The Tarot

I’m very excited about being a part of Pagan Pages and being able to share my knowledge of the Tarot with readers.  Although I’m not an expert I have been reading cards for over 20 years and have also grown quite a collection of cards most of which I don’t use because I have a preference for the Traditional Rider-Waite cards myself however, the Tarot and its history have always interested me and so here I am to share a little of my knowledge with you.

The Tarot is believed by some to be as old as ancient Egypt, but according to historians the tarot didn’t come about till much later.  Playing cards first entered into Europe around the 14th century known as Tarocca. It wasn’t till much later around the mid 1400’s that the Tarot was created as a simple card game but later around the 1500’s people began to look at the Tarot different and see more meaning in the pictures represented on the card.  However the Tarot didn’t become widely adopted by mystics and occultist until much later around the 18th and 19th centuries when Antoine Court de Gébelin wrote an essay interpreting the Tarot as an ancient form of wisdom.

Now what intrigues me about the history of the Tarot is that early versions of these cards where hand painted so a very small amount of decks where privately commissioned and typically it was the upper class that were able to obtain such decks. It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press that mass production of the cards became possible.  Many European governments banned the use of playing cards most likely because they involved gambling however in many areas the tarot during its early stage was exempt from these laws.

Presently we can find a variety of Tarot decks most are usually patterned from one of the most historically important desks called Tarot De Marseilles important because Antoine Court de Gébelin used this deck as his study in the essay he wrote.  Today we find decks ranging from the traditional and most popular Rider Waite Smith and Thoth decks to cards like the Vampire Deck or Deviant Moon Tarot.  Tarot decks have not only become a method of divination but also a form of art with amazing artistic interpretations of each card.  The cards have given birth to other forms of card play and have also touched into other faith based institutes that would otherwise not condone the use of the Tarots you can now find cards such as Soul cards created to inspire creativity to Daily affirmation and intentions cards intended, to like the Tarot cards, guide you into your future.