Four Fascinating Facts about Tarot Cards
Number 3 Might Amaze You!
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Boredom is the reverse side of fascination.” If you’re bored due to the lockdown or anything else, here are four fascinating facts about Tarot cards.
1. Tarot Cards Weren’t Banned by the Medieval Church
It’s often claimed that the Tarot was specifically forbidden by the Medieval Catholic Church. During the Inquisition in Spain careful records were kept about what the Church did and did not label as heresy. Interestingly, the Tarot is never mentioned. The reason for this may have been financial. Printing was an important industry. Printers depended in part on printing cards for their livelihoods. The money they made contributed to local economies and supported tithes to the Church. So the Church, benefitting from the printing of cards, was reluctant to ban them.
2. The Hierophant and the High Priestess Cards Came Later
Because of the connection to gambling, playing cards were sometimes banned by communities, but there’s no evidence that was the case for Tarot cards. This probably had to do with their popularity among the wealthy nobility, who of course wielded power with both the Church and the State. However, after the Reformation the Church did object to cards depicting the Pope and Papess, two Major Arcana cards at the time. Therefore, card printers substituted the Hierophant — who still looks like a Pope in most Tarot decks — and his female counterpart, the High Priestess.
3 Tarot Cards Weren’t Designed for Fortune Telling
The original Tarot cards were meant for gaming. These games included “tarocchini” in Italy, “tarot” in France, and “königrufen” in German-speaking areas. Some of these original Tarot card games are still played today. For example, in 2001 “königrufen” was Austria’s third most popular card game. It uses a deck like a Tarot deck, with an extra face or court card and the Major Arcana. Tarot decks began to be used for fortune-telling on the continent by 1750. The cards were popular as divination aids later that century in France, when the Tarot of Marseilles was being printed.
4. No Card Is Truly “Bad”
Some cards — such as Death, the Devil, and several Swords cards — might look scary, but no card is inherently “bad.” For example, the Death card could mean the death of a habit such as smoking or overeating, which is certainly not a negative thing. It shows that something is ending to make way for something better ahead. A Tarot reading points out the things you need to pay attention to in your life, and whether a card is negative depends on how the card is placed and what other cards accompany it.
Want more information about Tarot cards and readings? I’m pleased to offer single-card, three-card, and Celtic Cross ten-card readings at various price ranges, all via email or face-to-face across Zoom or Skype.
And, although the world is an uncertain place right now, if you’re planning a future party — whether it’s an intimate get-together or a large-scale event, consider adding the excitement of Tarot readings. I’d love to chat with you, so to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am the Weekend Witch, and I can’t wait to help you meet your destiny!