The History of Tarot Card Reading: From Ancient Times to Today

For centuries, tarot cards have fascinated people with their intricate designs, rich symbolism, and mystical allure. While many people now associate tarot card reading with New Age spirituality or divination, the history of tarot cards is far more complex and varied. 

From their origins in medieval Italy to their spread throughout Europe and beyond, tarot cards have taken on many different meanings and uses over time. Today, a tarot reading can help you effectively uncover the answers you seek, thereby aiding in your personal and professional growth.

In this blog, we’ll explore the fascinating history of tarot card reading, tracing its evolution from ancient times to the present day. Whether you’re looking to book a tarot reading session with a professional psychic medium, like Patti Negri, or you’re simply curious about this mysterious art, we’ll offer a comprehensive overview of the history and development of tarot card reading.

1. The Origins of Tarot Cards: Tracing Their Roots to Medieval Italy

The origins of tarot cards can be traced back to medieval Italy, where the first decks appeared in the early 15th century. While the exact purpose of these cards is still debated among scholars, it’s clear that they were not originally intended for divination or spiritual purposes. 

Instead, they were likely used for gaming or entertainment, much like modern playing cards. The earliest tarot decks consisted of four suits, as well as a set of trump cards, which were adorned with elaborate illustrations and symbols. Over time, the tarot deck evolved to include more complex symbolism and esoteric meanings, paving the way for its use in divination and spiritual practices.

2. The Use of Tarot Cards for Divination: Early Practices and Beliefs

The use of tarot cards for divination dates back to the 18th century, when French occultists began to see the cards as a tool for accessing spiritual insights and guidance. Over time, the tarot deck became associated with a range of esoteric practices and belief systems, from Kabbalah to Hermeticism to the occult. 

Many early practitioners of tarot card reading believed that the cards could provide insights into a person's past, present, and future, as well as offer guidance on how to navigate life's challenges and opportunities. While the exact meanings and interpretations of tarot cards have varied over time, the practice of using them for divination remains popular to this day.

3. The Spread of Tarot Card Reading: From Europe to the United States
Tarot card reading, person holding three tarot cards.

The practice of tarot card reading spread from Europe to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as interest in esoteric and occult practices grew among intellectuals and spiritual seekers. Many American practitioners of tarot reading drew on European traditions, such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which emphasized the use of tarot cards as a tool for spiritual growth and transformation. 

In the mid-20th century, tarot card reading became associated with the New Age movement, which embraced a range of alternative spiritual practices and beliefs. Today, tarot card reading remains a popular and widely practiced form of divination and spiritual exploration in the United States and around the world.

Looking for an experienced tarot card reader to decipher important messages and help you gain clarity about your life? Book a 30-minute or 60-minute session with Patti.

4. Tarot Cards in the 20th Century: New Age Spirituality and Beyond

In the 20th century, tarot cards experienced a resurgence in popularity as they became associated with the New Age movement and other forms of alternative spirituality. Tarot card decks were redesigned to incorporate new themes and motifs, including images of angels, chakras, and other spiritual symbols. 

Many practitioners of tarot reading began to emphasize the cards' potential for personal growth and self-discovery, rather than their simple ability to predict the future. At the same time, tarot reading became more widely available, with many bookstores and spiritual shops offering classes and workshops on how to use the cards. Today, tarot cards continue to evolve and adapt to changing cultural and spiritual trends.

5. Tarot Card Reading Today: Trends, Debates, and Future Directions
Tarot card reading, person holding multiple tarot cards.

Tarot card reading continues to be a popular and widely practiced form of divination and spiritual exploration in the modern era. Today, tarot card readers draw on a range of traditions and approaches, incorporating everything from Jungian psychology to feminist spirituality into their interpretations. 

Some practitioners emphasize the use of tarot cards as a tool for empowerment and self-discovery, while others focus on their predictive abilities. Overall, despite the debates, the practice of tarot card reading is likely to continue evolving and adapting to changing cultural and spiritual trends in the years to come.

To Learn More About the Art of Tarot Reading, Book a Session With Patti Negri

Looking to explore the mystical power of tarot reading? Patti can help you.

A renowned ‘good’ witch of Hollywood, Patti Negri has helped numerous people from all over the world with her psychic abilities. Patti is a member of the American Federation of Certified Psychics and Mediums, and she has worked with natural magick for years.

Her expertise allows her to cast spells—as well as perform rituals, seances, and psychic readings—in a safe and comforting manner.

To book a session with Patti Negri, click here, and for any questions regarding her sessions, you can contact Patti directly here!