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The Colorful and Mysterious World of Tarot Cards

The tarot card, with its 78 different images and illustrations, often conjure a lot of dark, mystical messages and meanings. Some see the tarot as a tool which can help unlock the mysteries of the mind and the subconscious mind, and helps open the gates to the supernatural as well. Some however, simply see the cards as a plain guide for helping the individual make the right choices, when it comes to a wide array of life issues. Here’s a brief look at the colorful and mysterious world of tarot cards. 

What Are The Different Tarot Decks Used?

There are different tarot deck variants used today, and there’s no standard number of cards across all decks.  And even if the type of card, as well as their suits and meanings are the same, the illustrations may differ or vary. According to divination experts, the most common deck used in the US and Canada is the Rider-Waite tarot deck.  This was created in 1901 by a popular occult figure named A.E. Waite, who was a member of the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn. This deck has been called by most experts to be the most “definitive” deck in the country, while some disagree with such a term. 

When Was The Tarot First Used In Europe?

According to divination experts and historians, the first tarot card forms were believed to have been brought to Europe by Islamic clerics from the Middle East in 1375.  The cards were however initially seen in the streets of Italy in 1440, as the Duke of Milan was believed to have requested that several “triumph” cards be made, for use in a very special occasion.  This appears that the very first Western tarot cards were made for playing, as they featured four suits with cards numbered 1 through 10, and there were court cards too which included a king, queen, knight and page. They were initially used in a game called “triumph”, which was patterned after bridge.  The Italians then called the cars “tarocchi”, which was the Italian version of the French word “tarot”.       

How The Tarot Made Its Way Into Occult Circles

The Tarot card became a major source of inspiration for the Italian Renaissance, because many poems and writings were drawn from it.  The Tarot’s Major Arcana for example, inspired a lot of poems and lyrical works, which chronicle a person’s life and fate. In the late 1700’s however, the tarot was discovered by members of the occult in England and France, as they began to draw inspiration from the card’s deep and mysterious symbols.  For occultists, the tarots had more meaning, and were much more valuable than their used as game cards. Occultists used the cards for divination,

And as the tarot was fully embraced by occult circles, they were quickly condemned by the church, as they were believed to be tools of the Devil, and they were also associated with gambling and personal gain. Historians however, are in a quandary on when exactly the cards became synonymous with fortune telling. Many believed that the tarot made its way into the hands of gypsies and fortune tellers, because the Major Arcana cards held a great deal of symbolism; hence they were used for fortune telling and other divination forms. 


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