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Tarot History

Tarot History, Information, Tarot Cards, Tarot Books & On-Line Tarot Readings from 13 Moons, your Witchcraft Supply Store

History of The Tarot through the Centuries: A bit of debate surrounds the origin and whether cards with art appearing to be Italian from the 1400's is the beginning… or with additional information there is speculation if Tarot originated in Egypt or China… and how about the Gypsies? Our Gypsy brothers and sisters helped create and popularize this divination with cards with their skill of fortune telling! And those who study the Kabalistic path share in the history of Tarot also. While there is much debate on the origin, the history abounds from centuries of study and fortune telling bringing you the fascinating, mystical divination tool of Tarot Reading!

As stated, some have suggested the origin of tarot dating back to the 1400's with Italian Art as the design for the 22 major arcana cards. It is speculated the cards were used as a game for the rich and not until later in time were they used for divination. In the late 15th century, the Major Arcana became a bit regulated by card creators in France; given more meaning and not allowing the players to manipulate the cards chosen and held. As you can imagine, some cards such as the Devil card and the Death card caused a bit of displeasure by the religious who attempted to ban the cards. The same holds true today, you will find those who say "they are the devil's work"… but we know there is magick about when called upon and allowed to awaken and work with you! The first mention of the major arcane was from a sermon! Yes! Dated between mid to late 1400's a Franciscan friar spoke in his sermon of the cards stating they were a creation by the Devil thus condemning the use of them. The use of them at that time was more game than the divination we know today. These rules and condemnation have been passed down for centuries! My grandmother played cards all of the time and worked the Ouija Board - but never on Sunday! We were not allowed to touch cards on Sunday. I thought she was joking one rainy Sunday afternoon when my cousin and I went to retrieve a deck of cards… and she seriously said "not on Sunday". Over the years we "broke" her and had her playing cards even on Sunday!!

Little is known from the 1400's until the rebirth in the late 1700's when the cards were then used as a divination tool. The credit has been given to Antoine Court de Gébelin for re-introduction of the Tarot. He felt the cards derived from Egyptian origin and held magical knowledge and wisdom which could now be unlocked with study and inspiration of the Egyptian God, Thoth. The growth and emergence of divination begins as different cultures begin to work and produce the Tarot. The first publication of the divinatory study, associations and meanings is traced back to "Etteilla" (Jean-Baptiste Alliette) in 1770. There were only 33 cards in the publication and only standard playing cards are referred to. Etteila's & de Gébelin publications and re-introductions of the cards as fortune telling/divination overlap at the same time and energized the public's interest in these mystical cards.

The Gypsies are noted in history during the mid 1800's in relation to the origin of the Tarot. In 1799, the Rosetta Stone had been discovered in Egypt with writings in three scripts. The hope was there would be some link to the major arcane's history to Egypt, however no link was uncovered. This did not dampen the energy and the stories prevailed and have been handed down that the Gypsies, possibly descending from Egyptian heritage, had traveled all about bringing along the infamous decks of prophecy.

Kabbalah and the Tarot: There had been speculation in the past of the link of Tarot to the Kabbalah and this is brought forth again in the 1800's by Eliphas Levi. Levi studied and expanded on this relationship and yet another origin of the Tarot unfolds! Now drawing with it from the Tree of Life, the tarot is traced to Israel combining all 78 cards. With no data to claim this as truth, many have come to believe and know the Tarot is eternal… ageless… which has been given to us from many ancients and is very magickal in each and every path of origin.

When did the Tarot become popular here in the US? Any guesses? Oh come on… think magick, peace signs, love not war, movements of freedom… Yes! The 1960's!

The most popular, sought after and easily recognized deck has been brought to us by the studies of Arthur Edward Waite and art of Pamela Coleman Smith: Rider-Waite. There are many variations stemming from this popular deck. The art work available on cards is outstanding! You can study and work with the art which touches your heart, speaks to you and works with you!

A standard Tarot Deck contains 78 cards: 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcane and are used as a tool for your path through life. Again, the religious have stepped in and called this "Journey/Path of Life" the "Road to Hell" and "of the Devil". As you study and are guided by the symbols, you will see what some have call "evil" or "negative", such as the Death card, which is associated with changes. Drawing the Death Card may mean for you that there will be a wonderful transformation in your life! As you study the symbolism along with the meanings, you will develop a better understanding of the associations. Most important is to choose a deck with art that is appealing and speaks to you personally. No longer do you have to "hide" your cards - today they are accepted for the beautiful art they are. I know those who are collectors of Tarot Cards - just for the beauty -- but they have a special set they use each day for guidance and divining.

Please take a look through our vast selection of Tarot Decks and Books - you may be surprised to feel drawn towards one certain set! If reading the Tarot just isn't in you but you are looking for guidance, please browse through our selection of on-line Tarot Readers and Psychics who are ready to serve you.

Explore our many Titles of Tarot Decks and Books along with more divinatory tools. Enjoy the Magick!

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