Tarot History And Origin.


Tarot originated in India…Although researchers have tried for years to pinpoint the true origin of the Tarot, they are still unsure who created the first deck. Some believe they were in use as long ago as the early 1300’s in Italy. During the late 1700’s and into the early 1800’s Eliphas Levi, a Catholic Priest, writer, and teacher, created the basis for the most popular Tarot cards still in use today. Although Levi was born and trained for the Catholic Priesthood, he studied many other religions and subjects as well. He studied the Jewish, Hindu, Polish and Masonic religions and Cabalism. Levi was also a student of astronomy, astrology, and the metaphysics. When he created his first Tarot deck, he incorporated his knowledge of religions, the elements in nature (fire, water, earth, air), and what were believed to be powerful astrological events and symbols (most of which are still popular today). There are even references to scriptures from The Bible shown in some of the cards. Levi claimed he created the cards as a tool to aid his students in the art of spiritual enlightenment, self improvement, and self awareness. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that A.E. Waite realized that the cards could be used to predict possible future events. Waite created the Rider-Waite deck based on the works of Eliphas Levi, and published the cards in 1896. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is the most widely used version currently in existence. The Tarot was then introduced into the Western culture in the early 1900’s, and were extremely popular during World War I.