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The origins of Tarot

Much is being said on the origins of Tarot. Some say Tarot has its origin in India and was brought to Western Europe by gypsies. Others say that the Templar's took the cards with them from the Holy Land. Another story is that a secret brotherhood form North Africa has invented the Tarot.

In short: the origin of Tarot is surrounded by mystery. One thing is certain; the Tarot card game (or Tarock) first appears in European documents in the thirteenth century. The oldest Tarot card decks we know of date back to the fifteenth century.

In the late Middle Ages Tarot was very popular. Not just to predict the future with but primarily as an ordinary card game. This card game is currently still being played in parts of France and Italy.

The Pope didn't like this predicting the future stuff very much. He banned the so-called 'picture book of the devil'. Funnily his actions lead to increasing popularity of Tarot cards.

It was only after 1871 when Antoine Court de Gebelin in his book Le Monde Primitif claimed that Tarot cards included 'secrets of the Egyptians' that Tarot cards began being used as a method to predict the future. Since then, various alternative theories about the origin of Tarot arose. However, most of these theories do not take into account the actual historical facts.

Even though it is a near established fact that Tarot was originally not meant for fortune telling this does not alter the fact that Tarot cards, with their strong symbolism, are very suitable to use as fortune cards.

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