Is cartomancy a type of tarot reading or vice versa?
Throughout thousands of years of history, people, ranging from primitive people to kings and pharaohs as well the so called “new age man” and the internet-savvy techno geek, have always wanted to see a glimpse of the future, which is primarily due to our human nature of being curious.
And long with the increasing need of people to know this uncertain future is also the surging fascination on psychic readings using the traditional deck of playing cards and also of tarots.
With these 2 types of cards used in psychic readings, it has resulted in the confusion between the 2 methods of getting a reading.
Cartomancy: Facts and Myths
Here are the top 5 facts and myths about cartomancy:
1. laying cards used in cartomancy are derived from tarot cards. There are many people, including those aspiring to be “psychics”, who have fallen for the urban myth that playing cards are derived from tarot cards. This is not true.
In fact, the reverse is true. It was the playing cards that had first entered Europe in the late 14th century, probably from Mamluk Egypt. The use of playing cards spread rapidly throughout Europe, and with some certainty, may be traced from 1377 onwards. There are even documents mentioning the cards date from 1371 in Spain, 1377 in Switzerland, and 1380 in many locations including Florence and Paris. The Mameluke deck is said to contain 52 cards comprising of four “suits”.
On the other hand, the tarot card deck is said to have been created between 1430 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna in northern Italy when additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the already existing common four-suit playing cards. This was done in order to provide more “trump” cards for games such as Tarocco or trionfi, from whence came the name. And it had taken another three centuries before these additional cards were embraced by various occult traditions and acquired the meanings we attribute to them today.
2. Cartomancy originally emerged first as a form of fortune-telling or divination using a deck of standard playing cards. This is true. In fact, forms of cartomancy, including the use of tarot, only appeared soon after playing cards were first introduced into Europe in the 14th century.
In fact, there is evidence that divination using playing cards is in evidence as early as 1540 in a book entitled The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forlì, which allows a simple method of divination, with the cards used only to select a random oracle and have no meaning in themselves.
3. Tarot is a form of cartomancy and not the other way around. In fact, it was only until the 18th and 19th centuries that the tarot was widely adopted by mystics, occultists and secret societies in forms mysticism and divination. The tradition was begun in 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin, a Swiss clergyman, published Le Monde Primitif, a speculative study which included religious symbolism and its survival in the modern world.
4. Playing cards were invented by either the Chinese or the Indians. This is a myth. Two legends may, or may not, describe the origin of the playing cards. The first says that it was in the twelfth century in the harem of the Chinese imperial palace that the playing cards were invented. According to legends, in 1120 C.E., one of the bored women living there had invented the playing cards to help pass the time. The second legend claims that, it was in India that the playing cards were invented, with the maharajah’s wife inventing the card in order that the maharajah’s hand will be utilized in playing the game of cards instead of being used to constantly pull at his beard.
Though these legends may even hold a kernel of truth, it seems more likely that playing cards originated in Korea and were descended from a Korean divinatory arrow, according the two experts on the history of playing cards. The two experts made a study of the Korean connection and were convinced that this is where playing cards began as the original Korean cards are said to have similarity in shape to the slips of bamboo that were used as arrows in divination rites. They also thought that the scroll in the shape of a heart on the backs of the cards represent an arrow feather. Finally, it is thought that the numbers on the cards were related to the cock feathers on the arrows.
5. Nobody except who owns the cards should ever lay a finger in it. They have to safeguard in the aura of others to ensure that the bond between your cards and also the medium is undisturbed and obvious. False. Remember, the cards are just tools.