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A Short History of The Tarot

Get a free reading right now at PsychicAccess.comThe origin of Tarot cards has been debated for centuries. In 1299 AD in Italy the first appearance of Tarocchi, an Italian card game, was recorded. The cards, and their artistic interpretations, began spreading and evolving throughout Europe.

Historians still debate whether the Tarot evolved from traditional playing cards. Early British history points to this possible evolution. Perhaps the oldest playing cards came from the Middle East.

My understanding is that the imagery on the cards contained hidden meanings (as they do today), because governments saw fortune-telling as practicing magic, which was considered a crime. The Church viewed the cards as blasphemy and a threat against its doctrines. So the ‘true’ meanings of the cards had to be hidden using symbols.

The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs ~ Arthur E. Waite

Early Tarot decks in the 1400’s and 1500’s depicted scenes from everyday life, carved from wood blocks and printed in primary colors on card paper. The cards were very innocent-looking and somewhat crude.

The 78 cards are divided into Trumps and Pips – or numbered and court cards – which together represent every facet of life, including archetypal personalities and our interactions with each other.

The symbolism of the cards is read both individually and in relationship to other cards. The Trump cards are numbered 0 to 21 in most decks and 1 to 22 in other decks. These cards represent the journey of life, and the major influences we encounter. The Pips represent suits found in ordinary playing cards, but they are often renamed as Cups, Wands, Swords and Pentacles. Each suit contains four additional personality cards, namely the King, Queen, Knight, and Page.

Symbolism is no mere idle fancy or corrupt egerneration: it is inherent in the very texture of human life ~ Alfred North Whitehead

Even if we choose a modern Tarot deck, references to popular medieval culture remain, with cards such as the Hierophant, or ‘Pope’.  The Fool is depicted in early decks as a court jester. The Tower looks like it belongs to a medieval castle. We see kings and queens, plus lesser court cards.

Tarot artwork has evolved over time, again reflecting popular culture and accommodating a wider range of interests, such as Angel and Wiccan decks. There are some amazingly beautiful new that have been published in recent time, especially over the past 15 years. These modern decks often feature computer-generated imagery and gold and silver foils, but the cards are no less powerful and each card retains its original intent. Others are chimerical such as the Wonderland Tarot, based on the story of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

As a visual artist, it is the imagery that initially drew me to the cards as a divination tool. I am intrigued by the depth of their meanings. I can look into the cards and see a new story evolve every time. I get visions and storylines coming through clearly, while I am in a trance-like state. I see the elements that add up to the bigger picture and I can explore several paths to guide you in achieving your dreams.

Science is the tool of the Western mind and with it more doors can be opened than with bare hands. It is part and parcel of our knowledge and obscures our insight only when it holds that the understanding given by it is the only kind there is ~ Carl Jung

There is no end to how deeply you can read the symbolism that is derived from the first Tarot cards. Carl Jung, a famous Swiss psychiatrist in the 20th century, talked about ‘archetypes’, or models of personalities and behaviors. Perhaps the earliest Tarot readers recognized the commonality amongst humans, because the archetypes depicted in the cards during medieval times still hold completely true today. Jung also identified the ‘shadow’ side, which is deeply buried in our subconscious. Again, as it relates to Tarot, the shadow side is also reflected in the cards.

If you are interested in Tarot cards, there are many decks to choose from, and many are sold as a kit, meaning that they include a booklet of interpretations and spreads. The most important aspect of choosing a deck is to hold the deck in your hands, look through it and feel how it resonates with you.

During your reading with me, I can explain what cards I see and their meanings as it relates to your situation. Many of my clients really appreciate this, and some have been inspired to purchase their own Tarot decks. I’d love to read for you! Visit me at for a psychic Tarot reading.

About The Author: Dianna

As a conduit to Spirit since birth Dianna provides channeled information from her Guides, Archangels, Ascended Masters & Animal Spirits. During readings, information comes to her through telepathy, empathy, visual images and physical sensations. She additionally uses Automatic Writing for very specific details and timing, Tarot and the Lenormand Cards. Dianna's specialties are providing you with remarkably accurate answers to your questions using her psychic consciousness to assist you in reaching new and rewarding goals. A Libra/Aquarius rising with three grand trines in her chart, Dianna has chosen to use her psychic gifts and Reiki Healing Energy to help others, providing practical answers to life's questions plus healing and clearing blockages. You can get a psychic reading from Dianna at

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