The true origin of the Tarot is unknown, although the subject has been investigated for years. There has been no proof of where the first deck of cards was created, but throughout the centuries, there have been many different interpretations and presentations.
The earliest known date that the Tarot can be traced is during the early 1300s within the country of Italy. From there, the information is hazy, but during the late 1700s to the early 1800s, the type of Tarot cards that are used today can be traced back to this time period. The person who is accredited with this creation is Eliphas Levi, who was a Catholic Priest that wore many hats, including author and teacher. Levi received his training from the Catholic Priesthood, but also took an interest in a variety of other religions and topics, including Hindu, Jewish, Polish, as well as Masonic belief systems. He also became knowledgeable in subjects pertaining to astrology, astronomy, as well as metaphysics.
It was all of these influences that aided in the creation of Levi’s version of the Tarot. The first deck of cards pulled facts from an array of religions, as well as symbols associated with astrology. The elements of water, fire, earth and air were also used in the creation of the Tarot cards. When studied closer, you will even find references to scriptures found within the Bible. Levi told the public that the cards were meant as a tool to help his students learn about spirituality, self-improvement, as well as self-awareness.
The time when the cards became associated with predicting the future started in the late 1800’s when A.E. Waite created a deck that he called the “Rider-Waite Deck.” He used some of the works of Levi, creating a deck of cards that were published in 1896. Today, this is the deck of Tarot cards that you most likely will encounter. During the early 1900s, the Tarot was brought to the attention of the Westerners. The cards were a hit among the people, especially during the World War I era.
There are numerous thoughts regarding the use and influence of Tarot cards. Some believe it is a cute parlor trick, while others whole-heartedly believe in the power of the Tarot. There are still some that view the cards as nothing but evil, even going as far as to believe that the cards possess a bit of evil energy or power. The secret to the cards involves the thoughts dealing with the subconscious and conscious mind.
Many use the Tarot cards to learn something about them, gain self-awareness, as well as gain a new perspective on life. Sometimes, a clarification of the past can be achieved when using the cards. Sometimes an understanding of why certain things occurred in one’s life can be found, as well as possibly gain information on how to avoid experiencing a reoccurrence in bad luck. Mostly, the cards are used to predict the future, especially when an individual wishes influence the outcome of their future.