The History of Tarot: Its Origins and Evolution

The history of tarot is a fascinating journey that spans hundreds of years and multiple cultures. Although its origins are shrouded in mystery and debate, tarot has evolved into a powerful tool for divination and self-discovery. Here is a brief overview of the history of tarot and it's evolution over time.

Origins of Tarot

The origins of tarot are difficult to trace, as much of its early history has been lost or destroyed. Some scholars believe that tarot originated in ancient Egypt, while others point to its origins in medieval Italy. It is likely that tarot emerged from a combination of different cultural influences, including astrology, numerology, and Kabbalah.

The earliest known tarot decks date back to the 15th century, when they were used primarily for playing card games. These early decks, known as "tarocchi," featured a variety of symbolic images and characters that were inspired by medieval Italian culture.

Evolution of Tarot

Over time, tarot evolved from a simple card game into a powerful tool for divination and spiritual insight. In the 18th and 19th centuries, tarot decks began to incorporate more esoteric and mystical themes, drawing on the symbolism of Kabbalah, astrology, and other occult traditions.

One of the most influential figures in the evolution of tarot was the French occultist and author Eliphas Levi, who wrote extensively about the symbolism and mystical significance of tarot cards. His work, along with that of other occultists and esoteric writers of the time, helped to establish tarot as a legitimate tool for spiritual exploration and self-discovery.

Today, tarot is widely recognized as a powerful tool for divination and personal growth. Many people use tarot cards as a means of gaining insight into their own lives and the world around them, and tarot readings have become increasingly popular in recent years.


The history of tarot is a complex and fascinating journey that reflects the evolution of human consciousness and spiritual exploration over time. Although its origins are shrouded in mystery, tarot has evolved into a powerful tool for self-discovery and personal growth, drawing on the symbolism of multiple cultures and traditions. Whether you are a seasoned tarot reader or a newcomer to the world of divination, the history of tarot provides a rich and inspiring context for the ongoing exploration of this powerful and transformative tool.