There are many facts about the history of Tarot cards that are not supported by modern evidence. Nevertheless, both myths and historical evidence about the Tarot confirm the desire of a person to reveal their riddle, show intuition, and find a clue with the help of cards in confusing life situations.
The most interesting stage is the interpretation of the alignment. At the same time, only a deep understanding of the Tarot system, knowledge of its history help to find a resource even in the most negative card. For example, 9 swords are a bad omen, combining it with other arcana will help a deeper interpretation of the dropped cards.
Cultural Source of Tarot Symbols
An important quality of understanding cards is the ability to decipher those symbols that they carry. It is a misconception that the symbolism of the trump cards originated from Egypt, India, or came from some other exotic country.
In fact, it comes from Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Most of the images used in the Tarot are inherent in European culture.
The original purpose of the cards
It is a myth that the Tarot system was created for fortune telling or witchcraft.
Historically, it is confirmed that in the very beginning it was supposed to use these cards for playing bridge. Card entertainment was very popular in Europe at that time. Even court poets, dedicating poems to noble people, often used the names of trump cards as epithets.
Of course, since their inception, these cards could have been used for other purposes as well. So, in the records of one of the court proceedings of the 16th century, there is a reference to the possible involvement of the Tarot in the occult and magic (at least that was the opinion of the accusers). However, this fact was recorded only 150 years after the appearance of maps. Further references linking them to witchcraft date back to the 18th century.
The origin of the name Tarot
It is a mistake to believe that this word came from Latin, Egyptian or Hebrew.
The modern understanding is that the name of the cards has Italian roots. Originally referred to as "cards of triumphs" or "carte da trionfi", and about 100 years later, the word "tarocchi" begins to come into use. Unfortunately, the etymology of the new name is unknown. However, even she could not help in understanding the idea that was originally laid down by the authors of the maps, since the word appeared already a century after their creation.
Time and place of appearance of cards
There are several versions about the emergence of the Tarot in Europe:
- maps appeared in Egypt, India or China;
- they are from Fez or Morocco;
- brought by Sufis or Jewish Kabbalists.
The current understanding is that the maps originated in northern Italy. Their creation dates back to the 15th century. This is confirmed by the luxurious handmade playing decks left over from one of the aristocratic European courts.
There is no other historical evidence of the origin of the maps.
Tarot and the gypsies
Another myth is that the cards were brought to Europe by a wandering gypsy people.
In fact, until the 20th century, there is no reliable evidence that the Gypsies used the Tarot. Their ability to predict fate was based, first of all, on the knowledge of palmistry, and later ordinary playing cards were used for these purposes.
Historians have also refuted the myth that the Catholic and Protestant churches banned the Tarot in an attempt to suppress witchcraft and heretical sentiments.
This fact has not been documented anywhere. There is only information that a number of restrictions on cards were associated with the spread of gambling.Historians confirm that there was a protest against the use of the Tarot by the church during the Reformation. However, the reason for this was the image on the maps of the Pope and the Pope, which over time were replaced by less controversial images.