Tarot Card History: Mundane to Magical

Tarot is synonymous with magick but actual Tarot Card history seems to prove otherwise but even that is debatable to some.Tarot card history is a topic you do not hear about every day. The magical practice that we all know as tarot reading is about fortune telling, answering questions about our lives and who we might fall in love with.

However that is not how it all began according to most historical records and accounts.All roads lead us to Western Europe as the point of origin. As far as historians can tell it may have all started somewhere in Italy as far back as the 15th century. The major difference between modern tarot compared to what they were doing in Europe is the fact that for them the tarot was nothing more than an ordinary card game.

Card Games for the Wealthy

I know it sounds crazy but it was all just a game, like playing poker or anything else, most believe the original game was similar to playing Bridge. Wealthy families would purchase handmade decks with painted images on them, and like all things with the wealthy, the more dramatic and ornate the better.

These expensive decks came to be known as Tarocci decks and predate the tarot decks from other regions of Europe, making Tarocci the originals. Their actual origin may even go back further to the ancient cards known as the Mamluk cards and came from the Middle East. European decks were adaptations of these old decks — they simply updated the imagery on them. Nothing too magical about them just yet but it took awhile for tarot card history to turn magical. Oh but it does!

Tarot Card History Turns Magical

Back in those days it was just tarot decks that took a turn toward the magickal realm but also standard playing cards somehow. It became trendy and oh so cool for a period of time to be into such things and both decks of cards became somehow tied to divination games.

Over time regular playing cards reverted back to their original use but tarot cards remained in the realm of the occult.The 1700s not helped to cement this into history with various authors coming out with books covering not only how to do tarot readings but also the supposed ancient Egyptian occult origins of the practice.

Like with all things, they seemed to strike while the iron was hot because decent size segments of the public ate it all up, similar to The Da Vinci Code in the modern era. So much so that eventually even the fortunes of Napoleon’s wife were being read.

Tarot card history had now added a whole new chapter to its book at this point, it had forever become known as a form of magick, divination and fortune telling. By the the time the 1800s came around there were endless amounts of books, writings and even tarot decks out on the market to further the mysticism of tarot card’s history.

Tarot with a Modern Twist

The majority of modern tarot card decks are based upon the Tarot de Marseille, one of the most popular designs of all time, which has a total of 56 cards. The deck is broken down into the Major and Minor Arcana, with individual names and meanings for each tarot card.

Believe it or not, though there have been same alterations or updates made along the way, the majority of standard tarot card decks you find today are practically just like the original they are based off.

The history of tarot cards may be a bit mundane but now it lives on as a mysterious and magickal practice rather than just some boring game wealthy people played to pass the time. Now no matter what psychic fair or event you go to you will find tarot card readers that possess the same ancient knowledge that was revealed way back in the 1700s.