say that the Tarot was first created by the ancient Egyptians, as a
repository for their occult lore. But the symbols of the Tarot can also
be found in the hands of Hindu gods and goddesses, suggesting India may
have been another possible source. And yet another tradition says that
the cards were designed by a group of learned Arab magickians in about
1299 the Tarot appeared in Italy, by 1371 it was known in Spain,
shorlty after in Germany, and by 1392, Tarot cards were certainly
familiar in the court of the mad French king, Charles VI, and thence
spread to other royal courts of Europe. The curious cards, with their
strange and entrancing symbolism were perhaps carried by gypsy
wanderers, always known for their clairvoyant powers of 'second sight',
and their ability to foretell the future.
are various designs of Tarot packs today, but whether they are the
traditional Marseilles, the occult Rider-Waite, or take on some of the
more exotic forms of American Shamanic, Egyptian or Mythical creations,
or any other, the underlying symbolism remains, and those who have the
ability can still, as did the ancient magickians and gypsies, use
their cryptic messages to foretell and inform.
Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, 56 of which are called the 'minor'
arcana - these are the suits of Wands or Rods, Swords, Cups, and
Pentacles or Coins, or similar names; and the 22 'trumps', or 'major'
arcana. These are the fascinatingly named and pictured cards, like 'The
Fool'; 'The Empress'; 'The Star'; 'The Lightning-Struck Tower', and
I personally tend to use my trusted Rider Waite deck, with its bright and fascinating imagery; but I do own many decks, and on occasion will select another one to use.