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history of tarot
by wallyg

The History of Tarot Cards Explained

While professional psychics and tarot card readers are making hay while the sun shines, historians and scholars are still grappling with evidence to reveal the true origins and history of tarot cards. The truth is that evidence pertaining to the origin of tarot cards has never been found or proven, but is rather based on varying theories and beliefs. Some of the theories that circulate in the fraternity of scholars and researchers conclude that the term ‘tarot’ either evolved from the ancient Egyptian God of Magic named ‘Thoth’, or attributed to a military order established in 1188 titled the ‘Order of the Knights Templar.’

The period and person responsible for the conceptual creation of tarot cards is still unknown although it is widely believed that the very first version was created during the first half of the fifteenth century, when a person produced the first tarot deck somewhere in Northern Italy. Some European historians and researchers believe that in time, the use of tarot cards spread rapidly through Northern Italy and onto several areas of France. The history of tarot cards also includes the belief among some researchers that tarot cards were in existence in Italy as far back as the early 1300s.

What appears historically correct to some scholars is that Eliphas Levi, a Catholic Priest, teacher and writer created the basis from which the popular tarot cards of today evolved. They believed that Levi achieved this between the late 1700s and early 1800s. Levi can be credited with the incorporation of the elements of nature – air, earth, fire, water – in the tarot deck he created and which is represented by symbols to this day. As the evidence pertaining to the history of tarot cards reveals, Levi claimed at

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