Introduction to Tarot
The Tarot is a method for viewing the essential truths of life by the use of mystical symbols and pictures. The symbols and the sequence in which they appear during a Tarot reading, when interpreted properly, can be used as a divining tool, or for spiritual or personal guidance.
Myths abound as to the origins of the Tarot. While some claim that they came from ancient Egypt from Thoth, the legendary god of Wisdom and Magic, there is little evidence to prove that the Tarot came into Europe from Egypt.
It has been documented that the Tarot surfaced in Italy between 1440-1550. The very first Tarot cards were commissioned by aristocrats and nobility, and were exquisite in their design. Cards were either painted on parchment or on thin sheets of ivory, silver or gold.
The cards contained mystic symbols whose secret meaning was passed on through the oral traditions. As time passed these symbols were reproduced on innocent-looking decks that were used in games of chance by peasants who could not translate their true meaning.
Over the centuries many new Tarot decks were developed, each individual to the differences in culture, religion and beliefs of a particular region. However, the common point between them all is that each deck is comprised of seventy-eight cards, each one illustrating life experiences from the ordinary to the resplendent.
The Tarot as been used as an oracle and mystical to for spiritual enlightenment by many. Esteemed scholars have drawn parallels between the Tarot and alchemy, Jungian psychology, Hermetic philosophy, the Kabbalah, astrology, and many other metaphysical disciplines.