A (Very) Brief History of Tarot

Many myths surround the origins of Tarot. Some believe that the cards came from the Egyptians, or the Roma, or the Hebrews.

However, fact shows that the first Tarot cards originated in Italy during the early 1400s. Tarocchi was a card game played mostly by the upper class. The deck consisted of four suits and trump cards (which became the modern Major Arcana).

The best known of these early decks was petitioned by Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan around 1465.

The Fool from the Visconti-Sforza deck
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Not until the late 1700s did Tarot begin to be used in a divinatory way. During this time, Antioine Court de Gebelin, Jean-Baptiste Alliette (Eteilla), and Eliphas Levi wrote books and treatises on the Tarot from an occult viewpoint. The Tarot was associated with the Egyptian Book of Thoth, Kabbalah, and Hermeticism.

Tarot card by Court de Gebeliln
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Later, during the 1800s and early 1900s, many other spiritual and occult groups formed. Many of them studied the works of Gebelin, Eteilla, and Levi, bringing in their own beliefs about Tarot symbolism.

Arthur Edward Waite was a member of the Golden Dawn Society that used Tarot as an occult tool and fortune-telling path. He and Pamela Colman-Smith created the now standard Rider Waite Smith deck in 1910.

Image from Rider-Waite-Smith deck

Today, Tarot is used in divination as well as in writing, storytelling, and magic. There are now thousands of different Tarot decks with unique themes and interesting symbolism.

Personally, I use Tarot cards for divination as well as spiritual healing. These are just a few of my favorite decks. You can see the variety of decks available now!

Green Witch Tarot
Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot
Japaridze Tarot
Dark Mansion Tarot
Crow Tarot

All of my readings are currently 50% off! Now is an excellent time to find out what the Tarot can do for you!

Sending you love, light, and strength–


You may also like...