A Brief History of Tarot

Tarot cards are becoming more popular than ever now. These cards are thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt or possibly from within the Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah. But as with so many other things, the tarot cards don't necessarily have only one point of origin. They could very well be the result of a mixture of different games meant to dig deeper into the human psyche. Today it is easy enough to get a tarot reading by simply contacting readers and psychics online. You can get in touch with online tarot card readers from bestpsychics.club and enjoy the readings for free until you find the right reader for you.

The oldest surviving tarot cards

While tarot as a practice might have roots in ancient traditions, the actual cards seem to be an Italian invention. The oldest surviving tarot cards are from the 15th century and were made in Italy, but there is not one complete surviving deck, making it hard to determine exactly how the first tarot decks were set up. The Visconti-Sforza tarot is referred to as the oldest surviving deck but in reality this is a collection of cards from about 15 different card decks. The cards can be seen in different museums throughout the world and are also found in private collections.

During the 15th century the cards were called Trionfi, triumph cards, and they were used for daily games. While the cards were not necessarily used as they are today, they did have an impact on the design of the modern tarot cards that often have the same sort of images as found on the cards in the Visconti-Sforza collection.

An old book of wisdom

Over time, the tarot deck developed into what is often referred to as a "book of wisdom". A deck contains 78 cards that are divided into 2 groups, one containing major secrets and the second holding minor secrets. While we cannot really tell if the tarot cards go back thousands of years, we do know that as cards they only could have appeared around the 15th century when printing became more available, thereby allowing the possibility of printing cards.

If the symbolism in tarot was used before this time it must have been through means other than cards and it is assumed that the wisdom that comes with the cards is actually taken from as far back as from the times of ancient Egypt. Theoretically it might just be that a mix of wisdom from different cultures is what created the tarot cards that we have today, and there are those who say that the tarot is a compendium of the entire Western mystery tradition.

The Right Away Deck

One of the most common tarot decks used for readings is called the Right Away Deck. This deck is often used when learning how to read tarot cards, and it was developed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This was a secret society of British occultists that came together at the beginning of the 1900's to form a group. They taught tarot and also created the deck that is still in use today. This group based all their teachings on Kabbalah and tarot and they created systems that allowed the tarot to grow.

There are newer decks which are constantly being developed by people who are artistic and enjoy tarot readings like yes or no tarot and other tarot card spreads. But the symbolism stay the same throughout the different decks.

Other historic decks are the Grand Etteilla, the Sola Busca Tarot and the Minchiate Tarot, which comes with 97 cards. With hundreds of decks available and more being produced each year it might be difficult to discern which the right one to use is. Every tarot reader seems to have her favorite deck and she will insist that it is the best one!

Tarot and modern psychology

When you look at the history of Tarot you have to consider how psychology influences the meaning of the readings. Back in time the understanding of tarot was based on folklore and common beliefs but today we can see a connection between the cards and modern psychology. There are thousands of books that deal with the interpretation of tarot and many of them use psychologies such as the Jungian psychology to explain the method and how to understand it.

The popular idea of reaching the unconscious by using tarot cards connects to the Freudian psycho/analytical approach that so many are familiar with. How we view the world and our own mental health is highly important when trying to understand the development of tarot cards. For example, today it is normal to use imagery to explain things. Thumbs up, thumbs down, smiley faces and more are all part of our modern way of communication.

This differs very much from times in history such as during the rise of Protestantism when a struggle against the image was sparked by the opposition to religious imagery. People's feelings towards the cards and their images very much reflect their understanding of the world and their relationship to imagery in general, which may be one of the reasons explaining the increased popularity of tarot during recent decades.

Modern technology has helped us better connect with our emotions through symbols which is exactly how tarot cards work. Perhaps the future will come with emoticon tarot decks made for easy use on smartphones and tablets.

Do you need the history to understand tarot?

No, you don't need to delve into the history of tarot cards in order to use them or enjoy tarot readings. In fact, it is widely believed that this method is more about psychology than about anything spiritual. The cards are thought to reflect your inner self and mind, thereby enabling you come up with the answers to your inner questions, and as such these cards are timeless. You can learn how to read tarot by yourself or go to an expert reader who will help you make sense of the cards and your reactions to them.

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