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History of Tarot

Joan Marie Lawson

<p>There is a lot of mystery as to where Tarot cards originated and when using them for divination, came from. Many say Egypt, as some form of cards were reputedly used to communicate with those who spoke other languages in Memphis, after the Library of Alexandria was burned. But this claim has never been proved. We do know that cards were used for games in China as well as in Persia, before they were used in Europe. So many believe that they made their way through the trade routs into Europe. The earliest mention of cards being used in Europe is during the 14Th century with suites similar to the present Tarot deck we use. As the cards contain symbolism from many different cultures, including Egyptian, Mithras religion, Pagan and Celtic belief we can assume that they were the result of a mixture of the symbolism of many different cultures at that time. However, these cards were initially used for playing games. It is interesting to note that at the time, different cards were created to teach certain things such as Mythology, Religion and geography. Much as we used to use old fashioned flash cards. The first known documented use of Tarot cards for divination was in Northern Italy between 1430 and 1450 in the cities of Milan, Bologna and Ferrara. With the oldest surviving Tarot cards belonged to the Visconti-Sforza family who ruled Milan.</p>



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