To understand its nature, one must begin where the Tarot begins – in the realm of imagination. Imagination is the faculty that allows us to experience the immaterial. Ordinary perception operates through the senses, and so is confined entirely to experience of the material world, but imagination is not bound by the rules of space and time which govern materiality. Through the mode of imagination, it is possible to travel instantaneously into the past or future, to other lands, beyond the earth, and even to realms that don’t exist in the material dimension.
When people journey into imagination they commonly keep themselves on a tether held by the conscious mind. For some this tether is so short they never wander far from the world of facts and matter.
Cynthia Giles on the Tarot