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Tarot came to Europe about the same time as any other form of playing card, in the early/mid 1300's. It is related to the 'Mamluk' deck of the Islamic world, which had suitscups, coins, swords, and polo-sticks.

The Tarot was originally used for a game called 'tarocchi' in Italy, which is sort of a distant cousin to Bridge. Tarocchi is still played in some parts of the world, not usually with the same decks the 'fortune tellers' use.

The game was quite popular for a time among the royalty in Italy, and sometimes a duke would commission an artist to create a really nice deck. Some of the earliest surviving Tarot decks come from this source.

The Joker of 'standard' card decks is "not" related to the Fool of Tarot. The Joker was invented as a wild card for Euchre in the 1800's, in a part of the world where the Tarot was virtually or totally unknown.

The Tarot was first associated with the occult by Antoine Court de Gebelin, a relatively obscure Parisian mason who wrote about the deck in 1781. He invented a lot of the standard myths about the Tarot which were later popularized by others (it comes from ancient Egypt, the Major Arcana is related to the Kabalah, etc.). But of course, divination was the most popular use for the cards.



A tradition of India, China and Europe's Gypsies.

Patterns made by each person's lips define character, attitude, and destiny.

These readings were used as a source of divination often yielding the answers to posed questions.

Highly popular at Los Angeles parties today, this ancient art form is now available in the Bay Area for events.

5 min. per person.