This deck of 97 cards includes astrological symbols and the four elements, as well as traditional tarot motifs. Although a Dominican preacher inveighed against the evil inherent in cards chiefly owing to their use in gambling in a sermon in the 15th century,  no routine condemnations of tarot were found during its early history.
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Because the earliest tarot cards were hand-painted, the number of the decks produced is thought to have been small. It was only after the invention of the printing press that mass production of cards became possible.
The expansion of tarot outside of Italy, first to France and Switzerland, occurred during the Italian Wars. The most important tarot pattern used in these two countries was the Tarot of Marseilles of Milanese origin. The original purpose of tarot cards was to play games.
A very cursory explanation of rules for a tarot-like deck is given in a manuscript by Martiano da Tortona before Vague descriptions of game play or game terminology follow for the next two centuries until the earliest known complete description of rules for a French variant in Tarocchini has survived in Bologna and there are still others played in Piedmont and Sicily, but in Italy the game is generally less popular than elsewhere.
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The 18th century saw tarot's greatest revival, during which it became one of the most popular card games in Europe, played everywhere except Ireland and Britain , the Iberian peninsula , and the Ottoman Balkans. Regional tarot games—often known as tarock , tarok , or tarokk are widely played in central Europe within the borders of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.
These were the oldest form of tarot deck to be made, being first devised in the 15th century in northern Italy.
The so-called occult tarot decks are based on decks of this type. Three decks of this category are still used to play certain games:. The Tarocco Siciliano is the only deck to use the so-called Portuguese suit system which uses Spanish pips but intersects them like Italian pips. It omits the Two and Three of coins, and numerals one to four in clubs, swords and cups: it thus has 64 cards but the ace of coins is not used, being the bearer of the former stamp tax.
The cards are quite small and not reversible. The illustrations of French-suited tarot trumps depart considerably from the older Italian-suited design, abandoning the Renaissance allegorical motifs. With the exception of novelty decks, French-suited tarot cards are almost exclusively used for card games. The first generation of French-suited tarots depicted scenes of animals on the trumps and were thus called " Tiertarock " 'Tier' being German for 'animal' appeared around Around , a greater variety of decks were produced, mostly with genre art or veduta.
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Current French-suited tarot decks come in these patterns:. Example of 18th century " Tiertarock ". The heart suit is the default trump suit.
The earliest evidence of a tarot deck used for cartomancy comes from an anonymous manuscript from around which documents rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards of the Tarocco Bolognese. Etteilla was the first to issue a tarot deck specifically designed for occult purposes around In keeping with the misplaced belief that such cards were derived from the Book of Thoth , Etteilla's tarot contained themes related to ancient Egypt.
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Some decks exist primarily as artwork; and such art decks sometimes contain only the 22 major arcana. The three most common decks used in esoteric tarot are the Tarot of Marseilles , the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck , and the Thoth tarot deck.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Tarot disambiguation. Main article: Tarot card games. Tarot Nouveau trumps circa Main article: Tarot card reading. Retrieved September 29, Wish you knew how to do your birth chart? Type keyword s to search.
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