The origin of Tarot is lost in the midst of time.  The exact origins of Tarot is unknown, there is much mystery surrounding where its origination.  It seems the earliest of its existence show that it was first known as a card game with the French title Les Tarots, which was played in Italy.  This game, still played today in some countries, bears no resemblance to the current practice of using Tarot cards for the purpose of divination. The Tarot pack was used solely in card games for some considerable time.

It was not until the late eighteen century that it seems to have become connected with the practice of divination.  Nowadays Tarot cards are used mainly by people who are trying to predict the future. A great many theories exist as to the origins of Tarot cards, linking them to different cultures and beliefs.  One of these theories is that Tarot originated from Egyptian hieroglyphics.  The connection between Tarot and the Egyptian culture was explored by the French intellectual of the eighteen century, Court de Gebelin.  While working on a vast study on occult, he developed the theory that there existed a link between Tarot and “the Book of Thoth”.  Thoth, being the Egyptian god of science.  Trismegistus, a Greek alchemist and teacher of magic, is supposed to have set down his teachings in this “book”.  The popularity of this theory can be accounted for by the great interest in all things Egyptian at the time.

According to some the Tarot was brought to Europe by travelling gypsies.  The Tarot has been primarily connected to the Kabbala, a vast and complex of esoteric teachings. 

 A deck of Tarot that dated back to the 1400s was found in Milan in Northern Italy.  The pack was painted for the Visconti family and was later reproduced under name “Visconti Tarocchi”.  However, the surviving decks were commonly French designs, and it was then thought that the Tarot had been imported to Italy from France.

Tarot has been subjected to many styles over the centuries and even today there are many different packs available.  Generally they are known by the name of the person who researched and designed the individual packs.  For example, the Ryder Waite packs were designed by Arthur Edward Waite, the artwork was by Pamela Coleman Smith and was published by Ryder, others may be known by country in which they originated such as the Swiss, French, and Spanish packs. The choices are many.  The general rule in picking a pack of Tarot is up to the individual.  Some say that you should not buy a pack of cards for yourself, but I have found over the years, that again, it is the individual’s choice of the person wanting to know more about this fascination form of divination.