The History of Tarot

The History of Tarot

The Tarot, a deck of 78 intricately designed cards, has captivated the imaginations of seekers, mystics, and curious minds for centuries. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, and its journey through different cultures has left an indelible mark on the world of divination, spirituality, and self-discovery.

The Origin of Tarot

The precise origins of Tarot remain a subject of debate among scholars and historians. However, there are several prevailing theories regarding its beginnings:

Italian Roots: Many scholars believe that Tarot originated in Italy during the 15th century. The earliest Tarot decks, such as the Visconti-Sforza and the Tarot of Marseille, emerged in Northern Italy. These decks were initially created for card games and entertainment.

Ancient Egypt: Some Tarot enthusiasts propose an ancient Egyptian connection due to the symbolism found in the cards, which includes imagery reminiscent of Egyptian art and mythology. However, concrete historical evidence supporting this theory is lacking.

Mystical Traditions: Tarot cards have also been associated with various mystical traditions, such as the Kabbalah and Hermeticism. These connections have deepened the esoteric and spiritual aspects of Tarot.

Cultural Ties and Evolution

As Tarot spread throughout Europe, it assimilated elements from different cultures and underwent significant transformations:

French Influence: The Tarot de Marseille, one of the most iconic Tarot decks, was developed in France during the 18th century. It introduced a standardized Tarot card structure that is still widely used today.

Occult Revival: During the 19th century, Tarot experienced a resurgence in popularity within occult circles. Figures like Éliphas Lévi and Aleister Crowley contributed to the mystique of Tarot, incorporating it into their spiritual practices.

Rider-Waite Tarot: In 1910, the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, created by artist Pamela Colman Smith and scholar Arthur Edward Waite, was published. This deck introduced rich symbolism and imagery that significantly influenced modern Tarot readings. This artwork is also where the inspiration for the Teller Tarot Deck came from.

Modern Uses of Tarot

Today, Tarot has evolved into a versatile tool with various applications:

Divination: Tarot readings are a popular form of divination used for gaining insights into personal matters, making decisions, and exploring the future.

Psychology: Many psychologists and therapists incorporate Tarot into their practices as a means of introspection, self-discovery, and exploring the subconscious mind.

Spirituality: Tarot is embraced by individuals on spiritual journeys as a means of connecting with higher consciousness, exploring their life path, and seeking guidance from the universe.

Art and Creativity: Tarot decks have become works of art, with contemporary artists creating unique interpretations of Tarot cards. These decks serve as both tools for divination and sources of creative inspiration.


The history of Tarot is a captivating tale of cultural influences, mysticism, and spiritual evolution. From its enigmatic origins in Italy to its modern-day resurgence as a tool for divination, personal growth, and creative expression, Tarot continues to fascinate and inspire people around the world. Whether you see it as a window into the future or a mirror reflecting the depths of your psyche, Tarot remains a profound and versatile instrument for exploration and self-discovery.

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