The Tarot

From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination.

        Copyright © 2001 Gray Seal

The tarot, (first known as trionfi and later as tarocchi, tarock, and others) is a pack of playing cards (most commonly numbering 78), used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways.

The tarot has four suits (which vary by region, being the French suits in Northern Europe, the Latin suits in Southern Europe, and the German suits in Central Europe). Each of these suits has pip cards numbering from ace to ten and four face cards for a total of 14 cards. In addition, the tarot is distinguished by a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit 

More about the tarot here:

The Rider Tarot Deck.

Rider Waite Tarot has set the standard for hundreds of other tarot decks, which follow the archetypal images created by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909 under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite. This edition includes Smith’s original hand drawn titles. A unique feature of the Rider Waite deck, and one of the of the principal reasons for its enduring popularity, is that all of the cards, including the Minor Arcana, depict full scenes with figures and symbols. Prior to the Rider Waite Tarot, the pip cards of almost all tarot decks were marked only with the arrangement of the suit signs: swords, wands, cups, and coins, or pentacles. The pictorial images on all the cards allow interpretations without the need to repeatedly consult explanatory text. The innovative Minor Arcana, and artist Pamela Colman Smiths ability to capture the subtleties of emotion and experience have made the Rider Waite Tarot a model for the designs of many tarot packs. Rider Waite Tarot was named one of the Top Ten Tarot Decks of All Time by Aeclectic Tarot

The Rider Tarot Deck Cards by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith. 

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