Tarot – A History You Are Yet to Discover

Tarot cards have been arousing strong emotions for centuries now and even the most skeptical change their minds after discovering the enormous energy within those fortune telling cards. Prophets most often use this magical deck to help their clients make the right decisions. It is the interpretation of the cards’ distribution combined with the intuition and energy of the prophet that bring extraordinary results. Many people have admitted to having avoided some major life mistakes thanks to experienced fortune tellers and the power of Tarot. But where exactly did this extraordinary deck come from? What else should you know about Tarot? How to redirect its energy so that it works to your advantage and helps you lead a happy life?

Where did the first Tarot cards come from?

Historia kart Tarota sięga aż starożytnego Egiptu, choć zdania w tej kwestii są podzielone. Ojcem teorii o egipskim pochodzeniu kart jest okultysta Antoine Court de Gebelin. Jego zdaniem Arkana Wielkie czyli 22 karty Tarota są łudząco podobne do egipskich hieroglifów. Jego teoria z XVII wieku zakłada, że starożytni Egipcjanie nie wymyślili Tarota, a jedynie jego zalążek otrzymali od bożka Thotha w postaci starożytnej księgi. Podobne badania prowadził Éliphas Lévi i powiązał Arkana Wielkie z dwudziestoma dwoma literami alfabetu hebrajskiego. Te idee pociągnęli jeszcze następni pasjonaci Tarota, którzy mieli już świadomość jego zastosowania i niezwykłej mocy wróżebnej. Talię zwaną Tarotem Egipskim stworzył wróżbita Etteilla, w której przypisał znaki Zodiaku każdej z kart Arkan Wielkich. To jemu zawdzięcza się interpretację odwróconych kart. Do dnia dzisiejszego w rozkładach wróżbici odczytują odwróconą kartą jako negatywny aspekt wydarzenia lub osobowości. Tarot Egipski Etteila powstał wprost z teorii Antoine’a Court’a de Gebelin’a, a współcześnie wielu wróżbitów właśnie to nazwisko przywołuje jako prekursora Tarota, pierwszego, który badał genezę i etiologię Tarota. Etteill stworzył swoją talię Tarota opierając się na hieroglifach starożytnej Księgi boga Thotha.

Tarot in psychology and psychiatry

Tarot has been of interest not only to cabalists and occultists; Carl Gustav Jung himself wrote a work on Tarot symbolism. The famous psychiatrist focused primarily on the archetypes present in the magical deck. The occultist McGregor Mathers in the second half of the 19th century researched Tarot and took aim at the symbols of the stages that everyone who works with magic must pass through. It is assumed that the roots of Tarot go back to ancient Egypt, and it came to Europe thanks to the Gypsies in the 13th century. An interesting fact is that until the 15th century, in Europe Tarot cards served as a form of entertainment. Before it passed to diviners who started using the Tarot for divination purposes, the deck had been used for a gambling game called ronfa. From this period came many decks known to this day that are still used by modern Tarot diviners, such as: The Mantegna Tarocchi Tarot, The Visconti Tarot and The Minchiate Tarot. Gradually, the following decks also appeared: The Marseilles Tarot and The Belgian Tarot.

A different perspective

Some investigators discard the Egyptian roots of the cards because of the Fool card that is marked with number zero. It is well known that the number zero was not yet familiar in ancient Egypt, and that it was not being used in Europe until the end of the 12th century. Being the opinions about the origins of Tarot so divided, there is no indisputable evidence of its origins, which additionally contributes to making Tarot so extremely mysterious. It is worth mentioning that the most important variation of Tarot comes from the 17th century. The so-called Marseilles Tarot was developed by the card maker Jacques Vievill. It was this deck that made it possible for other types of Tarot decks to spread.

The combination of Tarot and Kabbalah

Another important period in the history of Tarot was the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, when many English occultists began to combine Tarot with Kabbalah. In consequence, many Tarot decks that were created at the beginning of the last century are strongly associated with Kabbalah in both symbolism and structure. In this period, other famous Tarot decks emerged, such as: The Rider-Waite Tarot and The Aleister Crowley Tarot. The latter one inspired his deck on the ancient Book of Thoth. The Rider-Waite Tarot and The Aleister Crowley Tarot decks differ in the level of detail of symbols, color details, depth of color and expressiveness of message. In the 20th century both decks became widely known around the world and currently form the basis for creating new decks. At present, new Tarot decks are being constructed on the Polish and international markets, and their individual characters reside not in the differences in structure, symbolism or meaning of each card, but rather in the medium and the author’s original interpretation. The latest breakthrough in the history of Tarot has been the creation of a new deck – Tarot for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 2020, by Joanna Czerny.

Although Tarot has been known for a long time, it became most popular in the second half of the 20th century. However, in my opinion, it has reached the peak of its popularity as a divination tool in the present millennium. Currently, even if someone is skeptical about fortune telling and esotericism, he is aware of the existence of Tarot.

Wróżka Cesaria

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