History and Origin of The Tarot@
No one really knows where the tarot had its origins, but the history of the tarot cards in europe seems to date back to the 14th century--to days of Marco Polo. The original teaching of the tarot is said to be based on 22 pewter plates, which made up the Major Arcana. A reading of these was used to decide when to plant crops, or to make decisions for a nation such as when to go to war. Many years later the Minor Arcana cards were added to the tarot. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, which are the basis of the playing deck we use today for card games. In the Minor Arcana we also include four more court cards called the Pages. Images on the cards are used to help understand and perform readings with the tarot. Although many countries claim to have introduced the Minor Arcana, my personal belief is that the Romany gypsies of northern europe introduced these cards to the tarot. Throughout history the gypsies have been known for their fortune-telling skills and ability to predict the future. This may be wherd the myth comes from that you cannot buy your own tarot cards. The Romany gypsies had a tradition that, when the grandmother of the group was to retire, she would pass her tools of trade on to her eldest granddaughter. Tgus the wisdom and knowledge of the tarot would pass from one generation to the next. There are many myths about the tarot which have evolved through time. Some believe that the tarot deck is very personal to the owner and should not be touched by another person. This choice remains in your hands. However I always ask my client to shuffle the cards before a reading commences. Another myth says that before using your cards you need to sleep with them under your pillow for up to a week, to personally energise them. I have found no logical reason or improvement in the ability to read cards from following this practice. It has also been said that after wrapping your cards in a purple silk scarf for protection and safe-keeping from evil spirits and unwanted energies, they should be placed in a wooden box and only used on a wooden table.