Interest in Tarot card reading has only picked up in the last few decades even though it originated in the 14th century in Italy; it has always had some curiosity and mysticism with images of old, wrinkled gypsy women making evil incantations and prophesies of doom and fate.
Tarot is the interpretation of the present and future experiences of a person through the learned interpretation of the symbols and archetypes depicted on the card that you draw. It is believed that the Tarot Cards reflect a deep insight into your innermost soul, your spirit and your heart.
Its origin was in the form of a straightforward card game which normally consists of 78 cards. The first 22 cards represent the significant points during our lifetime from birth till death; the remaining cards, which are supposed to be based on the four elements but named as Pentacles, swords, cups and wands; they each convey a certain interpretation of the many situations in our life.
Tarot card reading was introduced to the western world in the 18th century where it was modified by Eliphas Levi, a writer and priest who utilized the famous world religions, their mystical symbols and the four elements of nature namely fire, earth, water and air.
A new deck, the Rider-Waite deck was prepared and, subsequently, it was learnt that these cards could be used to predict the life events of a person.
Thus, it will be seen that the major similarity in principles of Tarot card reading and Astrology lies in the four suits of the Tarot and the four elements of the earth.
Astrology is an ancient science based on astronomical entities and their movements. Its study stems from the belief that the movement of the celestial bodies governs the various events in the life of an individual; hence, all events are believed to be due to the specific positioning of the various planets, the Sun and the Moon apart from other important entities.
The four suits of Diamonds, Spades, Clubs and Hearts are replaced in Tarot by Wands, Swords, Coins and Cups.
While, as in other developed sciences, most of the proponents do not concur in their versions; some say that the position of the celestial bodies and their movements are only indications which can be manipulated, appeased and sometimes avoided. Predictions are made for the future while analyzing the past and current scenario.
Thus, it will be seen that in comparison to Astrology with its vast array of principles and studies since ages is a highly developed science while Tarot Card reading is quite recent and much less practiced or followed.
The other difference between the two predictors of the future is that Tarot cards predictions are on the basis of the reading depicted by the energies reflected by the description of the cards and of the individual while Astrology bases its findings on the positioning and movement of stars and planets. This difference also points to the randomness of the Tarot with an element of chance while Astrology, in spite of the divergence of views, has a higher standing due to its reasoning power. But to get the true predictions from Astrology one should know his / her correct time as even a difference of fraction of second can change the planetary conditions whereas in Tarot there is no relevance of time.
Astrology analyses and tells you about the past, the present and the future with an emphasis on long-term study and suggests various solutions to appease the various deities through fasting, praying and other UPAAYs or remedies which have a measure of religion, the occult and spirits in them. But, Tarot speaks only of the current scenario and short term future like upto 2 years. This also happens to be a major difference to Astrology.
Astrology believes in the inevitability of events, mishaps and favorable occurrences while Tarot practitioners believe more in karma; they assert that everything is not predetermined, we have the power to chart out the short-term course which we want our life to take getting guidance from the symbols.
So, Astrology is long-term while Tarot is about the present and the immediate future. India is a virtual stronghold of Astrology with a strong presence of practitioners and scholars of astrology; the same cannot be stated for Tarot, its advent is quite recent.
But, the powers of short-term predictions of Tarot are considered vital by a sizeable number of believers; the skill of the interpreter is also a deciding factor. It is believed to be very user-friendly, easily understood by normal people with average intelligence and is supposed to be quite accurate in its predictions in the foreseeable future of the subject.