Journey Through the Trumps
From Tarocchi to Major Arcana
From Italy to France, then England, the United States and around the globe—Tarot has been on a 600-year odyssey. Launched as an Italian card game in the fifteenth century, the deck swept across Europe as the game surged in popularity. In the decades preceding the French Revolution, Tarot was reborn as an Egyptian book of wisdom, a repository for Qabalistic correspondences, and a magical implement for esoteric rites in secret lodges. Our current global economy has freed Tarot to be whatever we want it to be – a tool for spiritual development and personal insight, a fortunetelling device, or a framework for artistic expression.
Come with us as we time-travel with each trump (major arcana) card to see how they have evolved over the centuries. If you are new to Tarot history, please read Turning Points for essential background on the people and events referenced in these pages.
Il Matto/Le Mat/The Fool
Il Bagatto/Le Bateleur/The Magician
La Papessa/La Papesse/The Popess/The High Priestess
Il Papa/Le Pape/The Pope/The Hierophant
Il Carro/Le Chariot/The Chariot
La Ruota della Fortuna/The Wheel of Fortune
L’Appeso/Le Pendu/The Hanged Man
Iolon is not a professional card reader, but he is interested in the origins and development of Tarot card images. He created the website https://www.tarotwheel.net/ to share his passion for Tarot with the world.
Sherryl Smith has been reading cards since purchasing her first deck 45 years ago. For the past 20 years she has been researching Tarot history and sharing her love of divination with historic decks. She is the creator of this website.