The Little Known History of Tarot

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Among the many tools and traditions that have circulated through occult culture, none have stood the test of time or gained as much popularity as the tarot. Throughout its history, tarot has has been associated with various esoteric ideologies and the true origin of the cards has been a topic of debate.  However, historical evidence points to a deck of playing cards that wasn’t used exclusively for divination and fortune telling until centuries after its creation. 

Occult historian and author Mitch Horowitz sheds some light on how this powerful tool transitioned from an early version of bridge to a mystical divination tool.

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Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot: An Esoteric Primer

There may be more divination card decks on the market than kombucha flavors, and they just keep coming — animal, mineral, and vegetable (really) themes with everything in between — angels, a Spanish “Días de las Muertes” (Day of the Dead) deck, and a “Crystal Unicorn” tarot. There’s even a “Mystical Manga” deck. But all were preceded by 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley’s Thoth tarot, the product of  500 years of tarot history and Crowley’s vision.

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