History of the Tarot By D.J. Ownbey

July 30th, 2009

by DJ Ownbey

The first two decks that we know of appeared in 1441 and 1450, the later being the 78 card deck we are familiar with today (Vistonti-Sforsa of 1450).

The cards were originally known by the name Tarocchi (many allege they were named after a river and town where the first two decks originated (in Italy)—although this is speculation for the most part.
The French shortened tarocchi to “Tarot.” Most Europeans saw the cards as nothing more then a harmless game, much like we see our modern day playing cards. In fact, our modern day playing cards originate from the tarot (minor arcana-52 cards) The symbols change on our modern cards from cups to hearts, from swords to spades, from wands to clubs, and from pentacles to diamonds.

I believe this harmless game presentation was very wise idea—seeing how any type of Gnosticism (belief that we are divine and can connect directly with god—without a middle man) was punishable by torture and\ or death. Having ideas outside the scope of church approved ones, was a perilous journey in the middle ages.
Many people to this day, even professional readers, do not understand the “secret teaching to mastery” (enlightenment) the tarot comes to teach us— I plan to explore some of the hidden mysteries for the reader in future articles on this fascinating subject.


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Tarot Readings - History of Tarot - Tarot Cards – Spiritually Speaking