The origins of “the cards” is vague, however, there is evidence that suggests it has been around since the late 14th century or early 15th century. The native origin is most likely to have come from Mamluk Egypt and later made its way to Europe. Antoine Court de Gébelin wrote a popular book linking the cards to ancient Egyptian lore. His stance was that the tarot symbols contained secret wisdom from the god, Thoth. At the same time, Jean-Baptiste Alliette, who wrote as the pseudonym Etteilla, published article on use of “the cards” being divination tools.
The oldest known surviving set is known as the Visconti-Sforza deck, which was created for the Duke of Milan’s family sometime around 1440. The original use of the cards is similar to a bridge game but was known as tarocchi. Tarocchi would inspire costume characters who would participate in carnival parades and festivals. There are some records that date back to 1367 in Berne where “the cards” appeared to spread very rapidly across Europe but were being banned. It was not until “the cards” reached France they began to be popularly called “Tarot.”
An oracle deck is a divination tool that is more free-from than tarot but derives from tarot. Oracle decks do not a have a set number of cards. Tarot decks contains 78 cards defined as major arcana which accounts for 22 cards and the remainder 56 called minor arcana that is divided into four suits. Those suits are fire for clubs, water for hearts, air for spades and earth for diamonds.
Arcana is Latin for secret or mystery. The tarot is revered as the tool to help us uncover the secret or mystery. Both decks are used for guidance and introspection.
Most people say the oracle deck is easier to understand and navigate plus it comes with a guidebook. Oracle decks contains image and associated word or phrase at the bottom. The cards can be laid out in any format unlike tarot which is typically past, present, and future.
Throughout the years the evolution of tarot has evolved and there have been hundreds of creators. Each deck somewhat representing that culture with various artwork depictions of minor and major arcana. Oracle decks with various themes and continual evolution of purposes.
This most important to note is that the power of the cards is only as strong as you allow it to be. They can be all or nothing. A game or the interpretation of your life. This solely depends on you and what you are seeking if anything at all. The best way to choose your deck is to pick the one you are absolutely drawn to. The deck you think about constantly or dream about. The deck that gives you the urge to say I have to have this.
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A few of our favorites. Take what calls to you, as it may be what you may need.
Sacred Self-Care Oracle: A 55-Card Deck and Guidebook $24.99
The Muse Tarot $9.99
Secret Woods: Guides and Inspirational Messages Deck $24.99
The Herbal Healing Deck $34.99