Tarot cards are mystic, mysterious and beautiful reminders of the importance of symbolism to the human spirit across the ages.

Where did the Tarot come from?

The origins of Tarot are somewhat obscure. I remember some books saying Tarot stemmed from Egypt, from the god Thoth and connecting them to the ancient mystery school teachings. Some say ancient China. The most common myth is that it was brought to Europe by the Gypsies. But the Tarot didn`t arrive in Europe with the Gypsies (Rom). The Rom were once thought to have come from Egypt - which they didn`t - and tarot cards existed in Europe before the arrival of Gypsies. And the cards didn`t originate in ancient Egypt either. The true history of Tarot cards is as mystic and controversial as the cards themselves.

Tarot as we know it today is a collection of images and symbols from a wide variety of cultures. Try imagining ancient Egypt and combining some images from the ancient Greeks and Romans, then mix in some elements from the early Scandinavians who believed in power of nature, add a touch of the ancient religions of India and gently stir with the medieval courts of Italy and France and you have the beautiful tarot decks we see today.

Tarot cards are playing cards, an early form of the packs we use today. Called taroc, or tarocchi, they were originally used for playing a card game called tarocchi, and I regret saying that in those times they had nothing to do with foretelling the future. How did tarot cards get associated with fortune-telling?

Actually, all playing cards have been more or less used for divinatory purposes. Tarot cards, with more intricate designs and an older pedigree than modern decks, at some point stopped being used merely as playing cards. They are somehow magic mirrors of our fears and hopes seen by a fortuneteller.

Modern tarot cards are widely used as a symbol-system for personal growth and development.

People are very curious creatures. They want to know what might happen to them, when they will fall in love… Every circus has its own fortuneteller who tells you about your destiny in an exotic atmosphere of colourful curtains, dimmed light of lamps, scented candles. All to introduce us with the mystic forces which control our lives. Or they don’t? It is up to you to decide.


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