Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tarot Blog Hop - Tarot Tradition and where it all began

The Tarot Blog Hop presents the question, ‘What traditions are important to you in how you read Tarot?’ Advised to use the question as the basis for this post, I debated on what direction to take. I decided to go back into the past, back to the very beginning, or at least as far as I could venture.

But first – The Tarot Blog Hop is a chain of blogs where each blogger touches upon the suggested topic. The blog before this stop is at Alison Cross' This Game of Thrones, and the blog stop after is Louise's Priestess Tarot. If you've managed to arrive here without a map, here is the master list of participating bloggers. Enjoy!

The Sola Busca Tarot
a redrawing of the oldest existing Tarot deck,
printed in the late fifteenth century in Italy.

Where and when did it all begin? Myths and theories vary on the subject of the Tarot’s origin. The evidence suggests in the late 14th century cards similar to what is known as the Tarot appeared in Italy and France.

The early Tarot cards were used in card games. Which leads to the question – Which cards came first – playing cards or the Tarot?

According to Tarot historian Tom Tadfor Little, traditional playing cards date back to 1375, arriving in Europe from the Islamic societies. The first known Tarot deck was created in the 1450, which suggests the Tarot derived from the traditional playing cards.

The first mention of the use of playing cards turning toward divination came in 1487. The first reference of Tarot connecting to such shows up in records from a trial in Venice, in 1589. After this, no references to the Tarot connecting with divination appears until the 18th century.

These early decks were painted. Mass production didn't begin until the 1500s, with the invention of the Gutenberg press.

Today, we can find Tarot decks everywhere and in many forms. From themed to traditional decks, from fortune telling to self-discovery, over the years the Tarot has made a place in our culture. No longer does one have to hide the desire to explore these images, at least not as one would have had to in the days of witch hunts.

I hope you all enjoyed this short history on the Tarot. Much more detailed information is available on this subject, and in no way does this post even gets close to covering the massive topic.

Enjoy the Blog Hop!


Tarot By Arwen said...

Excellent. I loved the short intro and found it to be concise and easy to follow!

Alison Cross said...

The marvellous thing about today's Tarot deck is that it has a long, wobbly lineage!

Nice posting!

Ali x

Inner Whispers said...

Hmm, this leaves me wondering what happened for the two hundred odd years between the first mention of tarot being used for divination and the next one. Presumably, it took place the whole time, but for some reason people didn't want to talk about it... *thoughtful face*

Lynda Hardy said...

The Sola Busca is such a vivid, beautiful deck.

Cher Green said...

Thank you all for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed the day of hopping. :)

Unknown said...

I am glad you discussed history- it has been fun to see how each of us handle the question about traditions!

Cher Green said...

Thanks. When I began going through the posts, I felt a little out of place, but then a few started touching on the history. :)

Aisling the Bard said...

I believe I now have yet one more deck to explore, thanks to your history lesson...thank you!

Cher Green said...

:) You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed and discovered a new deck.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you covered this angle on "tradition." Makes for a good backdrop to the other more personal takes as we go through the hop. Thanks!

And speaking to Chloe's question, I would imagine that the silence corresponded to the time frame between the Reformation's threat to the Catholic Church and the evolution of the Enlightenment and more freedom of thought. It was likely extremely dangerous to be doing divination in the 1600s with the Inquisition in full swing.

Unknown said...

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Cher Green said...

muselady, thank you for the additional history. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Manohar, Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog and hope to see you visit frequently.