Origins and Perceptions of Tarot Cards

In a world that is modern and full of scientific advances and experiments, there are still some long standing traditions that claim to incorporate mystic forces. People check their horoscopes on a daily basis live by superstitions and believe that there are some things that cannot be explained. A major phenomenon that is now back in fashion is the use of tarot cards to predict a person’s future and discover their past and present issues. 15th century Italy is generally believed to have been the time and place that the use of tarot cards began. The cards consisted of the Minor and Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana includes each of the four suits. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards that do not belong to any of the suits. The trend spread across Europe and became extremely popular with nobility and commoners alike. Tarot was used to predict events and eventually became of particular use to people who were interested in the occult.

The association of tarot cards and the occult led to the belief that tarot cards were involved in the dark arts and certain religions began to ban the use of tarot cards amongst their followers. Tarot cards then became a secretive form of expression with people using the divination of the cards privately. More recently, tarot cards have experienced a renewal in popularity, as people are more likely to view astrology in a light-hearted way whereas in past times they were overly superstitious. Tarot card readings have once again become hugely popular with a lot of people venturing to have their cards read on a regular basis whether for fun or for serious guidance in their lives.

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There is a huge market in this type of divination at present. Even on sites like Ebay, tarot card readings are available for sale. Occult shops often depend on the sale of tarot items for their main source of income and even regular bookshops now sell tarot cards and books on tarot. There is a certain fascination with divination in general and tarot cards can be attractive and appeal to a wide range of people. Tarot cards can come in all sorts of designs and colors and the collection of tarot cards is now as popular as the reading of them. Books giving instructions on the use of tarot cards and the different spreads available are now commonplace. There are even tarot parties where a group of friends hire a tarot card reader as the entertainment for the party. One of the party members may have some knowledge in the use of tarot cards and use their skills to give readings to their friends.

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Tarot cards are now so commonplace that they are no longer completely associated with the dark arts and are generally viewed as a harmless form of divination. Gone are the misconceptions that tarot card readings are performed by unsavory mysterious characters. A decent tarot card reader does not give deep, dark predictions of unwelcome events. They should instead make the customer comfortable and give a general guidance without actually instructing the customer on what to do with their lives. As some people have a dependence on this area, the tarot card reader should be able to recognize when a person is not stable enough to receive a reading and should also have the integrity to then refuse the person a reading. It is an area where the are many con-artists and scams but like anything in the world, the majority of people should not be judged by other people’s actions.


by C. Connolly