They fled from their home in the high hills of India to Egypt, running from oppressors, bringing with them small tokens of their connection to divinity, to their connection to psychic information. In Egypt, perhaps they transferred the images of the tokens to papyrus. From Egypt, the fled across the Mediterranean Sea, to the Baltic countries, to Russia, then westward into Europe, perhaps transferring the images with ink and paint to wood and parchment. These were the gypsies, the name given to the proud Romany people by Europeans, who are credited by many as the creators of Tarot, one of the oldest divination tools.
We don’t really know, of course, the origins of Tarot, but we do know how decks were created and used across Europe as early as the Middle Ages. We do know how the structure of true Tarot came to be: the 78 keys, divided into Major and Minor Arcana with the Minor Arcana composed of four suits – Wands, Swords, Pentacles and Cups.
If learning to read Tarot speaks to you, I invite you to enroll in my course that begins this coming Tuesday, January 9. Here’s the link to information and registration. Please note the deck and textbook that are required.
Today there are probably thousands of true Tarot decks (those that use the 78-key structure), but there is one for me that stands the test of time, the depth of symbolism, the honoring of many world cultures and beliefs: the Waite Rider Deck, conceived by A.E. Waite, created and painted by Pamela (Pixie) Colman Smith, and originally published by Rider Publishers. While I own many lovely decks, the Waite deck is the only deck I use for readings, and for teaching Tarot.
I began learning Tarot in 1982 – more than 35 years ago – and am still learning the depth and meaning of the symbols Waite and Pixie created. I have offered thousands of readings and taught Tarot to people from all over the world. If you’d like to begin your journey into the depths of Tarot, or if you have been working with the keys for a while, and want to delve more deeply with a teacher, I invite you to join me.
Copyright 2017, Deb Bowen. All rights reserved.