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I have searched far and wide for a long time for the origin of a very powerful and wonderful divination tool that almost every witch and non witch (cowen) is very fimiliar with. The infamous tarot cards. However I am no closure to ending my search than i was 10 years ago. The exact origin of tarot cards remains a mystery to this day however we have undercovered alot in the last few years....

According to Tarot historians , traditional playing cards were first seen in Europe in 1375, having been brought over from the Islamic societies where they had been used for centuries before that. These cards were not, however, Tarot cards. At this point it is beleived that there is no evidence to show that Tarot cards had yet been created.

It wasn't until 1440 that the cards that were most likely the origin of Tarot cards were first mentioned. In a letter from the Duke of Milan, there was a request for several decks of "triumph" cards to be used at a special event. such as this mention, it appears that the first Tarot decks were created as a game. There were four suits with cards numbered one through 10 and also court cards that included a queen, king, knight and page. The deck also included 22 symbolic picture cards that did not belong to any suit. The decks were used to play a game called triumph that was similar to bridge. In triumph, 21 of the 22 special picture cards were permanent trump cards. The game spread quickly to all parts of Europe. People began referring to as tarocchi, which is an Italian version of the French word tarot, around 1530.

In 1781, in France and England, followers of the occult discovered Tarot cards. They saw the symbolic pictures of the cards as having more meaning than the simple trump cards they were used for at the time. They used the cards as a divination tool, and occult writers wrote about "the Tarot." After this, the Tarot became a part of occult philosophy.

There are also those who believe that Tarot cards originated in Egypt. In some circles, they are thought to be the sole surviving "book" from the great fire that burned the libraries of ancient Egypt. In this theory, the cards are considered to be the hieroglyphical keys to life. however there has not been much support to these claims .

some interesting facts is that since 1300s throughout time begins with king charles the 6th there have been bans for playing cards, tarot cards and other divinations and other forms of "gambling". During 13th to 15 centuries most cards were very personal and often painted by hand while but by the late 15th century most tarot decks included already a completely 78 card deck with 56 minor arcana cards and 22 major or emblematic cards. by the late 17th century there was a popular deck by the name of Tarot of Marseilles . Three decks still exsist today in the archives of the biblotheque nationale in Paris.

Today we have many many varients of these thruimpth cards, which ranges from oracle cards, moon cards, tao cards, all the way to traditional tarot cards and everything in between. Most of my experince has been with Tao, Oracles, and traditional tarot. For the sake of this Post we will focus on the Raider-Waite Deck which is a traditional tarot deck containing 78 cards. 22 major arcana cards and 56 lesser acrana cards. much like the same ones from early 14-17th centuries. and much like those decks the 56 lesser contain four suits including the usual court cards: King Queen Jack plus a 4th card the knight.

Now for anyone who plays cards! pay attention now kids.

Spades: Swords Diamonds: Pentacles Clubs: Wands Hearts: Cups

yes you can read cards with playing cards and its a really fun party trick to throw those who are scared a bit off!

However much me may use them they are from WAYYYYYYYYYYY back!

Sources

Aeclectic Tarot. "Tarot Decks By Style and Category." 2018 (Aug. 24, 2018) http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/categories.shtml

American Tarot Association website. 2018 (Aug. 24, 2018) http://www.ata-tarot.com/

Bunning, Joan. "Learning the Tarot." 2007 (Aug. 24, 2018) http://www.learntarot.com/course.htm

Carroll, Robert Todd. "Tarot Cards." The Skeptic's Dictionary. Dec. 23, 2013 (Aug. 24, 2018) http://skepdic.com/tarot.html

Crystalinks. "Tarot." 2018 (Aug. 24, 2018) http://www.crystalinks.com/tarot.html

The Hermitage: A Tarot History Site. http://www.tarothermit.com

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