Where Did Tarot Divination Originate?

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Originally posted on May 9, 2023 @ 5:45 pm

Tarot divination is a form of fortune-telling that involves the use of a special deck of cards. This practice has been around for centuries, but its precise origins are a bit mysterious. In this discussion, we will explore the history of tarot divination, investigating its possible origins and tracing its evolution over time.

A Brief History of Tarot Cards

Tarot cards are a tool used for divination, a way of seeking insight into the future or the unknown. The cards are typically illustrated with symbols and images, each of which carries its own meaning. The origins of tarot cards are somewhat shrouded in mystery, but they are believed to have originated in Italy in the 14th or 15th century. At this time, they were used primarily for playing card games rather than for divination. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that tarot cards began to be used for divination purposes.

The Visconti-Sforza Deck

One of the earliest known tarot decks is the Visconti-Sforza deck, which was created in the mid-15th century for the ruling families of Milan. This deck features 78 cards, including the four suits (swords, cups, wands, and coins) and 22 trump cards. The trump cards, also known as the Major Arcana, are some of the most recognizable tarot cards and include the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, and the World.

The Tarot de Marseille

Another important tarot deck is The Tarot de Marseille, which was created in the 16th century in southern France. This deck features the same 78 cards as the Visconti-Sforza deck but with different illustrations. The Tarot de Marseille is considered to be one of the most influential tarot decks and has been the basis for many other decks that have been created since.

The Rider-Waite-Smith Deck

Perhaps the most widely recognized tarot deck is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, which was created in the early 20th century by artist Pamela Colman Smith and occultist Arthur Edward Waite. This deck features the same 78 cards as the previous two decks but with completely new illustrations. The Rider-Waite-Smith deck is notable for its vivid and detailed illustrations, which have become the standard for many other tarot decks.

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The Origins of Tarot Divination

The origins of tarot divination are somewhat unclear, but it is believed that the practice began in the late 18th century. The first known book on tarot divination was published in 1781 by French occultist Antoine Court de Gébelin. In the book, de Gébelin claimed that the tarot deck was a repository of ancient wisdom and that the cards could be used for divination purposes.

Modern Tarot Divination is a popular practice that is used by people from different parts of the world. There are various tarot decks and interpretations available, with some people using tarot cards for self-discovery and personal growth, while others use them to gain insight into specific situations or questions. Despite the different approaches, tarot cards remain a powerful tool for those seeking guidance and understanding. They provide a way for individuals to connect with their intuition, gain insight into hidden aspects of themselves or situations, and find clarity and direction when facing challenges. While the origins of tarot divination may be mysterious, the ever-growing popularity of tarot cards is proof of its relevance and power as a tool for spiritual and personal growth.

The Occult Revival

the late 18th century saw a revival of interest in the occult and esotericism, and tarot cards were a popular part of this movement. Many occultists and mystics, such as Eliphas Levi and Aleister Crowley, wrote extensively about the tarot and its uses in divination and spiritual practice.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

One of the most influential organizations in the development of tarot divination was the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a secret society that was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Golden Dawn was dedicated to the study of esotericism, including tarot divination, and many of its members went on to become influential figures in the occult community.

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Modern Tarot Divination

Today, tarot divination is a popular practice around the world, and there are countless different tarot decks and interpretations available. Some people use tarot cards as a tool for self-discovery and personal growth, while others use them to seek insight into specific situations or questions. Despite the many different approaches to tarot divination, the practice continues to be a powerful and valuable tool for those seeking guidance and understanding.

Modern Tarot Divination

Today, tarot divination is a popular practice around the world, and there are countless different tarot decks and interpretations available. Some people use tarot cards as a tool for self-discovery and personal growth, while others use them to seek insight into specific situations or questions.

Despite the many different approaches to tarot divination, the practice continues to be a powerful and valuable tool for those seeking guidance and understanding. Tarot cards can be a way to connect with one’s intuition, to gain insight into the hidden aspects of oneself or a situation, and to find clarity and direction when facing difficult decisions or challenges.

While the origins of tarot divination may be shrouded in mystery, the enduring popularity of the tarot deck is a testament to its power and relevance as a tool for spiritual and personal growth. Whether you are a seasoned tarot reader or a curious beginner, the tarot deck has much to offer for those seeking wisdom, insight, and connection.

FAQs for the topic: where did tarot divination originate

What is tarot divination?

Tarot divination is the practice of using tarot cards to gain insight into one’s life, future, or the world around them. It’s a form of divination that has been around for hundreds of years and involves interpreting the images, symbols, and meanings of tarot card spreads to offer guidance and insight.

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Where did tarot divination originate?

The precise origins of tarot divination are somewhat debated, but it is widely believed that the practice began in Italy during the early Renaissance. Some scholars believe that the tarot was originally used as a game, while others speculate that it was used for divinatory purposes from the very beginning.

What is the history behind tarot divination?

There is no definitive answer to this question, but historians believe that the earliest tarot decks were created in northern Italy during the 15th century. These early decks were used primarily for playing games, and it wasn’t until the 18th century that tarot cards began to be used for divinatory purposes.

What are the main components of a tarot deck?

A tarot deck typically consists of 78 cards, divided into two groups: the Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (56 cards). The Major Arcana cards represent major life lessons, while the Minor Arcana cards are divided into four suits (swords, cups, wands, and pentacles) and represent more specific aspects of life such as emotions and material wealth.

How is tarot divination typically practiced?

Tarot divination can be practiced in a variety of ways, but it often involves shuffling the cards and spreading them out in a specific pattern, known as a spread. The reader then interprets the cards based on their position in the spread, as well as their individual images, symbols, and meanings. The goal is to gain insight into the querent’s question or situation and provide guidance and advice based on the information gained from the cards.

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