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Tuesday, June 07, 2005
During their killing spree in 2002, the D.C. snipers left a tarot card inscribed with "Dear Policeman, I am God" near the scene of one shooting.

Where do Tarot Cards comes from?

Tarot cards likely originated in Northern Italy during the late fourteenth century or early fifteenth century. The oldest surviving set, known as the Visconti-Sforza deck, was created for the Duke Of Milan's family around 1440. The cards were used to play a bridge like game known as Tarocchi, popular at the time among nobles and other leisure lovers. According to tarot historian Gertrude Moakley, the cards fanciful images--from the Fool to Death -- were inspired by the costumed figures who participated in carnival parades.

The game Tarocchi eventually spread to other European countries, including southern France, where it was renamed Tarot. The cards were not regarded as mystical until the late 18th century, when the occult came into vogue. A man named Antoine Court de Gebelin wrote a popular book linking the cards to ancient Egyptian lore, arguing that Tarot symbols contained the secret wisdom of a god called Thoth. Around the same time, Jean Baptiste Alliette, writing under the pseudonym Etteilla,published a treatise on using Tarot Cards as divination tools.

The popularity of the Tarot Cards spread as Europe's fascinations with the occult grew. French write Eliphas Levi popularized the notion that Tarot symbols were somehow connected with the Hebrew alphabet,and thus to the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah. A pseudoscholarly book called The Tarot of the Bohemians, put forth the notion that Tarot Cards were Gypsy invention. (at the time, Gypsies were believed to have originated in Egypt, which many 19th century Europeans fancied as the cradle of human knowledge).

Mystical groups such as the Theosophical Society and the Roscicrucians turned Tarot into an American fad during the early 1900s. Many American Tarot practitioners use a set of cards known as the Waite-Smith deck, created in 1909 by A.E. Waite, a British member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the artist Pamela Colman Smith. Another popular deck, the Book of Thoth, was developed by magician-cum-guru Alester Crowley. Both have become the 'de rigueur' accessories for the modern fortune tellers.

(abstracted from the book: "The Explainer" by the authors of Slate Magazine)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:08 AM  
  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger cathcath said…

    para saiyo frat,
    napost sa aking blog.

    For Infraternam mean....Hi I am Lino Bocalan's daughter and I would like to communicate with you- you may send me e-mail at len117@hotmail.com. Hope to hear from you soon.

  • At 1:29 PM, Blogger infraternam meam said…

    cath...if Lino Bocalan's daughter wants to communice with me, she can use the comment section of my blog.

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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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