The History of Tarot Cards

Going Back In Time

Tarot cards first sprung up in Europe in the 15th century, specifically in Italy and were initially called ‘tarocchi cards’ in Italian. Since no printing press existed at that time, tarot cards were hand-painted and were considered expensive commodities, only being sold to wealthy Italian families.

But before we delve into the rich history of free tarot card reading, click here (insert external link) to experience the best free tarot card reading you will find online.

Special triumph cards would be painted for wealthy families. These families would commission artists to create unique decks where members of the family and family friends would be painted on the triumph cards. Some of these decks still exist today, including the set made for the Visconti family of Milan.

Once the printing press came into play, tarot cards were manufactured for the masses. The decks were mainly used for games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot, and Austrian königrufen; these games are still widely played today.

Tarot cards were not used for divination until the 1700s. In 1781, a former French Protestant minister named Antoine Court de Gebelin published an analysis on the tarot, exploring the meaning and symbolism behind the cards and their illustrations.

He concluded that the tarot was derived from the secrets of a small group of Egyptian priests. This knowledge traveled to Rome and eventually to the Catholic Church, where the Catholic priests wanted to keep this mysterious knowledge a secret. He linked some of the cards to the legends of Isis and Osiris, who were Egyptian gods.

In 1791, the Frenchman and oculist Jean-Baptise Alliette was the first to publish a guide to tarot card reading. His book is published under the pseudonym ‘Ettellia’ (a rearrangement of his last name); alongside his very own deck of tarot cards.

He attached meaning to all the cards within the deck within the book. Most of his ideas are derived from astronomy and the four elements (fire, air, water, and earth). Ettellia also admitted to obtaining ideas from the ‘Book of Thoth’ – a book written by the Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth.

Ettellia designed a specific system in which the cards were to be arranged – this system is still used today. His publication was a response to the work of de Gebelin, and he became the first person to become a professional tarot card reader. But in today’s world, you don’t need to go to a professional; you can easily get an online free tarot card reading!

However, de Gebelin’s work has no historical evidence. Even so, wealthy Europeans jumped onto the trend of gaining arcane knowledge. This increase in popularity led to the production of the Marseille Tarot card deck; it included illustrations inspired by and specific to de Gebelin’s analysis.

As the Victorian Era came to an end, occultism and spiritualism became pastimes for bored upper-class families.

Even parties held by such individuals included séances and spiritual readings as engaging activities for guests.

In 1909, British oculist Arthur Waite and artist Pamela Colman Smith created the Rider-Waite tarot card deck. Smith used Sola Busca artwork for inspiration and, unlike older decks published in previous years, included human figures in her illustrations.

Since most of Smith’s etchings are formed on Kabbalistic symbolism, it is the main tarot card deck used in instructional tarot books. Today, most tarot card decks are based on the style of Rider-Waite.

Tarot Card Reading Today

Within the 1980s and 1990s, tarot card reading saw a boom; being greatly influenced by the Rider-Waite deck, new artists created different decks to express their creativity and original thought. Marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQ community and feminist movements, have begun to use these cards to express their cause.

In countries like Japan, tarot cards became widely used for divinatory purposes, to understand the future and to foresee one’s future.

Today’s tarotists are greatly influenced by psychology and such archetypes, especially the works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

Tarot card reading has taken a turn for the best! One of the biggest developments within tarot card reading today is that it can be done online! There is no need to visit a tarot reader; you can receive a reading from the comfort of your own home!

The creation of the internet and the World Wide Web has made it easier for us to access services we may have had to make an effort to receive.  Now, you can easily acquire a tarot reading on your computer. You get the experience without compromising on convenience!

The Effects of COVID-19 on Tarot Reading

With the spread of Covid-19 on the rise, social distancing is a must to make sure our loved ones and our community are safe. Most of us have been stuck in quarantine for months, without access to the outside world.

But just because we are stuck at home doesn’t mean we have to give up the things we love. If you are interested in getting a tarot reading but want to be cautious of Covid-19, have no fear! Online tarot card reading is the solution for you!

All you need to do is search up tarot readers near you and check to see if they provide online services, and if they don’t, you could always request an online session!

But you may find that tarot readers in your area may not offer such services – not to worry, many online websites offer the services you require. They provide tarot card reading and many other forms of spiritual assistance.

So what are you waiting for? Try online tarot reading today!