The Truth and History of Tarot Cards

Through the ages, tarot cards have been used in several different ways for numerous purposes, including, recreation, divination and knowledge of the paranormal and more. Here are some truths about the roots of the ancient tarot cards and how they have evolved over the past years to the original tarot deck that we have come to known.

The Origin of Tarot Cards

It is said that during the 14th century, a card game known as Mamluk was brought to the Western Europe all the way from Turkey. These game cards turned out to be used for good-humoured divination purposes in Western Europe.

Later on at some point in the 1500's the Italians amused themselves with a card game known as "tarocchi appropriati". This game required the players to deal out cards with thematic representations to foretell stories about each other. It became so popular that wealthy families in Italy actually appointed illustrators to create their own exclusive and luxurious tarot deck cards. These cards were called the "carte da trionfi", or "cards of triumph". Tarot cards and playing cards, as a rule, remained a privilege for the elite. Only in the mid-15th Century after the invention of the printing press, the mass production of cards became possible.

Several of the earliest card decks were invented for recreational purposes like the modern card game Bridge where two teams with two players were required to play. Divination only became popular and widespread in the late 1700's after Jean-Baptise Alliette published the very first guide to tarot reading.

There are some proofs that playing cards were used at the beginning of the 16th century for foretelling, however it was only recorded in the late18the Century that the tarot cards were used for divination purposes in pre-Revolution France. The first tarot deck was designed by a Frenchman named Alliette. He enhanced the cards with Egyptian motifs and astrological attributions and inserted divinatory meanings on the cards. The cards were designed with the purpose of being used as a method of telling the story of someone who has focused or touched on the cards.

Similar imitations of tarot cards were also present in the Christian Church's priest memo cards, Egyptian tables and even old gypsy cards. Each of these cards was created with a signature image of the illustrator on them. In several of these uniquely designed packs, the images were crafted to symbolize characteristics of the real world, and with every new spread laid out, a new and distinctive tale was predicted.

Modern-day Tarot Practice

The onset of modern-day tarot practise only started in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was initially called "├ČRota,├«", meaning"wheel", describing the "wheel of life" experience delivered by the deck.

It was only in 1909 that the best beginner deck was created by William Rider and AE Waite. This deck of cards is known as the popular Rider-Waite deck and is recommended for beginner readers. Not only does the Rider-Waite deck provide a printer reading guide, it also includes specific meanings of each and every card in the deck.

The history of the tarot is a powerful and rich and one. It appears that, tarot cards began as a card game called tarocchi and were not linked with fortune telling. On the other hand, over time, they became associated with fortune telling and then the occult.

These mystical ancient tarot cards give us a chance to steal a look into our own present, past, and future, influencing our journey from Fool to adept.