"Tarot is ancient, Tarot came before Christ...it’s as ancient as humanity...They have proven that in some tombs from the Egyptians, there were hieroglyphics that were that were part of the Tarot." Pepe Siekavizza.
The origins of Tarot, much like its practice for those unfamiliar, has long been shrouded in mystery. There are some like Pepe that believe Tarot cards hailed from ancient Egypt. With certain devotees convinced that it's the remnants of a surviving book from ancient libraries, attributing the cards as hieroglyphical keys to life.
However, there are others who dispute this, arguing that Tarot cards in fact first surfaced in Renaissance Italy in 1440, with the oldest surviving cards dating back from the mid 15th century, commissioned for the nobility of Milan.
And while Italy may go down in history as the first recorded instance of Tarot, its been suggested that Tarot’s roots actually lie within ancient Persia, India and Rome, amongst others. Whomever you believe, the ambiguity of its origins only serves to add to the intrigue and mystery of this age old practice, enriching the lore surrounding the cards.
This week we looked at ‘The Art of Tarot Reading’ as interpreted and understood by Pepe, the current focus of our DOCCO #3. For Pepe and fellow believers, what’s certain about Tarot is that it's a book of wisdom, a tool for divination. Pepe making clear to underline, that while many may study Tarot, this can often be empirical if not also underpinned by an innate intuition -- the gift of sight and perception.
While there are variations in the number of cards found in a pack, Pepe subscribes and uses the most popular -- that of 78 cards. Within these cards are two groups, the major arcana and the minor arcana (arcana meaning secrets). It is said that the major arcana offers insight into larger overarching archetypes, while the minor arcana offers a more nuanced interpretation.
As a trio, we’ve delighted in uncovering this seemingly shrouded world. A world in which Tarot offers to help with answers on life's most frequently sought after questions -- whether it be love, relationships, one’s career or even finances. Arguably, Tarot presents itself as a mode of communication, an esoteric system of guidance, a means in which to understand and corral the chaos that at times can be the human experience.
What we’ve come to understand is that Tarot is timeless. Attempts to understand its origin are in some ways redundant, even if it were clear cut. And while, we’ve delved into this world we realise that we’ve only just scratched its surface. There is so much more yet to uncover, which will forever remain elusive, enigmatic and tantalisingly out of reach, an everlasting mystery.
If you’ve been been living under a rock and have missed out on our latest DOCCO series 'Guatemala’s Psychic’, then here’s your chance to catch up! Watch the link below to learn more about this curious world.