The Tarot is a deck of cards that originated over 500 years ago in northern Italy. Although the Tarot was first used in a game called Triumphs, it was quickly adopted as a tool for divination, and popularized by occult societies such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The early Tarot symbolism was deeply rooted in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, but over the centuries it has grown to incorporate everything from Astrology and Kabbalah to Runes (which predate the Tarot by 1000 years) and the I Ching (which predates the Tarot by 2500 years). Today, the Tarot is far and away the most popular tool for spiritual introspection in the West.
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