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A Short History of the Tarot

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There is much mystery surrounding the origins of the Tarot, and the truth is no one can be certain of its actual origins. That being said, there are a number of theories as to the beginnings of the Tarot. One theory suggests that the Tarot came from Egypt and is in fact
part of the lost Egyptian library. It was also believed that the cards came with the Gypsies from Egypt which was another reason they were thought to originate there because people believed the Gypsy’s ancestors were from Egypt. Another theory states that the Tarot originated in the Middle East from playing cards created by the Moors. And yet another states that they were playing cards created for the Nobles of Italy for a game called Triumph. Regardless, we will probably never know the exact true origins of the Tarot because they are shrouded in mystery.


According to most sources, the Tarot wasn’t used for divination until
the late seventeen hundreds when occultists got a hold of an Italian Triumph deck and decided there was more to the symbolism on the cards than met the eye. Regardless from that time forward, occultists began making their own tarot decks based on the original Italian Triumph decks. They changed some of the pictures/symbols to fit their own occult ideas. The Rider-Waite deck while not the oldest tarot deck available is now the standard that newer tarot decks are based on.



These days you can find a tarot deck based on just about any spiritual system you like.

There are Fairy decks, Goddess decks, recreations of the Rider-

Waite deck with the artist’s own interpretation of the original art, a Dream deck, the Mother Peace tarot, as well as the Thoth tarot deck

and many many more. The idea appears to be with modern tarot decks for artists to use symbolism that is easy for them to interpret

and which is based on their own spiritual system. While I doubt this is what the original creators of the Triumph deck intended, many of
these tarot decks are worth having for the art alone. Whether you choose to use the Tarot for divination is a personal choice only you can make, but the history of the Tarot is fascinating and well worth exploring. And who knows some day you may decide you want to create your own Tarot deck with your own symbols as many others before you have done!


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