credit for inventing cool things.

I’m teaching summer school this year

Tarot for Goal Manifestation goes live on August 8

The Tarot Readers Academy, Tarot Summer School is back for 2017 and we have assembled some incredible teachers and amazing courses for you. I’m teaching Tarot for Goal Manifestation, a class teaching a small ritual structure using the cards monthly so you can manifest the life you want to live!

As a Tarot Summer School student, you can register for individual courses or you can enroll in the Tarot Summer School Season Pass and get lifetime access to ALL of the courses. ALL 15 masterclasses. FOREVER.

All classes have interactive elements and may include:

  • Worksheets and workbooks
  • Meditations
  • Rituals and activities

Tarot Summer School is perfect for you if you:

  • Look to build your Tarot Reading Repertoire
  • Desire to go Pro with your Tarot Readings
  • Love mastering new aspects of your craft
  • Want to create your own personal practice

Check out the incredible lineup of Experts and offers:

  • Benebell Wen – Tarot and Shadow Work for Activating Dynamic Power
  • Kate Fisher from Daily Tarot Girl – Learn the Tarot Court Cards
  • Vix from New Age Hipster – Tarot For Your Chakras
  • Avalon Cameron – Ritual Tarot
  • Chris-Anne Donnelly – Creating Your Own Tarot and Oracle Deck
  • Jenna Matlin from Queen of Wands Tarot – Tarot and Feng Shui
  • Christiana Gaudet – Anatomy of a Tarot Reading
  • Carrie Mallon – Tarot for Empaths
  • Ethony Dawn – Money Magic & Manifestation with Tarot
  • Kelley Knight from Modern Mystic Tarot – Building Your Brand and Business
  • Jessi Huntenburg  – Reading Tarot Intuitively
  • Melissa White from White Sacred Soul – Mediumship and Tarot
  • Hazellie Wong – Charting Your Future with Tarot & Numerology
  • Jaymi Elford from Inner Compass Tarot – Tarot for Goal Manifestation
  • Jessie Hughes from Pomegranate Tarot – Tarot Journaling

FREE EVENTS for All Students – Campfire Q&A Video Calls

Join our wonderful community for Two Live Campfire Q&A Sessions where you can meet with our teachers and other attendees of Tarot Summer School.

If you are as pumped for Tarot Summer School as we are, come and join us!

Registration now OPEN!

Camp Closes – 11th August 2017

I Want to Go to Tarot Summer School 

20 Days Until Readers Studio

The Hermit from The Serpents Tarot

Ah, The Hermit. The wise wonder who lives alone, and seeks the council of the voices within. Twenty days left to prepare and pack for The Readers Studio. It’s time to go within and discuss the goals and plans I have for this year. I should keep a list of all the items I need to bring. I need to read over my class notes for Inspiring the Muse. I have to book a bus to get me to the airport.

I need to sit in the stillness of my mind, as well. It’s time to listen to my body and the universe, and really hear what they have to say. Calm my nerves, keep my energy level up. All so I can really enjoy myself when I arrive in New York that Wednesday. I am looking forward to coming home, to seeing my tribe once more.

21 Days Until Readers Studio 2017

The Hanged from The Serpents Tarot

Today’s card is The Hanged Man. This is a card of new perspectives and sacrifices. I’m doing a lot of both these days. I’m focused on two goals, get my body back in shape and revision my tarot dreams. Last year I destroyed my ATFL and while western medicine says it’s healed, it’s really not. I have a wonderful support system of a massage therapist, trainer, and friends who are cheering me on to my body shape goals.

On the Tarot front, I’m hungry. I’m hungry to get my book manuscript done so I can find it a publisher. I’m hungry for more events to read at. I’m hungry to help people like you get through your own challenges. Getting clients is rough. I’m here, and I want to help. I’m hungry to continue the Tarot Visions podcast and have fun dialogues with Rose Red and those we interview.

Going to conferences boosts my sight and lets people know I’m available. They teach me new techniques which make me a better reader. In the end, I sacrifice some free time to read or watch tv… but in the end, I’m driven towards my goals.

22 Days Until Readers Studio 2017

A few years ago, I started a tarot draw countdown for heading to The Readers Studio in New York City. I didn’t do it last year, but I think I’ll start it back up. For the next 22 days, I’ll pull a major arcana card and see how it fits into my “journey” to New York.  I’m using The Serpents Tarot majors only deck for this because it’s my go-to majors deck. I’ll be writing more posts about my own deck, the Triple Goddess Tarot later on.

Strength from The Serpents Tarot

The first card for this journey is Strength. In this image we see a multi-armed goddess dancing with a serpent at her side. Strength is about taming the wilds within, so you can understand the power you have. I see this card being auspicious as a start to this whole travel.

I’ve already started packing. And what I mean by this is that I’ve started laying out the decks, goodies, journals, and my class materials. Yep, you heard it right… this year I’m teaching Inspiring the Muse, using tarot to create stories, characters, and settings. So, yes, I’m gathering my strength in many ways for this year’s conference.