History of Tarot

RiderWaite

So you just bought a set of Tarot cards for yourself and you want to start playing with them right? But first, you must be wondering what the origin of Tarot is?

The answer to this question hasn’t been answered by anyone in history and probably won’t ever be answered by anyone. Different card decks showed up over the past centuries and all have some sort of influence on the original Raider Waite Tarot deck. I won’t be covering all the different details of this history. But the fact that Tarot cards go way back in the past, that’s for sure!

We know the Tarot as a game that consists out of 78 cards with symbolic representations. The cards are separated into two groups, the major Arcana, means secrets, consist of 22 cards and the smaller Arcana cards which consist of 56 cards. The smaller Arcana cards look a lot like normal playing cards except with one court card extra.

The name, Tarot, refers to a river called Taro which is an affluent river of Po in Italy.

In 1350 there was the so-called Baldini game. This game exists out of five groups of ten cards. These five group of cards consist themes like social positions, nine Muses, Apollo, arts and science, astronomy, math, cosmology & astrology. Some of these cards are still found in the original Tarot such as Emperor, Temperance & the Pope (Hierophant).

The oldest, drawn on paper, Tarot cards are found in a France Library and are dated from 1392. They consist out of 17 cards which they all still appear in the original Tarot. The painter was astrologist Jacques Grigonneur.

In France in the 17th century, there appears to be a Tarot of Marseille deck, it’s probably a newer version of the Italian forerunners. Experimenting of years before by different people let to a 78 deck of cards.

The original Tarot as we know it today was made by Arthur Edward Waite and artist Pamela Coleman Smith. Her initials PCS are shown on all the 78 cards. To be specific, in 1908 the original Tarot deck appears called, Rider Waite Tarot (Rider was the publisher of Waite).

Since then many versions of the original deck are made and used by many Tarot users.

 

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