When most people think of tarot cards an image of an old gypsy woman doling out good and bad luck on a whim comes to mind.
The truth, however, is that tarot cards were started out as being a regular deck of playing cards brought in to Europe possibly from Egypt. Similar to the modern playing card deck, with four suits and a range of Ace to Kings in each.
The history of the tarot is as interesting as the development of the art used to depict the meaning of each card. When the cards became used for divination the art evolved with them, expanding into over 500 different decks.
Perhaps the most common deck is the Rider-Waite. The images are both familiar even to those who don’t pull tarot, and are easy to decipher.
Another popular deck is The Wild Unknown, whose images differ greatly from the Rider-Waite in color, subject, and interpretation.
Check out the gorgeous artwork on this African tarot deck.
And for the Steampunk folks, well there’s a deck for you too.
And one for the art history buffs.
Check out the art on all of these decks and more at Aeclectic Tarot.