Tarot Cards

Although most people are familiar with what are known as Tarot Cards, few may realize that for hundreds of years, these colorful cards with illustrations of either people or objects were actually playing cards. Originally called Tarocchi or Tarok, they were designed for playing games like Terrochi and French Tarot. A typical tarot deck contained 78 cards with some designated as suits and others as trump cards. They also contain face cards which are comparable to those in a regular deck of cards.

The use of tarot cards in fortune telling and other forms of mysticism appears to have come into being much later, in the 18th Century. In 1781, a Swiss clergyman, Antoine Court de Gebelin published an academic study about the symbolism of the objects and characters portrayed in these cards and how the word Tarot actually came from the ancient Egyptians, and meant "royal road to wisdom". The usage of tarot cards for mystical purposes was further enhanced in England where the images portrayed on the cards dealt with magical creatures and personalities who could have a direct influence on one's fortunes in life.

Tarot card nowadays have a variety of usages, including a number of card games using tarot card images incorporated onto standard playing cards. Most people still regard the use of tarot cards in fortune telling, however, with a number of important images consider as instrumental to foretelling personal destiny. These images are:
The Empress, The Emperor, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, The Wheel, and under the category of Justice: The Hanged Man, Death, The Devil, and the Tower. Astrological signs, including The Sun, The Star, and The Moon are also considered important Tarot reading signs.