The Evolution of Tarot


I wonder if anyone would be able to help me. I'm an artist, not a historian! But I've got a chapter- not necessarily a long one- I would like to write about the evolution of Tarot up to this point. But I'm running out of time, and there are massive gaps in my knowledge in this area. I will look to the books that I have to help, but if anyone has some key dates/decks or other facts that they feel should be included, I would be very grateful.

For example, I have a french tarot game that I picked up on ebay, which resembles no Tarot I know, except in that it has the same number of cards. The Pips and courts are like playing cards, and the majors are strange scenes with no symbolism I recognise. Where do these fit in?

If I use anything from here, I will be sure to mention the person who helped me in the acknowledgements!

A Struggling Em xxx


Hi Em. I'm sure others here can tell you far more about the history of tarot than I can, but I can point you to a good place to start, which is this site:

It's not the most sophisticated looking site, but it's full of information. For example, the French cards you mention are probably intended for playing games, not for divination. There is lots on the different playing card patterns (including Tarrochi, Tarock etc cards) starting from this page:

Have fun!


Oh, and what am I thinking?! Of course there is brilliant information also on Tarotpedia:


You are all wonderful!

Thank you!

Em xxx


I would entirely agree with the above links as basically covering about the best easily accessible and manageable sites.

There is, of course, also - which is, however, rather difficult to navigate and find details: one wishes it was a little more clearly presented (and without those frames!).

...and then, there is also Ross Caldwell's reflections that forms part of an earlier thread hereon and this Newsletter.


Thank you everyone for your help! (And to the kind gentleman who emailed me, as I can't now find the message ANYWHERE...weird)

I used tarotpedia as my source, and I have kept the section extremely short, but at least it will hopefully be accurate.


Em xxx