A Brief History of Tarot

by Angel

Tarot reading is an ancient art and many people will be familiar with what might be involved in a tarot reading. In fact tarot readers have been around for centuries and tarot cards were originally based on simple everyday playing card packs.

A common myth is that tarot cards originated in Egypt, but this is something that was made up by an 18th century writer, these cards were in fact playing cards with suits similar to those found on tarot cards. The first known deck, which has been preserved, was created for an Italian family by the name of Visconti–Sforza and dates to the year 1450.

The earliest tarot decks were hand painted and for this reason would not have been widely available or affordable to the average person, remaining a privilege to the upper class in society. It was not until the invention of printing press that this changed and mass production of the cards became available. Due to the fact that tarot cards were originally hand painted, there were only a small number of early cards produced.

Another common myth is that tarot cards were brought into the country by gypsies however this is not true, seeing as the first gypsies came about long after the tarot was invented.

Tarot cards weren’t originally used for fortune telling, the original purpose of the cards was for playing games, the actual games played varied between cultures although the most popular was the French tarot game known as ‘tarock’.

The images on tarot cards gradually became more mystical and symbolic over time, it was then that Tarot started to be widely adopted by mystics alike in the 18th and 19th century. Certain pictures on the cards represented areas of life or themes in life, these ideas developed to what they are today. It is also a common belief that most playing card decks have also been linked with divination but it was tarot cards which became more popular as their images were more intricate and peculiar.

A tarot reader will usually only have one dedicated pack of cards that they become “linked” to. Only the tarot reader can connect with their pack and this enables them to make a reading. Anyone can buy a pack of tarot cards and many people throughout history have attempted to conduct tarot readings themselves. However, it is not just about the pack of cards but the gift that the tarot reader possesses, they must have extra sensory abilities and unique powers to connect with the past, present and future of the person having the reading.

Readings have not differed too much over time. A person will enter a reading and choose certain cards from a shuffled pack which they then turn over in sequence. The order of the cards, along with the psychic abilities of the tarot reader, will enable the messages and symbols to be conveyed.

A person might come to a tarot reading full of questions, such as “will I ever marry?” “What will my career be?” “Should I get a divorce?” “Will I have children?” “How should I make more money?” and so on. Other people may enter a reading more open minded and be curious just to see what comes up from the tarot reader, these type of readings are often referred to as open readings,

Today, tarot reading is still popular. Many people still have the same questions as they did centuries ago, linked with love, money and family. These are values that are still very much a vital aspect of our societies and lives.

However, tarot readings have developed through technology. Centuries ago, people travelled to have a tarot reading. Nowadays, with the growth of technology you can speak to a tarot reader over the phone or even via a chat room on the internet. This makes it a lot easier to have a reading because there is no need to travel and you can speak to any kind of tarot reader that you like.

© Angel

Angel at Wishing Moon has worked as a successful clairvoyant, psychic and tarot reader, giving advice and guidance using the tarot for many years.

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